A Journey on my Imagination Train

Hello again!  I’ve been dealing with less than usual creative mojo lately, but when I was cleaning my basement I found a basket full of these block train toy pieces and knew INSTANTLY that I wanted to incorporate them into my art.


Like always, I began with an idea of what exactly I hoped to end up with.  I was going to make a Game Train.  I have TONS of games with missing pieces and I want to, eventually, add them into my work, also.  I gathered up a bunch of little parts and pieces that I thought would really work well on my Game Train.


Then I got to work!  I went over the entire base of the train with black gesso.  Just thin coat.


I let it dry for a few minutes, not completely, though, because I don’t have the patience for that!  Then I got my shimmer sprays out!


I started with blues, then I went with greens, and finally added purples until I was satisfied with the layer, puddles, and patterns.

Here’s another look:



Next I added some Bingo papers to the wheels and eye hooks to what will be the “chin” of my Imagination Train Caterpillar.  Caterpillar?  Yes, once I started playing around with things, I realized there was going to be a lot more character than I thought.  This isn’t just a train, it’s a creature.


I added some tea stained cheesecloth to the posts and adorned them with little trinkets to help bring it to life.


I kept looking at those wheels thinking that they need a little something.  I found these metal clock parts and they were a perfect fit!  I used heavy gel medium to apply them.  They really look great now.  :)

dscn1510I added the numbers “2” and “6” to the “Chin”, that was going to be the score of the game, until I decided that this really wasn’t a game train.  That’s when I decided to use Scrabble pieces to write “Imagine” instead of “Play”.   It just doesn’t make me think of games.  It makes me think majestic.


I needed something to help bring balance to the train, because I had a large, heavy piece on the front, I need something to pull everything together in the back.  This metal flourish was just the piece.  It was easy to cut a little slit into the wood and glue the flourish in.  In my opinion, it looks at home!


This is my finished piece!  I’m not exactly sure what to call it.  I’m not sure exactly how I came up with it.  But I do know that I love it.  I hope this piece helps you to see that art is all about the unusual, unique, out of the box creations that we come up with.   No one else has to “get it” or understand the why’s and how’s of it.  It’s about the process.   Please be encouraged!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Head over to Gauche Alchemy Studios on Facebook for more creative ideas and to share your work!  I’d love to see what you’re creating.


The Bewitching Bird Bottle- Apothecary Art


The Bewitching Bottle


Hey y’all its me (Chantal) on the blog today. Our theme for this month is curiosities and apothecaries. Collecting apothecary bottles is one of my favorite treasures to find.  I love old vintage apothecary bottles-small and worn, with a hint of a label from by gone days. I also love new “apothecary’ bottles with unique shapes, cork lids, clear glass…..and all contain possibility.  Realizing the potential in this repurposed balsamic vinegar bottle, I started  with swirling paints in the bottle which  created the mysterious potion inside.  And then adding ICE Resin®, stickers, feathers, bezels and a bird (bezel), twisted punchinella and even a tulle pompom, this apothecary bottle became the perfect addition to the bewitching hour. Gather a few supplies and let’s get started creating your very own …Bewitching Bird Bottle.


Twisted punchinella adds the perfect amount of magic.



Bottle – new or vintage

Acrylic paints – silver and black or desired colors

Halloween stickers – Vintage or new

Glue stick

Bezels (2)

Bird Bezel

Metal embellishment – desired shapes ( I used a brass wing)

Feathers (5) – I used my hens’ feathers


Tulle pompon (found in the $ section of Target)

ICE Resin®, mixed and prepared according to package directions

Glue gun, glue sticks

Strong glue dots

Black ribbon

Thin guage wire



*Pour acrylic paints in bottle and swirl to coat. Turn upside down and place in a disposable tray to dry.

**Tip:  If the paint is too thick- add a little water, so it will swirl around.


The Bottle before the embellishments and the paint has dried.

*For the Bezels, cut stickers to fit inside and place inside the bezels with a little bit of adhesive.

* Mix the ICE Resin® according to manufacturer’s directions. Pour slowly into bezels.

**For the bird bezel, add a little black acrylic paint to the ICE Resin and stir to incorporate the paint. Pour slowly into the bird bezel

**Let bezels dry for 8-10 hours.



*Adhere the bird bezel with a small amount of ICE Resin® or a very strong adhesive. Let dry.

*With small bezel and wire, wire wrap the bezel to the opening of the bird.



Wire wrapped bezel

*Using strong glue dots, adhere the main bezel to the front of bottle.

*Tie black ribbon through the holes of the bezel and then around the bottle and back through the hole on the other side

*Cut a wide strip of the punchinella. Twist to create a messy look and then adhere with hot glue.

*Next embellish with pompom, metal charms and feathers



Another view of the bottle….


Another Close up!

I hope that I’ve inspired you to create something of your own!

Embroidery hoops assemblage art


Scientific Illustration, 1954 textbook

Insects intrigue me, although I am grossed out by most of them, except for the pretty ones, like butterflies or bees.  I don’t dare to touch one, unless they are in a non-scary form of a stamp, then I can use them in my artwork.

