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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...


Don't miss our book giveaway, running until Sept 21! Visit the link above to enter.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Artist date to the Museum of Russian Icons

The Vladimir Mother of God

I had the opportunity to visit the finest collection of Russian icons in this country, right in my own backyard practically! If you live in New England, or will be traveling here at any time, I highly recommend a stop at the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton MA. The brainchild of Gordon Lankton, the collection is truly breath-taking.

Mr Lankton began collecting the icons during business trips to the Soviet Union. In the beginning, he could find them in flea markets for very little money...that's how out of favor they had fallen during decades of communism. How many generations does it take before the worth of an object is forgotten? Thank heavens Mr Lankton recognized the beauty and worth of these gorgeous pieces.

John the Baptist, circa 1450
The oldest icon in the collection

Icons are referred to as having been "written" rather than painted. I would suggest that if you can visit this museum, you sign up for a docent tour...you won't regret it. Icons are not like Western art, and you'll benefit greatly from learning how they are to be viewed. As a brief example, the frame is not to be seen as a frame, but as a window through which you are glimpsing the spiritual world. With a tour guide to give you an overview and to point out some of the details, your enjoyment of the collection will be greatly enhanced.


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Saturday, November 28, 2009

More artsy links!


A Creative Dream
Toys for strangers to love...

Arts & Crafts Examiner
Do you need a gift idea for the favorite crafty person on your list? Here are a few fun ideas for your holiday shopping.

Gadabout Media DIY
Win your own set of 13 great rubber stamps and ink pads from Ford Cares & Martha Stewart Omnimedia!

Hankering for yarn
Noreen's been making fun Christmas ornaments. Here's the link for a tutorial on how to make a tiny 'Bog Coat' from origami tree. Perhaps Santa's Elves would appreciate a new coat or two?

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


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Buy at Art.com
Paisley Taj
Hope Smith
20x28 Fine ...
Buy From Art.com

Friday, November 27, 2009

Artsy blogging round-up!


The Artful Crafter
Whatever the holiday, make cute pop-up place cards to organize the dinner table and delight guests of all ages.

The Impatient Crafter
Madge is ready for Christmas so bring it on! Check out this retrolicious frame she designed for iLoveToCreate

About Family Crafts
Does your family have any creative Thanksgiving traditions. You can read about other people's Thanksgiving traditions and then share your own.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen invites you to join a creative challenge with her called the Erosion Bundle Project. Take a peek at her pictures and find out exactly what erosion bundles are!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside's got yummy pumpkin cookie and biscuit recipes, an inside peek into Bead Quilled Jewelry, eco friendly recipes for casein glue and an all-purpose cleaner, and starting Monday- The 19 Days of Holiday Goodness Giveaways starts, answer each day's question and you are entered to win a free book every day!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is making her first crocheted hat for herself. Now, hopefully it will be done by the time it gets cold down South!

Cross Stitch at About.com
The 2009 Holiday Ornament Collection is ready! Whip up some super quick back stitch ornies or cross stitch some more colorful ones.

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Don't fence her in! Linda shares the story of her Fences and Ferns Quilt and how creativity can prosper even in dark times.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See a necklace and bracelet made from the same Blue Moon Beads pendant with a how-to video with me.





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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Artist profiles - part four

Seedy Ladies, by Chris Tessnear


Five more fabulous mixed media artists for you to visit! Such a variety of work and working methods! I find it fascinating to learn more about what makes other artists tick, don't you?

If you'd like to share your work here, please let me know. Email me at cyndi @ mazeltovjewelry.com (remove the spaces) and I'll be delighted to have you do your own profile!


Chris Tessnear, mixed media

Karen Campbell, mixed media

Donna Royer, art quilts

Christopher Conte, metal assemblage

Terry Jankowski, encaustics


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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Make It From Scratch carnival


This issue of Make It From Scratch is filled with food and fun! You can find it at Frills in the Hills.


