Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Silver and Gold Mixed Media Art Challenge

Tis the season! It's December 1st and Christmas music is playing everywhere. Can't you hear it? Silver and gold... silver and gold... And at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog, our theme is "Silver and Gold" (just make something using these colors, or one of them). What fun!!

We are thrilled that IndigoBlu is our sponsor again for December.

IndigoBlu is also an huge online craft and mixed media store. They manufacture a full line of mixed media art products and supplies including the amazing products MegaFlakes and  FlitterGlu, stamps, paint and stencils. Be sure to check out their store for a huge selection!

We are so happy that IndigoBlu has supplied our design team with a ton of their products that we have used on our projects this month. And guess what? One lucky random winner will receive this AMAZING prize package provided by IndigoBlu! (Just for participating!)

I couldn't wait to try the MegaFlakes and FlitterGlu. I went to youtube and found a couple of videos demonstating how to use them which I found very helpful.  I used the Megaflakes with both stamps and stencils as well as just applying it by itself.  Here are some progress photos of my project.

I created a background of collage papers, and then stamped with the FlitterGlue and added the flakes.

In the above photo, you can see some of the gold. I used a stencil with the FlitterGlu. Then I painted the shape of my angel.

In my finished project, you can see that I applied more MegaFlakes to the edge of the wings.

I used IndigoBlu products: Manchester Tart Flakes, Flutterglu, Collage papers,paint, stamps, stencils. Also various scrap patterned paper,die cuts, chipboard letters, fabrics and rubons. Size is 8" x 10" .

I hope you are inspired to participate in the Silver and Gold challenge. Here are the rules (which are also on the main blog)

Rules must be followed to be eligible for placements and prizes. Entries without our Challenge Graphic or Link Back to us will be deleted.

* You must use our challenge graphic in your challenge post.
* You must comment on at least 3 design team member's blogs. 
* Your post must link back to the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge post
* Add a link to your direct post, not your entire blog, a YouTube Video or a Pinterest Board
* You can combine with up to 4 other challenges. 
* No Backlinking allowed! Any back-linked entries will be deleted.
* You can enter up to 5 times, create whatever you want, and HAVE FUN!

You have until 11:55 pm EST on December 31 to enter!

I can't wait to see all the wonderful projects from all the entries.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Mixed Media Texture and IndigoBlu products

If you have been to my blog before, you know that I love mixed media. I love playing with papers, paints, ink and texture. For our November Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog projects, our challenge is texture. We were given a generous box of products from our sponsor - IndigoBlu, to play with. I received collage papers, both 12" and 6", and several bottles of acrylic paint from their English Cottage collection. I also received some of their new stencils from the Kay Halliwell-Sutton collection and some gorgeous stamps.

For my project, I layered the collage papers and added light coats of acrylic paint to unify the background. Then I used a crackle medium with the IndigoBlu stencils on various places of the project. I let it dry and dripped acrylic ink on the background first, then lightly added color here and there with acrylic paint. Then I freehanded the design with black paint and a fine brush. After the black dried, I painted the image. I was careful not to cover up the images of the collage papers underneath. After the image was painted, I used black Stayz On ink and stamped various images using the IndigoBlu stamps. I love the effect of texture and multiple layers. It adds so many dimensions and keeps your eye interested in the piece.

I hope you join us in this month's Mixed Media Challenge. In order to play along, please follow these rules to be eligible for placements and prizes. Entries without our Challenge Graphic or Link Back to us will be deleted.

* You must use our challenge graphic in your challenge post.
* You must comment on at least 3 design team member's blogs.
* Your post must link back to the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge post
* Add a link to your direct post, not your entire blog, a YouTube Video or a Pinterest Board
* You can combine with up to 4 other challenges.
* No Backlinking allowed! Any back-linked entries will be deleted.
* You can enter up to 5 times, create whatever you want, and HAVE FUN!

