An Ode to Foam Stamps

Hello! This is Jackie, and I’m here to confess my love of foam stamps, and to sing their praises.

Foam stamps are one of my favorite craft supplies/tools to work with when doing mixed media projects. Of course, their lines can’t be as delicate as rubber or photo-polymer stamps, but the bold lines of foam stamps are still quite appealing to me.

You can buy foam stamps in stores (Hobby Lobby), or online (Joggles, Art Foamies, and Clearsnap Magic). I have at least one from each place, and I love using them, but I also like to make them.

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An envelope I gel printed using a gorgeous foam stamp I found at Hobby Lobby on sale for $0.88. Yes, $0.88.

And you too can make your own stamps. All you need is craft foam. Craft foam sheets and shapes (plain or self-adhesive) can be found at just about any craft store, or a store with a decent craft section, like Walmart.

(All the pictures henceforth are of stamps I’ve made.)

Craft foam can be mounted on a variety of surfaces: A wooden block, matte board, cardboard, paper roll, thick foam, etc. Through trial and error, I’ve found that Glossy Accents and Aleena’s Tack-It Over and Over work best as adhesives, so far.

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The foam shapes are mounted to 6 mm foam by Darice.

 

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The foam is adhered to the blocks of unmounted rubber stamps. The oval shape you see on the paper is on the other side of the smaller of the two stamps. Just flip, stamp, and repeat!

And it can be cut using various cutting tools like: scissors, cutting machine (Silhouette, Cricut), and die cut machine (Cuttlebug, Big Shot, etc.)

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The foam in this picture was cut using the die in the top right corner.

 

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I drew on the foam with a sharpie, cut out the shape with scissors and a craft knife, then adhered it to a paper roll. (3 mm foam)

 

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The one on the left is the result of foam being cut in the previous picture. The one on the right was also hand cut… Each. Piece. (>_<) It took what seemed like forever.

 

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The sharpie on foam project was a little messy, so this time I drew on a piece of paper with a sharpie and then scanned and cut it with the Silhouette Cameo. (2 mm foam)

 

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This one is a design from the Silhouette Design Store, also cut using the Silhouette Cameo.

 

You can also make impressions in foam using a heating tool and objects around your craft room like: embossing folders, beads, stencils and stamps.

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Heat the foam first, then quickly place the punchinella over it, and then place an acrylic block on top of both. Apply pressure for 15 seconds, and voila!

 

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The impressions on the Clearsnap Magic stamps were made using embossing folders, a rubber stamp (the punched circle with the letters), a stencil (the stamp 2nd from the left), and a string of beads (stamp 3rd from the left).

Here are a few pictures of foam stamps I’ve made, and some of the ways I’ve used them in mixed media projects.

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I was in the middle of this journal spread and decided I wanted a specific pattern I didn’t already have, so I made this stamp in a matter of minutes.

 

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The impression on the stamp was made with an embossing folder.

 

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There are six foam stamps used in this journal spread. Can you find them? 1) The arrows in teal along the top, 2) The double oval shape in black going under the wording, 3) the overlapping rectangles in the background in fuchsia and white covering the whole page, 4) The flower stamped in black on the right edge, 5) The teal lotus flower stamped on white paper and glued, 6) The lavender tribal pattern stamped on black paper and glued. Did you find all of them?

Well, I hope I’ve successfully passed on my addiction to foam stamps, and I can’t wait to see how you incorporate them into your projects. Don’t forget to tags us on IG (Gauche Alchemy and  Creationsbyjsheri), and post on Gauche Alchemy Studio FB page when you do.

Until next time, be creative!

Jackie

Mixed media on-the-go

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Hi, it’s Vesna!  I am being crafty in rainy Seattle where I have been for the last week on an assignment from my day job.  Like many artists I carry a small on-the-go journal.  But when you have to be away from home for 10 days, a journal doesn’t always cut it.  And I don’t want to pack to much stuff, it’s not fun going through airport security.

Here are some of the supplies I take when I have to be away from home for an extended period: a pad of Bristol paper, a watercolor set, some ephemera, coloring pencils/markers, washi tape, glue, small scissors, small embroidery kit.  Sounds like a lot, but aside form the Bristol pad, the rest I fit in a small lunch box (yes, one of those tin lunch boxes, this one with Spider-Man on it).

I want to share two projects with you: one with supplies I brought and the other with supplies I found during travel.

Collaged tags

This is a fun and easy project for anyone, and it doesn’t require too many supplies.

I stained some shipping tags with a bag of tea.  In my hotel room I’d have a cup of tea before bed time.  I sandwiched the tea bag in between the tags after I was done with the tea.  The next day when they dried up I used some of my ephemera (I brought a stack of postage stamps from real snail mail letters I’ve received in the past), a little bit of washi tape, strips of bias tape, I made a few marks with coloring pencils and voila!

Postage stamps

Collaged tags

And now for the other project: Paper Beads!

Whenever you travel look for touristy attraction fliers.  These can be found at the airport or a hotel lobby or sometimes at local restaurants.  You’ve seen them, those racks with pamphlets of local attractions, where to go, what to do.  Well next time grab a stack, the more colorful the better.

Cut them in 1″ strips and trim the strips into long wedges.  After that all you need is a round tooth pick and some glue.  Start rolling the paper on to your toothpick from the wider end of the wedge.  When you come to the last 1/2 inch put some glue and close your paper bead.

Paper beads

Paper beads

Paper beads

On this trip I didn’t bring additonal supplies to turn the paper beads into wearable art.  I have been a bit obsessed lately with making jewelry with paper beads.  You may see some of the jewelry I’ve made on my personal blog.

All for now!  Have fun!!!

