Cheryl’s takin’ a walk

Hello there!

Michelle here with a wonderful new step by step process video from Cheryl.

I am currently undergoing the arduous procedure more commonly known as “Project Life” where you shoot and journal every day life. I am already “cheating” by journaling only 2 days a week (if that). What I really love about Project Life or Project 365, a similar 1 photo a day version,  is how it forces me to pay attention to every day details.

Cheryl has taken the much more HUMANE approach by documenting 52 walks she will take this year- one for every week.

Here are a couple of images from week 5 and 6:

Image from week 5. I like the more abstract nature of Cheryl's photos.

This photo is stunning. I. can't. stop. looking! I actually started walking in my neighborhood after I read Cheryl's post about 52 walks on her personal blog.

Now a brief pause while we check in with Cheryl as she makes the binder cover for this project:

And a quickie shot of one of the pages she recently worked on. She used stamps from Sassafras Lass and items from the Blue Streak mixed media color kit.

Please excuse the admittedly imperfect lighting. Cheryl was very gracious to provide this as she was literally on her way out the door for a week long trip to Dublin. But I'm not jealous! (much)

So how are you tackling Project Life or Project 365 or any other year long art project? Let us know by commenting here or linking up your work to the Gauche Alchemy Flickr page!

Check us out on the social networks mi gente!

Image Map

Lara’s Pre-Art Journal Art Journal

Lara here….
I’d like to share with you a project I just made for a friend of mine for her birthday. I’ve been calling these things “pre-art journal art journals” as I’ve made a couple so far and am starting to figure out how to perfect them. And using Gauche Alchemy products to do so since they’re so diverse and repurposeful friendly 🙂

Anyways, these journals started out as just envelopes bound together (Version One Here). Then I started adding some paper in for journalling in addition to the envelopes (Version Two Here). Which brings us to this Version Three which takes the envelopes and paper further (can’t give away all my secrets now, can i?).

First of all, yes, I am a paint whore. And i’ve become OBSESSED with spray paint. So, indeed, there are about five layers of paint on this! For masking the paint I’ve used a variety of Punchinella as well as Plastic Canvas which comes with the Wholey Sheet Kit. You might also see some errant stamps here and there I’ve collected over the years…

So, the shtick I have with these “pre-art journals” is that they’re all made from materials I already have – including envelopes of all sizes and varieties. The cover is an interoffice manilla envelope i made more sturdy by inserting chipboard into the front and spine. The back is still open for sticking things in! That’s the point of these things – to stick things into them! (that’s what she said)

Can I get a “what what” for Punchinella and the Envy Green Kit please?!

I have no idea if i’ve invented a special binding method, but there’s no kookiness to it – just metal binding rings 🙂 That way things can be easily added or removed if the envelopes start getting to thick with shtuff.

Many of the pages in the book that can be written on are from kits Gauche Alchemy has put together! Most notably the Wholey Sheet Kit and the Geekery Mixed Media Kit. The Geekery kit in particular has some awesome fun papers with things you probably haven’t seen since childhood!

Some inside pages… My friend loves puzzles and it just so happens that many of the Color Mixed Media Kits include these! There’s fun little doodads throughout the journal, actually, from the color kits. Things that make me giggle.

I feel any journal should have some hint of inspiration so i like to finish mine off with some quotes I find particularly inspiring, and I believe my friend might as well.

Hope you enjoyed looking through my friend’s journal! 🙂
Have a great weekend!

Dear Diary: Today I Painted You

Hi everyone!

Maggi here with this month’s theme day: Art Journaling. If you’ve never “art journaled” before, I encourage you to give it a try! It’s a great way to express yourself creatively and emotionally. The best thing about art journaling is that you really can create something about anything, good times or bad. 🙂 Here’s what the team created:


‘I’m always late; it’s about the only guarantee in my life! While I was creating this page, I was listening to the radio and Fergie’s “London Bridges” came on. At that point, I was just messing around with paints & inks on the background – and then I was struck with inspiration to make a page about my lateness & my favourite phrase! (lol) On this page, you can find some GA doilies, Punchinella, and pieces from the Wholey Sheet Kit, as well as the Banana Hammock and Blue Streak Kit Mixed Media Color Kits!


I made use of the It’s All Gravy Baby! Mixed Media Color Kit for this art journal as well as pieces of bingo cards, playing cards from the Gauche Kits for this! I glued all the buttons together using Stickles for that added bling!