You have until November 30, 11:59pm EST to enter!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October Mixed Media Monthly Challenge

The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog has already started having October fun. We had a wonderful prize sponsor this month - Grumbacher , a top name in art supplies. They sent us some goodies to use on our projects.

Our inspiration this month was this fun word puzzle. Any word you can find in this puzzle is game! Grumbacher sent us acrylic paints, acrylic inks, and woodless colored pencils.

This is the prize package we will award the winner of this month's challenge

I chose the word "Moon" for my challenge, and I am obviously in a beach / coastal state of mind.

I covered my wood block with collage papers and let it dry, then dripped water and alcohol ink to get the watery effect. I used acrylic paints on the moon paper as well as the water. There is sooo many possibilities with this. Since I usually coat my projects with an acrylic water based sealer, I knew that the colored pencils would possibly run, but they are wonderful and feel great on paper. If you are using them for an art journal - they will be fabulous.

In order to play along, please follow these rules to be eligible for placements and prizes. Entries without our Challenge Graphic or Link Back to us will be deleted.

* You must use our challenge graphic in your challenge post.
* You must comment on at least 3 design team member's blogs.
* Your post must link back to the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge post
* Add a link to your direct post, not your entire blog, a YouTube Video or a Pinterest Board
* You can combine with up to 4 other challenges.
* No Backlinking allowed! Any back-linked entries will be deleted.
* You can enter up to 5 times, create whatever you want, and HAVE FUN!

You have until October 31, 11:59pm EST to enter! at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog.

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful month!

Monday, August 31, 2015

September Mixed Media Monthly Challenge

It's always a fun day in the studio when I work on creations for the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog. This month's challenge was something different - a photo inspiration!

If you are new to the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge, it's a fun way to get motivated to create (if you need motivation) and just for participating, your name will be put in a random drawing for a prize? How cool is that?  Just create something for that month's challenge, photograph it, and link up your image on the MMMC homepage. It's so easy!

Our prize this month is a one month free membership to Brave Girl's Club!  Brave Girls' Club "Brave Girl University" opens September 1 and Angela Magnuson (owner/creator of Unity Stamp Co and also a Brave Girl contributor) is giving away one month free to our random winner (value $24.95).

We are so excited to have  Julie Balzer as our guest designer this month!! Be sure to check out her creation as well as the entire team on the homepage! 

Here is the inspiration photo for the September challenge.

Isn't that a fun photo? So many things to jumpstart a creation. Large shapes (circles, faces, flowers, buttons...) and there are even plants and plates with fashion models on them. And the color!!! 

So here is my creation for this challenge.

I found a paper that resembled the fence, and a large flower stamp that I used to represent the tires. I rummaged through my stash and found a die cut with a lady on it that I added. At the bottom of the inspiration photo, you can see the word "enjoy" so I added the quote using "Joy". I used paint, stamps, Stayz on ink (black), stickers and a punch.  The base is a 5.5" x 5.5" x 1.5" block of wood. I love using this size - it's fun for gifts and doesn't take up much room on a shelf, desk or wall. 

I can't wait to see all the wonderful creations based on the photos. Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Artist Appreciation Month

I'm late in the month, but August is Artist Appreciation Month. No, that doesn't mean you send me gift cards, but you can if you want. For this post I'm going to share which artists inspire me. I was informed of this wonderful holiday by Patience Brewster, an artist known for unique handmade gifts and Christmas ornaments, to share my story of which artists have impacted me personally.

Here is one of Patience Brewster's "Dasher" ornaments that I think is so absolutely fun.

So, thinking about my journey as an artist includes so many influences - from my first oil painting instructor (and I can't seem to find where he is today but has become active in Arts for the Parks), to my first watercolor instructor, and on and on. All these teachers inspired me, grounded me, and taught me tremendously... But somehow I still wasn't "free". There was still something more that needed to be released.

