Washi Thank You Card

Good morning everyone!  Marilyn here with a quick project from our very own Mama Amy.  She has created a wonderful “Thank You” card that I believe you will love.  Amy, please tell us how you made this beautiful bright and happy card.
************************************************************************************************

Washi Tape Thank You Card

I begin the card by laying down drywall tape as the base, then layered floral washi tape from our Green Washi Tape Combo Pack and aqua striped tape from our Diagonal Stripes Washi Combo Pack over it.  Next came some Heidi Swap neon letters and Basic Grey chipboard pieces.  Lastly I inked the edges and chalked over the drywall a bit.

Washi Tape Envelope

For the envelope, I added chevron washi tape from the Green Washi Tape Combo Pack to give me a decorative area in which to write in the mailing address.

This card was done for a special person whose very kindness brought tears to my eyes.

***********************************************************************************************

Amy, thank you for a wonderful, thoughful card.  It’s so great that you were able to repay a great kindness with one of your own.  Anyone would be thrilled to receive the beautiful card you have created.  Plus, I LOVE the chicken!

Until later…………………….
Smiles~
Marilyn

Image Map

Year in Review- Gauche Guests for 2011

Hello Michelle here!

Here we are well into the second week of January but I’m still in review mode- nothing like a good look back at how far you’ve come to more clearly see where you are going. Holy MOLY did Gauche Alchemy have an incredible line up of  mixed media artists in 2011 or what?

Prepare for a feast for the eyes AND the mind. Links for each month and the artist’s personal website are provided in case you’d like to read further. Happy 2012!

March’s Guest designer,  Julie Fei Fan Balzer, started the party with this beautiful page:

March's guest- Julie Balzer. "Looking Forward" using the Hot For Teacher Kit

I love how Julie outlined the circle and turned all those patterns and colors in the Hot for Teacher  kit into an amazingly cohesive and unique design.

April’s Guest designer, Amy Tsuruta, made me reach for my Sizzix machine:

Amy used ouchless cardboard and items from the Gauche Acme subscription to really add dimension to this wonderfully modern ATC.

I LOVE that corrugated butterfly! I’m definitely going to try this! Amy used  Ouchless Cardboard, Scarlet Fever Red Mixed Media Color Kit and the Acme Subscription Kit. Our new Moshi Moshi kit features Japanese newsprint as well.

May’s guest designer, Julia Stainton, showed our readers how to incorporate Gauche ephemera into their projects:

Julia really hit home with this delicate and visually complex Mother's Day card. How gorgeous is that mix of beige, silver and white? LOVE!!!

Julia used clear punchinella, items from our Wedding Night White Mixed Media Kit  and papers from our Acme Subscription kit but you can reach similar results using our Bare Nekkid and Nearly Nekkid neutral tone kits.

Gauche took a small breather over the summer but came back strong in September with Dina Wakely  who rocked the house with this project using bee’s wax and paint:

LOVE Dina

Dina used the Going Postal Mail Art Mixed Media Kit– WOW!!! Just WOW!!!

In October Gauche had some fun with the Halloween theme and introduced the  Monstrous Mutant Robots from Outer Space kit and Guest artist July created several fantastically whimsical pieces:

This mini book is AWESOME. The color, the painted bits- LOVE!! Those three square brands on the bottom along with the torn and doodled edges are great details.

In November Frieda Oxenham quietly tilted the axis of my creative horizon with several projects you can check out here:

Frieda used a napkin, punchinella and corrugated cardboard to make a show stealing 10 by 10 mini quilt but it was this layered and evocative ATC that stole the show for me.

Frieda used our Bare Nekkid kit to make this ATC- the layering and red accent stitching on the leaves make for an beautifully subtle work of art .

And lastly, in December, Cat Kerr took the Knick Knack Paddy Whack Kit and ran gleefully away with it:

Absolutely, positively smashing!! Love every detail in this project!

More on Cat’s wonderfully detailed process can be read in the original post here.

There you have it. Inspired yet? I am going straight to my crafty corner after this sentence to get started on my next project- if it has an ounce of the creativity shown here I will be extremely happy.

Chells out!

Image Map

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

Stephanie Gets Sketchy

Hello everyone in Gaucheland!

Steph here, with a quick & easy project that is also very handy to have around!

I love creating cards and like to keep track of the card sketches you can find online, so this January I started keeping a “sketch book”. The one I made was completely filled by the last day of May (how convenient – couldn’t have happened better if I’d planned it that way!), so I needed a new one for June – on. Enter Gauche Alchemy + a cheap spiral notebook from the back-to-school section at Wal-Mart! (HA!)

