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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...


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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Making a painted foil pin

Here’s a fast and easy project you can do with left overs from the painted foil backgrounds that you’ve made. Haven’t made any yet? Well go ahead…here are the instructions…I’ll wait!


1. Cut out pieces of painted foil to use in your pin. Cut one larger one that will be the background, and as many smaller pieces as you want.

2. Trace around the background piece onto a piece of foam-core. Cut it out with an exacto knife.

3. Paint the back and sides of the foam-core with black acrylic paint. Let it dry.

4. Use resin or Diamond Glaze to adhere the foil piece to the front of the foam-core. Attach the other pieces as well.

5. Apply an image or some text to the back of a flat-backed glass stone. Glue it in place. Glue on any additional embellishments.

6. When the front is thoroughly dry, use resin or glaze to attach a bar pin onto the back. Let it dry.

Copyright 2007 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, July 24, 2007

Painted foil backgrounds

Plain old aluminum foil makes a wonderful background for collage, and also can be a nice accent to add to a larger piece, especially when the foil is painted. There are only a couple of tricks to making paint work with foil, and as long as those points are observed, your experiments with these techniques can go on and on and on!


1. Use very thin washes of acrylic paints and build up your layers slowly. However, do not thin your paints with water. It will seem ok at first, but later on the paint will peel off or chip. The painted foil pieces will only stand the test of time if you use an acrylic medium to thin the paints. My preference is Golden’s GAC 100, but I have also used Golden’s glazing medium. I like to make the paint layers very thin so that the metallic sheen of the foil shows through. Otherwise, there’s not much point in using foil as a substrate!


2. Let your layers of paint dry slowly. You can use a heat gun, but keep it well back from the foil. Since the foil will grab and hold the heat, it’s really easy to overheat and boil your paints. That might give you an interesting look if that’s what you’re after, but it also keeps the paint from adhering well to the foil. Do a lot of pieces at one time so that you don’t get bored waiting. I used cheesecloth for extra texture on this one.


3. Start your session by wrapping foil around heavy pieces of cardstock or chipboard. When everything is finished a dry, you can either leave the pieces wrapped, or you can cut them into different shapes and unwrap or re-wrap them. This piece has that plastic grocery bag stuff on it.


4. This piece has a different type of plastic grocery bag stuff on it, and I dry-brushed it with bright gold to really bring out the texture.


Copyright 2007 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, July 17, 2007

Making woven paper pieces


I’ll bet you remember doing paper weavings when you were a child. My memories of this craft involves blunt-nosed scissors that you couldn’t possibly get a clean cut with, and trying to keep those cuts as straight as possible. Not the most artistic results! Now that I’m a big girl, and I get to use an exacto knife, my shapes and weavings are a bit more interesting. Although my slicings and weavings are nowhere near as intricate as Georgia Russell’s, I’m still much happier with them than the laminated woven paper placemats that I used to make!

1. Cut and decorate two pieces of paper that are approximately the same size and shape. For my piece, I cut the background paper that I made last week in half.

2. Using a very sharp exacto knife, slice one of the pieces vertically, varying the width and shape of the slices. Leave 1/4 inch still attached at the top so that all the slices stay in order.

3. Slice the other piece horizontally, all the way through, also varying the size and shape of the slices. Keep these slices in order as you cut them.

4. Weave the second set of slices, alternating under and over, onto the piece with the slices still attached. As you finish weaving each slice, push it firmly up toward the top where the uncut end is. When you are finished weaving all your slices, use the exacto knife to finish slicing through each strip at the top.

5. Attach the woven piece to a piece of card stock or other backing if needed to keep the pieces from unweaving.

Copyright 2007 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, July 10, 2007

Making a mixed text background


The original inspiration for this background was a bag of letter blocks that I found in an antique store…SCORE!! Using my new toys, I decided to make some background papers for use in other projects. Here’s how to make a very simple style of mixed text background paper.

Materials and tools:

Watercolor paper
Assorted texts
Letter and/or other stamps
Matte medium
Foam brush
Black ink
Acrylic paint
Glazing medium


1. Rip up different texts, including foreign text, dictionary pages, envelopes, and any other ephemera you want to use. I included old sheet music as well.


2. Arrange them on a heavy piece of watercolor paper and use matte medium and a foam brush to stick them down. Brush more matte medium over the top surface. Let it dry.


3. Use a permanent black ink to stamp the surface with the letter blocks and stamps. Apply acrylic glazes to pull the colors of the text together.

Copyright 2007 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, July 03, 2007

Creating a weathered metal background


My daughter recently bought a roll of metallic vinyl with an adhesive backing. It seemed like the perfect material to use in order to try the weathered metal technique that everyone on the Altered Books email group was talking about. It’s a very simple technique, and you probably already have everything you need between your paint box and your basement! If you don’t have a wide piece of vinyl tape like mine, you can substitute automotive foil tape or even plain old duct tape!
Materials and tools:

Wide brushed steel vinyl tape
Cardstock
Foam brush
Heat gun
Medium grit sand paper
3 colors of acrylic paint (I used Golden’s heavy bodied cobalt turquoise, cobalt teal, and titian buff)


1. Cut a piece of card stock to the size you want for your finished background. Cover it with metallic tape, layering the tape if needed. If you are using thin tape, criss-cross the surface of the card stock somewhat randomly.


2. Sand the surface lightly, going in all directions, including in a circular pattern.

3. Choose two related colors of acrylic paint, one a lighter version of the other. With a foam brush, apply the darker color to the surface, but don’t cover the entire piece. Let it dry completely, using a heat gun if you want.


4. Apply the lighter color, but again don’t cover the whole piece. Let it dry. For your last layer, apply a white or cream color to the top, still not covering the whole piece. When you are finished, there should still be some areas of metal showing through.


5. Once the piece is thoroughly dry, sand it again. Sand unevenly, cutting through all or just some of the layers of paint. There is no formula for this: just do it until it looks good. If you sand too much or don’t like the look in a particular area, you can always reapply paint and try again!

Copyright 2007 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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