Romancing the Layout

Hi everyone! Maggi here with a dreamy romantical (What? It’s a word!) new layout by Alchemist Misty!

Romantic Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout

Misty says:
This time I created a layout of my husband and I. The picture was taken at a homecoming dinner for our soldiers who had been deployed. I kind of like this picture considering it was taken only a couple of weeks after having my baby girl. Unfortunately, neither of my kids ever slept and having two non sleeping kids at that time, meant that this mommy literally looked like a WALKING ZOMBIE most of the time! It was so bad I started getting optical migraines, which left me slightly blinded at times…but wait, I’m supposed to be talking about my layout not the trials of motherhood! 😉 Back to the subject now…

Mixed Media Flowers

To make this layout I took a piece of cardstock, cut out the “tears” and distressed the edges. Then I took each piece and Gesso’d them (Gesso’d it IS a word in my dictionary) and added some DIY mists in pink, yellow, and brown. Once the pieces were dry, I glued some yellow punchinella to the back of the middle piece.

(Originally, I thought I would add just enough punchinella to “peek” out from each side of the torn pieces but when I gave it a try, the results were kind of boring, so I decided to take a larger piece of the punchinella and ruffle it from one side…I decided that this made more of an impact.) At that point, I knew the lacing I intended to do would ruin the look of the punchinella so I decided to add some brads instead.

Ruffles Made from Punchinella

Then for the top pieces I added eyelets and wire lacing. I need a little more practice with this because the curve threw me off… Don’t look too closely because you will notice some wonky looking laces! Then I added scraps of Ouchless Cardboard under the tears.

From that point I knew I wanted to add some soft touches, so I pulled out a piece of pale pink lace and misted it in the three colors on the layout. By the way, if you haven’t purchased the Lace and Ribbon Variety Pack you really should! There are so many gorgeous and unique lace designs in that pack. I’ve not used them as much as I should because I’ve been hoarding them for those “perfect” projects. So I finally broke a piece out and added it to the middle of the background.
Vintage Lace for Scrapbooking
Then it was time to embellish! I embellished my frame with some pink crystals from the Pink Parts Mixed Media Color Kit and used white mesh from the Wedding Night White Mixed Media Color Kit. I added the wordlet, flourish, and frame from Scrap Fx. Then I topped it off with flowers. Most of them are handmade from book pages out of the Acme Kit, but I did sneak in a couple of petaloo flowers as well. I had tons of fun making this page!

Book Page Flowers

Great job Misty! A beautiful layout to remember romance and sleep deprivation! 😀

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi 😀

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Technicolor Life

Good morning, Marilyn here with another terrific layout from Alchemist Michelle.  She’s used bright, happy, neon colors to make her layout really pop.  Here she is to explain how she did it.  Michelle, take it away………..

Neon Color Kit

Two years ago I saw this advert for an Alexander McQueen collection showing a close-up profile of a Mohawked model looking down.  I didn’t realize how deeply ingrained that image was till I shot this photo and realized I’ve been DYING to recreate that photo for 2 years.  The recent advert for the American version of “Girl With A Dragon Tattoo” is a direct “lift” of  that campaign as well.  I’m loving teal stripes, black thread and hexagons right now so they all got incorporated into my final page (the red border is a shellacked table in my apartment).  I used punchinella, die cuts and that AWESOME peacock eraser (which I cut in half to use twice!) from the Neon Color Kit, kraft paper from The Paper Company, Fancy Pants tape, Scrap FX chipboard, and the nail polish is a local store brand.

Nail Polish Neon

Some of the techniques I used on this page prove why joining social networks is essential for artistic development.  I got the nail polish painting technique from – she posted a photo on Instagram and I knew right away I would be trying this technique out.  Nail polish is GREAT for embellishments like chipboard or alphabets. It has deep color, dimension, and sheen so no extra treatments are necessary.  I added glossy accents to cover up the gel pen “doodling” I did on the heart.  (Doodling in quotes because all I did was outline the shape.)

Polish Paint Chipboard

I have neon purple and pink nail polish I will never use on myself since it chips literally minutes later, but it works beautifully on chipboard! WOOO HOOO!  The Hipstamatic Ben Watts lens adds high contrast to photos so my purple heart went black – there’s poetry there somewhere I’m sure.  I also used the totally AWESOMESAUCE Lablebox app to add writing to my photo.

Scoring Board Kraft Embossing

I’ve had to move all hobby activities to late night since my daughter turned 2 so this is me scoring paper at 2am using a table knife because I couldn’t find my bone folder quietly.  (If you are imagining avalanches of paper, yes, that’s why.)

Scoring Lines

I LOVE this detail shot. I know it’s random but I really like the abstract look of it.  Here you can really see the embossed lines I made using my score board.  Again, this was a technique I found on Twitter from Melissa Mann who designs for Green Frog Studios (amongst other brands).

Chipboard Stitch Hexagon

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with acrylic paint; but when I first started scrapbooking, I used pre-printed paper and embellishments because I felt couldn’t paint or draw, so it’s a little Alanis-type ironic.   Here I watered down some 79 cent acrylic paint in “Citron” and literally spilled it on the kraft paper.  I used a heat gun to dry the paper before it got too warped.

