Making a Fall Picture Frame-Using the Hydrangea Hippo BOOtiful October kit

Good morning!

This morning I wanted to share a quick Snapguide I created on a project that I created using the awesome Hydrangea Hippo “BOOtiful” kit. As a guest designer for October, I received a huge kit full of goodies to work with. This kit includes: papers, TONS of ribbons and trims, and an assortment of beads, sequins, and baubles. Plenty of material to create multiple projects and layouts!



Check out How to Make a Fall Picture Frame by Melissa Johnson on Snapguide.

To learn more about purchasing the kit I used to create this project, click HERE.

Guest Designer Sneak-Hydrangea Hippo October Kit

Good morning everyone! I am excited to announce that I will be guest designing for Hydrangea Hippo next month. I have created three projects using the awesome October kit.

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There will be a featured tutorial for this particular project. Here are sneaks of the other two:

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Visit the Hydrangea Hippo blog to view these projects. You can find out how to purchase the kit I used to create these projects here.

The Evolution of a Digital Art Journal Page

Today I wanted to share with you a quick peek into how I’ve been altering some of my traditional art journal pages digitally. I started with this journal page using some clip art, acrylic paint, stenciling, and stamps:
It’s not bad, but I wanted to take it a few steps further. I opened up ArtRage on my iPad and began by creating a layer of color and doodles using the various tools:
Next, I added another layer and imported a picture of my journal page. I then merged the two layers together, adding more paint and doodles over the blended layers.

I saved the image to my camera roll, then opened the image in Pixlr Express. I then chose a filter for the image.

I continue to add layers using the different filters, frames, and effects in Pixlr.


And here is the final result. It’s really a lot of experimentation and playing in the apps. I like mixing and building layer upon layer to achieve different looks. Have fun recreating your old art journal pages using ArtRage and Pixlr Express!!


The Secret for Finding Time to Create Art

Hi everyone! So much has been going on here lately, summer is winding down and the kids and their activities are starting up again. Luckily I’m still managing to carve out a few minutes for some art time. I have a lot of people who ask me where I find the time to run a business, manage the kids, run the household, and still make art.

Want to know my secret?

Laundry, people. Laundry.

You see, I have four kids at home plus myself and my husband. That makes for quite a bit of laundry, as you can probably guess. When I needed to relocate my art space, I converted half of my laundry room into a mini art studio. I have shelves, cabinets, a nice standing height countertop and stool, plus most of all my lovely supplies. So now while I’m waiting for the washing machine to fill up so I can throw the clothes in, I smear some paint on a blank page. When the dryer is almost done, I add another layer to the page. By the end of the day I can usually get a background done by just keeping it simple. A little collage. A little paint. Some spray ink and stencils. I just use whatever I have close by.

The great thing about this method is it has allowed me to actually DOUBLE my creativity. When I finish a background I snap a pic of it with my iPad, then go back to it later to work on digitally. When I know I will have a nice block of time, I can go back to that same background and finish it with traditional art supplies.

So now you know my secret!

Here is what I’ve been working on the last couple of weeks. These pages are all digitally altered pages from my actual journal.





Adventures in Digital Art Journaling!

Good morning! I am continuing to learn and play digitally with my art journal and am loving every moment. I plan to write up some tutorials for you guys showing you my process of altering my physical art journal pages using my iPad mini and several different apps.

I’m still slowly working through the Traci Bautista Digital eCourse, and have taken what I’ve learned there and expanded on it, laying multiple apps after learning (mostly by experimentation) what apps work best for the looks I am trying to achieve.

Here are a few of my latest creations. I am creating the backgrounds and some of the pages in my regular art journal, then taking a pic with my iPad mini, cropping, then opening in various apps. Enjoy!









BEFORE: this was a digital sample background (with some altering by myself) provided by Traci for one of the exercises








Going Digi in My Art Journal!