I wrote on my paper crafting blog in the spring of 2010 about the start of a new artistic journey. After setting painting full time aside and diving into the world of designing papercrafts projects for manufacturers and publications for a few years, something new was brewing. This is my journal entry:


As of late, I've had an obsession with Alice. I saw the new Alice movie last month and was "enchanted" with the artistry in the film...the costumes, the color (or lack of), the characters. It was all so "artsy". I wanted to see it again the next day, but didn't. Besides stirring the artist in me, I related to Alice in a strange way. Grown up Alice was "expected" to conform to society, she was expected to dress a certain way and marry a certain man and live a certain life. I tried this mold on for the past seven months. I took a corporate job, sat at a corporate desk, and brought home a corporate paycheck. But I was dying inside. After three months the artist inside of me was screaming to get out. Yet, I was so tired at the end of the day, that I couldn't physically do anything creative. After months of prayer and patiently waiting, I finally found my way out and couldn't be happier in my spirit.

The first thing I painted on my new journey - without consciously thinking about it - was - Alice. I was inspired by a recent issue of Somerset Studios magazine - their theme throughout the magazine was Alice. I picked it up on a recent trip to Texas, and I couldn't put it down. I also was inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts. But what turned me on to Kelly Roberts was an art post by Courtney Walsh on her blog several years ago. Courtney, you have no idea how much I was screaming on the inside while sitting at the corporate America desk bored out of my mind reading this post. I guess one just doesn't know how much we can effect the lives of someone else. Thank you for being the little white rabbit for me to follow. I didn't know it at the time, but it was the beginning of a journey.

So....I came home from our trip to Six Flags and opened my box of art supplies that the UPS man delivered the week before. (Yes, I haven't even opened the box because I knew once I did, there was no turning back) I followed the techniques in Kelly Robert's book and drawing from inspiration in the books and magazines, came up with several whimsical versions of Alice.

Since that blog post five years ago, I have had an amazing fast paced artistic journey that still keeps me out of breath. The sky is the limit and the feedback and comments people share are heartwarming. My love for mixed media has not dulled, and my imagination is soaring with ideas that I can't implement fast enough.

I have done several more "Alice" mixed media pieces. This is one of my favorites. It's 20"x 20" and has a home with a beautiful little girl.

If you are a mixed media artist, considering joining the challenges at Mixed Media Monthly Challenge. There is a wide variety of artists and crafters that participate, and frankly, I would welcome more mixed media "art" projects. We have some very cool prize sponsors coming up for the rest of the year and some fun challenges. 

This is one of the latest of my mixed media paintings.

I would love to hear in your comments about some artists that have impacted you personally through your journey.

And after you comment, check out the fun artistic ornaments by Patience Brewster

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I Love Going Coastal

I love going to the Gulf Coast. There's something truly amazing about the waves crashing to the shore. I love to take my dime store beach chair (the kind that you can put in the water) with me and sit and sit for hours until the sun sets.

I was blessed to go with over 75 ladies from our area for a Peace, Love and Girlfriends Beach Retreat.(Just days after a weekend in Hot Springs with family) We stayed a beautiful condo on Orange Beach, were pampered by the most amazing women who left treats on our pillows every time we left the room, and shared fun times.

One our last night, we ventured to Lulu Buffet's Restaurant in Gulf Shores. Can you tell we are all from the same group? lol.

We closed our retreat with a fun get together in one of the conference rooms where we performed fun skits and shared girlfriend time.

I never get tired of beach umbrellas, beautiful beach homes, and walking along the shore picking up seashells.

This is just one of the fun photos I took and sent to hubby throughout the week. I call this one "Waiting for sunset".

And there it is...... beautiful sunsets. I love the reflections in the water.

We just secured a beautiful rental in the 30A area of Florida for another girls weekend in 2016.

Meanwhile, I'm getting ready for cooler weather, fall activities and chipping away at art orders that have been piling up. I'm going to make a point to update my blog more often than once a month. If you haven't found me on facebook or instagram - be sure to follow me there for daily posts.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for August

I always have a blast working on mixed media pieces for the Mixed Media Challenge Blog. This month's challenge is to use text in your project. I LOVE using text in my projects.

