Friday, October 30, 2009

Artsy blogging round-up!


Aileen's Musings
Aileen offers, just barely in time for Day of the Dead or Halloween, an easy peasy earrings tutorial!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
On the Craftside of things there is a free Japanese bunnies and moon piece of clip art, a cool video full of tips on altering a pattern, a how-to on folding paper ricrac, a cool source for vintage style findings and using research magazine pictures as ATC canvases in an altered book.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy found out crocheting chemo hats is trickier than she thought, but she found success.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Halloween Decoration using my craft supply stash to make Jack O' Lanterns.

The Artful Crafter
Make some romantic mood light candles with decorative tissue paper and decoupage medium.

The Impatient Crafter
This is a story of a refugee who found her strength in creativity. Though she recently died, her story lives on. Please read and share the story of Haiffaa Ali.

Vickie Howell-Craft.Rock.Love
Vickie shows how to customize photo mats to go with your favorite photos!

About Family Crafts
Sherri gives you an excuse to craft every day during the month of November using this calendar of events.

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Thursday, October 29, 2009






















Buy at Art.com
Designer Foliage I
Norm Olson
16x20 Fine ...
Buy From Art.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recent publications: October 2009


Quilting Art: Inspiration, Ideas & Innovative Works from 20 Contemporary Quilters by Spike Gillespie

Paperwork: Peter Clark by Matthew Sturgis

Who's Your DADA?: Redefining the Doll through Mixed Media by Linda O'Brien and Opie O'Brien

Journal Spilling: Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression by Diana Trout

Dirty Fingernails: A One-of-a-Kind Collection of Graphics Uniquely Designed by Hand by John Foster



Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Problems with the Petals image



Hey folks, if you've emailed me for a 300 dpi copy of the picture above to use in your artwork, and haven't receive a reply, I'm terribly sorry. Turns out that the image is a bit too big for some of our email programs. Please email me again, and I'll send you a link to where you can right click download it online. cyndi @ mazeltovjewelry.com (remove the spaces)



Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Progress on my pear quilt


I'm getting there!

I've had to fit the quilt project into any available time, and since this is a busy time of year for me with magazine articles and such, I haven't gotten quite as far as I would have liked. However, it's coming!

Here's what I started with, the sketches:



And here are the fabrics that I chose:



I traced my pattern pieces onto lightweight fusible interfacing and applied them to the backs of the fabrics.





This is what the original set of pears looked like. They're not stitched, just stacked together. I changed my mind about one of the colors though. They seemed a bit dull, so even though it's anatomically incorrect, I selected a brighter color for the part of the core surrounding the seeds.


Time to get stitching!





Copyright 2009 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.

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Artsy blogging round-up!



About Family Crafts

Sherri offers several free pumpkin carving patterns for you to download and use!

Aileen's Musings
This week Aileen offers a free pumpkin label for you to download and print. Also, a very cool photo manipulation site, so gather your favorite pictures and have some fun!

Cathie Filian
Make a warm mug of Chai Tea at home with this traditional recipe from Cathie.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
At Craftside there is a free cross stitch pattern, a downoadable label and idea for a spooky Halloween decoration and some wild pumpkins, a sneak peek into the new book What is Illustration?, how to sew gathers and ruffles and finally a fun question to be answered to be entered to win a free craft book.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Diggity Doggity, the crocheted dog blanket is done!

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Linda revisits a quilt she made a while back.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Polymer Clay Candy Corn Beads Hot out of the Oven made using a "recipe" from the book The Polymer Clay Cookbook
The Artful Crafter
Make a pretty fall triple wreath wall hanging for your own wall or as a housewarming gift. With a little imagination, you can adapt the design for Christmas or just about any other occasion/season.

The Impatient Crafter
Madge scares up another fiendishly fabulous mixed media design for Halloween!


Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book review: Framing mixed media art

If you’re like me, you often end up with a piece that is hard to imagine framed in a traditional style. Even so, I think that the basic principles of how to choose a good frame are the best place to start when making your choices. Here are three sources of info that I think you will find very very helpful: a book, a blog, and a commercial site.

Frame It!
by Tonia Davenport

This book is brilliant! Because Tonia works with media that aren’t always perfectly flat, she has come up with scads of great ideas for framing the same. There is also a wealth of good basic information on mat cutting and traditional frames.

