The Girls of Fall–Mini Mixed Media Canvases Using the Frog Dog Studio Paper Add On Kit

Good morning! Melissa here with a tutorial on how to create some simple little “girls of fall”. These could be grouped together as a display, attached to a larger canvas, turned into ornamentsโ€ฆlots of possibilities! I was inspired by Christy Tomlinson’s She Art girls (I took her first class years ago–so much fun!)

To create these gals, I used items from our November Paper Add On Kit. There are some beautiful fall themed items in this kit. I especially loved the BoBunny 6×6 paper pad! To begin, I gessoed four mini canvases then sprayed them with the Lindy’s spray inks. Then, I just freehand cut some dresses. These papers have a sort of vintage vibe to me that I like. I glued them down on the canvases with some matte medium.

When they dried, I loosely sketched out a head and some legs. Then I mixed up some flesh colored paint and painted their faces and hair. I also used the stamps to do some embossing on the background. I covered the stamp in Versamark Ink, then stamped it on the canvas. Then, I dusted some of the Lindy’s embossing powder on top and hit it with a heat gun.

Now for the finishing touches–I added some green Distress Paint to the background. I also rubbed the piece over with Distress Ink in Vintage Photo to give it an aged feeling. Details were added to the girls using a black pen.

The last thing I wanted to add to these pieces were a few words that represent this time of year.

And close ups of each girl individually ๐Ÿ™‚

How to Create a Mixed Media Memory Box–Using the July Frog Dog Studio Mixed Media Kit

Good morning, I wanted to share my tutorial on how I altered the cute little box from our July kit. This tutorial can also be found on the Frog Dog Studio blog.

I love quotes. They make me feel good. I usually try and incorporate them into my journal pages and other mixed media pieces. This little box was no exception. The birds from the Artchix collage sheet inspired me to find a perfect quote. I was thinking of my sister at the time. She’s was going through a rough patch and I wanted to send some healing and positive thoughts her way. With this in mind I went to work on altering the box first.

The first thing I did was cut patterned paper to line the entire inside of the box. I used the Claudine Helmuth matte medium to do this. I should say here that I love this stuff! It goes on wonderfully smooth, adheres well without making your hands all sticky, and has no odor that I could detect. The last thing is very important to me, as I have young children who are almost always in the room with me when I’m creating. When that was complete, I marked the edges of the box and attached the Tim Holtz hinges. Then I wrapped the edges of the inside lid with the Prima washi tape to cover the brad prongs.

The next step was to cover the lid and sides using the Ranger paint dabbers. I just dabbed and mixed with the end of a dry paintbrush until I got a nice distressed finish. I also added some paint to the hinges. Then I created a mini collage using the Artchix clip art and a few bits of washi tape. Over the top I added the crackle finish and the little cabochon (from my stash) in the corner. I also used some leftover paper twine from the June kit to make the little bow. Everything was adhered using the matte medium from the kit.

I continued to collage the other sides of the box, using some papers from my stash, the paint dabbers from the kit, and washi tape.

I got all of the little cards together that fit inside of the box and laid them out. I decided to do little mini collages for each one, add a quote, and tie them all together like a fold out banner. Using the paint dabbers I started creating the background for each one. I then cut out images from the clip art sheet and inked all of the edges using Distress Ink in Vintage Photo (a favorite of mine for sure!). I also used the Prima washi tape and a roller stamp to tie all of the pieces together. I made sure to use the same basic materials for each mini collage, but added something a little different for each one. I wanted it to have a cohesive look. I found a quote that I liked, printed it out, and cut it up into smaller bits to add to each piece.

To finish off the mini banner, I collaged some inspirational words that I cut out from a thesaurus and glued them to the backside of the squares. I punched holes in the pieces and tied them all together, again using the leftover twine from the June kit. I also inked around the edges using the green paint dabber.

And here is the final product!

Thanks for stopping by–have fun creating! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Time Has Come…Frog Dog Kit Reveal Today!

Good afternoon everyone! Well the day has finally come for the very first reveal of the Frog Dog Studio June Mixed Media Kit. Tina has packed this kit with all kinds of mixed media goodness ๐Ÿ™‚ Stop by the store to check it out and order your kit–they are going fast!! Click Here to visit the Frog Dog Studio Home Page. You can also visit the Frog Dog Studio Blog here. Throughout the month of June you will find educational tutorials showing how all of the DT members created their projects using the kit materials. My first tutorial is up on June 5, be sure to stop by and check it out!

In the meantime, here are the projects that I created using the June kit:
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Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your weekend!

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LifeBook Week 10 and 12–I Painted a Face!

