Two brand new kits! Brilliant!

You know we’re suckers for the totally ordinary.  Making the totally ordinary EXTRAORDINARY, that is!  (We’re called Gauche Alchemy for a reason, y’know.)  One challenge in using found objects and non-traditional supplies is that sometimes the very best thing is right there in front of you, but your brain is boxed in and you don’t see the potential.

Allow us to help.

Our newest kit is called WHOLEY SHEET!  This kit is… well… flat sheets of anything and everything.  Add texture, color, interest… and give your creativity a kick-start in the process.  Once you dig into this kit, I know you will begin to look at objects all around you in new ways – and when you do, please SHARE your new insights, m’k?

Get ready art journalers, card makers, scrapbookers, and mail artists, mixed media fiends of all ilk… here’s an eyeful for ya!

This kit contains between 25 and 30 sheets of … well… um… sheets.  😀  You never know what you might find, but here are a few examples: punchinella, cardstock, wrapping paper, foreign newspapers, kraft paper, shrinky dink plastic, foam sheets, tissue paper, plastic canvas, wax paper, foil, napkins, bingo paper, coffee filters, sandpaper, ouchless cardboard, game boards, shop towels, packing material, produce mesh, maps, wallpaper, dictionary pages, plastic screen, cork, cute l’il lunch bags, shopping bags, dryer sheets… trust us, you’re gonna have a good roll in the sheets with this one.  (Okay, that was super-sized cheese.  Sorry.)

Now.  A confession.

I must admit something of which I am ashamed.  We’ve been holding out on you guys.  We put this Acme kit together an embarrassingly long time ago and are just not getting it up on the shop.  It’s a fantastic kit – especially if you’re into pink.  🙂

To refresh your memory, an Acme kit is a full-size kit full of whimsical, vintage, and found goodness – without a specific theme per se.  This is our third incarnation.  There will be future versions, but once this lot is gone, it will look very different – so if you like what you see, grab one!

Well, well, well… take a look here:

– pink plastic canvas

– hot pink and turquoise tassel fringe (personally, one of my fav finds ever!)

– fruit punch vintage pog top

– game pieces and/or small toys

– bird and butterfly sequined shapes

– playing card

– swatch of yummy bright striped cotton fabric

– vintage-inspired pink napkin

– our signature original paper ephemera (at least 5 sheets, 2 of which are oversized)

– Sassafras Lass Yummy Vintage 12×12″ paper – Memory Lane

Stay tuned for some great ideas, projects made with these kits, and of course… more kits unveiled shortly!  (We always got a thing or two up our sleeves…)

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A New Project

2806882258_aa31460cb3spaceballI just received this amazing, beautiful cigar box from a gentleman in my office. Well, to be honest, someone gave it to him and I said “PLEASEDON’TTHROWITAWAY!!!!”. I don’t think he quite understood why I was so keen on acquiring a smelly (albeit gorgeous) cigar box. He handed it over to me and shrugged as he walked away.

NOW…what to do with it??? I need your suggestions, everyone. To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve done a 3-dimensional project and I could use some fresh ideas. 3129396462_d31b3f6277

The Talented and Lovely Lara

Did you know Gauche Alchemy has a Flickr group? We do! It’s a marvelous place to get ideas and inspiration. Lara is a gifted artist I had the immense pleasure of “meeting” though that group. She deftly mixes Gauche Alchemy kits and her own personal style into Art Journals, layouts and cards that defy all the typical gushy adjectives like stunning, jaw-dropping and amazing.

Here’s Lara, in her own words:

Scrapbooking / Mixed Media / Art Journalling – I had an identity crisis trying to figure out where i fit in! And then i decided, why do i need to fit in?!

And at this same time i discovered Gauche Alchemy and a whole boatload of new supplies and ephemera and exciting materials i had never thought to use before… But things that are strangely and comfortably familiar.

This last year has been a CRAZY time of transition and growth and change for me as I somehow thrusted myself into a new life chapter (innocent eyes blinking). Using these creative outlets have pretty much saved my sanity if not my life. And what i love about this medium is I don’t feel the need to be perfect every time – I’m not going into it trying to create a masterpiece … i’m just going into it to create something that hopefully makes me either giggle or hyperventilate.

(This layout seems so old school now, but i still get a giggle out of it.)

My style has changed dramatically this year as I’ve decided not to try to conform to any one medium.

