What came first Art or Words…

Hello friends! Susan here to bring you some inspiration for this month’s theme here at Gauche Alchemy… art and words.


One can almost ask which came first… art or words??! From a standpoint of being a graphic artist in the advertising and printing world… these two things go hand in hand. Words are art and ART can be quite a commentary… either spoken and visual, or more subtle requiring one to “read between the lines” LOL!

More recently as life has taken several unexpected turns – words seem to have so much more meaning and I find them more important than ever before. I’m sure this is true for you as well. I’m drawn to not only a beautiful or moving visual, but moreso to words that speak to my soul. When working in my art journal, words are usually my prompt for my artistic and visuals direction.

Art and words… words and art! Both are everywhere and we are bombarded with them in every facet of our lives –including social media. I am so inspired by so many people and artists when it comes to this theme… I couldn’t possibly put them all in one post. I invite you to join me all week over at the Gauche Alchemy Studios Group on Facebook where I will share more artists that inspire me and some of my creations with art and words.

In my “UNDRESSED” mixed media paper art kit… there are these strips of words and phrases which made me think about one of my favorite kitschy artists… ANNE TAINTOR. You may be familiar with Anne’s work and her vintage gals with snarky quips as they are quite mainstream these days – found on magnets, mugs and greeting cards.

Anne Taintor is an artist whose themes deal with domestic stereotypes, as viewed through the lens of mid-century advertisements typically found in publications such as Ladies Home Journal and Life – and the humor lies in how her quirky quips reflect modern day life.


My favorite taintorette is this one – it perfectly describes me after the holiday season whirlwind has come and gone!


This one really gave me a huge chuckle… especially from my last art journal entry regarding my “big girl panties”. There are so many that will give you such a huge belly laugh and I was thrilled to learn she has a FB page also.


So now for some inspiration! I went through a bin of book pages, magazine clippings and such and came across this section of skirt and legs with red shoes that was from an old stock photo catalog from back in my advertising days. This made me think of Dorothy and her tapping her heels together to wish herself to the safety and comfort of home. I selected this and torn around the image and mounted this to a black ATC cardstock blank.


I grabbed a scrap of red cardstock and crumpled it up to give it some texture. I quickly snipped a section of tulle {not prettily as you can see} and adhered with my sewing machine to mimick a gathered edge, sewing from the back side. I really love the wreckless feel of this from the frayed edge of the tulle and the wonky stitching. This is my kind of girl!


I glued the skirt on and finished this less is more ATC off with a little quip run typed/printed off the computer – capturing the spirit of Anne Taintor.


Of course my Dorothy ATC wouldn’t be complete with Ruby Red Stickled shoes and a little shimmer on her legs too!

How do you create with words in your arting??

I invite you to join me all week over at Gauche Alchemy Studios Group on Facebook for more Art and Words inspiration. Have a creative day!

Susan M. Brown {sbartist}

My Favorite Tiny Treasure


Hello everyone, Erena here.

I hope you are enjoying the summer.

I wanted to share my favorite type of tiny treasure…Artist Trading Cards (ATCs).  These can be so quick and fun to make.  The best part is that you get to trade them with other artists, creating a truly meaningful experience.  It has added so much to my life and is essential to my self-care.


Sheet of paper (I like watercolor paper)

Gelli plate

Craft glue stick


Craft paint

Sponge dauber or make up sponge


Favorite stencil

Favorite stamp and archival ink

The Gauche Alchemy SHOP has some great items to get you started– punchinella is a favorite!

Step 1:  Using your gelli plate, create a gelli print using your favorite colors and stencils. Cut the sheet once the paint dries to ATC size (3.5 x 2.5).


Step 2: Stamp on your cards. I used 2 types of stamps here.  No overthinking.


Step 3:  Take your stencil and black paint. I try not to overthink it, just fill in blank space.


Step 4:  I used a bold paint color to make some circles using the same stencil.


Step 5: Rather than wasting extra paint, I took my punchinella and decorated envelopes.  This is a nice touch when trading ATCs. I always put paper goodies and a handwritten note in my happy mail.


Step 6: Finishing touches.  I used a white pen and doodled on the pink circles.



There are so many different ways to make ATCs.  I like to make several at a time and save the extras.  That way you can still participate in a swap when you are busy.


Please reach out to me if you have any questions or if you would like to trade ATCs.


Until next time :)


Butterfly Blessing Button Cards

IMG_1553 Home is where one starts from…Home is where the heart is….Home is where my momma is….HOME

Hey y’all, It’s Chantal sending you a warm Texas greeting!! Normally I would send a HOT greeting in the summer but we have been experiencing a week and half of rain and cooler temps…. It’s a little confusing to say the least. But as always the saying is true…”If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait a few days and it will change.”


One thing is certain though, in my garden, I still see beautiful butterflies. It makes me pause and marvel at their beauty.   In some cultures, butterflies symbolize rebirth, love, change/growth or even a person’s soul. For me, they can mean all of that and even more. I think of how my mother loves butterflies, how I can draw or doodle them on my notepad but greater still is how they give such beauty without even knowing it.



Inspiration -vintage button cards from my stash and Punchinella and Paper from Gauche Alchemy!


Love the inspiration from the canvas butterflies…How about the gold light from the Punchinella….highlights it’s versatility..

My inspiration for the tiny treasure theme this month was two fold- the canvas butterflies and the paper that were in my wonderful Gauche Alchemy kit and the vintage (not antique) button cards…and for me, each project needs to uplift and encourage. So there are blessings (positive words or thoughts) on each card. We may never know how much beauty and courage we give someone when we give a word of blessing/encouragement to them…even if that someone is you. Perhaps these cards (looped on a ring) will be just what you need to face each day, or to give one of these cards to someone in the office, at school or at home. After the tips for this project, there is a photo gallery of the cards.  As you look through these, know that I am sending you butterfly blessings to bring beauty to your day!!


