Stuck Sticks to Get You Creating

Hi there, folks! Scraps, here, with a necessity-is-the-crafter-of-inspiration project from Alchemist Jo!


Jo: I keep myself busy with quite a few art challenges which is great for inspiration but every so often I want to create something just for me, just because I can, just because.  So there I am, I’ve set aside some time, I’m sitting in my crafting area and, oh dear,  wondering what I can do.

**Tumbleweed Moment**

I’ll twitch a few pencils, stroke my favourite cardstock but will be stuck for inspiration.  Sound familiar to anyone?!  A-ha!  I now have a solution to this problem!

STUCK STICKS!  You’re stuck?  Pick a stick!


The pot is a food can (baked beans in this case) covered with washi tape. Have you checked out the Gauche Alchemy WASHI TAPE yet?!  My secret mission is to end up with one of each set!  It’s so easy to use and looks wonderful (especially if I don’t drool over it!).

The sticks are coffee shop wooden stirrers (ok ok, I drink too much coffee) which I color-tinted with Distress Inks and Distress Stains.


I rubber stamped with Staz-on ideas for creative things to do–sometimes very specific like ‘ATC’, ‘alter something’ or ‘watch a gauche video and have a go at the technique’, other ones giving broader inspiration such as ‘quote’, ‘choose a decade’ or ‘open a technique book and have a go at one’.  One of my most effective inspiration un-stucker stickers is to tidy up my crafting area – it’s amazing what gets found and I’m instantly inspired to create :o)

This was a quick and fun little project.  It would be great to team up with a like minded friend and make a set for each other – then you wouldn’t have a clue what idea you were going to pick out, what fun!


Oh how fun! Not only did she dress up a lot of things that would have otherwise been tossed into the trash, but she made them into an awesome creativity tool for herself! And I love the idea of a stuck stick swap, anyone game?


PS: As Sunday is Mother’s Day, I just wanted to take a moment to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to our Gauche Mamas, Mom-Alchemists and all our Mom-readers, too! Wishing you much crafty time to indulge your passions!

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Smashing the Washi

Hey everyone, it’s Gauche Mama, Amy.  Just wanted to share a quick n’ simple, very gratifying project with ya.

I don’t know ’bout you, but I am a total washi tape addict.  I admit, I have about 100 or more rolls of washi tape, including most of what we’ve got listed in our shop.  The addiction started years ago, when Yasu gave me a roll or two… then sent about 12-15 of them in a big care package once she moved back to Japan.  You can thank her for my fixation…

Anyway, one big bonus with washi tape is that it’s easy to cover just about anything in no time flat.  I decided to apply various patterns to a smash book I made a few weeks ago – the illustration board cover just looked so sad and bare.

Being as it is (sigh), my crafting time is limited.  I got a few lines of tape laid down and then realized I had to get to the grocery store before the end of the day lest we all starve to death.  Well, okay that’s a little dramatic.  Lest we have to eat plain tuna fish for three meals daily.  A Mama’s work is never done, what can I say?  So, I gave my big bag o’ tape to my 13-year-old and 5-year-old daughters and told them to have at it.  (And share.  Definitely SHARE!)

When I got home with my 15 bags of groceries, this is what they had done:

washi tape decorated book cover

Well, they ALMOST did all that – I added the brown solid edging, and then my 13-year-old genius suggested adding the organically grown tape that was wrapped around our quart of strawberries.  (And shame on me for not thinking of it, organic foodie that I am!)

washi tape smash book cover

So, what have you been using your washi for these days?  We totally need to know, as the GA team is fired up with washi madness lately.  Share your ideas and projects on our Flickr stream or Facebook fan page (go on and click the bottlecaps below!).


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ANNOUNCEMENT (washitape washitape washitape)!

HEAR YE!  HEAR YE!  I come bringing news of immense proportions!  Gauche Alchemy studios is proud and INSANELY giddy to announce the arrival of a new category to our shop.    Wanna know what it is?  I’ll give you a little peek…

Oooooooh…so pretty, right?  That’s right, my gauchie friends…WASHI TAPE!  Twenty different variety packs, to be exact. Stripes, plaid, dots, metallic!  We’ve got it all.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Any of these trios could be yours for only $10 with FREE SHIPPING!  How sweet is that?  Stop by the shop and behold the grand array of washi goodness!!!!

