Misty’s Altered Journal


Michelle here.

We have a fabulous photo-centric “How I Did It” post from design team member Misty today.

Misty has gotten lots of great feedback on her liberal use of punchinella and traditional stencils to add texture to her mixed media scrapbook projects. So we asked her to pretty please take photos during the making of her next project.

I’m really glad we did because I just learned a few things myself!

Materials needed: Gauche Alchemy punchinella, Crafter's Workshop stencils (any brand is fine actually), paper to cover your work surface, a notebook or other alterable surface, gesso primer, modeling paste and misting or water color paints.

First Misty removed the front and back covers of the journal to keep the inside pages clean.

Lay the punchinella flat on the surface for use as a stencil. Apply molding paste over the design with a credit card or your finger. Gently pull the punchinella back taking care not to disturb the imprint.

This is what the first layer could look like- feel free to keep applying layers till you get the desired amount of texture.

Misty also used her favorite daisy pattern Crafter's Workshop stencil.

While the second molding paste layer is drying, place the title or other embellishments. Make sure letters are holding fast. Allow to dry.

Once the primed chipboard is dry, several different color mists are sprayed directly onto the surface from very close range to create drips. The letters are stamped black when the misted color is dry. Misty mixed her own mist paint for this project! (That post is coming your way soon!)

This is the final result. Misty also applied ink over some of the raised texture in the gesso for extra contrast. This is SO LOVELY!

Misty used the following Gauche Alchemy products for this altered journal cover:

Blue 4mm star punchinella

Blue 4mm star punchinella

PVC teardrop punchinella

PVC sunburst punchinella

White 3mm circle punchinella

Pink 6mm heart shaped punchinella

So I have this large jar of molding paste and an even BIGGER jar of gesso. I am starting to experiment just a tad. How about you?

Got any altered paint projects you’d like to share? Hit us up on Flickr! We promise to leave fun comments!!!!

Don’t forget, you can stock up on everything in the Gauche Alchemy store at 10% off through the end of March in honor of National Craft Month!

Check us out in the social nets!

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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Music to Create By

Hi everyone! Maggi here!

So what’s going on in the background while you’re creating? Sometimes I have the TV on, I catch up on shows while my kids are taking a nap or if they’re still awake I’m probably gluing things together while listening to the kiddie chaos that is a three year old screaming along to Barney or The Wiggles.

Some artists prefer to create in silence, with only their thoughts for company. Me, well I’ve got too many voices in my head for silence to be relaxing so I always reach for music to get me in a creative frame of mind. 😛 So here’s a small sampling of what I reach for in my more artistic times. I also listed some project types you can work on while listening to them, although any of them would be great while you’re making anything. 😛

An American Prayer by Jim Morrison with music by The Doors

An American Prayer is an album that was put together after Jim Morrison’s death containing some of his poetry (recorded by him in previous studio sessions) with added music by the surviving Doors members. I have to say that this is one of my all time favorite CDs and it sets the creative mood perfectly. I find it so inspiring every time I listen to it.

Perfect For: Art journaling

Temptation by Emma Wallace

I’ve been a big fan of Emma Wallace for a few years now. She describes her music as “modern ragtime” which is a perfect phrase for her style. Temptation is one of her more recent collections and I find it so soothing and inspiring. She’s got a voice like no other and I can’t get enough of her poetic songs.

Perfect For: Painting and collage

Complete Best by Perfume

If you have not discovered the world of Jpop (Japanese pop music) yet, you are MISSING OUT HARDCORE. There is nothing that can get my paint brush bopping like the sugar coated fun that is Jpop. And Perfume is one of my favorite groups. You can’t help but smile and create something sunny and fun when you’re listening to Perfume.

Perfect for: ATCs, scrapbooking and staying sane while you’re fussy cutting. 😛

Cat Stevens Box Set

Any album by Cat Stevens is worth having but the Box Set of Cat Stevens is truly amazeballs. I first fell in love with his music when I saw Harold and Maude. (My mom would force me to watch it when I was a kid because it was “so great”. It wasn’t until I was older that I truly appreciated the mastery of this movie.) Cat Stevens did the entire soundtrack for the movie and this box set contains everything Cat.

