My Favorite Tiny Treasure

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Hello everyone, Erena here.

I hope you are enjoying the summer.

I wanted to share my favorite type of tiny treasure…Artist Trading Cards (ATCs).  These can be so quick and fun to make.  The best part is that you get to trade them with other artists, creating a truly meaningful experience.  It has added so much to my life and is essential to my self-care.

Supplies:

Sheet of paper (I like watercolor paper)

Gelli plate

Craft glue stick

Scissors

Craft paint

Sponge dauber or make up sponge

Punchinella

Favorite stencil

Favorite stamp and archival ink

The Gauche Alchemy SHOP has some great items to get you started– punchinella is a favorite!

Step 1:  Using your gelli plate, create a gelli print using your favorite colors and stencils. Cut the sheet once the paint dries to ATC size (3.5 x 2.5).

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Step 2: Stamp on your cards. I used 2 types of stamps here.  No overthinking.

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Step 3:  Take your stencil and black paint. I try not to overthink it, just fill in blank space.

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Step 4:  I used a bold paint color to make some circles using the same stencil.

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Step 5: Rather than wasting extra paint, I took my punchinella and decorated envelopes.  This is a nice touch when trading ATCs. I always put paper goodies and a handwritten note in my happy mail.

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Step 6: Finishing touches.  I used a white pen and doodled on the pink circles.

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There are so many different ways to make ATCs.  I like to make several at a time and save the extras.  That way you can still participate in a swap when you are busy.

 

Please reach out to me if you have any questions or if you would like to trade ATCs.

 

Until next time :)

Erena

Mini Spooky Surprise

Hey everyone, Ashley here!!!  I hope I’m not the only one here who LOVES Halloween!?!?  I always imagine myself creating awesome Halloween cards, tags, and other goodies to give to my family and friends.

 

And that’s about as far as I get…  Imagining.

Each year, I tell myself that I’ll do better next year.  I’ll start earlier.  I’ll be sure to get a spooky surprise to all those I care about.  Only to find myself empty handed.

This year, I have started early.  I have made a list of who I want to send ghoulish gifts to.  I’ve done my homework, and I AM ready!  Please enjoy this project I’ve created, let it inspire you.

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I began this project with no end result in mind.  I knew I wanted to use a tiny matchbox and I wanted to use black gesso, rather than white.  After the gesso dried, I thought it would be fun to add some color and texture.  I did so by spreading some glue into one corner of the matchbox and covering it with some purple, black, and gold embossing powder I’ve had forever.

While I had my embossing powders out, I went ahead and embossed a skull with crossbones and a small spiderweb onto one side of the outside cover.  I chose silver embossing powder for this.

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It doesn’t look perfect, but I’m okay with that.  I got these adorable glittery spider stickers on clearance last year.  Finally, I found a fun use for them.  (I hate spiders, with a passion.)

I also have had these tiny little apothecary bottles sitting around for a long time.  I decided to put purple and gold seed beads inside it, and add it to the inside of the matchbox.

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I added some punchinella to the top left corner to add contrast and texture.  Then I chose a couple of stickers for the greeting.  I outlined them with a purple PrismaColor marker.  To me, it looks unfinished without the edges colored.

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While I waited for all of the decorations on the inside to dry, I cut patterned paper to put on the outside.  I didn’t measure the paper, I just eyeballed it, I don’t want this project to stress me out!  I used Glue N Seal to stick them on.

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I found a super cool sticker set I must have purchased last year.  I knew that I wanted this sticker to go on the front (or top) of my matchbox.  I stuck it on, but I didn’t like the way it just sat there.  So I peeled it back off and tucked some cheesecloth underneath.  It really sealed the deal!

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This is the end result!

I only spent about 20 minutes on this project, I was thrilled with how it turned out, and I’ve got a head start on my Halloween crafting.  I feel like a million bucks!

This tiny, compact matchbox is going to surprise the heck out of one of my closest friends!  It sometimes is amazing at how much detail you can add to such a small work of art.

Please comment below to let me know that I’m not alone and that there are other proCRAFTinators out there.

Don’t forget to head over to Gauche Alchemy Studios on Facebook (@gauchealchemy on IG) to see more inspirational posts, AND to share your work with us!   We love seeing what you’re up to.

Until next time, take care and keep on crafting!

Butterfly Blessing Button Cards

IMG_1553 Home is where one starts from…Home is where the heart is….Home is where my momma is….HOME

Hey y’all, It’s Chantal sending you a warm Texas greeting!! Normally I would send a HOT greeting in the summer but we have been experiencing a week and half of rain and cooler temps…. It’s a little confusing to say the least. But as always the saying is true…”If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait a few days and it will change.”

 

One thing is certain though, in my garden, I still see beautiful butterflies. It makes me pause and marvel at their beauty.   In some cultures, butterflies symbolize rebirth, love, change/growth or even a person’s soul. For me, they can mean all of that and even more. I think of how my mother loves butterflies, how I can draw or doodle them on my notepad but greater still is how they give such beauty without even knowing it.

 

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Inspiration -vintage button cards from my stash and Punchinella and Paper from Gauche Alchemy!

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Love the inspiration from the canvas butterflies…How about the gold light from the Punchinella….highlights it’s versatility..

