Hearts & Stars & Swirls, oh my!

So, a giant, heavy box landed on the doorstep here at Gauche headquarters. Part of me wished it was heaping loads of dark chocolate bars, BUT it was even better. PUNCHINELLA! Glorious, shiny punchinella in new shapes and sizes. BEHOLD a sampling of the bounty!

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We have just added SIX new shapes and patterns of punchinella to our online shop; check it out here!

In honor of this new addition, we’re having a storewide sale!

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Stop by the shop and treat yourself!

Stay tuned for the rest of the month as we share some mixed media Valentine’s inspiration.

Woo!

Wine gets Even Better With Tags

Heather here! This simple tutorial comes from former Alchemist Jennifer “Scraps” Vanderbeek. This idea is the perfect way to personalize a bottle of wine or a homemade holiday gift, so take out those bits of paper, buttons and paint and get to crafting!

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I started by having my eCraft cut out half a dozen 6-inch bottle shapes from speckled card stock, then I pulled out the awesome magazine and book pages from the kit to find my words and images. The people came from a Coca-Cola ad–aren’t they stylish?!–and the recipes to go on the companion tags came from some pages of a cocktail guide. I used my tags as a cutting template and cut them all to size. The bits from the pages got their edges dabbed with some Versamark ink.

The chipboard martini glasses (also in the kit) were perfect additions to the women’s cards and the bottle caps for the man.

The top and sides of each bottle shape were sponged with Barn Red craft paint through some round punchinella. For the cork/cap I wrapped some washi tape around the top of the die cut (also to reinforce the hole I was about to cut in them) and then created the wrap around the neck with more washi tape in a contrasting pattern. Then the cut pages were attached with Power Tape.

The martini glasses were “filled” with 3 colors of Art Anthology Gelates: Splashed, Red Velvet and Kenyan Copper to give it a layered cocktail look. Round the edges and the glass and down the stem was covered with silver dimensional paint by Tulip. Once dry they were attached to the front tags with Helmar Quick Dry.

ProTip: The Quick Dry likes to ooze out a little after you’ve twisted the cap closed. To avoid wasting this precious stuff, leave the last bit of your item bare, close the top, then use the overflow to add your glue to that last section.

“Don Draper” (tell me he doesn’t look a little like Jon Hamm!) got a couple pieces of ephemera (all from the kit) for a more “manly” decoration.

To hang the tags on the bottles, I used a small binder ring to hold each pair of tags together. If you use a 2″ binder ring you can easily slip it over the bottles neck and be done, or you can take a length of Baker’s Twine, strung a few times through the smaller binder rings, and then loop that over the bottle to secure the tags in place.

It wouldn’t take much to add some snarky sayings to each tag or a name if you wanted to use it as a place card.

Cheers!
~Scraps

Mixed Media Image Transfers

This is one of our most popular tutorials, from former designer and incredible artist, Jo Urbani. Check it out!

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Jo: One of my favorite backgrounds is a blended paper background.  I learned the basic technique from Mary Green when I took her online classes, and have further developed it to suit my style.  I’ve prepared two 4″x 6″ postcards to show two variations on the theme.

Firstly, I covered both postcards with pieces of book pages, torn and randomly stuck to the postcards with a gluestick.

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Map pages are good, and handwritten letters, receipts, and postage stamps add interest, too. Gauche Alchemy has fab packs of mixed ephemera which would be perfect for a project like this!

For the White Gesso Background

Over the basic blended paper background I added a coating of white gesso.  This can be thinner in some places than others and it’s great to allow some of the background paper to show through.  Remove any excess gesso with a paper towel.  While the gesso is still wet, stick on some pieces of masking tape, making sure it’s well adhered by smoothing down with a bone folder or similar tool.

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Allow to dry.  No, don’t just count to 30 and then carry on–walk away and go to bed.  It’s best to leave it overnight otherwise when you try and remove the tape it’ll take all the collaged paper with it, which is NOT the effect I think you’ll want!  So, once totally dry, peel off the masking tape which will remove some of the gesso and, hopefully, the top layer of some the paper.  Don’t be too gentle when removing the masking tape, think of it as taking a plaster off a cut knee! [Scraps: That’s a band-aid to those of us in the States 😉 ]

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Mmmm, this looks so scrummy, I love it!  I then roughly smeared Distress Inks round the edges (Dusty Concord and Peeled Paint).  Where the gesso has been removed by the masking tape, the Distress Ink will be a much stronger colour.

Using your normal everyday inkjet printer print out your chosen image.  I often use The Graphics Fairy, who has a wonderful selection of images which are free to use.  For this postcard I chose a wonderful moth image.  Remember to flip the image because when it is transferred it will be a mirror image.  Especially remember this if there is writing or numbers on the image that you want to be the right way round.  Allow the ink on the copy to totally dry, not overnight this time but I would allow about half an hour.  Cut out the image and, using a paint brush, coat the IMAGE SIDE of the paper with matte Mod Podge (or similar).  Stick this face down onto your background, making sure there are no air bubbles and, if possible, brayer firmly to totally stick it.  Try and avoid getting the Mod Podge on the back of the paper as this will make it harder to remove later (actually, virtually impossible!).

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IMPORTANT: ALLOW THIS TO DRY OVERNIGHT!

Now comes the magic bit!  Wet the back of the image with clean water (I use a wet paintbrush).  With your finger, gently rub in a circular action.  The image’s paper backing will start to lift in small rolls of paper.  It’s quite messy, but keep with it, adding more water if it starts to feel a bit dry.  Even though you are being careful, some of the image may lift with the backing paper.  That’s OK!  If you wanted a perfect image you’d have simply stuck down the picture, right?  Leave it a few minutes; if there is a white fuzz on your image, then just wet the image again and rub gently, more backing will be removed.

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As you can see I lost a bit of the moth’s wing, but I’m quite happy about that :o)

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I used a quote by Sara Teasdale, rubber stamped onto old book paper and edged with Distress Inks.

For the Clear Gesso Background

Taking the basic blended paper background, I brushed on a coat of clear gesso to seal the background and to provide a decent ‘key’ for the image to adhere to.  The background will, this way, show through clearly.  I dragged Distress Inks round the edges (Dusty Concord and Peeled Paint).  Once dry I cut out my chosen printer copied image (again from The Graphics Fairy), brushed a coat of matte Mod Podge onto the image and put the image face down onto the blended paper background.  Ensure good adhesion by firmly brayering it.

LEAVE IT TO DRY OVERNIGHT.

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Wet the image with clean water and gently rub the image backing.

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The background is clearly seen through the image, giving rather a dreamy,vintage and/or ghostly effect.

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I drew with a charcoal pencil round the image, smudging it with my finger – this adds some depth (another tip learnt from Mary Green‘s classes).  I also used the charcoal pencil around the edge of the postcard and around the title, taken from an old book.  I used rusty wire to attach the old rusty key to the card.

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Image Map

Merry Christmas is coming!

Hello,my friends! Today Viktoiya with you and this month for Christmas! Merry Christmas is coming!

My artwork with holiday mood and many bright details–

201See more

202Santa, ornaments and Christmas treees

203Winter birds and flying snow

204Golden ornaments and icicles

205Pair of sleds and bright winter flowers

206Wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

 

A Very Vintage Holiday Season

Better late than never? I would say yes! Each of us at Gauche Alchemy have our own unique style, but we all have a soft spot for VINTAGE.

This inspiration board from former Gauche Momma Chrissy is a perfect example!

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Wishing you a holiday season full of inspiration, creativity, peace and love!

If you need some gift ideas for the crafty folks in your life (or yourself), stop in our online shop. SHOP HERE