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

Retro Tag Magic


For the last month, I have been stuck and unable to create.  I cleaned my little craft surface and went through my supplies.  I reminded myself about my love for mixed media.  I found my favorite stencils, stamps, washi tape, sequins, and glitter.  I printed some images that inspired me.


I used my gelli plate to put some paint on these tags.


I cut out some of my favorite images and placed on the tag to see how much blank space I had to play with.


I stamped the background.


Stamp, stencil and washi tape.  Already creating a great background.


This is my favorite butterfly stamp.  After the paint dried, I cut out butterflies.


Sequins have been my favorite way to add dimension on my tags.


I was able to collage some pieces of paper on this tag.

fullsizerender-22 img_3948 fullsizerender-23


I am really enjoying this style and adding as many layers as possible.  Let me know if you have any questions and I can’t wait to see your mixed media tags!

Have a wonderful weekend!


An Ode to FAUX…

sb_brownpapermini_758866Hello friends! We’re all about techniques this month here at Gauche Alchemy. Susan here to share one of my favorite techniques that I find myself using over and over… making faux leather paper. There are loads of ways to do this, but I love feeding my lil’ green heart and recycling brown paper bags and crumpled papers received in packages.

sb_acp_fds_postmar27_img_8028It’s pretty easy to make faux leather paper from brown paper bags or recycled packing papers. I have done this with cardstock as well, it just takes a bit of patience, as it requires more repeating of the layering process to distress the paper. The best part is that there is no right or wrong way — you just keep playing until you like the results.

To start you just need a couple of spray mists and paints in a color scheme you want to use and a mini spray bottle with water. I start by giving a big sheet a gentle misting of  water, then crumple until it’s wrinkled to my liking. For this tutorial I am using recycled packing paper that is thin like newspaper. It will make a nice light colored faux leather.

sb_acp_fds_postmar27_img_8029I flatten out and mist with a little more water, then randomly
brush on some Pebble Adirondack Paint Dabber.

sb_acp_fds_postmar27_img_8030Next I layer two colors of Lindy’s Shadow Mist Sprays. I repeat this a couple of times — letting it dry a bit between applications. You don’t want the paper completely soaked with liquid since it is recycled and may begin to fall apart.

sb_acp_fds_postmar27_img_8031I wanted a little more contrast, so I brushed more of the pebble directly onto a recycled dry cleaning bag {these bags make for great monoprints in a pinch too}, misted with water then blotted the paper into it.

sb_acp_fds_postmar27_img_8032To get a more distressed patterning, I misted water onto the quickly drying paint, then gently crumbled up the paper and blotted up color. MUCH BETTER! I opened and recrumpled to apply paint to different areas. Then I repeated with a little Brushed Pewter and Tarnished Brass Ranger Distress Paint misted to add a little more modeling to the color. I let dry for a few minutes to see if I want to keep adding color or call it finished. No wasted paint or sprays either!

sb_acp_fds_postmar27_img_8035I sprayed one more layer of the Lindy’s Shadow Mists then set to dry.

sb_acp_fds_postmar27_img_8037Close-up before painted layers are completely dry.

sb_acp_fds_postmar27_img_8047Finished sheet of hand-painted faux leather paper when completely dried. I love how the color has intensified and small distress tears are smattered about.

sb_acp_fds_postmar27_img_8067Here’s the finished paper! This gorgeous hand-painted texture is ready to use
for any of my arting pleasures. One big painted sheet goes a long way.

sb_brownpapermini_761574Try varying the base color paper for other stunning effects! This example is with bronze, browns and gold on a brown paper bag base. I’ve even used this technique on cranberry colored cardstock to cover a handmade book containing a collection of memories for my Mother in Law which came out gorgeous!!

What are some of your favorite techniques??

I invite you to join us over at the Gauche Alchemy Studios Group on Facebook for more inspiration. Plan to pop on over on Sunday and I will be sharing more of my favorite techniques. Have a creative day!

Susan M. Brown {sbartist}

Mixed media on-the-go


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!!!



Thank You


Quote by Brene Brown

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