Introducing the Gauche Alchemist Team Coordinator: Rachel Whetzel

Hello! I’m excited to be continuing as an Alchemist here at Gauche as we relaunch the store, and start the engines running again!! My name is Rachel Whetzel!


I am the mother of three boys, and Gramma to two beautiful little girls. Yes. I really AM old enough to be a Gramma. That’s what happens when you start making babies when you’re still a teenager, and then that baby makes babies when HE is still a teenager. I’ll be 45 when my youngest kiddo is 18!

I love breaking rules, and I’m married to a cop. (is that like a double negative?) When I’m not obsessively refreshing my Facebook page, I like to create things with thrift store findings and things other people call junk. The rustier the better!!  When I’m not creating things, I’m neglecting my housework, spending time with my family by the River in the summer, playing horseshoes with the kin folk, pretending to garden, cheering too loudly and possibly cursing at my kid’s games, feeding or transporting sports kiddos, and milking my goats. Not necessarily in that order, except for the neglecting house work part.

I own a small dairy goat herd, (Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats and Mini Lamanchas) and we just recently finished up kidding season this year on our farm, MigMog Acres.  These last few weeks, I’ve been a crazy busy lady getting the 8 new baby goats settled in, and I’m up to my elbows in goat udders! We’re also helping care for my husband’s family’s farm, so I’ve been working out by moving irrigation pipe.

I spend a large amount of my time volunteering at my son’s school, and helping all their coaches with their teams. Most of the kids at school call me Momma Pretzel. I love being able to spend time with my kids and encourage them in their sports. I try not to embarrass them *TOO* much… I’m quickly becoming known as the go to event planner at the school. My latest gig was Prom.

I am the owner/creator of Monday Mugshots, and A Year in the Life of an Art Journal, and when I’m not busy tending goats, milking, or running teams around, I try to fit some creativity into my life! I am a published doll maker, a hobby photographer, and a mixed media artist. I love finding fun ways to take on challenges and make them MINE!

Here’s a little collage, which I thought was fitting of the mixed up mash of LIFE that is me, and what I do…


I look forward to seeing what you create and share with us here at Gauche, and I’d love to connect without outside of the lab! Visit me on PINTEREST and INSTAGRAM, or like MY PAGE on Facebook!



Harajuku Kawaii

Hi Everyone…

It’s your friendly neighborhood Certifiable Alchemist Monica here to share my June Mood board project with you…

I have loved Harajuku Girls for a long time now, and when I saw the June mood board I knew I wanted to do something colorful and funky, just like the Harajuku Girls…

A little history…Japanese street fashion and art collide in a center in Japan referred to as Harajuku.  Kawaii in Japanese means “Cute”

Harajuku (原宿) refers to the area around Tokyo‘s Harajuku Station, which is between Shinjuku andShibuya on the Yamanote Line. It is the center of Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles, but also offers shopping for adults and some historic sights. Shopping WOOOO…my kinda place…hehe

The focal point of Harajuku’s teenage culture is Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street) and its side streets, which are lined by many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothes stores, crepe stands and fast food outlets geared towards the fashion and trend conscious teens.

I think it would be awesome to go here someday, and what’s really cool is that hubby has always wanted to go to Japan, so I can definitely see this in our future…Do I see myself dressing up like the Harajuku Teens…probably not….well maybe on Halloween…

Anyhow…Here is my take on the mood board.


June Mood Board2


Thanks for checking out the blog today…be sure and check back frequently so you don’t miss any of the other amazing Designer’s projects.












Cherry Blossoms by the Pool

Hello, Cheekies!! It’s Rachel Whetzel. The June mood board was just beautiful!! So many colors and so much beauty… the blues in the water of the tattooed lady really spoke to me… and cherry blossom flowers are some of my very favorites. I have some very special Chinese writing tattooed myself. The paper lanterns  (? That’s what they look  like to me!) were so delightfully dot looking!!  All those elements seemed so easy to place together, and so I got started!! Here is the mood board to remind you of all the sweet details to glean inspiration for yourself!
June Prompt Gauche Alchemy

I used a print of some Asian writing (the Googles said it is Japanese, but I can’t say for sure myself) And put it onto a small wooden canvas. Then I took from the blue waters and stained the writing. To finish it all off, I painted a cherry tree branch, and got busy with my DOTS!!