Scrapbooking was waaaay to restrictive – as most of the things i create i don’t necessarily need to stand the test of time – they’re personal and really only need to be around 50 more years (hopefully) and if they do start to decay all the more scrumptious! So, i became less worried about acid-free materials. I also was asked to join the Gutter Girlz design team earlier this year which has pushed me to not only design out of the box but to address topics I may be too fearful to share otherwise.

The one product I can’t create without is acrylic paint now – i used to be sooooo scared to use it! But now I can’t imagine not using it which means at any given time I have three projects going as drying time forces a cycle.

(this was the first layout i EVER did with acrylic paint! I was still trying to fit into the “scrapbooking mold” 😀 )

I also can’t create without some sort of found object – which has saved me TONS of money over the years as i don’t go on spending sprees at scrapbook stores anymore  (just at Gauche Alchemy’s Artfire Store :-p )!

I have a couple of projects I’m particularly proud of…

Earlier this year my BFF graduated nursing school and I know she had always been interested in keeping an art journal but didn’t have time to do it during school. And that all the things she was collecting to put in the journal was stuffed in boxes and drawers – so i decided to make her a “Pre-Art Journal Journal” – something strictly made out of different size envelopes. It was so much fun to make i’ve been wanting to make one for me and perhaps to sell … but then i get sidetracked 🙂

I also was honored to be able to create a birthday card for Bono through the African Well Fund, a charity I’ve been involved with since 2003 – they even wrote a little story about the card:

Lately what I’ve been almost solely working on are art journals.

I really really love this format for many reasons – the size, the history one journal holds, practicing new techniques, holding a complete or near complete journal and seeing all the bits hanging out is one of the most inspiring and exhilarating feelings ever! Some of my favorite art journal pages are:

I don’t know if i have a particular process that i create with because i usually have 3-4 projects going because of paint and adhesive drying. Alot of times I find objects or images that inspire me and i just create around those. Challenge blogs are a huge inspiration for me. More often than not I come up with visions and ideas when i’m not crafting that i try to remember for later to try out. Sometimes it works, sometimes i forget – I’ve always wanted to get into a habit of carrying a notebook with me but i haven’t! Someday….

You can read more about Lara on her  art blog and see more of her work at flickr.

Bunny Good Work

Hi – Amy here. We interrupt this post with a very important message.  If you haven’t discovered the blog Mod Podge Rocks by Amy Anderson, you must go right now.  She has an awesome giveaway going on this week.  Five (yes, five!) people will win a Mod Podge variety pack (Gloss, Matte, Sparkle, Outdoor and Paper in 2 oz. trial size bottles).  You bet your bum I entered!  I have only used the Matte – I would love to experiment with the others.  (Nicole, I know you’re a sucker for the sparkle!)

mod podge variety packP.S. Amy (Anderson, that is) will soon be doing a guest post for us!

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

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Yuripee, an incredibly talented scrapper from Japan, took the I’m a Very Handsome Man! Paper Arts Kit:

and the Wedding Night Mixed Media and Paper Crafts Kit:

And made this:

Isn’t it gorgeous! This gal has talent to spare!

I love her effortless use of vintage ephemera and how she was able to mix a lot of different  elements and still keep the focus on her photo. Did you see the cute ruffled of fabric below the title? *SWOON* And I’m crushing big time on the red stitching and photo turns.

Here are  some other spectacular pages by Yuripee:

My mommy… and camping (completely unrelated)

A shout-out to my very peculiar and especially fun (or was that funny?) Mom – it’s her birthday today! She is a strong, beautiful woman with an interesting life – and an interesting take on life! We love you so much, Mom!

mom jhaleah edited

Now… without my mother, this wouldn’t exist (oh yeah, and the baby above, too). Yes, this one is by yours truly. I used the Pitching a Tent kit for this little project. The box is an empty Laughing Cow cheese box. There’s an idea for ya! (Brilliant, I know…) 😉

I started by covering the top of the box with the pink camo fabric in the kit, using fabric glue.  You can do this neatly by cutting straight lines around the edge of the circle of fabric and then gluing them to the sides – they overlap a little bit.  Added a bunch of collage elements… the butterfly and leaves are from the kit.

amy outdoors top

amy outdoors 1

amy outdoors 2

My sentiments about camping: “Hiking Yes,” “Camping – Heeeellll no!”  Deer paper and brads from kit (tent and campfire).