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Teesha Moore videos on YouTube

Teesha Moore has a whole series of instructional videos on YouTube now, covering some of her techniques for backgrounds, collage, penwork, and lettering! Here's a sample






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Monday, November 23, 2009

Free themed fonts


Somehow, I feel you can never have too many fonts! Just wait until you feast your eyes on these wonderful fonts…themed to movies, music, games, and more. Oh, yeah, and they’re free. Even better!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

More artsy links!


Arts & Crafts Examiner
Designer Minoo Hersini shares her unique fall centerpieces, perfect for your Thanksgiving entertaining.

Gadabout Media DIY
Do you have a pair of blue jeans with a hole? Don't throw them out - it's easy to repair them!

Creative Dreamer
I'm sharing a post from August when I was experimenting with creating hand made books. I wanted to see if I could create a round one, and these are the result.

Hankering for yarn
This week, Noreen has made a video tutorial about how to work with the charming little vintage looms, 'The Magic Looms', that mysteriously always have a photo of a crocheted Granny square on the box. This is odd, because the looms couldn't possibly do that, but they DO create delightful squares. What were the manufacturers thinking? Ah well, the magic lives on...

The Artful Crafter
Say “Happy Anniversary” to Totally-Creative and win a free 1-year subscription!

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Buy at Art.com
Belle Jardin II
Kimberly Poloson
14x11 Fine Art Print
Buy From Art.com

Friday, November 20, 2009

Artsy blogging round-up!


Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Sweater Surgery attacks t-shirts and cuts them up into some cute gathered tops with the help of Generation-T Beyond Fashion.

The Artful Crafter
Check out Eileen’s latest craft finds: lots of free stuff and free advice – well that’s usually free, isn’t it? LOL.

About Family Crafts
Do you play with clay? If so, please take a moment and share your favorite stories, projects, recipes, techniques, and more.

Cathie Filian
Cathie has lots of Thanksgiving recipes, crafts and family activities posted. Plus tips for a smooth Thanksgiving!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Over at Craftside you can enter to win a Mixed-Media Doll by Linda O'Brien, Co-author of Who's Your Dada?, download a free intricate leaf paper cutting pattern, get a fun how-to on making a paper cupcake and a pretty pair of fall leaf earrings.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Mix up altered books, glitter, and teenagers, shake well, and voila! You have a fun day of art combined with writing.


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mixed media artist: Nicolette Anderson



Artist: Nicolette Anderson
Blog & Website:
Nickieblog
Nicolette's Creative Lettering



I have always been a creative person, and I come from a family of very creative people, from artisans, to writers, to performers. I strongly believe that creative activity is as important as physical activity to a healthy body and mind. I try to create something new every day.

I have always loved to draw, and have loved creative lettering ever since I took my first calligraphy class as a teenager. However, I prefer to be “freer” with my own lettering. After connecting with others in the art community, and receiving positive feedback, I have come to embrace my own whimsical style, and have featured it on my popular art blog, Nickieblog, which has had almost 150,000 visitors since I started it in five years ago.
I also teach online creative lettering classes through my blog, and my lettering website, Nicolette's Creative Lettering.





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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Cave of Lascaux


I will admit to having a complete fascination with the cave, even though I’ve never seen it. The French government has a website that will take you on a virtual tour of the cave, since it is closed to the public. You can read the story of the cave and see the paintings. You can also read about the project to build a replica of the cave so that tourists will once again be able to view, if not the original, at least a close facsimile.

I didn’t know why the cave had been closed in the first place, but it appears that it has a lot to do with the fact that the tourists have to breathe! The carbon dioxide levels are a great deal of the problem, since cave air doesn’t circulate as well as that above ground.


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Monday, November 16, 2009

The finished Pear Quilt


It's finished, it's finished!! I'm really happy with how it came out too...I think it's a good companion piece for the Tomato Quilt. I got the edging finished by hand, with an embroidery floss blanket stitch over top of the machine zig zag, and large seed beads.


