Super quick, last minute gift!

Hi everyone!  Hope you’re all prepared for the next couple of days.  I’m not!  The festivities begin in just a few hours for me.  I’m still making some last minute gifts and cards, I haven’t started baking yet, stockings need hanging, reindeer food needs to be made, food needs to be prepared for dinner with family tomorrow.  It is a busy, BUSY time!

Today I am going to share with you a gift I thought of, planned for, and created in less than 20 minutes.  It takes few supplies, but you can add as many embellishments as you’d like.

I’m beginning with a Sara’s Surfaces 6X6 Kraft Album.


When I took the album out of the package, I removed the screws, posts, and sheet protectors.  I laid the book flat and coated all the places that would be exposed (after I added papers) with black gesso.

I didn’t worry about the centers of the inside or outside covers, because I planned on putting pretty papers there.


After the gesso was dry, I decided on a color scheme.  I measured my papers to 6X6 and cut them out, inked the edges, and glued them in place.


I really want this book to be special, so I added some gold border stickers to the right edge.


I just recently fell in love with Dazzles from Paper Wishes.  They really add a LOT to cards, albums, books, and scrapbook layouts.

I cut a smaller piece of paper in a different pattern to 5.25 x 5.25 to stack on the cover.  I added a nice blue ribbon to the front to add some dimension.  This is when I realized that it was starting to come together.  I think I like it!


I also want to share how I tucked the ribbon underneath the paper on the inside over.  The ribbon is a little bit crooked, but that’s how you know it’s handmade, right??  It just looks a little bit neater when the ribbon is hidden. You can also see here, that I chose a different paper for the inside back cover.


I realized a little later that I needed to cut papers for the 3 small sides.  They’re about 1 inch wide.  I just used some Tombow glue to keep these in place.  I used a pen to punch the holes where the post and screws go.


I cut a small paper of another pattern to about 2.5 inches by 1.5 inches that I wanted to use to add the sentiment.   I added black stickers that read “Enjoy The Moment”.  It is the perfect title for this gift, and I know know who I want to give it to.  I am so happy with how this is looking! 20161223_201928

I used dimensional foam squares to adhere the sentiment.  It really makes the cover pop!  This little bit of dimension has made me want to add some paper tole.  Paper tole is basically one image printed multiple time so that you can cut out certain parts to stack on top, adding depth.


I chose a stamp and butterflies for my paper tole.  You can tell that the tan part of the stamp is one step up from the papers, and the butterfly is another step up from that.  This is definitely completing the look.

I add a few more gold stickers.  Some little twinkles, a couple of butterflies, and a flourish at the bottom.


This is my finished album!  It was so quick, easy, and fun to make.  It turned out better than I imagined.  I was originally making it just to see how it goes, and then I decided somewhere in the middle that I knew the perfect person to gift it to.  :)

I hope that this will inspire you to finish up those last minute gifts!



Sara’s Surfaces Album

Tape Runner

Double sided papers


Paper Tole

Tombow Glue


Foam squares


Beautiful projects don’t have to take days and days!

Merry Christmas to all!




Back to Basics

Hello everyone!  I hope that you’ve had an enjoyable Thanksgiving.

I’ve been so busy with family, shopping, vacation prep, holiday prep, birthdays, business, pets, and all the other things that make us all crazy this time of year.  I haven’t had a lot of time to do my favorite thing; create.  I bet I’ve been home only 4 or 5 days these past 4 weeks.

I’ve been desperate to get crafty.  I finally made it to my art room today, and I knew that if I pressured myself to make something specific, I’d leave upset.  So instead, I decided to go back to basics.  I wanted to work on something that would make me happy.  For me, that’s digging into my art journal.  There’s no wrong way.  No high expectations.  No time limits.  Just peace, fun, and lots of color!

I started by flipping through looking for a page to begin with.  I chose a page that I had previously used as a napkin, if you will.  I always wipe my left over paints on pages in my journal.  I like the colors on this page.


