Around the World with 80 Artists!

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I wanted to share with you all that I will have an altered art piece published in the upcoming eBook: Around the World with 80 Artists! I will be joining 79 other artists from all over the globe, sharing a wide variety of art projects. For more information please check out our page. You can sign up for a FREE copy of this book at launch on Amazon on April 15th 2016 to celebrate World Creativity Week. Also, 20% of the proceeds from this project will go to The Malala Fund to help girls gain an education.
So make sure to visit the Creative Art Academy to sign up and get a preview of some amazing art!

Here is a sneak peek of my project:
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I hope you all will check out my project, as well as the many others included. Full tutorials and color photos will be presented in eBook format, as well as printable format.

Thanks for stopping by!

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!

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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.

The Evolution of a Digital Art Journal Page

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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:
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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:
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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.

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

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

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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!!

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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:

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

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And here is the page after being digitally altered:

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

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And here is a completed page, finished in Noteshelf:

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

Scribbly Birds Mixed Media Canvas-Surround Yourself With Friends

This tutorial and project were created for Frog Dog Studio using the May kit.

Good morning! Today I have a canvas project tutorial to share with you. This is one of my personal favorite projects–it was fun and easy to do. Let’s get started!

To begin, I used an 8 x 10 canvas board covered with a light coat of gesso. I used several shades of blue paint (including the one in the kit) and a brayer to lightly spread the paint around.

Next, I laid down a stencil and used the liquid chalk ink from the kit to create a light background pattern.

Using stencils, spray ink, and distress paints I created a few layers on the background.

I went around the edge of the whole board with gold Gelato and rubbed it in with my fingers. Then, I added a little bit more texture with spray ink and stencils.

Using the dropper in my sepia ink, I loosely sketched in some tree branches. I did this by just starting at the edge of the canvas and slowly dragging the dropper across the canvas. You can squeeze more ink out to make the branches thicker, or just spread sections that are already thick to add thinner branches.

I set the canvas aside to dry and pulled out a sheet from the vellum book in the kit. Using the new Dina Wakley stamps (which I LOVE!), I stamped the bird images then colored them in using a mixture of the oil paint crayons, oil paint medium, and watercolor crayons. I wanted a very soft blended feel.

Since this has a very springtime feel to it, I thought I’d make the tree sort of a cherry blossom by adding some paint through a circle stencil along the branches.

I fussy cut the birds and attached them to the canvas using matte medium. Then I added some colored glitter paste to the birds just for a little extra sparkle and texture. I also put a quote from my stash.

And here is the final product!

Project Catch Up!

Hello friends! I have to apologize for how long it has taken me to update my blog! I am still posting projects and tutorials on the Frog Dog Studio blog and Instagram (feel free to follow me there as well), but have not had time to sit down and update you guys here. Shame on me!!

So I will quickly run through my projects since the last time I updated. All of the tutorials can be found on the Frog Dog Studio Blog (unless otherwise noted). Ready for some eye candy? 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed these projects! I will be posting more projects and tutorials soon! 🙂

Fall Stars–A Canvas Banner Tutorial

Good morning! I wanted to quickly share a tutorial for the canvas star banner that is in the November Frog Dog Studio Paper Add On Kit. Since Fall is officially here, I wanted to use this banner as part of my decor in the entry way.

To begin, I laid out all of the little stars and sprayed them with the Lindy’s spray inks in fall colors.

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Next, I used a Heidi Swapp letter stencil to stencil on the letters that spell FALL. I used brown craft paint and a paint dabber.

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To finish, I found some thin ribbon and threaded it through the eyelets at the top of each star. Then I found the perfect spot to display it!

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How’s that for quick and cute?! Hope you have a wonderful day 🙂

Cozy Up With This Day of the Dead Pillow!–Using the October Frog Dog Studio Limited Edition Kit

Good day, friends! I wanted to share with you another idea on how to use some of the materials from the October Limited Edition kit. I have to tell ya’ll that I have had a blast creating with this kit 🙂 Now I’m not much of a seamstress, or sewing person, or whatever you would call that, but every once in a while I get the strong urge to sew something. So I thought it would be fun to create a pillow using the super cool Day of the Dead stencil from the kit.

The first thing I did was cut down a piece of muslin, and using my beloved Gelli plate (from last month’s kit) I went to work monoprinting a background design. I don’t like “scary” Halloween type of stuff so I thought it would be neat to make this sort of girly and colorful. I used bright colors like Quinacrodone Magenta and other shades of pink, as well as a variety of stencils and Catalyst tools. When I was finished printing the muslin looked like this.