Chipboard Neon

I used neon gel pens to color in the chipboard letters.  I also used neon pastel crayons on the chipboard swirl and scratched a sort of border on them – another technique I found using social media networking.

Thanks Michelle.  The layout is totally awesome and the bright, happy colors lift the spirits.  Never would have thought social networking could be another tool for us to use in our art.  Hmmmm, think I’d better get on the ‘net & see what tips I can unearth.  Until next time……………


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Show Stoppers Mini Album with Major Vintage Appeal

Hi there! Scraps, here, with a fabulous project using the new Showstoppers Kit courtesy of Alchemist Misty!


That is one stuffed-with-awesome mini-album, right there! Let’s take a closer look, shall we?


Using the included project sheet from the Showstoppers Kit, Misty created a touching testament to her grandparents with the cover inspiration coming from Grandma, herself!

Misty:  the Marquee [comment] totally sparked my interest! So I decided to stick with the “show stoppers” theme and make the cover a marquee introducing my grandma and grandpa and their love story.

I used my Big Bite [to create the holes] and just kept biting away until my holes were big enough to fit the lightbulb. Then I painted it in with glossy black paint ( I cheated and used spray paint) and once the paint was dry, I added my bulbs.  I printed the now showing from my printer and matted it to a rectangular piece of chipboard then I dressed it up a bit by adding rhinestones to the sides.  I also printed out my movie title from my computer and matted it onto a piece of sequined material that was in the kit to add more sparkle.   One of the magazine pages in the kit was an image of a nurse feeding a wounded soldier, so I cut out her arm and hand, scanned it into my computer so that I could flip the image, allowing me to have a right and left hand.  To the left hand I added flowers that came in the kit, and to the right hand I added tickets that also came in the kit.


The first page introduces our “Leading Man.” Now how brilliant is this? Though she covered some of the “bulb butts” with her framed picture, she used the others to anchor the charm garland topping the page. And, oh, I’m a sucker for a man in uniform–especially a vintage uniform!


Sometimes you get an embellishment and you just don’t know what to do with it. Misty ran into this with the Groucho Marx patch from the Showstoppers Kit.

Misty: That smoker had me stumped?!  Then my grandma said “why don’t you make a marquee with him on it?”

I eventually decided to use smokie as a perfect image for a play on words by adding smoke to the cig and stating that my grandpa was “smokin hot”(…ok, its a little creepy when I’m explaining it that way).

A man in uniform is always smokin’ hot. End of story.


Our leading lady gets her time in the spotlight with a gorgeous patterned paper and fabric rose embellished with a button from the kit–see it sparkle in the very center! This page also used silver punchinella, feathers, ticket stubs and–another genius move–little jewelry bells as picture corners.


Misty: I misted the background in a purple and turquoise then randomly went over it with distress ink.  I cut out an arrow pointing to the previous page, then outlined the arrow with gold beads from the kit.  I also cut out the “nerves of steel” from the g45 paper in the kit, and matted it with some aluminum tape (embossed with my Sizzix). I also cut a star out of the aluminum tape and embossed it.  To the right, lower corner I used the black feather from the kit and placed it under the flower.  The eyelet and gem in the center of the flower were both part of the kit as well.  I added the butterfly from the lady marmalade orange mixed media kit. Then I added a key charm hanging from under the flower.


Among the pleated filmstrip border, punchinella-overlaid background and gems, there’s a darling story that goes with that charming postcard.

Misty: Shortly after my grandpa passed away my grandma and I were looking through her keepsakes and I stumbled upon the postcard.  I think she probably would have hid it if I hadn’t found it first. lol  The front of the card is a groom in bed waiting for his “busty” bride to come to bed for “snuggle time” and she is sitting at a desk writing out the thank you letters.  It was funny enough to know that my grandpa, who was away in the airforce somewhere, sent this…but the sentiment on the back of the card was even cuter.  He says “Of course, I’m only kidding! I hope its not like that when we get married.  What do you think?”

I thought it was so cute (and a little uncomfortable). Just kidding, I loved seeing this side of him.  After seeing their long relationship where they knew each other so well, I liked being able to see this sort of awkward side to him, when he was still getting to know grandma.


Every love story should have a happily ever after. Our couple gets their send-off decorated with a mist-over-modelling paste background (stenciled through heart punchinella), flower-and-fabric flounce and a sweet, to-the-point title whose torched edges give it an instant aging. The dove punctuates the hope of the moment while also balancing an over-torched edge.

Does that just make you want to dig up some old photos?


Misty’s Puchinella layout

Good day!

Michelle here with a great mixed media scrapbook page from design team member, Misty.

Misty is not afraid to try new things or develop her own techniques by exploring without a final product in mind. It’s a wonderful thing to have as a designer and the primary reason why I admire her talent.

Case in point:

Oh. SNAP. !!! Check out the texture on that baby! Amazing! Love the magenta and black color combo as well. The newsprint squares peeking though is an awesome detail!

So we’ve established why I’m a fan.