How to Match the Correct Frame to Your Art, a blog post by Dan at The Empty Easel. Dan talks about how to choose a frame that will match the style of the work. Although his focus is on paintings, the basic information certainly holds for mixed media. He is also another advocate of thinking iit through to determine whether a frame is even the best choice at all!

Lastly, how would you like to get an idea of what it will all look like before you buy the materials? Check out ImageKind. Although you’re limited to traditional styles of frames with this site, it’s still a great resource for getting an idea of what different color combos and styles will do to your piece…because you can upload a file to the site and build a virtual frame around it! Pretty cool, huh?

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Flower petals" giveaway


Several family members gave me flowers for a rather large {ahem} numbered birthday last month. I can never stand to throw flowers out until I've photographed them right down to the last withered petal. I rather think this mixture of dried rose petals looks prettier now than they did when they were fresh and perky :-)

Even though my birthday is past, I'd like to give you a present! If you would like to use this image as a texture background or something else in your personal mixed media work, just email me with "Petals" in the subject line. I'll send you a 300 dpi version of it that you're welcome to use. Just please don't sell the original image...it's fine to sell your completed piece that includes it!

Email cyndi @ mazeltovjewelry.com (remove the spaces) for your free image.


Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Results: Signature style


The Question of the Month for October:
What is your signature style or something you are known for? How did it come into being?


I received an answer from Nikki Yeager, who has a lot of mixed media art on her website. Nikki writes:
My signature style is probably a mixture of a few different things- canvas, paint, anything that's attachable and irony. My friends like to say I'm the type of artist that makes you stop, do a double take and ask yourself "why is that there?" I like to think my creativity just explodes onto my canvas. Either way you look at it, my art is rather spontaneous, so maybe that's my style? Spontaneity.




Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Aerosol art in Maine


There is a lovely ocean walk that follows the coast in South Portland, Maine. On the beautiful September morning that Mike and I strolled it, we met another Mike...this one a 35 year old artist who was painting en plein air, just like you'll find at any beautiful coastal vista. But as you can see above, Mike was painting with an spray can.



No, he wasn't vandalizing private property. Rather, this wall has been set aside especially for the use of graffiti artists. Each artist paints, maintains, and repaints a section of the enormous wall. Mike told me that he likes the term aerosol art rather than graffiti. "I was involved in graffiti when I was a kid. Now I've got two kids of my own, and I'd rather have them see me doing respectable art," he told me when I asked him what term he liked best for his art form.




Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Friday, October 16, 2009

Artsy blogging round-up!



The Impatient Crafter

Madge is one degree from Martha! Check out her upcoming appearance at the Grand Opening of Michaels in Manhattan!

Vickie Howell-Craft.Rock.Love
This week Vickie launched her new PBS Parents column, Craft Apparent. Check out her first article, a how-to on making utterly adorable baby costumes, starting with just a plain onsie!

About Family Crafts
Follow these directions and disscover how easy it is to sew a felt tote bag that is perfect for trick-or-treating!

Aileen's Musings
Come meet Aileen's friends Herm & Ethel (they're baccck!), and download a couple of freebie e-postcards to send Halloween greetings to your friends!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside went a little artsy this week with inside peeks into the books; Hope: A Collection of Obama Posters and Prints, The Daily Book of Art, Really Good Packaging Design Explained and 1001 Ideas for Stonework, but there are also tons of great Sizzix die cut applique designs made by the designers at Halloween Swap-o-Rama-Rama.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy has a package ready to go out the door for her new jewelry making book.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Connie has another inspirational pattern, this time with an abstract flair. The chart is easy - whole cross stitch and a wee bit of back stitch.

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Linda visited a few quilt shops in Toronto and shares her finds.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Vintage Hankie Scarf made using the tutorial from the Indygo Junction book Hankie Style

The Artful Crafter
Eileen shows you how to create a simple but festive Halloween cupcake stand from terracotta pots.






Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ceramic artist: Liz Kohler



Artist: Liz Kohler

Website: Thin Line Ceramics

To find inspiration for my work I search my back yard, hiking trails, and gardens for plants, flowers, and shapes that interest me. Whenever a plant catches my eye, I take it to my studio to “sketch” the form out of clay. The forms I create out of these sketches contain elements of plants I collect, however I do not attempt to create copies of existing plant forms. Instead I borrow inspiration from nature, like so many artists before me, in an attempt to bring the beauty of plant life indoors.