RachelWhetzel GaucheAlchemy June 01

Of course, I couldn’t leave off my stripes on the edge of my canvas!! I’m really happy with the way this piece turned out! Just the right amount of inspiration, and totally my style.

RachelWhetzel GaucheAlchemy June 02

Thank you for reading! Want to see more of what I’m up to?
Visit me on PINTEREST and INSTAGRAM, or like MY PAGE on Facebook!

Wabi Sabi Blooming

Well hello Gauchettes!

Lara here!

This month’s mood board took me on quite the trip I must admit! So sit back and enjoy the ride …

When i first was meditating on the mood board images, it’s the colors and geometric patterns that really inspired me. My first idea was to use my Gelli Plate to print a couple of papers with the blues and yellows and magentas that were jumping out at me, then cut them into geometric shapes and make some greeting cards. So I pulled out my acrylic paints and Gelli Plate, picked some stencils and textures to honor the geometry of the mood board and begun. Here are the pieces I came up with:

Gelli Prints

The top right print i made a little differently – this was the first print i made which was actually “cleaning” the Gelli Plate from previous sessions. Someday i hope to do a tutorial on this technique as you can get some pretty effin’ fabulous results!

So i cut these papers up and started making different patterns and shapes but was just not feeling it. The last print i pulled after making these was another “clean up print” which ended up guiding the rest of the project after i lost the passion i had for my original idea. I revisited the mood board and this time the flowers and peacefulness of the colors jumped out at me. The other thing that jumped out at me is the idea of Wabi Sabi. Something my art has been described to be before, although i’ve never aspired to actually create something with that in mind.

If you don’t know what Wabi Sabi is I urge you to pinterest it post haste! Here’s a brief description from Wikipedia:

Wabi-sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” … Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.

This is what came out of that meditation:

Be Always Blooming

A 12″ x 14″ wood canvas!

You might notice the same colors in the Gelli Prints on the paper from the clean up :) So we still got the mood board colors represented! I decided to tear out the window hole to represent decay and place the flower in the center since decay often gives way to new beauty. To frame the flower pin (found at a flea market for $1!) i took a small embroidery hoop and painted it with crackle paste, inks and sprays.


To finish of the frame i cut up some punchinella i’ve used as stencils in the past so they were nice and discolored. I also used duct tape and screws around the edges to pull the frame together.


Go check out some Wabi Sabi stuff …  and like the flowers of the world … keep on bloomin’ baby!

Life is like a bowl of cherry blossoms

Hi all! It’s Kiki back with some inspiration for you. Wow what a gorgeous June Mood Board!! You’ve seen it right, and are playing along this month? I love all things Asian, I really do. When I first started doing digital scrapbook design, I designed a kit based on Asian themes and colours, so when I saw the mood board for this month, I was so excited! The first thing I thought of when I caught sight of the board was cherry blossoms. I love cherry blossoms and their delicate beauty in the Spring and early Summer.

I decided to get back into my art journal for this month, and started off with some colours that remind me very much of Japan and China, which are red, blue, pink, and bronze or gold. I love mixing up warm colours with cool colours as well. Then I created some texture on the page with some mesh tape, tissue, and modelling paste. And I managed to find some stencils to give me some trees and cherry blossoms too.

And of course, if you know me, you know that I cannot resist adding some grungy goodness to an art journal page, so I just went for it. I love how it turned out, which is great because it’s not my usual style of art page. Sometimes you just have to let go of expectation and go for it.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of inspiration, and will join us this month for this amazing mood board challenge. I’m anxious to see what your take on the board was, and how it inspired you. So be sure to add your linky so we can leave you some love!

Until next time!!