amy outdoors 3

“ICK – I hate the cold; I hate the hard ground; I hate crapping in the woods; I hate the bugs – YUCK!”  Paper ephemera from the kit.

amy outdoors 4

“The good stuff…”  Tree patch, frog brad, paper ephemera, and Prima leaves from the kit.  I covered the right-hand page with a bit of produce netting.  (My husband was wearing it around his head with a toilet paper tube at the top to entertain our girls the evening before…)  Random stitching and brown acrylic paint.

amy outdoors 4.5

“A CABIN? Well, why didn’t you say so?!”  I beeswaxed the book page with the photo of a house frame.  (I have already done a video about how to beeswax – look at the sidebar to the left – I plan to do another one soon.  Only cuz I look so goofy in the first one.)

amy outdoors 5

For this one, I cut some flocked wallpaper leaves, inserted some field guide paper, and then stitched around the edge.

amy outdoors 6

White gel pen on black cardstock.  “I do love a good bonfire.”

amy outdoors 7

“And I do heart a soft pillow.”  Inked one of the Prima leaves from the kit; added a button and a length of mini-pearls from the color kits.

amy outdoors 8

Paper from the end pages of an old book – stamped the green cardstock with silver ink (floral design).

amy outdoors 9

Froggie, froggie, froggie, froggie… sorry, I get a little carried away sometimes.

The back of the box was painted with acrylic paint, stamped with pale pink paint on a foam stamp, stamped again with a lighter green, then outlined with a white gel pen.  Edged with some pink.

Hey, see that coolio dotted tape?  That’s from Japan – Yasu got it for me during her last trip home – and you know what?  She has plans to send more… will it show up on the ArtFire shop?  If she sends me more than I could possibly ever use, of course!  (I have high hopes…)

amy outdoors back

Blog Candy, Eye Candy, and Pub Candy

Before I get down to biznatch, an announcement:

punchinella

I had wondered why our previous demand for punchinella petered out. Seems that the listing disappeared from our ArtFire shop. No idea how that happened. Anyway, punchinella (or sequin waste, as it’s sometimes known) is again available!

PUB CANDY!

Okay, so I made up that phrase.

Here’s the news: There will be an article all about about US in the September 1st issue of Scrap n’ Art eZine, which is fanTAStic online mag.

Whoo-hoo! I can hardly wait to see what their designers did with our schtuff.

The ‘Zine is totally slick and beautiful – just like looking through any paper published magazine. I was certainly impressed when first I wandered into their scrappy, arty territory. They also give away a TON of stuff from their sponsors! I loves me some free stuff.

Anyway, the subs are TOTally cheap – only, like, 10 buck for a whole year (6 issues). They give you a FREE (there’s that word again) preview download so you can see what you’re in for (nom, nom, nom – yumminess).

BLOG CANDY!

We currently have THREE giveaways going on – 1) Orange color kit naming, 2) Poll about your can’t-do-without art supplies, and 3) Graphic 45 giveaway!

Hmmm… I think I’ll have a wonderful smack-in-the-face giveaway day this weekend… Saturday? That might be a good time. So take your opportunity to participate before the weekend comes. They are open until I actually post the winners. Take that!

EYE CANDY!

Here is a lovely project from Yasu using our Pitching a Tent kit! She is so fabulously talented – I am a die-hard fan. Because her work is to DIE for! HAHAHAHAHAhahaha…ha…ha… okay, so it wasn’t that funny.

Her son’s preschool class is named “Green Frogs.” She tells me he’s now advanced to “Blue Horses.” 🙂

outdoors yasu green frogs

outdoors yasu frogs2

outdoors yasu frogs3

outdoors yasu frogs4

outdoors yasu frogs5

She called these “vermin” on her site. I thought that was hysterical! 😀
outdoors yasu frogs6

Now… the orange color kit name contest

The winner of the Purple color kit naming contest:

Name: Purple People Eater by Callista! Callista – what is it with you? This is your second naming win! Oh, and thanks so much for the link love on your blog. I’m so thrilled to hear you’re enjoying your goodies. 🙂

Random Prize Winner: Maggi! Congrats Maggi – send me your snail mail addy to gauchealchemy@cox.net!

On to our next naming competition!

ORANGE.

orange kit spilled

You know the rules – no name is taboo. Be GAUCHE! Be rude, be crude, be socially unacceptable. Go.

Oh, and we still have FIVE spots open for the circle journal. Those who are already signed up – consider recruiting friends! Those who are not signed up… what are you waiting for!?