Good morning everyone! There are few things I love more than getting messy in my art journal; however, after spending a day with my super cool and techy sister in law (the Tech Chef) I was really inspired to learn more about digital art.

In order to teach myself how to incorporate some new techniques into my work, I signed up for Tracy Bautista’s Digital Canvas eCourse. So far I have played with both the Paper 53 and Noteshelf apps. I have to say there is a bit of a learning curve here for me, but so far I am loving mixing up some of my traditional art pages with digital elements. I feel like it’s the best of both worlds. I can still play in my art journal and make a big mess, then take a picture with my iPad and continue layering, adding color, and doodling while on the go.

Here is the first page I did in Noteshelf, using a prompt from the course:


Here is a before page I did in my art journal:


And here is the page after being digitally altered:


Here is a gelli print piece of background I started in my art journal;


And here is a completed page, finished in Noteshelf:


I’m really looking forward to doing a lot more of this type of art!

How to Find Inspiration For Your Art

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Good morning everyone! I have been busy planning a whole series of informative art posts for your enjoyment, in addition to the occasional mixed media project tutorial, and just general sharing of my latest art journal pages. Last month (wow, has it already been a MONTH??!), I shared with you an article I wrote about how to get started art journaling. This month I’d like to talk about how and where I find inspiration for my art.

There are so many sources of inspiration out there. You could go online and find all sorts of beautiful projects. Personally, I am a Pinterest addict and have tons of ideas pinned there for later use. But where else can you find inspiration? You would be surprised at how much inspiration you can find right in your own home. I find that if I take a moment to look at my everyday surroundings in a different way, I can find all sorts of cool things right in front of me. Here are a few of my favorite everyday sources for inspiration:

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1. Music and Song Lyrics–this is probably a pretty obvious one, but I LOVE listening to music when I am trying to get inspired. It relaxes me and helps me to capture the mood of whatever I am working on. I love song lyrics also, and frequently use them on my journal pages.

2. Book Covers–I acknowledge that I am a total bibliophile. Even in this digital age, I still absolutely love going to the bookstore and buying books. I always have a huge stack of them next to my bed. Not only are the books a great source of inspiration, but have you stopped to really check out the covers of the books? Look at the fonts used, the images, the layout. Try browsing your bookshelves and see what kind of cool things you can find.

3. Product Packaging–This may sound a little strange, but I was cleaning my bathroom and noticed the Febreeze can sitting there. The colors and patterns were so pretty to me! Then I started digging around some more and realized there is a lot of great art on the packaging and containers of all sorts of things I had sitting around. This is not limited to just your pretty Bath and Body Works packages. Look at the packaging for your art supplies (embellishments, paper packs, etc.). Check out your kitchen pantry, puzzle boxes, bags from stores, gift bags, food wrappers and containers. Look for interesting designs, patterns, and fonts.

4. Check Your Closet–I found these vintage Enid Collins purses in my closet. I used to collect them. I was inspired to create this project:
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Also check out your accessories (scarves, purses, hats) and jewelry.



5. Check the Kid’s Rooms–My artwork tends to be pretty girly, and lucky for me I have 4 girls to pull inspiraton from! My youngest daughter especially. Check out the cute saying on her lunchbox, the colorful banner I made to put in her room, and her awesome elephant backpack. I can see more mixed media elephant paintings in my future!

6. Home Decor–Chances are you have some pieces that you love in your home. I have these mirrors that hang in my front entry hall. I realized that I have a stencil that is very similar that would look great with that red. I also found some plates with a pattern I plan to copy.

7. Other Sources–Children’s or adult’s clothing, album or CD cover art, posters, and magazine covers.

As you can see, there are so many things right in your very own home that can inspire you. All it takes is looking at these everyday items in a different light. Remember, you are looking for fonts, patterns, placement, and overall design of these objects. I challenge you to find an everyday object that inspires you to create something amazing. If you have any other suggestions for everyday inspiration, or a project inspired by a household item, I’d love if you’d share in the comments below!