 If you are new to the challenge - please join in! Go to the homepage for the place to post the link of your project.

Here's my project.

"Swamp Tours" is 28" x 30" on stretched canvas. I used papers, burlap, gold leafing, seed beads, cardstock tag, fabric alphabets, cardstock stickers and paint. The surface was sealed with a layer of resin.

Here's a closeup of the alphabet before I poured the resin.

We can't wait to see what you come up with for the challenge. Here are the rules:

Please follow these rules to be eligible for placements and prizes

* You must use our challenge graphic in your challenge post.
* You must comment on at least 3 design team member's blogs. 
* Your post must link back to the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge post
* Add a link to your direct postnot your entire blog, a YouTube Video or a Pinterest Board
* You can combine with up to 4 other challenges. 
* No Backlinking allowed! Any back-linked entries will be deleted.
* You can enter up to 5 times, create whatever you want, and HAVE FUN!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Scratch That off my Bucket List

If I actually DID have a bucket list and it had a "see in concert" section, the top of that section would be The Eagles. So I got wind of them coming to "a city near me" in March and low and behold my sweet hubby got seats as soon as they went on sale. I had no idea HOW BADLY I wanted to go until a few days before the concert. Two nights before I couldn't sleep and went on Instagram and saw photos and video from that night's concert in Little Rock. I also found out that they didn't want anyone taking video or photos. Most of the concerts I attend allow non SLR camera's and I have a great zoom on my point and shoot and my photos are fabulous. I read why the band had the rule - so people will ENJOY the concert without distractions. They also asked that people remain seated. I really liked that. So I was free to enjoy the concert without worrying about getting the "perfect" shot.

This is hubby and me riding in our friend's van on the way to Bossier City to eat dinner before the concert.

And the image on the video screen before it started.

They played 27 songs. They opened with "Saturday Night" (one of my favorites, but if you never listened to their entire albums, you wouldn't know it). People behind me were talking. Did they realize that this was NOT an opening act? Come on. Next was "Train Leaves Here This Morning". I wasn't familiar with this song until the morning of the concert. I read the song list and it was the only one I didn't know - so I listened to it before the concert. The fifth song was Doolin' Dalton and during the "history" video telling about how the song and "Desperado" album came about,  the loud talker started up again. I missed most of the video because I actually turned around and asked him to "please" . Please was all I said with a praying hand motion. He stopped for most of the concert. Folks, please educate your friends and children about concert (and theater) etiquette. People are paying for their seat to hear the music, singers and/or performers. It's not a ballgame. It's not an outdoor festival. You sit down and shut up. I'm seriously considering starting a social media sight and post photos of all the venue loudmouths that I'm seated around. Please don't be on that sight.

So, at some point during the first few songs - I had a "moment" of awe that brought tears to my eyes. Wow is all I can say. Watching the members, hearing the history. Just wow. And I broke the rules. I had to have a photo. A photo to remind myself that it was real. That I was there. That they were there.

From far left to right: Bernie Leadon, Timothy B. Schmidt, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Stuart Smith (guitarist..not from orignal band), and in the back on drums, Don Henley.

Our seats were on the 2nd level, so my photo isn't very good, but there is my memory.

The encore songs were Hotel California, Take It Easy, Rocky Mountain Way, then Desperado. They took their final (and not only was this their final "History of the Eagles" tour, but who knows if it is their last as a band - every) bow of the night, walked to each side of the stage with house lights up and waved, and waved ... walked and waved.... and the last set of tears streamed down my face. The crowd left their seats and lined up to get out of the very crowded Centurytel Center in Bossier and me and my husband sat in our seats and just let it soak in what we just spend three hours listening to.

and... because I had absolutely no room on my phone - my husband broke a few rules. He recorded a couple of the encore songs for me. Out of respect to my favorite band, I won't post it here, but I have the file - for myself - to replay and remember.