Perfect For: Art journaling, collage, painting

With Teeth by Nine Inch Nails

Oh boy, this was a toughie. I love me some NIN but I had a hard time choosing between With Teeth, a more recent NIN offering that is truly awesome or Pretty Hate Machine which is a freakin’ NIN classic. But in the end I chose “With Teeth” as it really gets my creative blood pumping.

Perfect For: Freaking out when you’ve messed something up. Also art journaling, image transfer, stamping

I’ve got to stop now because if I don’t, this post will be 2,000 CDs long, I love creating to music that much. 😀 Thanks for taking a peek at my favorite music to create by! Now I have to know, what music do you have to have when you’re creating and what are you making when you listen to it???

Let me know in the comments and then go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi 😀

**All images from Amazon.com**

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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! 😀

Pam’s Inspiration

Inspiration… where do you find yours?

I find I spend too many hours on the internet.  One link leads to another and I am led through a maze of talented artists, all of whom inspire me one way or another.  While I get plenty of inspiration I usually end up with no time to transform that inspiration into art projects.  So this week I made an effort to get off the computer and do some projects.  I thought you might be interested to know who or what has been inspiring me lately and see the projects I’ve created.

Firstly, for scrapbooking inspiration I give you the the wonderful Louise Nelson. Lou is one of my fellow design team friends over at The Creative Type (new challenges starting soon at The Creative Type by the way).

Louise has such a unique scrapbooking style which looks so easy.  Believe me, it’s not!  Louise doesn’t use much in the way of product when she scraps, but everything she uses is perfectly chosen and perfectly placed.  She usually uses a restrained colour palette, often on kraft cardstock with a squirt of glimmer mist here and a splash of paint there embellished with string, or tissue paper or found bits and bobs. You can see more of Louise’s unique style on her blog, An Uninterrupted View.

So, taking my inspiration from Lou, here is my attempt to scrap Louise style:

The other thing that has inspired me lately is hand bound books.  I’ve been searching through Flickr groups (my favourite hunting ground for creative inspiration) and found a number of groups dedicated to handmade books.  There are a couple: here, here and now for a real treat on the bookmaking front here.

Aren’t her books exquisite? Full of lovely texture, books you want to stroke and keep forever.  So after all that inspiration I decided to order a couple of books about how to make handmade books and bookbinding and these two books duly arrived from Amazon.

These books are both great for step by step instructions.  So armed with these and the fabulous 12×12 wallpaper samples from Gauche Alchemy, I embarked on the making of my very first hand bound book.  And here it is:

Not bad for a first attempt, even if I do say so myself!  I’ll probably use it for an art journal.  As I mentioned, Flickr is a great source of inspiration and while you’re there don’t forget our very own Gauche Alchemy Flickr group is also full of inspiring projects-and we would love you to upload any of your Gauche Alchemy projects there too!


Gauche Alchemy Theme Day: Projects in the Mist

Hellooooooo everyone, Maggi here! 😀

I hope you’ve all had a good week! We here at Gauche Alchemy are ready to get your weekend rockin’ by sharing this month’s theme day which is…*drum roll*…Mist! That’s right, this month we decided to mist up our projects. Do you like using mist on your projects? Mist is basically a paint or ink that you spray out of a bottle causing it to “mist” on your paper or page. Voila, Projects in the Mist!

(For those of you counting, I’ve used the word “mist” 7 times already. 😛 And P.S.-Did you know that we just happen to have a fabulous selection of mist available in the Gauche Alchemy store? Well, we do so head on over and stock up without ever leaving your keyboard. :D)

Now, let’s see what our DT ladies, who got all misty over theme day this month, did for their projects…

Lara: For my misting project I decided to use the latest prompt at A Year in the Life of an Art Journal as my inspiration in addition to the “misting” prompt here at Gauche Alchemy.

However, for my misting technique I chose spraypaint as lately I’ve been super inspired by graffiti and I like the opaqueness spray paint creates. There’s five layers of paint on this page (I know, I have a problem) – the first layer is my “palette” layer – paints I’ve used on other projects throughout the last couple of months. Over that to make it more cohesive I used acrylic paint with some molding paste and Punchinella to stencil it. I then slathered my hands in paint to do the imprint. Then I cut out outlines of my hands, used them as masks while I also took some lovely plastic canvas from the Wholey Sheet Kit and lightly spraypainted over the entire page. I then sprayed some “Merlot” Glimmer Mist for a soft drippy effect and then dripped more acrylic paint at the top. Finally I put some alpha stickers on that say “Stop – Are You Happy.” I wanted to journal more but then decided that one sentence says it all. And my art journalling these days has concentrated more on visual evocation than literal. But that one sentence produces an answer that then produces so many more questions….

