Among Trees: In The Style Of

Good Morning!  Marilyn here, with an experiment from Alchemist Jo.  Jo was inspired by an artist she read about and decided to create something “in the style of” that artist.  She’s done a bang-up job and the result is an awesome piece of artwork.  Jo, show us how it’s done.

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I wanted to complete a project using a paper napkin background and chose a very striking black and white paper napkin from the Paper Napkin Art Kit .  While very striking by itself, I wanted to see how it would look sprayed with some vibrant color (using Dylusions Ink Sprays – mmmmmm, yummy), which I liked.  So, I stuck the napkin onto a cardboard base using Mod Podge (although as you can see, I’d torn it a bit small!).

Paper napkin background

OK, I’d gotten my background, but now what was I going to do with it?  Hmmmmmm (** thinking face**).  I had a few ideas but nothing that was exciting me.  So, I picked out one of my ‘Stuck Sticks‘ (a previous Gauche project) and it told me to study an artist and have a go at creating something in their style.  Good idea (if I do say so myself).  But first, coffee!!  I took myself off to my local coffee shop and sat with a “medium cappuccino to have in please” and the Mar/Apr 2012 issue of Somerset Studio.  As I’m leafing through, what should I see?  An article by Mary Beth Shaw who, wait for it, studied an artist and then created artwork inspired by that artist.  Wow!  How serendipitous!  The artist she’d chosen to look up?  A Viennese artist named Hundertwasser (1928-2000).  I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard of him.  His artwork, full of detail and colour, is STUNNING.  I’m in LOVE!  Back home, I carefully studied the main elements that make up his artwork and picked out several to create something which nods to his style but doesn’t copy it.

Napkin Collage Punchinella

On one side of the paper napkin background I smeared black gesso over some large hole punchinella from the Punchinella Variety Pack .  Once dry, I used the ends of pens and paintbrushes to add neon bright acrylic paint dots (I was inspired to use neon colours by Alchemist Michelle’s stunning layouts and photographs).  Using black Staz-On, I stamped a Claudine Hellmuth line circle image onto paper which I then cut out and painted with neon acrylic paints.  These became my trees.  Once they were stuck on, I painted their trunks.  Often in Hundertwasser’s paintings you can see the trunk of a tree through the ‘foliage’ of the tree in front, so I replicated this by using charcoal pencil.

Background Gesso Paint

The finished piece includes a Hundertwasser quote,  which I’ve handwritten.  I initially wrote it with a white paint pen but it didn’t look very good so I painted over it with neon yellow paint.  Better.

I learned such a lot from this exercise.  From Mary Beth Shaw,  I discovered a new (to me) artist.  I REALLY enjoyed experimenting with a style totally out of my comfort zone.   From Alchemist Michelle I got the confidence to try using colours that I would NEVER previously considered using.  From myself, I learned that I can spread my little arty wings and try something new without fear of failure.  Have I created perfect artwork?  NO!  Did I enjoy creating it?  YES!  Will I do this exercise again with another artist?  DEFINITELY!

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Jo, what a truly beautiful work of art you have created!  Thank you for showing us that experimenting is good for our creativity, can bring us enjoyment, and that we should never fear the unknown.  All it takes it that one “AHA!” moment and we are off on a new adventure.

Until later…………
Smiles~
Marilyn

Image Map

It’s a Contest!

Hello everyone!!!  As most of us (at least here in the US) are looking forward to a holiday weekend, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some Gauche goodness with you all.  Amy and I are so thankful for your loyalty, creativity and shared inspiration.

Let’s start off with the eye candy.  Behold, the Exclusive Acme kit!

Each lot of Acme kits we produce is unique, filled with a special array of Gauche goodies that you are not likely to see anywhere else on our site.  At this time, Acme kits are only available through subscription (6 or 12 months),  but THIS WEEKEND ONLY, you have a chance to get your hands on one of these bad boys for yourself!

  Here’s how:

1.  Leave a comment on this blog post telling us your favorite summer activity.

2.  Become a fan on our Facebook page!  If you already are, then tell your friends about us and have them tell us who sent them! 

{just one more look at the goods}

We will choose a random winner from all the participants on Tuesday.

I should also mention that if you are currently a subscriber to the Acme kits, we will substitute with any Gauche products of equal value!

Have a fantastic weekend!!!

PS:  You will definitely want to come back on (or before) Tuesday, because we have some very exciting news you won’t want to miss!

PPS:  Don’t forget your sunscreen this weekend!

Choose Your Own Adventure, the Contest

Heather here!

You may have noticed that every month here at Gauche Alchemy, we have a theme.  It could be basic or more abstract, but always with a Gauche twist.

For the  month of May, we’ve got some really fun stuff planned for you, as well as a fantastic Guest Designer.  But for the following summer months, we need your help.  This is your chance to tell us what you would like to see here on our blog.  Oh yeah, and to win some cool prizes!!  Woo hoo- free stuff!!!

So, here is the deal.  We would like YOU, our fabulous readers, to choose the theme for June.  Leave a comment with your ideas, and remember that no theme is too naughty, saucy, crazy or silly here in Gaucheland.  So, give it your best shot!  The creator of the winning theme will receive a ribbon variety pack and a color kit of their choice (my favorite– pink parts, is shown here).Also, one random commenter will win our most popular product, a punchinella variety pack.We can’t wait to hear from you!

Oh, the Horror!

As promised, here’s another opportunity to win GA goodies and have loads of fun doing it.  If you haven’t heard, there’s an awesome challenge site called Smeared and Smudged – Alternative, Vintage, and Gothic Art Rubber Stamping.