I used one of the 12×12 papers out of the BabyKiddoCutie Paper Craft Kit as well as various elements from the Wedding Night & It’s All Gravy Baby! Mixed Media Color Kits. The doily & flowers were sprayed with Coffee Shop Glimmer Mist, so they’re actually rather sparkly… (Hey. Look. I didn’t use ANY pink OR black OR teal. There was no freakin’ way I was going without shimmery too!)

And there you have it, folks – a quick & easy way to store all your sketches you find online – and you’re never stuck with the ‘I know I saw this sketch somewhere but I have no idea where or when’ blues!

Laters!
S

Ad Inspiration Redux

Monday we announced a new fun little feature here at Gauche Alchemy – a challenge of sorts – to see how different people creatively interpret this awesome ad:

Monday, we saw what some of the design team did, let’s catch up with the rest of the design team, offer a little more inspiration and remind you you have until Sunday night (Midnight EST) to link up your work to be put in the running for the Wholey Sheets Kit!

Last Friday, Nicole offered a tutorial on creating amazingly gorgeous translucent paper. With that paper she created, and the ad as inspiration she made this:

*********************************************************************************************

Lara made this postcard for a friend:

She says: “The image is from an Adobe Photo Library I found at work. The background is some old Basic Grey papers i cut and put back together. I used that Punchinella which is behind the girl also for the stencil of the dots. The text at the bottom is from some super old old old book i got at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago. The paper lace I misted with my new Coffee Shop Glimmer Mist to match the paper better.

*********************************************************************************************

Kas said of her piece:
“When I saw this ad for inspiration it was the ad I had been waiting for.  Too cool, retro, slick & fashionable.  The perfect ad to inspire this layout of my “gun-slinging” days.  When I was a “tween” my father signed me up for a gun safety class, which led to an invitation to join a Junior NRA rifle team.  You may say….10-13 year old girls (and some guys) what could they do.  Well, I worked my way through the ranks and shot competition beating out many a humbled and embarrassed adult male!!  It was a great confidence booster for a young girl.  Truly something you would never guess about me.

I printed the ad on vellum and colored on the back with Copic markers to give it that Pop Art look.  Punchinella makes a great background for some of my “miniaturized” awards.  The rest of the goodies are from Gauche Alchemy Color Kits: White Wedding Night, Blue Winter SLush, and Blackout.  The stamp around the edge is from Bombshell Stamp’s Cherry Bomb set.

*********************************************************************************************

Andrea’s layout uses Ouchless Cardboard as the canvas and miscellaneous items from the Envy Green Mixed Media Kit.

*********************************************************************************************

Passion re-ignited? Ready to go create?
Remember to link up your lovelies here by Midnight EST on Sunday April 26 and we will choose a winner by random who will win the awesome Wholey Sheets kit!
For bonus chances to win if you post about the challenge somewhere else and let us know, your name will be entered in an additional time!
AND an additional bonus – upload your creation to our Flickr group for yet one more entry!

Yvonne!

Hi to you! Yvonne here – Greetings from Singapore! I’m so happy to be part of the Gauche Alchemy design team and I look forward to sharing my creative adventures with you and being inspired by you too! 🙂

Happy 2 C U

I love to make stuff, especially using unexpected “found” stuff around my house (or someone else’s! ;). The years of saving little trinkets and ephemera finally paid off when I discovered scrapbooking. I am no longer a “junk collector” but a thing-finder and treasure-keeper…;)

Fashionista

My style is constantly evolving but it always involves some form of upcycling and colour! 🙂 like this tiny art piece (at least to me..) that uses scraps and packaging!

Altered item

I’m a challenge blog junkie and try my best to play along whenever I can…it is a great way to get your photos scrapped and make new friends! I scrap the everyday stuff, laugh at myself a lot…

Laugh

Confess my guilty pleasures…

My guilty pleasure

And share the joy I have playing with my nephews…;)

B is for boys

See you soon and have a fun day! 😉

Fun day

And if you missed our previous introductions last week:
Maggi
Andrea
Erika

Kas

Erika!

Hi Everyone, I’m Erika Taylor and I’m UBER excited to be working with Gauche Alchemy. I’ve got a smokin husband named Mark, who is my biggest supporter and fan and we have two zany and wild children aged 2.5 and 5. I’ve been paper crafting for over a year, but you could always find me with scissors, glue, crayons and construction paper when I was a little girl. I’ve got a crazy personality and love to make people giggle, either with me or at me. I’m also a Canuck and they do say we are among some of the funniest people on the Planet MUWHAHAHAHAHA.

