Inspiration Everywhere!


Hello! Merdrey here- signing in from my new home…just moved a few days ago so we’re all in unpacking and packing mode!
No time to create, and lo and behold! These projects i found online gave me an idea to showcase some hidden talents out there =)

I love this super pink layout from Lynnda Hosni from Australia using our very own Mixed Media Pink Kit!
pink parts mixed media kit layout

..and these lovely projects from Maggi, which I have not seen before and I think are fabulous!!!
Maggi project #1

See this post for more information on these fabulous pin-up girl ATCs!
pin up atcspin up atcs 2pin up atcs 3

..as well as this layout from a friend in Japan!
japan layout1
japan layout detail

I wish I could showcase more, but my internet connection is really sucky now! Will be back with a vengeance next week!

PS: We love seeing your artwork!  If you have pieces you’ve created using Gauche Alchemy products, send us a pic, and we’ll be happy to feature your creation on our blog!

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Nice Day for a White Wedding

Heather here~

There is a fantastic trend sweeping the bridal market— handmade and vintage inspired details are showing up everywhere!  From centerpieces to hair pieces, you can now see repurposed brooches, vintage buttons and lace, even paper.  I spent some time doing some virtual shopping on etsy and came across these amazing and creative examples…

 

 

 

 

 

Pomp and Plumage uses vintage lace and feathers to create these elegant pieces!  I think they have a lovely organic feel with the use of twigs and twine.

This bouquet from Letters 4 Lilly just makes me drool!

I love that these boutonnieres are made with paper flowers!  So creative!  From Desicra.

I can’t say enough about the shop The Dainty Woods…their centerpieces and cake toppers are filled with vintage trinkets.

Here I go drooling again…these favor boxes from Vintage Twee have a great story!

“These special pillow-shaped favor boxes have been hand crafted using excerpts from a 1940s love letter from a young girl named Anna to her soldier sweetheart Jack during World War Two.

Each box has been wrapped in different parts of the writing and features a photo of the couple taken from the actual letter itself. The words across the boxes read: Cherish, Adore, Hope and Wish.”

I hope that I’ve provided you with a little bit of inspiration!  While I may not be getting (re) married anytime soon, these little treasures give great ideas for hand-crafted embellishments, brooches and such.  It IS time to start thinking about handmade holiday gifts, right?

Artist Spotlight-Theresa MacNaughton

Hi everyone!

Maggi here with an awesome Artist Spotlight to share with you! I’m so excited to introduce this talented gal with you all, we’ve been visiting each other’s blogs for a while and I’ve found her to be the sweetest and one of the most creative ladies I know.

Please help me welcome: Theresa MacNaughton!

Theresa graciously agreed to answer a few questions about herself and her work for Gauche Alchemy. She runs an Etsy shop, maintains a blog and Twitters like a mad woman. 😛 You can also find Theresa on Flickr and Facebook.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: where you are from, how long you’ve been creating and why you like to create.

I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember. Whenever other kids were outside playing, I was always in the family room listening to music and drawing away. I used to create my own “comic strips” – although I have no idea where those have gone to. Fortunately, I still have my portfolio of work from high school – and it’s a lot of fun to look back on what I worked on back then, which is often whatever I wanted. I drew endless portraits of rock musicians and actors.

I also was able to make some pocket money from commissioned portraits from other students and even teachers! I think I always knew I wanted to do something creative. At one point, I had an interest in attending school for fashion design. I had lots of notebooks filled with my little drawn models wearing outlandishly fun fashions that I created. I so wish I knew what I did with all those journals!

I love to create because I need to express myself. A life without art or music or literature or film is just meaningless to me. To me, the perfect day would be spent in an art gallery followed by a concert, play or film. I’m fortunate to be married to a man who feels the exact same way. We live in central Connecticut with our two dogs, Willow and Neo. I’m a New England girl to the core. I was originally born in Massachusetts, but I’ve spent the majority of my life in Connecticut. I’d really love to live in Maine or Vermont, though…maybe someday!

What crafts do you currently create and what do you enjoy making the most?

I create beaded jewelry, hand knit accessories such as scarves and fingerless gloves, and mixed media paintings – which I offer for sale in my etsy shop. I love to dabble in poetry and photography. And I just purchased some paper clay, so hopefully that little experiment will work out well! I love creating all of them equally. I think that the paintings allow me to express myself more freely, however. My mindset when I create is to please myself first. If I’m not happy with something I’ve made, then how could someone else be?

Who or what inspires you to create?

My inspiration table

The seasons definitely influence my creations. I’ve been feeling the urge to knit again – now that fall is almost here (thank goodness). There was also a show on Bravo called Work of Art. I’d watch every episode at least two or three times. It definitely inspired me to get cracking on my art. My husband and I enjoyed critiquing each show. My favorite artists were Abdi and Peregrine. I’ve also become fascinated with mixed media art, which combines collage, pencil art and painting. Suzi Blu has helped me learn this medium and I love it! It was through her wonderful and fun online art courses that I’ve been able to reignite my passion for creating art. I’ve always enjoyed folk art (Tasha Tudor, Grandma Moses) and many new online friends were creating mixed media art – and I so wanted to learn!