Please stop by regularly to see some fantastic examples of what you can do with washi tape! And possibly a giveaway or two.  But you don’t like giveaways, do you?

I promise you will not be disappointed.

deery me.

have a colourful Christmas, my DEER!


Hello gentle reader!

We are OH SO CLOSE to Christmas now.. and I bet you just have HOURS and days of spare time to fiddle around with a silly project that serves no real purpose at all other than to look sweet!….. No?

I know, I know….. There isnt actually time to scratch yourself.. BUT maybe in the after Christmas craft sales.. you could pick a couple of these little beauties up and be on the hop and ready for Christmas 2012??? All you need is a big old tub of gel medium, some balls of yarn, string, wool or silk, lace , ribbon or a combo of all of them, some trinkets and bells, and some wire.. and a whole lot of patience.:)

The picture below is how the deers started out. They are papier mache and purchased for not a lottta $$ from a big craft chain.

naked deer, a leg and a dog. ( leg and dog not required for project!)

(there is a better photo of what you are looking for here.. thank you, Mr Google)

You may have seen these deer around in the home styling stores this Festive season.. some are decorated with yarms, some string, some fabrics… They cost quite the pretty penny, and I love saving $$$,.. ( cheap-arse) …so decided to make my own.

close up of deer necklette.

All you do is cover a section of the deer  with gel medium ( mod podge, impasto whatever you have…we started with the legs.)  and then wrap your yarn of choice around and around the limb until you have “coloured” it in with the yarn.

flowers in your hair...

This WILL take hours.. get comfy and have a coffee or a wine while you wrap.  Every now and then go back over what you have wrapped, and apply more gel medium to it , to secure  to to the deer form.

a rainbow of deer.

and here’s a tip for young players…. thicker wools and fabric strips will be MUCH quicker…. and it doesnt have to be perfect! Imperfections are part of the charm of these.

One you have completely covered the deer with yarns, secure all ends with more gel medium and allow to dry over night.

trims of wire and bells and beads and wool.

Next day… trim your deer with bells, and wire and flowers and beads.. whatever takes your fancy.

step back.. and admire your decorating skillz.

ta daaaaaaaa!

go on.. give it a go! start small and simple.. and see if you like the effect.. you can move onto the big-ass ones if you dont HATE the process.:)

4 sleeps to go!



countdown to the 12 days of Christmas in style !

Hi , and Hello , and a very merry Ho ho ho to you, gentle reader.

Ngaire here…. this time bringing you   a gobsmaking holiday project from Chrissy the amazing. As we have established..I  adore Christmas.. and this fabulous idea made my heart sing when I saw it.:)

It’s “the Twelve days of Christmas goes up market and stylin’ ” , in a hanging garland of wonder! just LOOK at how beautiful it is!

Chrissy says: ” I have a huge stash of muslin, hemp and raffetta that I wanted to use
up.  And the only thing I managed to make a dent in was the raffetta!
I cut out my sack pattern and sewed it on my nifty handy dandy sewing
machine.  I cut up some Echo Park christmas paper I had left from last
year.  Ok.  Honestly.  I got it last year and never used it.  Good
thing though!”

“My glittery sparkly numbers are Amercan Crafts Thickers.  The red
rhinestones are from my awesomely awesome saucy red mixed media color
  I used a hefty amount of twine for accenting.  I stuffed my sacks with the
raffetta and let some of it peek out the tops of some of the bags.”

(A note from Chrissy: ***You could fill each bag with treats.  My kids have been fighting
non-stop.. so they get raffetta! 😉 ”

You can find a simple pattern for making the sacks here. 

am loving this project idea… and I think lollies would be fabulous in the bags… maybe  a different recipient could get a bag on each countdown day?  Or maybe you could get one each day yourself??

wishing you much crafty gift making and many organisational skillz this beautiful December! Until next time.



Cheryl’s Fabulously funky retro vintage wedding


Michelle here!

Cheryl, Gauche’s video maven, got married recently and I wanted to share some of the projects she made for her wedding- just sit back and ENJOY-  there’s plenty of funky eye candy ahead.