I especially like to use stamps on Shrinky Dink plastic.  It’s always fun to watch the plastic shrivel and shrink, and the image become smaller and saturated.  And so the main focus in these embroidery hoops are the insects, stamped on Shrinky Dink, and assembled with silk, lace and embroidery stitches.

Materials and tools:

Shrinky Dink

Ink: StazOn permanent – black


Silk and lace scraps

Embroidery thread

Sewing machine

Embroidery hoops

Saftey pins (7Gypsies)



1/8″ hole punch



Stamp your images on to the Shrinky Dink plastic.  Punch holes around the edges and bake according to the package instructions.

Insects assemblage art

Cut a piece of muslin about 1″ larger than the baked shrinky dink.  Layer silk and lace scraps and stitch it either by hand or on your sewing machine.

Insects assemblage art

Insects assemblage art

Secure your shrinky dink on to the collaged muslin by using embroidery thread and stitching through the holes you punched earlier.

Insects assemblage art

Insects assemblage art

Stretch muslin on an embroidery hoop and use safety pins to attach your mini assemblage.  Secure further with using a couple of stitches on the bottom corner. Tie up ribbon on the top of your embroidery hoop.

And you are done!!

Insects assemblage art

Insects assemblage art




A Mini Curiosity

Hello my creative lovelies, Jackie here again. This time with a quick little curiosity you can make to add to your collection.

Here’s what you’ll need:


Let’s get started!

Adhere the wire to one dragonfly, let it dry, then adhere the other dragonfly to the other side — Sandwiching the wire between the two.


Bend out the wings slightly. Color the entire area, front and back, with Stream alcohol ink. Remove excess with a cotton swab, and let it dry. Color the tips of all the wings with Lettuce alcohol ink. Remove the excess and let it dry.


Using the Perfect Medium pen, cover the body of the dragonfly and random parts of the wings. Quickly cover the entire piece with sticky embossing powder and heat with a heat tool. Apply foil to the sticky areas.


About an inch from the top of the dragonfly bend the wire 90 degrees, and coil the bottom around to form a stand. Secure it to the dome base with hot glue, and use the glue gun to add the citrine bead chips around the base of the dragonfly.



Secure the dome to the base with Glossy Accents, let dry, and… You’re done!


I hope you’ll give this quick project a try, and if you do, please share it with us on Facebook, or tag us on Instagram — @creationsbyjsheri and @gauchealchemy.

Until next time!


The illusive Genuine Angel Firefly…

Hello friends! Susan here with a project that has captured something I have been chasing after for quite some time… my muse! She has been quite illusive lately and and has been secretly sneaking away for what I can only assume is for getting into mischief. But I have captured her and also a rare specimen – the ‘genuine angel firefly’.


This month is all about “curiosities” – apothecary boxes, shrines, 3-D dimensional pieces and assemblage! So many things to entice my muse… and this mini assemblage combines painty goodness with monoprints {created on my Gel Press Printing Plate}, and dimension combining a wooden canvas frame, a wooden spool, some bits and baubles and also a couple hand cast resin pieces.


Curiouser and curiouser… my muse came to play with the assortment of strips of words and phrases found in my “UNDRESSED” mixed media paper art kit… that spell out ‘genuine boy’, ‘angel’ and ‘firefly’. This interesting combination of words sent me off on a mission to create a 3D imaginary specimen inspired by some beetle and bug stamps.


A couple weeks ago I made a bunch of monoprinted papers on book pages using my fabulous favorite punchinella from Gauche Alchemy. Just two pulls and this one is good enough for me!!! This paper is Cracked Pistachio and Blue Lagoon Ranger Distress Paint. Love this color combination and how the text peeks through.


Before trimming my paper to wrap mini canvas, I traced around my resin piece with a pencil to lightly mark where I want to stamp the top and bottom of a beetle. I stamped with black pigment ink just the head and antennae of the beetle, then embossed with some black glittery embossing powder. TA-DA!!


You don’t have to use the entire stamp the way it comes… you can just use a portion. I’m so happy I was able to work this out in my crazy mind without having to fussy cut this beetle. Now with the beetle parts in place, I can trim and mount this beauty to the mini canvas and glue inside the backwards facing frame. It looked more interesting that way.


I glued on my resin cast pieces colored with a gold metallic powder brushed into mold when poured {you can see the original handle in the supply pix above}. I gave the resin pieces a rubbing with some dark pewter and silver Rub ‘n Buff® and also some layers of black pigment pen brushed into crevices to bring out the details. I have loads of things in a box of things to mold for arting and I never know what they will evolve into… I let them take on a life of their own.

I finished off the corners with some metal spider charms with loops clipped off, my words phrase assembled on a torn scrap of book page, and a wooden spool spritzed black wrapped with a scrap of silver thread and painted book paper. This is just so spooky cool!


This may be small, but this just makes me smile so big! I’m so happy to be able to bring a couple of hoarded vintage pieces to life in a creative way.

Go out and catch those fireflies!

I invite you to join us over at the Gauche Alchemy Studios Group on Facebook for more “curiosities” inspiration. Have a creative day!

Susan M. Brown {sbartist}