I love the whimsical look and feel of your jewelry! I noticed that you and your husband design and collaborate on the pieces you make. What is it like working with your husband? Is he naturally creative or did he just get on board with you? lol

Some of my husband’s work

My husband is an artistic soul, and he loves exploring new mediums. When I first started creating jewelry, I was only using digital collage images and pasting them onto little glass pendants strung onto ball chain. I wanted to do more – and my husband came along for the ride! He creates the wire and hammered copper jewelry pieces. I conceptualize and approve everything! He enjoys doing it and has said the entire process has helped him “think like a woman.” He’s actually done pieces over because they were not “in my style.”

You own and run Faerie Moon Creations on Etsy. What it’s like selling your creations and making it a business? Any tips for our readers that might be thinking of selling their work online?

It’s really fun to sell my creations. I am always amazed and grateful when someone purchases an item from me. It’s like the first sale over and over again. I never take it for granted. I’m somewhat of a shy person, so I enjoy the “anonymity” of having an online shop as opposed to a brick and mortar store. But I work just as hard to make the shop pretty and offer new items and sales. I’ve only been selling my creations online for one year – but it’s been great. There has been some uncertainties along the way, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world. I would say to readers interested in selling to not get discouraged. Plan everything out well in advance before opening your shop…your name, graphics, photographs, shop policies. There is always much to be learned – I am still finding things out!

You host Terrifically Talented Thursdays on your blog to spotlight other artists. Can you tell us more about that?

I LOVE discovering new artisans and shops. I rarely buy goods at big name stores any longer. I prefer to shop handmade – there is quality and care and a story behind each and every item. I initially did a little “featured artisan” of the day on Facebook, but I wanted to do a little more. So, I created Terrifically Talented Thursday on my blog as a way to more fully feature artisans and their products. The feature ran each Thursday and put the spotlight on two different artisans. Oftentimes, they would be kind enough to offer a giveaway item or great discount at their shops. I had a lot of time to do this during the summer months, but with the busy season approaching – I have decided to put the weekly feature on hold and will revisit it at a later date. I think it would be fun to run the features seasonally. I have an idea for a Halloween-themed feature already!

You’re recently started sharing your original mixed media pieces. Can you tell us your history with mixed media and what has inspired these latest works?

I only started creating mixed media pieces this summer! I really wanted to learn the technique. I found the art to be such a wonderful mix of modern collage and folk art, both of which interest me greatly. Suzi Blu’s classes are phenomenal – she teaches you her technique while allowing you to develop your own style. They are affordable, as well, and you get to view videos – which is very important because you get to see how the process instead of just reading about it.

What is your favorite mixed media technique?

I assume there are lots of different methods in which to create mixed media. But with the way I’ve been learning, I really love working with colored pencils. I was SO afraid of them years ago and avoided them like the plague! They were more like glorified crayons to me. LOL But now that I understand how I can successfully create depth and shadows, I love using them!

You share a lot of the pictures of nature you’ve taken while on walks and the like. What is it that appeals to you about life outdoors and does that influence your creations?

My butterfly muse

I love nature and animals and faerie tales. I’ve always been kind of a dreamer. I’ve always tended to treat animals like people. I carry on conversations with them and play with them. Nature inspires me – as it captures the raw beauty of this world. I find endless fascination in discovering beautiful new flowers and scavenging for seeds and mushrooms, searching for animal tracks in the mud or snow, sneaking up upon butterflies drinking nectar, staring out at the wide open ocean dreaming of being a selkie. A lot of my work features nature-inspired elements – I like to make things that are pretty and fun and feminine.

You have different sections in your shop specifically for Marie Antoinette and Alice in Wonderland pieces. What is it about Antoinette and Wonderland that inspires you?

Marie Antoinette is the epitome, to me, of elegance. I tried to capture her elegance in some of the jewelry I’ve created. And I just LOVE Alice in Wonderland – all the colors and characters and craziness. We really tried to make some fun and zany pieces to reflect the whimsy and wonder of the world that Lewis Carroll created.

What are your top 3 “must have” art supplies?

Paint, yarn and beads

Any last words of creative wisdom for our readers?

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections and the truth of imagination.” — John Keats

If there is something in your life that you are passionate about, go for it! You’ll never know if you’ll succeed if you don’t try. For so many years, I felt a bit of emptiness inside and now I’ve come to realize what it was. I need to create, to live a life filled with passion – and to be able to share that with others is icing on the cake.

**Theresa is offering Gauche Alchemy readers a 20% discount off any regular priced jewelry or knit item from her shop, Faerie Moon Creations! You MUST reference this blog feature (so she knows you found it here!) to receive the discount. Offer good on jewelry and knit items only until September 30th.**

Thanks for the interview Theresa, we here at Gauche Alchemy love discovering artists to share with our readers! You rock!