Happiness is chocolate in both hands…Happiness is a wet nose and a wagging tail…Happiness is wherever I am with you….

A few tips on creating these blessing cards…

*Choose a unifying color theme…mine were gold and yellow

*The paper had the circles on them, so I used a punch to cut the circles and on a few cards, it needed to be a larger piece of paper, so I just cut to size needed.

*Inking the canvas butterflies and then stenciling with Punchinella gave depth to the shapes.

*Adding art paste or gesso before the paper will strengthen the vintage cards

*If you don’t have vintage button cards, use cardstock, chipboard or manila folders and then cut to size

* Punchinella was used as a stencil on the butterfly and as an embellishment for the cards.

* Setting eyelets on the button cards reinforces the card and will allow the ring to go through without tearing the paper.

*If you don’t have a lot of sentiment stamps, handwrite the blessings….Oh that would make it even more special!!

*Let one of the kits from Gauche Alchemy spark your creativity for your own blessing cards. The papers and butterflies I used are from the Wandering Soul mixed media kit.


Family is LOVE from the beginning….Believe in the good of others….too blessed to be stressed….


Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, And sings the tune–without the words, And never stops at all…Hope springs eternal.


JOY is the net of love by which you can catch Souls. -Mother Teresa


Best Wishes for today and everyday!

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Sweetest words ever spoken…


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Dream a little dream for me….Be happy

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Be you…you are unique, gifted and talented. .. Laughter is the best medicine…truth is the highest thing that a man may keep.


Always know that YOU Are LOVED!!

ATC’s “Under the Sea”

Hi all it’s me Bea from bee’s atelier. I’m here to share some inspirational pictures and a video how I make ATC’s.

I had lately made an mini-album with the Sea and Beach theme. So I decided to make some ATC’s in this theme again. After all I have to fill that mini-album, don’t you think?

When I start a project I usually have a vague idea in which direction I wanna go. I knew it had to be something with fishes. So I was looking around in the studio what I can use. I didn’t have any fish scrapbookpaper, but I did have a stamp and I also have yarn and fabric in Sea colors.

For me having materials ready when I want to do something is important. If I have first to go out and shop, just doesn’t work for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do not buy everything I come across, I have to like it either the color or the shape and form. I rarely can say what I’m looking for when I go shoping, but when I see and like it (and can afford it) I pick it. And I also collect things from the daily life, which other people might throw out as junk. Just to be prepared when the muse strikes me. Another thing about creativity, you have to practice on a regular schedule, or as Pablo Picasso said once: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” I find that to be really true.

But now let us get more in practice

I started with a piece of watercolor paper in the size 6 ¾ inch by 4 4/4 inch. I usually make more then one ATC at the time. I started playing around with ideas for backgrounds and decided to use Punchinella as stencils for the first layer.


I then sprayed in blue, teal, green and white colors with the sprays in the next picture


And that’s what it looked like after spraying and dripping


Next I added some stamping with Versamark and sprinkled two different colors of Embossing powder.

And here the stampsets I have used for the ATC’s


Next I have used two colors of embossing powders.


I have cut the cards to the size of 3 3/8 by 2 3/8 inch, as I wanted to add a mat in the correct size of 3,5 by 2,5 inch of the ATC’s to give a border.


I then stamped the fishes and used the watercolor Inktense pencils from Derwent.


I went over them several times with different shades and colors.


And here are the final result. I’m curious what you are up; please come join us at the Facebook Group Gauche Alchemy Studios and share with us!


and here is a video for the whole process. Enjoy

til next time


Art Journaling Techniques After a 12 Hour Day


Hello, this is Erena!

I have had a particularly exhausting and hectic week, which can be a fast creativity killer. I know we all struggle with this challenge; so here is my go-to technique for creating mixed media after a long day. I am currently obsessed with the ICAD project (index card a day) and will show the style on an index card. The small format is perfect for experimenting with layers and colors without feeling overwhelmed, and it’s so gratifying to see a piece come together in a very short amount of time using scraps on your table and a few simple tools!



1 index card or art journal page

Craft glue stick


Craft paint

A cap or lid of some kind (no cap is safe in my home)

Sponge dauber or make up sponge

Stabilo black aquarellable pencil (or any water soluble pencil)



Dictionary paper, map paper (any paper)

Word Stencil


Bonus tip: When I am feeling creative and in a good flow with my art, I like to make mixed media strips, backgrounds, labels, stickers, and other embellishments that can be used at a later time. I put my extras in a folder.


Step 1: Glue strips of “pre-made” paper to index card. Trim excess paper.

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Step 2: Select a few craft paints (these are my favorite) and finger paint any blank spots. Finger paint the map and the seams of the paper strips.

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Step 3: Use punchinella (I have 3 different sizes) and same paint colors that you have already used all over the index card. You are starting to add layers now!

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Step 4: Glue ephemera down, and mark with stabilo and water brush (or wet Q-tip)

The stabilo will react with water, so draw around any ephemera to highlight it black. Then use water brush or wet Q-tip.

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Added more layers by using Magenta paint and punchinella.

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Layers, layers, and some more layers…using complimentary colors keeps it from looking muddy. The magenta really makes everything pop.


Step 5: Use a word stencil on index card. Once paint has dried, take a cap, dip in paint, and randomly place. Finishing touches– used leftover black paint and punchinella for contrast.


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I would love to see your take on this technique! What are your favorite layering tools?

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Please join us in our Facebook community, Gauche Alchemy Studios, to share your ideas and join the conversation!


Until next time :)