The bright and bold colors I use rarely depict the accurate color of the objects that inspire me, but instead boldly complement the delicate intricacy of the forms. The act of romanticizing the plants by re-interpreting their form and color, transforms the dried-up plants I begin with into seductive textures and intricately curvaceous forms.

I attempt to make each piece a sculpture as well as a functional object, and hope my viewers ponder how the piece was made, and wonder what the piece “is” or was inspired by.






Technorati Tags:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The beginning of a new quilt

I've decided to make a companion piece to the tomato quilt that I finished last month. This one is going to feature pears, so here are some of my preliminary sketches and some enlargements that I hope to use:


I have to admit that I find it very very tedious to sketch the same thing over and over, so maybe I quit sketching before I really should have this time. If these abstracted designs don't end up working out, I'll just try again :-)


Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Monday, October 12, 2009

Question of the Month: Signature style?

The Question of the Month for October:
What is your signature style or something you are known for? How did it come into being?

I guess I’m best known for not making the same thing twice! A lot of that comes from being an educator at heart: I was an English professor for 10 years. When I shifted my focus entirely to the art side, I knew that I didn’t want to end up back in a classroom, but I still wanted to help other people on their own journey. Just when I think I’ve found a style that I could stick with forever, the itch to move on starts up again :-)

How about you? You can send me an image to post along with your name, website link, and an explanation of your signature style if you’d like. I’d love to be able to share it with everyone. Email me at cyndi @ mazeltovjewelry.com (remove the spaces).



Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Artsy blogging round-up!



The Artful Crafter
If you don’t live in the southwest, you may not even know about this huge football homecoming tradition, but you can still enjoy Eileen’s tongue-in-cheek directions for making the most outrageous Homecoming Mum Corsage ever.

The Crochet Dude
Drew has a great free crochet pattern for a creepy-cute Halloween treat bag called "I Want My Mummy!"

About Family Crafts
It is never too early or too late to begin planning a Halloween party, and you are sure to find something creative here to help with your planning.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen has not 1 but 2 giveaways for you. Enter her Fall giveaway and download a freebie background while your at it.

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Win a fun prize pack in honor of Swelldesigner's 24 Halloween Crafts in 24 Hours on October 8th

Cathie Filian
Kids will flip for this Halloween Punch and Witches Brew Punch Bowl.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside has a bunch of tutorials and ideas for an eco friendly rib bone Halloween decoration, a quarter circle mini journal/Christmas ornament, painting spotted eggs, and how to make mail art while out for a walk.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Charity begins at homes, at least that's what Tammy's dogs reminded her about when they caught her making another crochet square.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Stitch up some cute little traffic signs, including this warning sign design for your child's play set or to decorate a jacket.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how I took a pattern from Drew Emborsky's Fun New book "All Washed Up" for a test spin Halloween Style!


Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Polymer clay artist: Layl McDill

Fish Flyer


Polymer clay artist: Layl McDill
Website: Clay Squared to Infinity

When I first started using polymer clay in 1993 I only used it as an embellishment to my fabric and mixed media sculptures but it wasn’t long before I began working only in polymer clay. I am mainly obsessed with the millefiore technique because it is always challenging and exciting. I build pictures in colored clay that are about the size of a large paint can. The colors go all the way through and you can see the picture on each end. I then stretch this “cane” out until everything is about the diameter of a quarter. I call my millefiore canes “Silly Millies” and enjoy the idea that they become parts of other arts creations. I sell them to people all over the world so I love the idea of my fanciful slices of clay ending up on all kinds of things.

Giraffe millefiore

I have been working full time as an artist since graduating from Columbus College of Art and Design in 1993. My degree was in illustration but I ended up mainly selling my work at art's festivals and galleries. I love to travel all over the country and set up my fanciful world of polymer clay creations. I also love to demonstrate the technique and watch people’s jaws drop when they realize how it works. Creating canes is always like magic and I love sharing it with my customers and collectors.

She Checked Her Compass

I love to create sculptures that have multi layers in the way the piece is viewed and perceived. The visual effect comes from the tiny pieces of millefiore that cover a sculpture- at first you see the over all sculpture but as you look closer you see images making up other patterns- skunks, turtles, fish, cats, bugs and so on- you feel like you can never see it all. I also try to achieve multi layers in meaning and story by using symbolism that can be either personal or universal. Every time you come to a piece I hope that you see and experience something new.



Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Book Review: Creative Collage Techniques

One of my favorite authors is Nita Leland. All of her books challenge you to think about color and design in ways that stretch your current repertoire. Creative Collage Techniques is the very best book on the market for people who want to learn many many many different ways to approach collage! There are other good books out there, but this is my top pick. It is also relatively inexpensive in comparison to some newer books that don’t offer nearly the depth of this one.

Happy happy joy joy too! I found that Nita has a blog. Now we can keep up with this remarkable and energetic artist and have an inside track on new projects!



Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Town Hall art show


Our town has been holding an arts fest for a couple of years now, called Art Smart. Local artists, musicians, teachers, and organizations are invited to participate. It's the only "show" that I do anymore, and even though I sell very little (sometimes nothing) at it, I still like to get out there once a year and hear what people are thinking.

Why do a show that you know doesn't cater to your target audience? I love my town and I love the people. Sometimes that's good enough.

Obviously from the picture of my booth above, you can see that my main focus in mixed media jewelry. I would share more of it here, but it's got its own home on Beading Arts :-)

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Monday, October 05, 2009

Beautiful yarn from Bethany



I bought some gorgeous yarn from my friend Bethany, who hand dyes and spins the wool from mostly local sheep! She started her etsy shop mostly to support her own fiber habit, but I think she's really onto something here :-)

I haven't decided exactly what to do with my skein yet. I started experimenting with it, and really liked this crocheted alternating shell and v-stitch pattern, but there won't be enough yarn to make a scarf using this technique. So I've taken it back apart, but I wanted to share the lovely pattern with you as well as show you Bethany's great products.



Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Friday, October 02, 2009

Artsy blogging round-up!


Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
A Buzzing Beaded Bead Bail using a wonderful tutorial from the book- Seed Bead Fusion by Rachel Nelson-Smith.

The Artful Crafter
CD Ghosts – what an economical and easy project for Halloween. Let the kids make several to hang from a porch or trees to delight of your Trick or Treaters.

The Impatient Crafter
Halloween is right around the corner and Madge kicks off the season with a stunningly spooky mixed media necklace and a bonus short story sure to send shivers up your spine!

About Family Crafts
Find a way to creatively celebrate everyday during the month of October by consulting this list of special days.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
At Craftside there are posts on how to have fun with word play and spice up your art, draw a pattern for a full size witch hat and make a tiny one, make a silverware spider and make a gather from a serged edge without a differential feed.

Crafty Princess Diaries
No Brainer Crochet Squares - Tammy shows off some of the crochet squares she makes for comfort-ghans.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Connie has a free quick-to-stitch pattern that reminds you to "Let Your Light Shine".

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
A back pack resurfaces and reminds Linda that she hasn't shared this project on her blog yet!

The Crochet Dude
Drew has designed a super cute crocheted pink purse for breast cancer awareness month. AND he's giving away some cool pink ribbon appliques too!



Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ties That Bind doll has a new home!


Our lovely lovely doll is now going to her new home, the winner having been picked by random number generator yesterday! Many thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Aileen Roberts, who coordinated the project and Jan Brown, who assembled all the various parts made by participating artists in the Ties That Bind project.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, the project is a group of artists (including me), united in the effort to benefit Ovarian Cancer Research. Since my own wonderful mother is an OC survivor, there was no way that I could turn down this opportunity!

The skirt of the doll is made from embellished ties, men’s ties that is, and the bodice is dripping with charms and beads of all sorts. Photos of the finished doll are available for viewing in an album located here: TTB Album



Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Artist profiles - part two

Piano Hinge Book by Corinne Stubson

Here is the next batch of terrific artists who have done profiles of their work for me in the past. I hope you'll enjoy visiting with them.

If you'd like to be a featured artist, please let me know. You can email me at cyndi @ mazeltovjewelry.com (remove the spaces), and I'll be glad to talk with you. Please don't hesitate because you're a beginner either...not all the folks you're going to see profiled here are "professionals", whatever that means!

Corinne Stubson, book artist

Jen Worden, mixed media

Aileen Roberts, mixed media

Pipyr, art glass

Colette Copeland, mixed media

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,
Related Posts with Thumbnails