Now that I've finished a second one of these, I feel like I've worked out some of the kinks in my process. Below, I've listed the steps that I took. No measurements or exact details, because these quilts are springing from my own warped brain. If you want guidance beyond this simple 1...2...3, I suggest that you take a class with Jane Sassaman. I have not ended up following her methods completely, but that's my fault, not hers :-)

1. Sketch.

2. Create paper pattern, including margins where needed.

3. Trace onto sticky side of interfacing (this will create a fabric piece the same orientation as
the pattern). Trace onto non-sticky side to reverse the pattern.

4. Rough cut out the interfacing and iron interfacing pieces to wrong side of fabrics.

5. Cut out pieces on the lines, including margins where needed.

6. Pin pieces together and blanket stitch small details to larger pieces.

7. Pin and blanket stitch pieces to background.

8. Add embroidery details.

9. Sketch background shape.

10. Add bead clusters in empty spaces.

11. Cut out top and make "quilt sandwich". Cut cotton batting and backing bigger than the top.

12. Quilt by machine around largest shapes.

13. Pin outside edge and run a long straight stitch around edge through all layers.

14. Cut edges even and run zig zag stitch around outside several times through all layers.

15. Add blanket stitch all around the outside, picking up a large seed bead with each stitch.
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.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

More artsy links!

Arts & Crafts Examiner
The latest Twilight Movie is coming out soon - celebrate the launch with these fun New Moon crafts.

Creative Dreamer
June is offering a free file for a card she designed to anyone who checks out her blog!

Gadabout Media DIY
You don't need any fancy gadgets to make round yo-yos - Chloe shows you how with this easy tutorial.

Hankering for yarn
Noreen has designed a gorgeous new Celtic Interlace necklace that gives a whole new way of looking at spool knitting!

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.


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Buy at Art.com
Asian Collage II
Mauro
10x13 Fine ...
Buy From Art.com



Friday, November 13, 2009

Artsy blogging round-up!


Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy reviews a new book full of unique and earth-friendly ways to wrap your gifts this holiday season using scarves.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make a Sweater Surgery Light up Christmas tree inspired by The Lampshade Lady's Guide to Lighting Up Your Life.

The Artful Crafter
Eileen shares directions for some lovely polymer clay Thanksgiving napkin rings. You have a choice of one embellished with a cute clay turkey or a more formal looking ring stamped with a fall motif.

The Impatient Crafter
Madge makes a festive Patchwork Paper decoupaged letter for your teen's bedroom door in this week's post for iLoveToCreate.

Vickie Howell-Craft.Rock.Love
Make cool, graphic wall art using Ed Roth's Stencil Decor kit and a little imagination!

About Family Crafts
Come play along with this Make-It-Over craft challenge! What can you make out of candy? This is a great way to use up any left over Halloween candy.

About.com Cross Stitch
Connie's added a new pattern collection - Four Ways to Say Peace. These designs will make great holiday ornaments.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen's on a mission to win a trip to NYC and to see the Martha Stewart show! Check out her under $20.00 Christmas project on Michael's craft site and rate it to help her win!

Cathie Filian
Cathie shows you how to make a kids felt book. The book are perfect for airplane trips, car rides and rainy days. They make great gifts!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Over on the Craftside blog there are how-to ideas for casting and making a silver metal clay wing necklace and a recycled wool sweater Christmas needle book. There’s an Mail Art Call Out to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, tips for making a vintage rosary style necklace and a little Jimi Hendrix thrown in.



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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Food and art...my favorite combo!

Some of you know that I also write about food and cooking gadgets...a couple of things that I'm as passionate about as art. Certainly you must have noticed that the last two quilts centered on food: my Tomato quilt and the Pear quilt. Well, I got all excited when I met an artist on FoodBuzz who combines these loves all the time!


I'd like to introduce you to Lisa Orgler and her delightful blog, The Lunch Box Project. This is a year-long "diet" that Lisa put herself on: to create a playing card sized piece each and every day of 2009! Prints are available at Lisa's etsy shop.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We've got a winner!