These couple of pages in my art journal feature our Acme Kit, Kitch Delish Kit, Wholey Sheet Kit and Bombshell stamps products. The journaling reads: This broom is not for sweeping and this pot is not for cooking your dinner. We all know that Bombshell witches have better things to do.


I’m lucky enough to be part of a Circle Journal that’s based around Rock music. Each month the new pages will be about a different rock band or singer. The journal I received this month included a CD of songs which the recipient has to pick their favourite and compose a couple of pages. As soon as I saw Ace of Spades by Motorhead on there, there was no competition 😉

This has got loads of Gauchey goodness chucked at it; a Bombshell stamp, lots of acrylic paint, bits from Blue Streak, Wedding Night & Scarlet Fever Mixed Media Color Kits. The scrawled writing is glitter pen and is the lyrics of the song.


Basically I blobbed on some acrylic paint and squished it between the two pages. I used the GA plastic mesh as a mask for some glimmer misting, and some GA Punchinella as a stencil. I added a stamped flourish and some GA Punchinella-cut to make a kind of flower in the centre of the flourish and some sequins-from the Pink Parts Mixed Media Color kit.


Life is about discovering yourself

I used paint, gesso, markers and Punchinella! 🙂

And there you have it! Do you enjoy art journaling? Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something! 😀

Free as a Bird Art Journal Pages!

Last week we presented y’all with this months challenge – using the theme “Free As A Bird” to create a masterpiece. Post to your blog or Flickr account, leave a direct link to your project IN THIS POST by midnight on Sunday, June 25th and then a winner will received a $10.00 gift certificate to our Artfire Store.

Now for a couple more Design Team Projects to get your creative juices flowing…
(don’t forget to check out our other design team creations here)

Art Journal Pages! What makes you feel more free than playing in an art journal?! Well, for me not much… anyways…


The cover of the journal was made using sheet music from the Wholey Sheet Kit adhered to Ouchless Cardboard using Mod Podge (just on the back, not the front!) Once it was dry, I stripped pieces of the stuck down sheet music off, letting the Ouchless Cardboard peek through around the edges.

I have been very into using the magazine pages for all sorts of page elements and projects lately! On this journal, I took a semi-transparent Heidi Swapp bird sticker and stuck it on top of a magazine page from my ACME Lot #3 Kit. I outlined the bird with silver Stickles paint. I then free-hand cut clouds from the remainder of the magazine page, and then used a round paint brush and blue acrylic paint to create swirled patterns on the clouds.

I accented the cover using miscellaneous jewels and odds and ends from my Mixed Media Color Kits. Once I had put the entire cover together, I cut holes into the top using my Exacto knife, and replaced the existing cover with my new one!


The background of this page is paint i’ve used for other projects – nearly every page in my art journal I’ve used for a palette for something else so I never have to start with a white page. I find this helps me a long when i sit down to start something! The flower i cut out from a magazine, the birds and quote are from a sheet included in the ACME Lot #3 Kit. And, well, it wouldn’t be a Lara project without some Punchinella somewhere!

OK gauchettes – lets see what makes you feel free! Remember to link up TO THIS POST by midnight on Sunday, June 25th. One lucky random winner will received a $10.00 gift certificate to our Artfire Store.

Kas’s Blue Rose

My Blue Rose…

We were talking about art journaling here at GA, and I really wanted to start up again. So I have been working on it slowly. What a great release it has been. I took a blank music journal, and I am using it for my diary. This is the inside cover. I used the existing black and sprayed it will a little bleach, then spattered a leaky silver pen. I used a piece of paper from the book for my journaling. The cards are from various Mixed Media kits from the Gauche Alchemy Artfire Store. I used a doily from the Wedding Night White Kit. The blue and silver items are from the Winter Slush Blue Kit. The cardstock is from ArtLovesChaos.

The stamp is from Bombshell Stamps new collection, Rose’s Portrait. She is color with Copic Markers. I added a tear and used Paper Glaze in the bottom of her eyes and on the tear.

I can’t wait to share more of the journal soon!

