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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

Supplies:

Sara’s Surfaces Album

Tape Runner

Double sided papers

Dazzles

Paper Tole

Tombow Glue

Ribbon

Foam squares

 

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

Merry Christmas to all!

Ashley

 

 

Recycled gift tags

Hi, Vesna here. I think by now you know that I enjoy crafting with recycled items. Creativity doesn’t need to be expensive. I guarantee you that you already have supplies around your house that you didn’t even think you can use in your crafty projects.
As the year is coming to an end and you are getting ready for gift giving this holiday season, I want to help you with making those gifts extra special by adding a handmade gift tag.
Here is a list of supplies you will need:

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*Cardstock (or blank gift tags that you bough ions ago on sale because they were cheap)
* Scissors
* Glue stick (double sided tape if you have one)
* Ink pad
*From/To stamp or alphabet stamps or Sharpie/marker to hand write from/to
* Twine or yarn or embroidery floss
* Plastic grocery bags
* Envelope with a security print on the inner side from all those bills and credit card offers

Technique:
Cut the plastic grocery bag in strips and make a little bow. Stamp From/To on your tag. Glue the plastic bow on the tag.

Bow

Bow

Recycled gift tag

Or a variation made with the envelope paper. Cut a triangle to resemble a Christmas tree. Cut a small strip of twine, fold it in half and glue it on the bottom of the Christmas tree on the inner side. Add more glue (I used double sided tape) to the tree shape and adhere on your tag. Stamp From/To.

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Recycled gift tag

Happy gift giving and a holiday season. And best wishes for more craftiness and creativity in the upcoming year.

Recycled gift tags

In crafty spirit always,
Yours,
Vesna

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

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

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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.

Tips:

  • 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!!

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

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Encaustic Wax blocks

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

 

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

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

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A close up of the melted and blended wax

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See the depth of color….

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

 

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

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Wipe the wax with a paper towel.

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

 

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

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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!!

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“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