Yvonne used pieces from our Scarlet Fever Mixed Media Color Kit for this awesome layout:

Hello my name is

Erika: I used glimmer mist extensively on my art journal page. It was used to create the background, used for both negative and positive masking.

Stamped the butterflies, and bubble wrap with glimmer mist and created coffee rings by pressing a cup into the mist and transferring. Painted the heart with glimmer mist and last but not least added splatter by flicking the glimmer mist off a paint brush.

Kas: Well, I ended up spilling on my project, so I had to do some quick rethinking as my fever wasn’t going to let me re-do the other project. So with some scissors and a few assorted things from various GA kits…I have a cute card to send my friend. (sometimes things happen for a reason!)

I used Red Velvet Glimmer Mist for the sun and Patina for the ocean. The ribbon, monkey and palm tree are from GA Mixed Media Color Kits.

Angela: Did you know you can paint with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist? The soft colors of the Glimmer Mist give a shimmery watercolor effect, and there’s no need to use water, just dip your brush directly into the mist bottle. That really cuts down on the mess!

For this card, I used the Bombshell Stamps Hawaiian Girl stamp set. I stamped the image of the Hawaiian girl on white textured cardstock using black StazOn ink (This is important! StazOn ink will not smear when it gets wet!) I then used a fine detail paint brush and painted over the stamped image with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist. I used quite a few colors of mist on this card, but you could get a nice effect with only a couple of mist colors.

Once my image was dry (it only took a few seconds), I mounted it on this cute card that I made with Gauche Alchemy Ouchless Cardboard and palm tree wallpaper sample.

And as for yours truly (uh, it’s Maggi again) lol, I decided to share with you an older project of mine but this use of mist has special meaning to me because it was the first time I ever used any sort of mist.  (And you never forget your first time, am I right? 😉 ) lol  So I started with ATCs using pictures of Jimi Hendrix, lyrics from his song “Manic Depression” and Punchinella.

Now the special “mist meaning” was that I totally screwed these up.  LOL  The cardstock I used for the background was blue, I added a crackled paint effect but the Hendrix pictures were black and white.  I say “were” because I got WAY too close with the paper and misted the living snark outta these ATCs.  lol  Ah well, the effect actually worked and it served as a lesson that even your creative mistakes can be used to your project’s benefit so never be afraid to try something new!  🙂

And there you have it, Misting Madness!  Do you have a misting project to share with us?  We’d love to see it!  Just include a link in your comment on this post so we can take a look or even better, upload it to our Gauche Alchemy Flickr group!
Now you know the drill: Go glue (or mist) something awesome onto some awesome something!  😀

*Final “Mist” Usage Count: 30

Art Journalling with Erika

Erika here!
There is something so raw about creating an Art Journal page. I’ve just recently started and I’m sharing my journal pages with all of you here at Gauche Alchemy. It is a way for you all to get to know me a little and is a huge creative outlet for me. No staying inside the lines, no concerns if colors go together or if I’m following the golden rules. Creating a journal page is all about getting Down and Dirty with what is in your heart, your mind or your cornflakes. It is a way to show emotions and share thoughts in the truest form. If you haven’t started an art journal yet there are so many great places out there for reference. One of my favorites is Teesha Moore – she is very informative and has great tutorials and tips on how to get started.

For this page, I’ve shared with you one of my favorite poems. I started by using oil pastels on the journal page and created a resist for the paint i’d be applying afterward. I used a few different colors of gouache paint to create movement, then decoupaged a dove onto the sheet with Mod Podge. Finishing off the look with some Delta Gesso (from the GA Artfire Store) that I smeared across the page with a credit card. It was maxed out, so no worries.

Then the poem emerged on the page and I finished it off with some Liquid Pearls in pink. Well it is my favorite color so there has to be SOME on every page. maybe I’ll go crazy with pink on my next page. Pink Parts here I come!!!

Try your hand at expressing yourself through a journal created with artwork. Be off the cuff, cutting edge, be YOU!!!