Vesna

 

Conquering the Blank Page

The BLANK page! Where to start!?!  Which comes first the chicken or the egg . . . what is my journal page about or do I just go for it and see where it leads . . which for me the majority of time is just that.

Having a prompt doesn’t always work for me.  Well, to be honest, until last year I never even thought about journaling, which when I was young I used to have a diary and wrote and drew in it until high school, then I quit and never went back and now I find that I’m not really one to write about my feelings but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

But let’s get back on track, I’m supposed to be chatting about backgrounds.

One of the easiest ways to start your background and get rid of that fear of the blank page is just take some paint and brush it, splash it, use your fingers, just put it on the paper!!!!

I have several background pages in my journals in various stages so when I want to journal I don’t always have to go to a blank page.  This page I rubbed  paint from a previous project on it.

This was one of those pages and when I went to use the page I “saw” some figures.  I was amazed at how quickly it all flowed together.

Sometimes I’ll use a photograph I took such as this one of this sweet donkey I “met” at a yard sale a couple of years ago.  Added some paint, a cute little fairy, washi tape, done.

This particular page I was working with a prompt.  The yellow and black paint was already on the page.  I kept it pretty simple,  Cut out the prompt, used a photo I’d take awhile back, and then added some washi tape.  It doesn’t have to be an elaborate background, sometimes less is best!!!

Do you see a theme with me, quick and easy!!

Are you a doodler?  Have stencils?  Put them to paper.

Other things to use on your background to get you started are bleeding art tissue paper or just tissue paper, napkins, things you have around the house.

Simple works, two colors, that’s it!!

Well, here’s a video, my first.  I need to fine tune my skills for future ones!  This one is pretty “boring” lol, no music and you don’t have to listen to me run on and on and on :) Just curious, do you  prefer music on videos?  someone talking and explaining or captions?

 

Mixed Media Background Demo from Tatteredchick on Vimeo.

 

Be sure to join us in our Facebook community, Gauche Alchemy Studiosto get to know our creative team better and see more of their work!

 

Art Journal 101

 

Hi friends! Alchemist Rebecca here to share with you a little tutorial on how to start art journaling! Art Journaling is something I discovered by accident about five or six years ago! I started out scrapbooking, then found altered books and then my altered books turned into art journals! Art Journaling is a blast and I hope this post inspires you to try it!!!

 

Alright let’s get messy!!! I always start my pages out with some black and white type papers as well as my current favorite gold tissue paper; both of which came from our UNDRESSED Mixed Media kit! I tear my papers up and randomly glue them to my page!

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I then add Gesso (white paint if you don’t have any) all over the page with a palette knife (or old card)! I am a big fan of texture and this just does the job, its like frosting a cake!!

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I use an old room key or credit card to swipe paint all over the page, the flat surface of the card gets into all the crevasses of the textured back ground and adds some more as well! I love doing this particular technique because its quick, easy and dries fast! Plus it looks pretty awesome too!

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Ok now comes the fun part; decorating your page! There are so so many options here but this is kind of my process! I like to add some pattern and contrast (the plus signs, hearts and splatter!!) Then I like to find a focal point..

 

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In this case it was these two hearts I cut from my (overwhelmingly large) stack of painted papers! I also added some gold triangles around the page to add some cohesion!

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Found some cute gold stickers, added some washi tape and little circles and viola! My art journal page is complete! So how do you know your page is complete? My trick is to move around the page and just kind of trial and error it so to speak, if I try a few things and it just feels like nothing else fits then I go with it and call it a day!

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I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial and decide to jump in and try art journaling, there are so many possibilities

and really no wrong way to do it! So go for it girl take the leap!

Also, visit our online SHOP for some great mixed media kits and supplies to start you on your way.

Love My Quickies ;-)

Hiya Gauche Peeps and welcome!

This month I thought I might share with you my background madness. That is to say the crazy way I make my scrapbooking backgrounds. I get asked how I make pages so fast sometimes and it’s because I have a go-to pile of ready made backgrounds for when I am short on time or inspiration. They are a great kicking off point when I am in a “can’t think” zone (which is way too often due to most of my scrap time being after bedtime).

This is the current pile

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So….. How it happens,

I get a bee in my bonnet about a technique I want to try, a product I want to play with, or something I just cannot bear to throw out until I have completely sucked it dry, creatively speaking.

Most recently I had this piece of cardstock lying around to which I had stuck punchinella (almost all over). I had originally intended to use it as a background, as it was, but I didn’t really like it. I couldn’t bear to just toss it out so it became my latest experimental “stamp”. Here it is after the event

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I tried the first print with mist and it was a bit blah so I started in on the paints. Scraping a colour over the punchinella using an old itunes card. This is what they looked like

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As you can see, I didn’t clean it in any way between colours, giving me more depth in the results. I also didn’t clean my mat (it’s a big job and one I keep for times when I have no creative flow going on). Now, I’m a fan of mess and variety, and I like my backgrounds framed with colour so the next step is to ‘clean’ my mat using a few of the backgrounds I just made (some of the ones that are a bit bland and boring). To do this I mist liberally with water to reactivate all the mists and mediums then push the edges of my backgrounds into it. I also lay the prints face down and wipe up the mess with them like you would a kitchen rag.

messy-matAnd here are the ones I used on this occasion

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You can see the order they were done by the depth of the grey on them. Now let them all dry and add them to my stash.

I used one of the backgrounds to make this page which took about 30 mins since all I had to do was pull out some matching Gauche goodies and do a title and dymo journalling – too easy!

sky-highThanks for coming by and checking out my creative madness, I’m sure you’ll be inspired by what’s coming at you from the Alchemists this month.

Til next time

Peg sig