Creatively, I love trying new things and revel in new techniques, tools and supplies. I am very eclectic in my style and sometimes look from one project to the next and think “Did I make both of those? or was I abducted by aliens during one of the processes of creation” I guess I’ll never know the answer to that one. The Aliens are pretty good at covering their tracks lol. You can usually spot my stuff by the crazy amount of layers I smack on a project. What can I say, I’m like an onion….many layers. I also am a quote junkie and love playing piano in my spare non crafting time.

Here are a few of my most favorite projects I’ve created this past year.

Come on by my blog and take a look. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and leave some love. You can find me at http://taylordconcepts.blogspot.com. I’m so lucky to be a part of some great Design Teams including Bombshell Stamps, and would love for you to see what else I do creatively. So hop to it!

Toodles
Erika Taylor

Also (in case you missed it) meet: Maggi and Andrea

Daring Backgrounds: Graffiti Style

By Nicole Maki (Perky Nihilist)

I love a fresh crisp piece of hot off the presses paper as much as the next gal – trust me, there is a shelf full of Crop Hoppers bearing witness to my obsession. But sometimes, when I’ve seen the sheet I so desperately covet as the base of the seventh card or the umpteenth scrapbook layout on the blogs I visit I lose heart a bit. Some days it all seems so done.

Luckily I have the perfect pick-me-up for times of paper panic. I make my own. No silly, not the paper itself (although to be honest, I have on occasion) – the pattern that makes it pop 🙂

Supplies: Sorry, can’t help you. What do you have on hand?

I recommend using something sturdy – like watercolor paper – as a bottom layer, but I’ve had equally luscious results on butcher paper, scrapbook paper, card stock, plastic, transparency… see, the sky’s the limit. You also need colored stuff: paint, crayons, markers, ink, tea, colored pencils, Sharpies. And I love to add some layers with text, collage etc. Junk mail, comic books, manga, menus – Anything that goes in our ACME paper art & mixed media kit is perfect. Markers or paint pens for scribbling/journalling are a necessity and stencils are a terrific addition. My favorite “stencils” are the punchinella – you get a variety of hole shapes and sizes. Awesome!

Each piece of make-your-own designer paper will be different. I wanted something with an edgy, urban graffiti feel – kind of Alisa Burke meets inner city. Here’s what I did:

Step One: Dribble paint on edges. Smear around with a baby wipe.

Step Two: Squirt complimentary color in white space. Blend with baby wipe.

Step Three: Spritz with dye mister (I used Glimmer Mist, available at Gauche Alchemy shop).

Step Four: Start adding interest. Here I sprayed close up with fabric spray paint and tilted the paper to make it drip. Then I stenciled some letters haphazardly around the page.

Step Five: Go in with complimentary color  (yellow here) and add large sections of paint. Use punchinella as a stencil by pouncing chalk ink through the holes. I find the pattern unifies the elements.

Step Six: Take a white or metallic paint pen (black is good too but very, very bold) and journal all over the page. I tend to get “stuck” so I often write song lyrics or poems I’ve memorized. Keep it loose and messy. Don’t worry if it looks like ka-ka; it’ll be fine.

Step Seven: This pic is bigger so you can see the details. Rip some text, comics etc and glue them to your substrate. Don’t cover up all your hard work, just add some pieces here and there. Then go over it again with paint, punchinella and stencils until it integrates into the piece. If the look seems unbalanced don’t worry about it. If you can’t not worry *raises hand* then add a few dribs and drabs of dry brushed paint to make it look right to your eye. In this example, I added the green paint to the edges. Made all the difference in the world. Now leave it alone to dry.

Step Eight: It’s so horrible I couldn’t take a picture. Kill your darling! What? Cut this beautiful piece of awesomeness into useable pieces. *GASP* I know!

Here’s some ideas: Card Front and ATC Blanks. Keep your scraps, they’re awesome to craft with.

Then wow your friends and yourself by making cool projects. This card was made with the ATC scraps:

Features: Punchinella, Career Girl Mixed Media Kit, Scarlet Fever Mixed Media Kit and Bombshell Stamps.

I made little vignettes with Foreign Text and Wholly Sheet:

and attached them to the (matted) ATC Blanks.

Urban Angels:

These ATCs feature Bombshell Stamps and wings from the beading section at Michaels.