My inspiration for the tiny treasure theme this month was two fold- the canvas butterflies and the paper that were in my wonderful Gauche Alchemy kit and the vintage (not antique) button cards…and for me, each project needs to uplift and encourage. So there are blessings (positive words or thoughts) on each card. We may never know how much beauty and courage we give someone when we give a word of blessing/encouragement to them…even if that someone is you. Perhaps these cards (looped on a ring) will be just what you need to face each day, or to give one of these cards to someone in the office, at school or at home. After the tips for this project, there is a photo gallery of the cards.  As you look through these, know that I am sending you butterfly blessings to bring beauty to your day!!

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Happiness is chocolate in both hands…Happiness is a wet nose and a wagging tail…Happiness is wherever I am with you….

A few tips on creating these blessing cards…

*Choose a unifying color theme…mine were gold and yellow

*The paper had the circles on them, so I used a punch to cut the circles and on a few cards, it needed to be a larger piece of paper, so I just cut to size needed.

*Inking the canvas butterflies and then stenciling with Punchinella gave depth to the shapes.

*Adding art paste or gesso before the paper will strengthen the vintage cards

*If you don’t have vintage button cards, use cardstock, chipboard or manila folders and then cut to size

* Punchinella was used as a stencil on the butterfly and as an embellishment for the cards.

* Setting eyelets on the button cards reinforces the card and will allow the ring to go through without tearing the paper.

*If you don’t have a lot of sentiment stamps, handwrite the blessings….Oh that would make it even more special!!

*Let one of the kits from Gauche Alchemy spark your creativity for your own blessing cards. The papers and butterflies I used are from the Wandering Soul mixed media kit.

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Family is LOVE from the beginning….Believe in the good of others….too blessed to be stressed….

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Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, And sings the tune–without the words, And never stops at all…Hope springs eternal.

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JOY is the net of love by which you can catch Souls. -Mother Teresa

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Best Wishes for today and everyday!

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Sweetest words ever spoken…

 

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Dream a little dream for me….Be happy

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Be you…you are unique, gifted and talented. .. Laughter is the best medicine…truth is the highest thing that a man may keep.

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Always know that YOU Are LOVED!!

Crafty Needle Storage

Vesna here– I recently received some supplies from Canvas Corp and Gauche Alchemy and decided to mix them up a little bit and see what I come up with.

In the past I have made my own ‘fabric’ designs by using stamps; this time I decided to use paint and punchinella and try to stencil.

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Cut the canvas to strips of 3″ x 6″.  Use ribbon and lace to embellish and stitch on your sewing machine.

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Use alphabet stamps and tiny strips of muslin and stamp the word ‘needles’.

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Cut strips of felt the same size and line them up.  Add strips of ribbon on the short ends.  These will help you tie up your needle book.

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Back on the sewing machine stitch all the way around the edges.

And you are done!

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If you don’t have a sewing machine, you could certainly create this using fabric glue! It would also be fun to try this out on a larger scale and make a pencil or brush holder.

I hope I’ve inspired you to take a look at your supplies and create some tiny treasures of your own.

Tiny Project: Night in the City

Hi everyone! Jackie here. Today’s project is inspired by the August theme — “Tiny Treasures”.

When it comes to stamp carving, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer of Balzer Designs is my idol. Search “Stamp Carving” on Pinterest, and her work is guaranteed to pop up. Among her many stamp carving blog post are a few that have to do with using carving block scraps. She calls them “Garbage Stamps”. They’re small in size, but create beautiful patterns.

The “Garbage Stamps” I created for this project are all less than 1 inch sq. — I think that should fit them snugly into the tiny category, don’t you? :-D.

Well! Let’s take a look them, and the mixed media piece I made using them.

 

I sketched out possible designs before drawing on the rubber.

Then I drew the design on the rubber, cut off the excess, and got to carving!

And here they are in all their teeny tiny glory. Now it’s time to move on to the project .

I decided to used a 5×7″ canvas panel this time.

The first layer is paint applied with a gel printing plate.

Next, I used Gauche Alchemy’s Silver Stars punchinella as a stencil to apply acrylic paint.

Then I applied ripped patterned paper to create a hilly background for the houses, gesso-ed the whole surface, and then outlined the hills with a Faber Castell brush pen.

After that, I applied white gesso to mute the text.

Next, I found four beautiful papers from Gauche Alchemy’s Color Blocks- Specialty Paper Pack that would work perfectly for adding texture to the sky.

I used punched punchinella that I covered with gesso and blue paint to add another layer of stars to the sky.

I also stenciled, distressed and colored the edges the La Luna loteria card so it blends in with the other sky elements. At this point my son walks in the room and says, “You messed with the moon card!”, and I told him, “I didn’t ‘mess’ with it. I distressed it.” Using a technical term seemed to reassure him. lol

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This is what the card looked like before it was distressed.

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Now it’s time to stamp the houses and tree. I realized I wanted to add color to them, but I didn’t want to color them in by hand. So, I carved more tiny stamps.

For a final touch, I added a shadow to the houses and trees.

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And here is the finished project. My son named it “Night in the City”, and has already staked his claim on it. 😀
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Thanks for stopping by! Until next time!

Jackie

Check out my latest means of procraftinating over on Instagram.

Supplies used:
Silver Stars punchinella
Color Blocks- Specialty Paper Pack
Speedball Speedy Carve block
Acrylic Paint
Archival Ink
Pigment Ink
Artist Loft 5×7″ canvas panel
2″ round punch
Patterned Paper Pack