Cheryl and famz. Check out Cheryl's hair! Look at her GORGEOUS hand made bouquet!!! And Mom's dress is stylin'- for real!

The exquisite invitation- this sets the tone for the wedding beautifully- unique, creative and FUN. LOVE the circle window with the ampersand- just GORGEOUS!!!

Cheryl says: I designed the programs, quizzes, candle and jar labels myself using MS Word, and Inkscape. The flowers were made by the mother of the bride, the vases were coffee tins covered with punchinella, and the giant pinwheels were easy – just find a template online and follow the instructions.

One you get over the fantastic color combo and pattern mix take a nice long gander at the staging and light. So lovely!

A close up:

The cover of the wedding gift box containing some seriously cool handmade boutonnieres. The box was first covered in molding paste then stamped with a woodgrain stamp. She then painted it black- LOVE the fiddly bits on top.

Inside the box? Skull Felt Boutonnieres!!

Skull boutonnieres: Trace a simple skull template and cut two shapes from felt. On one, sew (or glue) hearts for eyes and stitch a mouth. On the other, stitch on a brooch back. Then hand-sew together. Just before closing stuff a little cushion stuffing into the pocket.

The red and white sailor paper star is FABULOUS!!!! Note the hand made bunting in the background.

Over 50 metres of gorgeous fabric bunting were hand made by the mother of the bride. It will be used again. To make the hearts, cut lengths of card or pattern paper and staple together. For the 3D nautical stars: trace a nautical star template onto card and cut, leaving flaps on the outer edges of one. Then score all inner and outer lines, glue together with a hot glue gun and when dry, push the points inwards so the star bends at the scores and takes on its 3D form.

Fantastic paper combo!!! Music notes! Cherries! Stripes and Polka dots- LOVE!!!

And finally- the pièce de résistance:

The bridal bouquet surrounded by the bouquets made for the wedding party. STUNNING!!!!

That deserves a close up!!!

(See how Cheryl made her wedding bouquet here)

Fabulous good bye in a classic car- Cheryl covered all the bases! She's certainly got the knack for a career as a wedding planner!

Look at those bride maid's dresses!!!! Incredibly flattering and can be used for all kinds of wonderful events! Suspenders for the men make for a great photo.

Can you FEEL the love? I do. Go on and hug your significant other!

Chells out.

a Christmas post in November..

Hi and hello sweeties!

Ngaire here  with a few pretty pictures of “things that are Christmassy.”

Christmas is snnnneeeeaaaking up on us all. The holiday season is lurking JUST  out of sight…

So I thought I would share some projects I have made in past years.. to get the creative juices flowing… and the ideas a-rolling… and the mistletoe a-swinging… and the eggnog a-gulping.

Cookie tray advent. SO fun and SO easy!

Use up all your scraps , (**and add some cute stuff from the Gauche colour mixed media kits????) to create little magnets for each day (days not in use can be stored on the back of the tray). I just drew the squares on to the tray with a sharpie and a ruler!

I adore candles anytime of the year.. but the Holiday season is SO perfect for them.

oooh pretty!

add some rub-ons.. and gems to an old pot to give it a Christmas glow. You could also add lace or ribbon to the pot too, and if you have little ones at home.. use battery operated candles so no one gets burnt!

Have you ever tried making a wreath? They really are easy… just use some vines (fake is fine!) and some wire to hold it in place. add some schtuff from your stash.. and hot glue the lot into place!

see the cute little birdies???

yup.. the wee white birdies …they are from the wedding night colour kit.. you can find it here.

We adore felt here at the Chateau De Bartlam.. we use it a LOT.  There are LOADS of free tutorials on the web for making cute things.. and these are all kid friendly too. ( you can use fabric glue for the little ones, and teach the older ones to use a needle..or if you are me.. allow the grandmamas to do so.. ahem.)

felt hearts with buttons.

felt birdie

winged hearts.

make a bunch for hanging and giving.

You can see more of my festive makings here at my flickr Christmas set.

and lots of cool ideas and pretty things and more .. at our Gauche Pinterest Gallery.

and I am curating a Holiday Pinterest Board here .

until next we meet.. I leave you with this:


Kiss kiss.