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Welcome (back) to Mixed Media Artist!

Hi, I'm Cyndi, and I've been writing and updating  Mixed Media Artist since 2005.  If you're a new visitor, welcome! Come tr...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Paper quilting


I often use a mixture of paper and fabrics in my quilted pieces. Look-See, however, is entirely paper, including some dress-pattern tissue.

1. Make two copies of the template that you wish to use on plain white paper. One is to cut up and the other is for reference.



2. Cut up your papers into the correct shapes. You can paint, stamp, ink, or do any other pigment embellishment either before or after cutting them up…your choice. You can see that I painted over my papers with some diluted raw sienna to soften and dull the colors. At this point they are not attached to the paper below them; I want them to still be loose to make it easier to embellish them with stitching.


3. Prepare any delicate embellishments like leaves or fragile papers and glue them onto the appropriate block if they will only be covering a single block. Otherwise, wait until step 5 after you’ve attached the blocks to the cardstock “batting”. Use an adhesive with as little water as possible, maybe even spray adhesive if the item is crumbly. Here you can see how I cut out one of the templates to use as a guide in finding the best spot to cut from the dress-pattern tissue. This tissue is very delicate and needs careful handling. It will not be attached until after step 5 since it will cover several blocks.

4. Sew decorative stitching onto the individual blocks as desired. I use embroidery floss, both cotton and silk.

5. Using your reference template, tack the pieces down to appropriate colored cardstock. I usually use black, unless the piece is very light colored. You can use a simple swipe of a gluestick for this. Add any delicate pieces reserved from step 3. Cut around the outside of the whole piece with an exacto knife, trimming the cardstock even with the quilt edges.

6. Using a larger needle, poke holes through all layers, and then embellish the seams and the outside edges as desired, and add any additional stitching that your eye now tells you is needed.

7. Glue on large or heavy embellishments and "sew" into place, just for looks.

8. Glue the whole piece to watercolor paper or matt board. Weight it carefully until dry.

Copyright 2006 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.



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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A photographic collage


While there are still beautiful leaves available for the plucking or gathering, here’s another way to store them away for later. Last week, we dealt with the individual leaves, but this week we’re creating backgrounds to use…both now and later!


Start by arranging your leaves all over a large piece of paper. Cover the paper thoroughly, overlapping the leaves. I used white here so it would show up better, but a dark color is better to use for the real thing. Somehow, there is always a white spot that ends up showing through otherwise!


Take lots of photos of the leaves, some close up, some at a distance. Just shoot away at anything that looks good. Store all these files for later use in making digital collages.


While your leaves are still strewn about, add some 3D objects to the mix and snap photos of these too. Wow, two for the price of one…a collage now and more later!


Add any background papers you please behind the shots you decide to keep. I scanned these background papers a long time ago, and now I use them digitally all the time, modifying the size and color to suit.
Copyright 2006 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Transparent digital backgrounds


This is a great time of year to collect leaves to use in future projects. Some people like to dry them in either the microwave or by pressing in a book. But I prefer to use them digitally. You never have to worry about the colors fading or the leaf crumbling with time, and as a bonus, you can use the same perfect leaf over and over!

My favorite technique with leaves is to scan them on a very bright white background. If you want to do a traditional collage with them, just print them out and cut away! You can even change the colors in your photo-editing software. If you’ve got Photoshop or another really good tool, you can also remove the background easily so that they can be dropped digitally into your work.

Photoshop’s what I use, so I’ll explain the basic steps that will allow you to remove the background quickly for digital collages.

1. Open the scanned image in Photoshop. Resize and tweak as you want.

2. Double click on the background layer in your layers palette. A box will open up called “New Layer”. Make sure that the layer is named “Layer 0″ and that “none” is checked under “Color”. Hit “OK”.

3. Select “Color Range”, and select the white background. Hit “OK”.

4. Hit the delete key, deselect, and you can now move your images into a digital collage. If the selection doesn’t come out clean enough, go back and feather your selection by a couple of pixels before deleting the background.

Copyright 2006 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


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Hi again!


Mixed Media Artist, which I have enjoyed writing since 2005 (!!!) is going to be the new home for my tutorials.

If you're a new visitor, welcome! Come travel with me through a mixed media art wonderland, where no materials are considered too strange to use in making something!

My constant cry as a young child was, “Please Mommy! Don’t throw that out. I can make something out of that!” No surprise that years later, it became the cry of my daughter as well (pictured above). It’s wonderful having a kindred spirit to share with. I hope that you each have someone in your life to share your passions with, and I hope that you’ll come and share them with me as well.

If you enjoy Mixed Media Artist, please feel free to also visit my other websites and blogs:

Mazel Tov! Jewelry Treasures
Wildest Dreams Designs
Why Not Art
Beading Arts
Real Food Fast





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Monday, October 16, 2006

A new direction!







I have been blessed to be hired by b5media, the wonderful blogging network, to write their mixed media and jewelry arts blogs! Layers Upon Layers just launched last week, so please join me there for daily posts on all aspects of mixed media lunacy!

Jewelry & Beading will be charting my adventures in jewelry making, where no material is safe from having a hole drilled in it!

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