Each month they pick a horror poster to draw inspiration from. This month it’s Arachnophobia (yikes!). Participants can create anything they want: scrapbook page, altered art, anything – as long as there is at least one stamped image on it somewhere (Smeared & Smudged house rule). At the end of the month,  all participants are placed into the pot at random.org, and a winner is chosen. In order to play along, you need to be a member of S&S, but that’s no biggie – it’s free.  🙂

So head on over there, play along, and maybe win some free Gauche goodies in the bargain!  Here’s what we are offering as a prize – a special orange and black Halloween mixed media color kit (actual items in the kit will vary – this photo is representative of the type of things you’ll find in any color kit).

Winners! And paper flowers with cupcake liners!

Hey everyone!

Remember how we did a blog hop way back with Bombshell Stamps?  Or how about that August challenge of ours?  Well, after basking in the yumminess of your entries – and finally cooling down from the heat of that hop – we’ve picked some winners.

From the commenters on the hop, random.org decided to rain some GA love on Cheryl Valadez – so Cheryl, congrats!  (See people?  Sometimes your two cents can land you some really awesome stuff!)

And from the entries in our August Challenge, random.org wanted to love on Frieda Oxenham – Congrats to you, too!

Cheryl – please send us your snail mail addy.  Frieda – to which e-mail shall we send your gift certificate?  Please let us know at MyMuse@GaucheAlchemy.com!

Alrighty… how about something crafty?  I broke out the ouchless cardboard, hacked off an 8×8 piece, Blacked Out with Lady Marmalade… and wound up with this:

Now, before all you entomologists go freaking out on me, please note:  I am well aware that spiders have 8 legs… this one, however, is rather sensitive about it’s missing appendages.  You see, there’s more to that Miss Muffet story than what you think… that bee-yotch did run off…but only briefly.  She went home to find something to smoosh Mr. Spider with – and managed to smoosh him enough to result in a double-leg amputation…. Poor guy.  (Or… Steph ran out of pipe cleaner.  Whatever.)

Check out those flowers – I’m rather impressed with how they turned out.  Hello, Halloween Cupcake Liners!  If you’re lucky enough to subscribe to our newsletter, you’ll already know how to make these beauties… just follow my Doily Flower Tutorial, and you’ll be set!  (Holy vain, Batman…lol)

Alrighty folks.  I’ve got to figure out where I’m going to stamp on this sucker, so I can enter it in Smeared & Smudged’s ‘Oh, The Horror’ challenge – which, by the way, the awesomness known as Gauche Alchemy is sponsoring this month… SO CHECK IT OUT! (please?)

Laters!
Steph

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 admin@scrapbook-layoutideas.com – 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!

angela is such a geek!

Angela Here!

Before I get into my fun & fabulous product review, I’d like to invite each of you to take a gander at the PaperLife blog, where I was this week’s Spotlight!  There’s a podcast which can be listened to right on the PaperLife page (my geeky little heart is all aflutter!)  Ok, so that may sound like I’m REALLLLY full of myself, but that’s truly not the reason I want you to go check it out.  Gauche Alchemy has generously donated a huge CUSTOM ACME Sampler kit, and you can win it by simply leaving a comment to the Spotlight post!  I promise… you’ll want to get your hot little hands on this kit, so don’t dilly dally.  I’ll wait here while you go check it out!  🙂

Link to PaperLife spotlight post

Back so soon?  Did you leave a comment so you can be entered to win the kit?  Excellent!  Now, on with our regularly scheduled programming.  🙂

It’s sad, but true. Before you even get inside my front door, you immediately know you have arrived at the House of Geek. There isn’t a square foot of our home that isn’t the resting place for some sort of computer equipment or electronic gadget.

Even our cats are geeky. Our Oriental named Ambrose loves to watch TV (COPS is his favorite show!) He is so in love with television that we keep a spot on the shelf beneath it cleared off just for him. The other day, as my son sat playing his PS3, Ambrose hopped into his favorite cubby amongst all the TV equipment, and I took the opportunity to snap a shot.

When I received the Geekery kit from Gauche Alchemy, I reached for this photo right away. I knew exactly how I wanted to immortalize our nerdy, furry friend. The Geekery kit includes everything you need to make multiple projects showcasing your favorite nerds, geeks, and gadget nuts. This kit is also PERFECT for little boys (and not-so-little boys) who love their toys. With tons of papers, including vintage graph, ledger, and technical booklet pages, you’ll have what you need to get your pages and mixed media projects started. My personal favorites were the retro comic book pages! Be sure to read on to see what I did with these!

Chock full of fun and funky embellishments, the Geekery kit provides you with ample treekets (geeky trinkets) to keep you busy for hours. The mix of vintage and retro, along with new products from Cosmo Cricket, K&Co, and Karen Foster, is spot on!

For this layout, I began with a sheet of kraft paper from the Gauche Alchemy Wholey Sheet kit as the base, then sprayed the funky background using Glimmer Mist and a template from Crafter’s Workshop.

The photo mat is actually a trimmed graph from a technical page included in the Geekery kit. For the title, I cut the words “house” and “nerds” from a vintage Spiderman comic book cover included in the Geekery kit, using my Cricut machine and the Opposites Attract cartridge. The black chipboard robot, gears, and circles are all included with the Geekery kit. The alpha stickers are from Paper Trunk and My Little Shoebox. Oh, and white Gesso on the black chipboard for effect! The thing I truly love about all the Gauche Alchemy kits is how perfectly they work with literally ANY supplies I already have on hand. I have yet to find a project that I cannot use a Gauche goodie on!

This page was super easy to create and put together, thanks to the well thought-out Geekery kit. I had this layout done, start-to-finish, in less than 45 minutes. So head over to the Gauche Alchemy ArtFire store, grab a Geekery kit for yourself, and embrace your inner pocket protector! And don’t forget to share your work with the class – we’d LOVE to see what you create!