Thanks so much for joining me as I made my own Daring Background: Graffiti Style. It’s truly a ton of fun and the results are well worth the effort.

Napkin Art – heard of it?

Hi everyone!  Amy here.

Did you know that the simplest of items can contribute to a durn fine piece of work?  Of course you did – that’s why you come on over here to Gauche Alchemy, right?

Being that we focus so strongly on reusing and “upcycling,” it surprises me how many of our own designers were not familiar with the concept of napkin art.  I personally think no one explains it better than Sharon Tomlinson, who has graciously given permission to re-post her napkin art tutorial here. Definitely give a clickie on the link to her blog – she is really a fantastic artist – I’m always thrilled to see articles by her, and her blog is a treasure trove of creative inspiration.

I discovered Sharon when I read about her napkin art technique in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine sometime last year (my favorite mag, by the way)… if your reaction is anything like mine, you’ll quickly be squirreling away spare napkins at every social event you attend.  You’ll be looking for napkin sales.  You’ll be picking up a Napkin Art Kit at the Gauche Alchemy store.  (My sincere apologies to those of you for whom the word napkin = diaper.  It’s not a diaper kit – because reusing stuff really can only go so far… a line has to be drawn somewhere!)

If you’d like to see more examples of Sharon’s fabulous napkin art, go here.  It’s amazing what a napkin can do.

Thanks, Sharon, for allowing us to republish your wonderful demonstration!  Without further ado:

—————————————————————————————————————————————

Napkin Play by Sharon Tomlinson

If you haven’t discovered the fun with napkins, give this a try.

First decide what part of the napkin you will use. You may use all of it or little parts of it.

In this case I just need a few flowers. So, I used scissors to cut around them.

Then, notice that I tore part of the napkin. When the napkin is applied with Golden Matte Medium, the torn edge feathers out and disappears….almost.

[Note from Amy: any transfer gel medium will work – we offer Omni-Gel through the Gauche Alchemy shop.]

Cutting or tearing just depends on what effect you want.

The cut edge was where I wanted more control.

Mostly, napkins have three layers. Gently separate the layers because you only want to use the top layer.

Clue: the cut edge is sometime hard to separate. Hold the edge between your fingers close to your mouth and blow. It will separate enough so you can pull it apart.

You cannot apply the medium to the napkin because it is too fragile.

Apply an even smooth amount of medium to your art.

This picture shows too much and was only for photographic purposes.

Gently lay the napkin in place. You will not be able to move it once it makes total contact. You can hold it up and gage where you want it.

When you are happy with the placement, use the brush that still has medium on it to gently smooth the napkin.

Be happy with a few wrinkles.

Then with your finger very very very very gently rub it a little more.

You will discover after only a few moments, the napkin is biodegradable.

It just kinda wants to melt away. That is the good and the bad and sometimes the ugly.

I have to relearn this with each napkin that if play with.

Since placement is sometimes critical, just let the edge hang over. You can decide if you want to remove it or leave some.

When there is an area like the little violet on her chin that you are not happy with, you can just rub it off.

This point is made because I sometime collage napkins into my altered books. The hang over part will tear right away along the paper edge and leave a beautiful edge.

Now let it dry. After it is dry, you can use other mediums over it. You can paint over it which I usually do. It want get wet and be fragile after it has dried.

So here she is. Notice that I added more napkin at the bottom and in her hair. It is the transparent quality that is so appealing. Don’t you think?

We’re thankful for sales!

We’re having a Cyber Monday sale over on our ArtFire shop!

Most of us are familiar with Black Friday, I gather – the crazy shopping day after Thanksgiving in preparation for the commercialism of the winter holidays!  You may or may be aware that the online version of this crazy day of sales is called “Cyber Monday.”  Amazing what folks come up with to push consumption, huh?  😀

Okay, I’m not anti-capitalist.  Promise.  To prove it, use this coupon code when you order from our ArtFire shop from now through Monday, and get 20% off your entire order!

HERE’S THE CODE!         CYBERMONDAY

We’re feeling generous – we’re kind of wacky that way.  You just may find an extra little something packaged up with your order.  😉

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not shopping for yourself?  Hoping for the best when opening your own presents this year?

Put us on your AMAZON WISH LIST!  You know your friends and loved ones like to be pointed in the right direction – help them out.

This button is located in the price box on the upper right side of each listing page.  Simple as that!

We have lots of fun (and lots of kits) in store for December!  If you don’t already have us on your feed reader, might want to consider it – you won’t want to miss a bit of this.

kbyenow.