Have a great day everyone and don’t forget to go glue something awesome onto some awesome something! 😀
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More Game On Challenge Inspiration

Hi everyone!

Maggi here with your reminder that our “Game On!” mixed media challenge is taking entries until midnight, Sunday June 27th. This month is all about using game pieces in your creations or maybe even giving your projects a game theme. You can create anything: a layout, altered piece, card, ATC, art journal page, whatever you can dream up! Here’s some more inspiration for you:

Erika made this card using pieces from the Banana Hammock, Purple People Eater and Black Out Kit Mixed Media Color Kits.

And I altered a little wooden box using pieces from various Mixed Media Color Kits:

Remember to add a comment with a direct link to your entry in this post by midnight on Sunday, June 27th. This month’s prize is a $10.00 gift certificate to the Gauche Alchemy store! And everyone that leaves a comment in our challenge post will be entered to win the bracelet made by our own Angela!

Now go glue something {game like and} awesome on to some awesome {game like} something and get those entries in! 😀

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor…

Hi everyone, Maggi here! 😀

Real quick:  Don’t forget to play along with Scrapping the Music for your chance to win a Gauche Alchemy prize pack!  You have until Midnight CST tonight so get to scrapping! 😀

Those that know me at all know that I loooooooove me some vintage! lol I especially find vintage ads very inspirational creatively speaking. A lot times they have great illustrations or bright colors or fun tag lines that I just love to use in my “gluing and sticking”. 😀 Here are some great ads for you to take a gander at, please note all ads were taken from Vintage Scans an awesome vintage resource for print magazines and other pictures.

What’s inspiring you at the moment?

Flowers and Slingshots…

Andrea here!!!

Hey lovely readers!
I have had some SERIOUS scrappers block lately. When it comes to the task of completing a page or two for my son’s book, I am in “I’ll do it later” mode. I have done well so far – and am only behind by a few months. But I can see it becoming a problem if I don’t get my fine-ass in gear! 🙂 When it came to his photos of last year’s Halloween costume, I wasn’t quite ready to dive in. UNTIL I saw the BabyCutieKiddo kit. It is an uber-adorable fix for my scrappers block! So much inspiration, and I was glad to put this memory on paper, and out of my scrapping pile!

I don’t think it’s at all wrong to use flowers on “boy” layouts. Do what feels right! This flower made from a simple boyscout handbook page was the perfect pop for my “Dennis the Menace” layout. Adding the slingshot into the center of the flower helped along the idea that this page is about a boy.

Enjoy!

The Gauche Alchemy Challenge #1

We have SO MANY amazing artists that contribute to the Gauche Alchemy community we would like to issue a challenge to see what you can do! This will be a monthly feature here on the blog and we are so excited to see everyone’s fabulous creations and different takes on the challenges posted!

Challenge #1: Use this brilliantly Gauche ad, courtesy of Vintage Scans to inspire a mixed-media masterpiece!

Link up to 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!

Now, for some inspiration: let’s see what some of your fabulous design team came up with:

Angela used the ad as inspiration to do a layout about her grandmother. Angela says, “Grace Pauline Harris, who we lost in 2007, was a spitfire – never slowed down until the very end. Now that she has passed, I believe that she is my muse, forever looking over my shoulder and inspiring me.

I knew I was going to do this layout the second I saw the Wholey Sheet kit and ACME Mixed Media kit had both a bingo and a Rook card in it – my grandmother’s two favorite games. I created the layout background by gluing wallpaper included in my kit to the corrugated cardboard using Modge Podge. I let it dry overnight, and then sanded it. Man, it created a wicked cool texture!”

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Maggi decimated her Wedding Night White Color Kit and her Black Out Color Kit to create this standing billboard. She also played with her Bombshell Stamps to give it that extra kick!

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Yvonne used the Pink Parts Color Kit and a spritz of Red Velvet Glimmer Mist to create this adorable “Pink Pls” layout.

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Stephanie pulled together bits and pieces from her Pink Parts Color Kit and Winter Slush Blue Kit. That fabulous car (from Bombshell Stamp’s Speed Shop Set) is clear embossed on white cardstock – sprayed with Glimmer Mist – Red Velvet Glimmer Mist and Patina Glimmer Mist finishing it off with acrylic paint smudged around edges….

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Erika made this piece using just about the whole Gauche Alchemy Artfire store!
All of the texture is done with Delta Gesso. Then sprayed with an assortment of Glimmer Mist. Inked up with Fired Brick Red Distress Ink and StazOn Jet Black, highlighted stamped image with her Inkssentials White Opaque Pen and then finished off with pieces from her Scarlet Fever Red Color kit and Wedding Night White Color Kit.

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Remember – you have until Sunday night to create something all your own and link us up!
We’re so excited to see what y’all come up with!!!!!!!