Wax On…Mixed Media with Encaustic Wax and good old fashion crayons


Today – an art tag with encaustic wax


Happy December!! Hey y’all, it’s Chantal and here with another inspiration for you. This month, as we explore mixed media and a few of the techniques, ideas and inspirations, I am delighted to share with you the beginnings of using encaustic wax to create beautiful textured backgrounds for tags, journals and even with larger canvases. If you love the idea of using encaustic wax in your art, there are many great resources available for you to explores even deeper all the techniques with this great medium. But for this project, all you need is an encaustic iron or an old or thrift store iron with a solid metal base (no steam holes), encaustic wax blocks and/or pure wax crayons such as Crayola crayons and then your base such as card stock, tags or encaustic wax prepared canvases.


  • Use a thick pad as your base to work on. It will protect your counter/table top and give you ample space to use the iron.
  • Use Vintage paper or scrapbooking paper to create depth underneath the wax. See our Gauche Alchemy Ephemera Packets for great layering possibilities.
  • Mixing colors is fun but be careful not to create a muddy color
  • Going back over the same surface even with different colors can re-melt the first layer.
  • Make sure to peel the crayons before applying them to the iron
  • Use low temp on the iron. If using a an old thrift store iron, be sure to use it dry- No water!!
  • You can purchase encaustic gesso, which can prepare canvases and other surfaces for the melted wax.

I thought that this time, I would let the pictures show the steps and then you can get your Wax On and melt away the day!! Happy Melting!!


Crayons -One of my favorites since I was a little girl!


Encaustic Wax blocks


Tags- One made with Scrapbooking paper and the other is covered with vintage paper.



Test your iron and once the wax begins to melt, let it drip and then apply to the paper.


As you press the wax, you want to work quickly. You can swipe, spread, and/or tilt the iron.


A close up of the melted and blended wax


See the depth of color….


The melted wax creates impressions as it melts. Layer more colors on the iron and watch the magic.



To clean the iron, use the clear wax – spread over the iron base.


Wipe the wax with a paper towel.


The iron is now clean and ready to be used again….



close up of the tag – love the impression the wax makes


The pink melted crayon was applied last – love the layering


I have also created a video to go along with this project….Here you will find more tips and techniques on how to use this fabulous medium!!

Wax On…the beginning of working with Encaustic Wax and even crayons!!


“Today” Art tag created with encaustic wax and crayons!


Hey y’all…It’s Chantal and this month we are exploring mixed media, blending new techniques with some that are tried and true.  In this video, I am sharing how to begin to work with Encaustic Wax and yes, even crayons!!!  The finished project is an Art Tag entitled “Today” but the video shows how to melt and blend the wax.  I’ll be sharing the step out photos and the techniques for the tag in another post…but for now let’s get our Wax On and begin to melt the day away!!

Chantal’s video

Time to Love – An Art journal page with step by step tutorial on mixed media



Time for Love – an art journal page

Hey y’all! It’s me, Chantal on the blog today. Our October was filled with the essence of fall – candy and costumes. Now, with November here we are a mixed bag of turkeys and trees, pumpkins and peppermints. Here at Gauche Alchemy, it’s a perfect time for our theme of Mixed Media (mm). You may have a few questions about “Mixed Media” like…what is it? What do I mix? Is it easy? What supplies do I need? What is Gesso and do I need it? Let’s address these questions one at a time-

What is it? In the art world, the word medium or media is generally the primary technique of your work such as painting with acrylics or sketching with charcoal. So with mixed media, you are combining 2 or more mediums…like acrylic paint and inks, watercolor and acrylics, drawn and photographed.


Create a focal point so as to draw the reader in.

What do I mix? You are free to mix whatever you would like…your favorite techniques, your favorite paints, inks, chalks, papers, fibers…One tip is to remember to use a sturdy base for your layers and allow enough drying time between the layers.




Is it easy? Yes and No….Yes, because you have freedom to choose and mix till your heart’s content…No, because you have freedom to choose and mix till your heart’s content. For those of you who like a perfect outcome, mix media can be a little challenging but you do not have to worry, just use a little paint to cover up what you don’t like and voila, another layer!!!