Continuing on my LifeBook journey, I’ve completed Weeks 10 and 12. Week 10 we celebrated heart connections with Tam. We filled in our heart with rolled paper containing short messages to our heart connections. I wish the picture could convey the cool 3D look of this heart. What a beautiful lesson this was, and a great reminder of how important people are in our lives.
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Week 12 was Celebration and Connection with Mindy Lacefield. I’ve always enjoyed her style of art and wondered how she painted her adorable, whimsical faces. This was a great lesson for me, especially learning how to shade and create the faces. I’ve never been really good with faces, but she made this seem so easy. I like the primitive style of their faces. I realized when I finished the painting that I subconsciously ended up painting me and my son. This wasn’t my original intention, but I love how that’s how it turned out.
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I am hoping this weekend to possibly get to Week 11, which is about the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly with Michelle Kral. I’m looking forward to it, but there were a few supplies I needed before I could start this one.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Easter! Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

Having Some Fun in my Art Journal

I’ve been sneaking a few moments here and there in my art journal. It’s such a great feeling to just be able to work on a background or do a little bit of doodling. Eventually I will finish an entire journal! Right now I have about 3 books that I work in plus loose papers that will get bound together for LifeBook when that is done. 

So here are a few spreads that have been many months in the making. I find myself going back and adding things or redoing things all of the time, it seems I can never leave well enough alone! 

Right now I am having a serious love affair with washi tape in my journals. It adds just the right amount of color and pattern in the background. I love the fact that it is sort of transparent, so it doesn’t take away from your background, but rather helps to enhance it. I’ve also taken a tip from Donna Downey and started trying to use up some of those old letter stickers from Scrapbooking that I have in my stash. It’s been fun mixing and matching whatever I have on hand.

Take care of yourselves and have a fabulous weekend!

Altering a Paintbrush!!

Hi everyone! I wanted to share with you today a post about a paintbrush that I altered for the Donna Downey Altered Paintbrush Project. This was a really fun idea, and I spent several days daydreaming about my paintbrush before I actually decided on exactly what I wanted to do. I tossed several ideas around in my head and on paper, but in the end (as always) I was inspired by my children. My dancer daughter Natalie, in particular. I kept staring at the lines of the brush and suddenly it hit me that the top angle of the handle reminded me of Fifth Position in Ballet. I know this because Natalie is constantly dancing around the house!! So I decided to turn this big fat paintbrush into an elegant dancer.

This is what I had to start out with:


The second phase involved the construction of the tutu. I gathered up a bunch of tulle I had leftover from a tutu wreath I had made for Sophie and some pretty fibers that I’ve had in my stash forever. I used one of the kids old hair ties to make it into a skirt that could be slipped down the handle of the brush, instead of trying to glue all of the pieces to the brush itself.
Here is the skirt:


After the skirt was complete, I went to work painting the brush itself. I used a combination of acrylic paint and acrylic ink for the wood parts and the brush. I used Ranger alcohol ink in Cranberry for the metal part. While the paint was still wet on the bristles I went ahead and dumped some glitter on there. My dancer was slowly morphing into a fairy!! (As a sidenote I should add that I’m not really into using glitter on my projects, but I AM into details and I wanted there to be little hidden design details of the brush that people could look for) I also broke out the old iRock tool and gave her a bit of metallic bling.


Now for the scary part, to paint the body onto the brush. I carefully sketched out the body shape lightly with a pencil, then I mixed up some flesh toned paint and went to work. When the body was painted I went around the shape with a fine tip black marker just to help it stand out a bit. When that was done and dry I realized that she needed a top of some sort. I rummaged through my ribbon stash and found a piece of Prima trim that I had tried to use on several layouts with no success. For this, it was perfect! It even had the rhinestones on it, which I thought gave my girly a bit of glam ๐Ÿ™‚ I also added some feathers just for a fun touch. I wanted her dress to be very tactile. I’m one of those people who has to touch everything!!


At this point she was looking pretty good, but something was kind of funky to me and I couldn’t figure it out. Then I realized it was her top. It was too big and bunchy looking. So I cut the sides and folded them down and hot glued them in place. Better. I showed her to my youngest daughter and she loved it! She named her the “Flying Fairy Dancer”. Hmmm. Faries have wings. My brush suddenly needed wings. I went off to Michaels and bought these pretty white butterflies. I turned it around backwards, hot glued it to the back of the brush and TA DA…wings!! Now she was complete ๐Ÿ™‚


The final step was to create a tag, or a calling card to hang from her so people will know where she came from. I just cut a piece of cardstock down to size, used a few different inks, red Pan Pastel, and some $1 stamps. This is my tag:


All dressed and ready to ship:


I can’t wait to see her up on the wall in Donna’s studio!!!

Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

Laugh, Smile, Dream….

I did this double page in my journal about 2 weeks ago, but never got around to putting it up. Sometimes I feel brave enough to try and paint a person. They usually never have faces (I’m not THAT brave yet! LOL). I really love the way the colors came together in this page. I was in a calm and relaxed mood when this was being worked on, and I feel like that carried over in my choice of colors and words.

I hope you all have a great week and find time to make something pretty as well! ๐Ÿ™‚