It’s important for me to say here that I just used regular acrylic paint on the muslin. I later learned about GAC 900, which when mixed with acrylic paints and heat set makes it very easy to work with on fabric, as well as makes it washable. (Thanks, Martha for the helpful tips!) So this pillow is only for decoration.
When the fabric was all dry, I laid down the stencil on the fabric and traced the design with a white fabric pen. However, I quickly realized that the pen wasn’t standing out enough on the design so I had to head back to the drawing board on that one!

So after digging around in my stash (and not finding any other colored fabric pens) I decided to stencil the design on instead using black paint. So I grabbed one of the dabbers from the kit and some paint and went to work. I was liking where this was going….

Now to really get to work! I wanted this to have a special touch, so I decided to hand embroider some of the details using colorful threads. I did find this very relaxing and was able to work on it while hanging out with the kids one evening. I really need to get a thimble or something….

Everything was all embroidered and it was time for another crazy trip to Hobby Lobby to find some coordinating fabric. Have I mentioned how unpleasant it is taking a 2 year old and 5 year old fabric shopping? LOL Anyway, I found this really cute fabric.

I won’t share with you the epic disaster pics of me sewing the wrong fabric sides together (it’s hard to focus when your kids are climbing all over you and pulling on the fabric you’re trying to sew!–note to self: wait until bedtime before attempting another sewing project!) Here is a pic of the pieces sewn together CORRECTLY! Once that was accomplished I stuffed it with Polyester Fiberfill and hand stitched the opening closed.

And the finished product!

Halloween is near, do you have any projects planned? I’d love to hear about them! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Moms Never Get a Day Off…

But I took one today!! I have been sick all week and today was the first day I felt like a human being again. To celebrate, I took all the kids to school then came home and created for 3 solid hours. I had the house completely to myself, so I cranked up the Pandora, drug out all of my supplies from their various hiding places, and went to work!

The first thing I did was some catching up on my LifeBook pages. I am really far behind, but determined to complete most of the lessons before the end of the year so I can be prepared for LifeBook 2014 (registration just opened up this week!).

Here is my project from Week 30-a lesson from Dina Wakley. This was a quick and easy journal page to put together. I used some old book paper, a gelli print, some stencils, Dylusions ink in white and fuchsia, and Cobalt blue acrylic paint.

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The next page I did was also a quickie. It’s from Week 41 of LifeBook. I was going to use a gelli print from my stash, but since I had the time I figured I’d just make a new one :). I like the way the colors worked together on this simple, but pretty page.

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Well that is all I have to share for now. I hope to get at least three more lessons caught up over the weekend, but we will have to see how that goes 🙂

Have a great weekend, thanks for stopping by!

With Brave Wings–Mixed Media Drawing on a Gelli Print

This tutorial, as well as materials used in this project can also be found on the Frog Dog Studio Blog and Frog Dog Studio Shop.

Hello everyone! Melissa here with a tutorial on a little project I made up using the rest of my September Frog Dog Studio kit.

This month I was introduced to Gelli printing for the first time and I just can’t express to you how much I LOVE making these prints!! There are just so many possibilities. For this little project, I wanted to do a simple drawing on top of the gelli print background that I had created using the canvas paper pad from the kit. I started out by lightly sketching the bird with a pencil, then outlining it with a black Pitt pen. I stuck a few leftover neon reinforcement circles onto the page, and also added some polka dots to the wing, using a Sharpie poster paint marker.

Next, I used my white gel pen to outline the bird and add a little character. Using the Faber Castel Big Brush marker (in pink), I outlined around the reinforcement circles and the bird and then blended it all in with my finger. This helps to incorporate the images and stickers into the background, rather than have them sticking out. I also used a purple Inktense pencil to shade under the wing.

At this point I noticed a few blank spots on the piece that were bugging me, so I added a few pieces of Tim Holtz tissue tape to fill in the gaps. I also smudged a little bit of pink with the big brush marker to help it blend in. Using the exclusive Frog Dog Studio stamp set and the Faber Castel Big Brush pen (in Pink Madder), some stamping was added into the background for texture. To finish, I stamped a quote onto a piece of scrap paper then cut it apart and glued it to the piece. Rub ons were also added.

I found this cute little frame when I was cleaning out my closet and thought it matched this project perfectly! So here it is, all complete and ready to gift 🙂