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!!

How to Create a Floral Fresco

Hi, everyone! Viktoriya Porechnaya is here. Today I would like to share with you some mixed media tips and secrets about creating  this extraordinary fresco

mix1mix2So we need sheet of canvas or burlap, acrylic putty, spatula and acrylic paints to create fresco background

mix4First, spread putty on canvas  with spatula in a uniformly thin layermix5mix5Let it dry some hours.Then you can bend the canvas sheet carefully to create many cracks.

mix6Start to paint surface with liquid acrylic paint. Be messy- have fun!

mix7Then remove wet paint using wet napkin or fabric sheet– baby wipes work well also. Make it carefully because you can remove the putty layer.Cracks becomes visible and have a color.

mix8mix9Then do the same with other tone of paint

mix10mix11Repeat these steps until you like it. You can add other colors for your background.For example, I added blue paint to my brown tones

Now time for stamping! Use acrylic paints instead ink to create a different effect.

mix12mix13I created floral field for my fresco

mix14mix15After it we need to create “roots” – use strings from canvas sheets

mix16Paint it using brown mist and dry

mix16Create “ground with roots” – use texturing paste for it

mix16mix17Add some textural elements- I used sand and small stones. See what you can find around your home; small beads, or even something from nature!

mix18mix19Let it dry or dry by heating tool and paint it

mix20Floral fresco is ready!

mix21Some details and textures

mix21mix25mix26mix27Thanks for your attention ! And I hope you catch your  inspirational mood to create something new!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color Palette Play

Hi there! This is Jackie, and I’m back with a little bit on the subject of mixed media tips and techniques.

I’ve been into mixed media for less than two years, so I consider myself a newbie. And as a newbie, one of the things I have a problem with is picking color palettes. Well, one day I ran across an Instagram account, and fell in love with all the color inspiration. Design Seeds’s posts are of beautiful color palettes inspired by nature, art, food — pretty much anything you can set your eyes on. I thought to myself, this just might be what I need to break out of my color palette comfort zone, and pinned it for later. Guess what, later just happens to be now. I decided to finally give one of their color palettes a try, and here is the color palette I chose.

SUMMER
{ Color View }
NOVEMBER 20, 2016

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Just because Summer has left us (fickle little thing), doesn’t mean we can’t continue to play with her colors, right?! Here’s what I came up with.

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I love the results, and can guarantee there will be more color palette play in the future. And here’s the process video in case you find yourself needing to waste a few minutes. *^_^*

I hope you enjoyed my little experiment. If you decide to give it a try, don’t forget to post it to the Gauche Alchemy Studios FB page, or tag us on Instagram (@gauchealchemy and @creationsbyjsheri)

Until next time!

♥ Jackie

 

Materials used:

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

 

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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.

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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!!!

 

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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…

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A few supplies to get started

 

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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

Scissors

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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A portion of the stencil in the upper left corner

 

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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.

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    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.
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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.