A few layers and a close up of antique linen with a flourish stamp

What supplies do I need? What is Gesso and do I need it? You probably have everything on hand already!!! In this project, you will see I used basic supplies to create an “mm” journal page. Gesso (in it’s intended purpose) is a binder that prepares canvases and other substrates to be painted. In the beginning, use white acrylic paint. As you get more into mixing, you might want to add more inks or paints, paper or stamps, metal embellishments… But start with what you have and love…you will find that in no time at all mixed media will become a perfect blending of your inspiration and ideas. Let’s get started…


A few supplies to get started



Inks and stamps…the perfect pair

Let’s Gather


Two page journal entry or base for the project

2 sheets of vintage German Paper (The Mixed Media Variety pack from the SHOP is perfect for this!) or desired background paper

Floral images – vintage reproduction from Gauche Alchemy kit

Acrylic paint in white and cream/eggshell

Collage glue

Tim Holtz Distress ink in antique linen, bundled sage and chipped sapphire

StaZon ink in saddle brown

Love and Time Stencil by Rebekah Meir

Flourish rubber stamp

Paper towels

Disposable sponge brushes

Soft blending sponge


Small sanding block



Let’s Create


*This is a general project to encourage you to create and so with that, use the colors, inks, stamps that you have. After the base is complete, you can go back and add words, pictures and/or metal embellishments and ribbons. Mix it up to create your very own work of art.


  1. Cut or tear the vintage paper or background paper to the size needed. Torn edges give it a unique definition to your paper. Adhere to the journal page with Collage glue.

Vintage paper cut to size and edges torn.

  1. Put a little white paint on a palette. Using a sponge brush, sponge/smear paint around the edges of the paper. Use a paper towel, to spread the paint to achieve the desired look. Set aside to dry.


  1. Repeat step 2 with the cream/eggshell spreading it over the center of the pages. Set aside to dry.

The vintage paper still shows through.

**You can go back and add more white if needed.


  1. Cut the image from the vintage floral sheet. Using a small sanding block (like the ones from the nail salon), sand the image to create a worn look. Adhere to page. Add a little paint over the edges to create a seamless impression.

Sanding down the shine/gloss, so that it will look worn.

  1. Using the 3 inks, begin with antique linen, stamp the image around the page, stamping off the edge as to give it more depth. Then repeat with bundled sage and add a few more stamped images with chipped sapphire.

See how the chipped sapphire stamped images could be connected into a invisible triangle.

*When I stamp multiple times of the same image, I imagine an invisible triangle shape on my paper as I stamp…3 stamped images that would form an invisible triangle – one at the top, bottom and middle, varying the size/shape of the invisible triangle. This helps with placement and keeps the images from crowding one another.


6. Place the stencil in the middle of the page, slightly off center to create interest.Using the blending sponge and the StaZon ink, stencil the image. With the blending sponge, I “dragged’ it across the stencil instead of pouncing.


The blending sponge gives a softer look than that of pouncing.

  1. Move the stencil around the page and stencil smaller portions of the stencil to create interest and harmony.

A portion of the stencil in the upper left corner



Before Step 8 – look at the difference inking the center will make.

  1. Using the now inked blending sponge, drag the sponge down the center of the two pages and add a little cream paint if needed. Use a paper towel to spread and thin the color.


    The ink and paint down the center of the page bring life to the page.

  1. Now walk away …..this is the most important step in collage or mixed media art. We tend to want to keep adding and then we add too much. This is now your base page or perhaps your finished page. Walk away for a little while and then when you return you will know if you need to continue or if your creation is complete.

It’s now up to you…is it finished? Is it ready for journaling or more mixing?

Happy Mixing…..

Chantal lives in Rowlett, Texas and is married to Scott. They have three children, 3 dogs and 5 sweet little hens. Her work has been published in Somerset Studio, Somerset Home, Sew Somerset, Apronology, Haute Handbags, Belle Armoire and Green Craft.   She is currently on the ICE Resin® 2016 Design Team and the 2016 Gauche Alchemy Design Team. She is also a regular contributor to Bella Crafts Online Publication.  For teaching engagements, you may contact her directly at chantal515@verizon.net. Visit her blog at chantaljohnson.blogspot.com or become her friend on Facebook to see her latest inspirations and see the joy in daily living.