Good night.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer Theme for Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog

If you just stumbled on this blog post - this post is about mixed media art. Every month, I post a new mixed media project in conjunction with the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog, and for those that participate - there are prizes involved via a random drawing.

So - the theme for this month's mixed media project is "Summer Days".

We're SO excited to announce our July sponsor and prize! Our sponsor is the awesome online store Butterfly Reflections Ink .  They are offering an amazing mixed media prize package for our lucky random winner.

Here's my creation. It's 12" x 12" on birch wood. It's mostly patterned papers, but I also used acrylic paint, Faber Castell Big Brush Pens (India ink), waterproof black pen (Millenium or Pitt) and even cardboard.

I started out by putting various patterned papers on wood with matte medium.

Next, I cut out my shapes (water, sun, tree, van) and played around to see where I wanted everything. I had a pencil sketch of my idea, and used it for reference. The most time consuming part is choosing the papers. I outlined most of the shapes with brush pens and black fine tip ink. I toned down the beach "sand" with tan paint so the patterned paper wasn't too distracting.

I love the summer and what better "dream" to have but a retro VW van and the beach.

In order to participate in this challenge - we have the following rules

1. You must use our challenge graphic in your challenge post. 
2. You must comment on at least 3 design team members blogs
3. You may combine with up to 4 more challenges

So, get busy creating and link your image up at the July Challenge post at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog. 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

New Orleans, Music and June

The calendar pages just keep turning faster than I can catch my breath.

(Warning - long post with lots of photos!!)

 I'm still filling orders from before summer started and trying to keep up with art for the galleries. The month started off teaching and art class to a great group of young artists. We studied Van Gogh.

Then one night my hubby wisked me away to Boston! (Not the city - the BAND!)

 I still can't believe we got to hear them in person. This was in Jackson, Mississippi.

The next week, we sent my daughter to camp. Hubby and I packed the dog and our two bicycles and went to New Orleans for a week. We stayed in an adorable shotgun house on Dauphine in the Marigny District that we found on www.vrbo.com.

It was about 8 blocks from the French Quarter, where we rode our bikes to every day. We walked to Frenchmen Street (4 blocks) every evening to stroll from one Jazz club to the next to enjoy the best music in a very artsy, bohemian setting. We couldn't wait until Thursday when the Frenchmen Street Art Market opened. We have always loved that place.

One night our friends from Covington drove down and took us to the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone on Royal. We took photos in the carousel mirror and saw strange images in the reflection. (haunted??? hmmmmm) Then we strolled a few doors down and heard Washboard Chaz  - you just really never know who you will see and hear when in the Big Easy.

We visited the French Market one morning and almost rode our bikes into the live shooting of a new HBO show called "Quarry". It's set in the 70's - so our modern bicycles would have been out of place in that scene. I still can't believe when I heard a man's voice say "Can you stop?", that I actually replied "Why?".... when normally I would have peddled faster. He replied "Because they are shooting.." and I turned and said "Like....bang...bang??" lol. We toured the inside of the St. Louis Cathedral (yes, air conditioning!) and ate breakfast on cute bistro tables on street corners.

We met this book author at the French Market.

Hubby hired this street poet to write a poem to me on her non-electric typewriter. What a teasure!

Sandra and her daughter that own Cajun Corral Farm at the Frenchmen Street Art Market. I bought the nicest goatmilk tropical scented lotion from her.

We had a romantic dinner at Adolfo's next to the Frenchmen Street Art Market on our last night. Then headed home the next day to pick up our daughter from camp!!

 She was there with several friends from the youth theater, but she met several new friends as well.

She was awarded a Craft Award from her craft teacher, Missy Robertson (yes, the one from Duck Dynasty), and her other teacher was Mrs. Howard (Korie's mom)

My Happy Camper!!
One wonderful summer month - almost over. Ready for the next adventure. Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to follow me at Melanie Douthit Art Studio on facebook - or on Instagram at DouthitArt

Have a great day.