I’m going to be using both of these pages, so the first thing I want to do is add some color to the left page.  I’m going to use a paper towel to add some Dylusions paint.


My favorite way to add interest to an art journal page is by using some Punchinella and a thin coat of black paint.  I love the way it brings everything together.


Both pages so far:


I don’t want to think too much about what to do next.  Art journaling is fun, until you start thinking too much.  I go to my bin of collage materials I’ve received in swaps.  I select some gelli prints I just received this week.


The colors are PERFECT and the shape is fun and interesting.  I use some matte medium to adhere the gelli prints.

I added some journaling that says “It’s time to catch up on the things that make me happy, like some mindless art journaling.”  I always find it interesting to add words to art.


I added some fun pieces of collage circles to add a pop of color throughout both pages.  I also put some altered page reinforcements on the gelli print pieces.


The last few details were simple brush marks with pink paint on the left page, black paint on the right page, and some marker spots highlighted with white pen.


And that it, Folks!  Finished with this simple art journal spread.  I am very happy with how it turned out.


I love how this turned out.  The colors are perfect.  My head doesn’t hurt from thinking too hard about it.  I’m not stressed.  I’m just happy.  I think I’ll head back to the art room to see if I can continue this mindless creating.  :)


As always, thank you for checking out my post.  Please check out Gauche Alchemy Studios on Facebook for more creative posts and to share your work.  Take care!

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.


Going with the Flow- Mixed Media Tag



Hello from Ohio!

When I received my Mixed Ephemera Paper Pack from Gauche Alchemy, I fell in love with this tag.  I didn’t want to use it until the perfect idea hit me.  Guess what???  I’ve got it!


I began by slapping on some modeling paste.  I didn’t take my time.  I don’t care about the blue that made it’s way into the paste.  I sprayed it with some orange ink, anyway.  dscn1459


Once my modeling paste was dry, I pulled out some items I knew I wanted to use.  This was my vision.  I was going to write the word “ART” inside the tickets, and it was going to be awesome!  dscn1463

I LOVED how I had decided to embellish the tag, so I began gluing the punchinella down.  Once I had the snowflake punchinella glued, I decided to add some creepy black netting.  I really like the look it adds.

Look at that little round “31” on the bottom.  That wasn’t supposed to go there.  It wasn’t a part of my vision.  dscn1472

Another small piece of ephemera made it’s way to the top right corner of my tag, somehow.  It’s alright, I guess.  I like adding twine to my work, especially underneath the focal point.  I put a small flower in the center of the twine circle to help hold my guy in place.dscn1474

I knew that this little guy needed some kind of background.  Although this is NOT AT ALL the route I thought I was going to be taking this tag, I wanted to incorporate my original ideas, so I grabbed the gray handmade paper that was in my first setup.  dscn1475

I needed a little something under the Kitty.  Again, I went back to my first idea.  I chose to add the cork star.  I found this wonderful “Poison” label, added some black ink to the edges, and popped it on top of the star.  Having the WORD “Poison” made me think I better add some ACTUAL poison.  I went for a small apothecary bottle and filled it with green Stickles.   dscn1477

Tags just aren’t complete without a string, ribbon, or lace.  I decided on a wide black lace.  I secured it with jute cord and added a little key.  I’m not sure why, really, but I like it.

As you can see, this is not at all what I envisioned this tag would look like completed.  I ABSOLUTELY love it. dscn1480

Here are a few close up photos to show the details:dscn1482


I’ll be honest, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get what I wanted.  But the more I look at it, the more I like it.  Sometimes, things take a turn in a different direction, and you just have to go with it.

Thank you all so very much for checking out this post.  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.  Don’t forget to share your work over in Gauche Alchemy Studios on Facebook.  Check out some of our other projects on Instagram: @GaucheAlchemy.

Supplies used:


Snowflake Punchinella

Black Net

Gypsy Cord

Jute String


Paper Ephemera

Cork Star


Color Block Paper


Apothecary Bottle

Mixed Media Glue

Modeling Paste

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.

20160815_210109 (1)

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.


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.


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.


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!


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!