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!

Count the Happies – A Happiness Journal by Chantal Johnson


Count the Happies Journal

It’s another happy day in Texas and I am hoping it is a happy day where you are! This month our Design Team theme was art and words, I thought that nearly every project of mine whether it is art, jewelry, or embroidery has words. Perhaps crocheting is the one where there are no actual words on the finished piece but many words have been said about it. So I thought this would be a piece of cake…but after 4 different attempts to show a new way with words….I decided to write about words and then see what would come from it….Here’s is an excerpt from my journal entry and a few suggestions on how to we could use our words….


“…Words bring life-

                                    *Good news brings hope

                                    *A kind word turns away anger

                                    *Words are like apples of gold in settings of silver.

*Words can make you soar, fly or stay.


What am I to do with my words?…


  • Speak words of blessing over you, your family, your friends, your life and even those who may be a little difficult
  • Speak words of affirmation to others
  • Speak words of acceptance to those who struggle, who are alone and who are searching
  • Give compliments to those who need reassurance, who are doing a good jour and especially those who are trying.

 And as always, give words of permission to those who want to create, to try something new and different.

 Let my words be the ones who give others wing to soar and a heart full of happiness.”

 After journaling, I finally came to the conclusion that counting the happies in my life is one way to see words come to life, and so I created a Happiness journal. I loved using the sheet of reproduction vintage images from one of My Gauche Alchemy Kits as well as stickers that had been purchased a long time ago (probably for another project..). Also on this journal cover is Vintage paper, Hand made stamped paper and ICE Resined paper. The background is a stencil screen and when I lifted it up, it created a very cool look for the cover…



Cool background before I covered it….


I loved the rose from the stencil screen on the manila folder tag. I painted white acrylic before using the stencil screen.

But then I covered it…that’s the way of the Collage. So I continued on creating places for words… hopefully this will bring inspiration and encouragement to you as you find a way to bring words to life in your art projects.


These images are beautiful and are so wonderfully reproduced! I also love the paper that has the doily background- Great Gauche Alchemy Kits


Here are some tips to get started on counting the Happies in your life.




*Decide on a color theme, a focal image or a sentiment stamp to begin.


*Choose Background papers, Vintage papers and stickers.


**This is a great way to use the stickers from other projects to use them as focal images, to draw out the words or the thoughts you want to convey


*Collect inks, paints, stencils and punches to create the layers necessary for the journal cover.


A fun way to create your own paper backgrounds to use as die cuts or punches…randomly stamp images (with various ink colors) on piece of card stock.

*The vintage little girl came on a sheet with many other vintage images, using tiny scissors cut around the image cutting most of the white edges. This could be referred to as “fussy cutting” but it is so worth it to have the image very clear and defined.


*Adhere the largest layer first and then begin to build. This is a very personal layering process. See what is pleasing to the eye and when you think you are done but aren’t quite sure…stop for a few moments, walk away and come back. You will realize that you were done as you first had thought. …Collage building is to know when enough is perfect!


A close up of the die cut numbers with ICE Resined paper as the background …Love this look!


The outside of this journal is a great way to combine the love of paper, paint and words. The inside of the journal will be a great way to combine the love of words and the love of life’s little moments of joy and happiness…. What makes you happy? Let’s journal together and count the Happies….1, 2, 3,…..




Chantal lives in Rowlett, Texas and is married to Scott. They have three children, 3 dogs and 5 sweet little hens. Her work has been published in Somerset Studio, Somerset Home, Sew Somerset, Apronology, Haute Handbags, Belle Armoire and Green Craft.   She is currently on the ICE Resin® 2016 Design Team, the Gauche Alchemy Design Team and the Bella Crafts Publications. She loves working with such wonderful people in this art community!  For teaching engagements, you may contact her directly at chantal515@verizon.net. Visit her blog at chantaljohnson.blogspot.com or become her friend on Facebook to see her latest inspirations and see the joy in daily living.