How to Create an Art Journal Page with an Image Transfer-Using Frog Dog Studio’s July Mixed Media Kit

Good morning, I wanted to share a tutorial on how I created a page in my art journal using our Frog Dog Studio’s July mixed media kit supplies. You can also find this tutorial on the Frog Dog Studio Blog.

For my journal page this month I wanted to try and conquer my nemesis…the image transfer! I have books on techniques, have watched tutorials, and even had a lesson on this from the very talented Donna Downey and I still can’t seem to get this nailed! Practice makes perfect, right? So I decided to give it another go using the clip art and matte medium from this month’s kit. I started out by choosing an image from the sheet, cutting it out, covering it with the matte medium, and laying it face down on the page. I then burnished it using my brayer.

I misted the image with water, adding more as needed, and gently began rubbing off the back side of the image. The paper was really wet and crumbly, but I could see the image coming through pretty good.

Next I added some strips of washi tape around the image transfer. I also used the paint dabbers from the kit to add some color.

I wanted to add a punch of color, so I got out my Pan Pastels and used a foam sponge to work the yellow colors into the entire background. I used another Pan Pastel in red to blend in the edges and add some pop. Then, I used a circle stamp from Claudine Hellmuth and Ranger Archival ink to add some contrast.

Music often inspires me, and while I was working on this page the song “Dream” by Priscilla Ahn came on my mix. How perfect to go with my bird themed page! I cut out another bird and the letters for FLY and SWING from the clip art sheet, then got out my trusty cheap-o letter stamps to create the journaling on my page.

Well my image transfer still wasn’t 100%, but that’s the thing about art journaling–it’s a great place to practice, make mistakes, and experiment. Don’t be afraid to try something new today!

I’m Dylusional!! :)

When I get obsessed I go all out…and that is exactly what happened when I discovered the awesome stamp sets by Dyan Reaveley!! I’ve been using the Dylusions spray inks for quite a while now, but never looked into any of her other products. Don’t ask me why, I can’t believe it took me so long 🙂 So I had myself a mini spending spree and ordered several stamp sets and stencils, as well as her Art Journal. Let me just say that I have quite a number of art journals with all different types of papers, etc., but this one takes the cake! The size is perfect and the papers are just made for mixed media. They hold up really well to all of the spraying, layering, and stamping. No buckling or curling at all. I am in love 🙂 With that said, I’d like to share a few pages that I whipped up using the stamps, inks, stencils, and magazine bits. I also used the Silks by Luminarte, which I am also in love with. The colors are really vibrant and I love playing with them!

I have another journal that is small (5 x 7) filled with a kraft colored paper that I occasionally work in. I am using a heart theme throughout this one. I thought I’d share a few pages of this one also. It is still a work in progress 🙂

Well, that is all for now. Stay tuned though, I have some really big and exciting news to share with everyone later this month. I can’t wait! 🙂

LifeBook Week 2 and 3

Hi everyone! Continuing on my LifeBook 2013 journey with a post this week on my projects from Week 2 and Week 3. Week 2 we had a bonus assignment from Monica Zuniga in which she is encouraging us to ‘set our True Intentions’ for the year. I’ve created a mixed media girl out of stamps that I had in my stash and a copyright free image I found (the face) online. These are words that I hope to remain mindful of throughout this year.
My True Intentions
Week 3’s lesson is from Christy Tomlinson, who is one of my most favorite artists. I was having a discussion with one of the ladies on LifeBook earlier today and she was talking about sell out artists and remaining true to yourself. I think that Christy is definitely someone who remains true to her style and I appreciate that about her. I also realized that I need to stay true to myself and my style as well. For a while I had it in my head that I when I’m taking these classes my stuff needs to be in the same style as the teacher. While I’ve enjoyed dabbling in watercolors and sketching, I truly know now that my real style is bold and bright and colorful. And that I can translate that style into the assignments and lessons. I’m not trying to make pretty, perfectly drawn pastel colored art. It’s just not who I am. It feels good to finally understand that and embrace it! So with that in mind, we learned a really cool foil and coffee filter technique to make a bloom. Here is what I did with that:
In Bloom.
Well, off to feed the kids some lunch. Hope you all have a wonderful day! 🙂

Trust Yourself

Today is me and my husband’s 6 year wedding anniversary. I’ve been given the gift of time (yay!) to work on a fun project today.


My husband and I were at dinner last night, and had some really good conversation. We were talking about our futures (something we do A LOT). He’s got lots of big ideas and plans and after we talked about that, we talked about some of my goals and ideas. I’ve been really into my art lately and I have to tell you…it just feeds my soul!! Nothing would make me happier than to be able to do this full time. As we were discussing that, I was telling him my thoughts and the process I’ve been going through on trying to find my own authentic style of art. I take a lot of classes, read a lot, and study other artist work that I admire. I want to be able to take all of that knowledge and incorporate that into my own style, a much harder thing than I had imagined. I’ve been thinking about that conversation today and when I finished this page, I added a few words as a personal reminder to trust myself. Trust my ability to push through and make my dreams come to pass. Trust myself that I will find my true self through my art and be able recognize it as my own personal expression of who I am. I think all of us, no matter how young or old we are, are always working on defining ourselves. To use art to do this makes me happier than I ever thought! 🙂


I actually created a stamp myself today. I was inspired by my daughter, Macie, who came home from school last year talking about the stamp she carved in art class. It sounded like so much fun. We bought all of the supplies to do it at home, and they’ve been sitting in a bag all summer. Today was a beautiful day outside, so we took our supplies and some blankets out there, spread everything out and went to work. I created a Snapguide as I went along to describe exactly how this was done. You can view my Snapguide here. I used my stamp over and over with different inks and paints to create the background of this page in my art journal. The only other thing I used was some Dylusions mist, Ranger alcohol ink, and a script roller stamp. I used a little Pan Pastel around the edges for some depth.

I hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend! Thanks for stopping by. If you like this post, please feel free to subscribe on the right sidebar to get the latest posts in your Inbox or Reader. 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂

Trying a new technique

Over at Club CK, there was a great tutorial by Kim Watson on using modeling paste and stencils on a scrapbook layout. I thought this would be a great approach for na art journal page to add some nice texture. I used a grunge diamond pattern stencil from Crafters Workshop, as well as a sort of bubbly stencil along with Liquitex modeling paste. To add color I used a mixture of alcohol inks, spray mist, and Pan Pastels. I’m a huge fan of anything by Napoleon Hill–I find his words so inspiring and thought provoking, so I used one of his quotes on the page. I hand lettered the entire thing–a lot of work, but I like how it came out.

© Melissa Johnson

Thanks for stopping by!