I’ll let Misty explain what she did:

“This is a page about my sister and her family. I started on the background by grabbing a piece of card stock, some book pages from the Acme Subscription kit and Mod Podge.  Once dried, I lightly covered everything with white acrylic paint and misted some black, magenta and bright pink colors which I let drip or wiped down until I got the effect I wanted.  It’s been a couple of layouts since I broke out the heavy metal so I used the metal eyelets and wire from the Black Out Mixed Media Kit along the side of the page. ”

Some detail shots:

The Scrap FX chipboard has been embossed and inked for a metal look. Here you can really see how Misty dripped the paint or wiped it away to emphasize the texture.

“I then added black punchinella and magenta lace for a border and behind my photo. Since  I was using the “Family is a Circle of Love” chipboard piece from Scrap FX, I thought I should use a circle as a matt for my photo.  So I cut, painted and misted a circle from ouchless cardboard.  I decided the page still looked a little plain and needed more metal so I added a chain and charm along the bottom (from the Black Out Mixed Media Kit), some fabric rosettes and FINALLY it felt done!

Thanks Misty. Your fearlessness is truly inspiring.

Have you tried using metal or painterly techniques in your scrapbook layouts? Let us know by linking us up or posting it on our Flickr group– who knows! You might be featured on this very blog!

Have a crafty day!

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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!

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Wendy’s geek chic


Michelle here with a FUN project from Wendy Morris!

Wendy is a very cool and multi-talented woman- someone I would turn to for advice on all things crafty.

Today she shows us that she has a wonky fun side too- yaay!


Oh MAN- this page uses all my fave scrap motifs! Numbers? check! Misting? check! Strips? check! Stars? Check! Friggin' AWESOME!

As Wendy explains:

“Yes, I can be a lil’ bit nerdy, a lil’ bit quirky, and a ‘lil’ bit energetic.  Nerdy in that that I crunch numbers and I’m always up for a challenge in my day job as an auditor. I will also admit I have a passion for learning new things. But I always tap into that other side of my personality to unleash my creativity, find the humor in everyday, think positive and enjoy life.”
I LOVE this particular detail:

Cork letters continue the school theme established by the title. The layering of text papers from the Hot for Teacher kit is subtle but provides great pop against the title. I'm LOVING the Tattered Angels Olive mist here too!

Wendy used the Hot For Teacher kit and a strip of red punchinella for this page. The kit includes some great number and letter themed papers which Wendy made her own by misting with Mister Huey in Calico Cream. I also love cluster of details focused off to one side- asymmetric design is really hot right now.

Details please!!!


Eye glasses rub-ons, numbers brads and Maya Road star pin and wood ruler- awesome! That Lawn Fawn glasses stamp is so darned cute!


Wendy's lively self portraits always make me smile! When she uses them in multiples like this I'm reminded of the paintings and newspapers in the Harry Potter books where the subjects move and interact with the viewer.

One last great detail shot:


This seemingly random handwritten detail adds a contrasting curved element to a page that uses white space and linear embellishments very effectively.

So Wendy you rocked it yet again! What’s next? (I hear a chorus softly singing Disney World)

Chells out!

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Scrapbooking With Texture and Technique

Hi everyone! Maggi here to share a fantastically distressed, gorgeously grunge-y scrapbook layout from Alchemist Misty!

Grunge Scrapbook Layout

Misty says: The photo is of my grandparents. My Grandpa died about 7 years ago and I was very close to him and continue to be extremely close to my Grandma. I love seeing the pics of them together from that time because I can’t help but to imagine what they must have been like. My Grandpa was always incredibly ornery and full of jokes. In fact, my Grandma and grandpa’s first date was a result of his ornery little ways!

My Grandma had a date with a guy from her high school one night but my Grandpa told her that her date had to cancel. My Grandpa, being the sweet guy he was, insisted that she still go see the movie with him. My Grandma was reluctant but decided to go out with him and his cousin (who was her best friend) anyway. You can imagine my Grandma’s surprise when her date who had supposedly cancelled showed up to that same movie. It obviously impressed her that Grandpa would go through such great lengths to get a date with her, because they were inseparable ever since!

Adding Texture With Punchinella

This was the first page I have ever made without already having a photo in mind. I really just wanted to play with the PVC punchinella (my main inspiration) and modeling paste and knew that the rectangle sequin waste would create an awesome textured background! So, I started using the punchinella as a stencil and smeared modeling paste randomly around different parts of the page. Then I misted the page with some mists I made (I used Dr. Ph. Martins calligraphy ink, water, and perfect pearls powder.)

Altered Chipboard Letters

I painted some White Ouchless Cardboard with Folkart gold glitter to give it some shimmer. I also added a braille page from the ACME Kit and misted it with some purple and blue mists and added gold glitter paint.

Handmade Paper Flowers

I made some flowers from music sheets and used a leaf from the Wedding Night Mixed Media Color Kit I found some white ribbon in the Lace Ribbon Variety Pack and stained it with coffee to give it an aged look.

Lace Aged With Coffee

Amazing job Misty! There is so much texture and technique on this layout, I have a hard time picking out my favorite part! I love the idea of using coffee to give an “aged” look. Have you used this technique before?

Don’t forget go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi 😀

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