Introducing Challenge Central

Hello all. Amy here. Before I get started telling you about a fantastic new site, just a reminder – it’s the second day of our two-day sale. Here are the details:
We are having a TWO-DAY-ONLY summer sale at the ArtFire shop! Use these codes (one or the other, please – not both):
20% off your ENTIRE order! code: SUMMERSALE
Free shipping (U.S. and Canada only)! code: FREESHIP610

Gauche Alchemy was given the opportunity to assist in the development of a new site that makes it totally easy to determine which challenges are happening in cyberspace and which you might want to participate in.  I, for one, love challenges, as well as all the hob-nobbing with other creative types and the potential to win fabulous prizes.  It’s just a good concept all around.  For me, though, sometimes by the time I get a chance to sit down and do a challenge, I’m so far out of the loop and don’t know what’s available and where.

Tell me if this sounds familiar.  I head to my art area, ready to delve into some challenges.  Laptop open, I hit a challenge site.  The prompt doesn’t appeal to me, so I move along.  I hit another challenge site.  That challenge is closed already and the next one hasn’t been posted yet.  So, I hit another challenge site, which looks like fun, but it requires the use of a particular product, which I don’t happen to have on hand.  Pretty soon, 40 minutes have passed, and instead of feeling inspired, I’m feeling frustrated.

Now, I know some of you are more on-the-ball than I am and regularly participate with a couple of challenge sites.  But wouldn’t it be nice to discover new challenges and communities that really get your mojo running?  Or how about the possibility to easily determine “cross-challenging” possibilities?  i.e., one project that can be entered in more than one challenge…

Challenge Central is the answer, folks.  You gotta check this out – and if you agree that it is truly a fantastic idea, please share with all your creative friends.  The more participation there is here, the better it gets, and the more we artsy-fartsy types can spend with our ART instead of looking for challenges that suit our fancy.  It’s free advertising for the challenge site owner and only requires a brief form be filled out when posting a challenge.  They can even post future challenges, if their schedule has been determined, which will automatically appear on the site on the appropriate date.

Best yet, if you think the site can be improved in any way, just dash an e-mail off to – the site is still in beta, which means that changes and improvements are ongoing (although it is fully functional as of now).  For the challenge site owner, participation in this beta period gets an entry into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate at the end of the beta period.

What are you waiting for?  Go check it out! If you like what you see, please get the word out – join the Challenge Central Facebook page, Tweet, blog (there’s link button code available on the site for your sidebar)!  As participation increases, so do the number of yummy challenges you have to choose from!

painty and gessoy and textury oh my!

lara here – mistress of texturey painty goodness.
i’ve been enamored with this painty technique recently, and although time intensive, it’s super duper easy to do!
If you’re scared of painting – here’s a good way to paint and not know it because you don’t even need a paint brush!
what you will need is some sort of acrylic paint, gesso, paper towel and paper.

You will be folding your paper in quarters, so i’ve learned that it provides a good guide to fold your paper first. Then put some gobs of paint in one of the quadrants … big, small, far or close, one color or many – experiment!

Once that is done, fold your paper in half making a paint sandwich and apply mild pressure – not too hard though. This is also when putting something underneath your paper could come in handy as paint may oooooze out off the edges. I like to use wax paper ALWAYS as a protective surface because once it gets painty enough i can use it as a canvas! (It’s all about use and resuse here, kids!)

After folding it in half one way, peel the paper back then fold the other way so you have a kaleidoscope effect. This is where I also get an overview of how my paint spread and add a little extra here and there to fill in and gaping spaces

OK – I’m digging this so I’ll leave as is:

mmmmmm textury….

So here’s where patience and perhaps another project come in handy – you’ll need to wait for this to dry. ALL THE WAY. I usually put aside and leave overnight. If its not totally dry the next step will just end up smearing what you’ve already made.

Now to get dirty and play with the gesso. This also could work with thin acrylic paint if you don’t have gesso or want to play with some color. Rub it lightly with a paper towel over the textured paint – this highlights the peaks and valleys.

This is what it could look like with white gesso:

This is what it looks like with black gesso over the white:

And this is what my canvas looked like when i was all done!

I’ve used this technique for a background for layouts, but also cut up and used in smaller amounts to add texture to pieces. A couple of things I’ve created using this technique are this art journal page (prompted by the Year in the Life of an Art Journal Blog):

A 12″x12″ layout inspired by the Dirty Scraps blog:

And finally a macro of a layout I did about my recently deceased dog (for full post click here):

Happy painting!!!!!