Thank you to all of you who signed up to win the book Woven Treasures by Sara Lamb! Lucky number 14 was the winner: Rush8888 :-)



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Calls for entries and submissions

Bead+ Fiber Gallery, Handle with care: deadline 12/01/09

Annual Small Works Invitational: deadline 12/04/09




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Call for entries: The Dream Rocket


The Dream Rocket: deadline 02/10/10

The Dream Rocket is a project in which students, teachers, schools, individuals, groups and organizations will create and submit over 8,000 "Dream Theme" or "Visionary" quilt panels that will be sewn together in Huntsville, Alabama. This historical 30,467-square foot quilt will represent dreams from all over the world. During May and June of 2010, (60 days) this quilt will completely wrap the 363-foot vertical Saturn V Rocket which stands in front of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center® in Huntsville, Alabama.

You have to reserve a panel to participate, so don't delay in contacting them!



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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Magazine review and giveaway: Totally Creative online


Totally Creative magazine is a relative newcomer on the scene, but I think it already shows a lot of promise. The sample issue that I saw contained articles by several artists whose work I know and love, including the fabulous Barbara Matthiessen, who wrote an extensive tutorial on creating multi-layered surface design effects on fabric. I also found an article by my friend Beth Wheeler, who shared a felting project.

So what you'll find are professional designers, whose names you'll know from other magazines and books, who've created projects in all different media and for all different skill levels. Sound interesting?

There were no wearables in this sample issue, but there may be some in other issues. Covering a wide variety of craft media, the issue that I saw was organized around the season and its holidays. There are projects to do with the kids, lots of home decor and gift ideas, a book and a product review, and a directory of online resources to help you actually be able to make the projects.

***FREE STUFF ALERT***


So here's the giveaway: leave a comment below, telling me what your favorite craft or art form is, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a free subscription to Totally Creative for a year! That is six issues, altogether :-) Next week, I will be randomly drawing a winner!


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Monday, November 09, 2009

Quilting the pear quilt


It's actually time to do the quilting now. I chose to cut my quilt out in roughly the shape of the core. This photo is at a bit of an angle so the shape is a little distorted. I also rough cut out the batting and backing layers, bigger than the top. My final step before beginning to quilt, which I did by machine, was to add some clusters of beads in the open spaces. I failed to take a picture of this step, but you can trust me on it that this is the time I like to add the beads, so that the thread ends will all be hidden inside the quilt.

Machine stitch around the large shapes:




Straight stitch around the edge and then add a few rows of zig zag stitch to secure all layers:



Just one more step to go now: blanket stitching by hand and adding the beads all around the outside edge.

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.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009






















Buy at Art.com
Aqua Blue Orchid Collage
T. Chiu
16x20 Fine ...
Buy From Art.com

Friday, November 06, 2009

Artsy blogging round-up!


Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Over at Craftside there is a free Japanese wave print and a how-to make pocket ATC with it, Latte Art, a sneak peek into Pam Sussman's studio from Lynne Perrella's new book, a call for entries for a cake decorating book, and good questions to ask yourself to help for a business/design plan.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is super busy and "somethings gotta give!"

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Two very different quilts from the same pattern and Linda shares the story of them both along with a story on getting one of the quilts published in McCall's Quick Quilts.

Mixed Media Artist
Have you ever wanted to learn how to weave? Cyndi's got a book giveaway going on that could help you out!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Two fun necklace designs featuring charms made with a Faux Scrimshaw polymer clay technique from the book Enchanted Adornments by Cynthia Thornton.

The Artful Crafter
Make some sweet, goofy, felt and feather Tom Turkey Place Card holders for your Thanksgiving table.

The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares a sneak peek of the ad campaign she shot with her lovely daughter AND the instructions to the Cupcake Glitter Shirt Avalon is wearing in the ad in this post for iLoveToCreate!

About Family Crafts
Sign up for Sherri's 12 Days of Christmas... Crafts email newsletter and you will receive a variety of Christmas related craft ideas delivered top your email box every day for 12 days - everything from advent calendars to Santa Claus crafts!






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Question of the Month: Art shows?

Question of the Month: Would you ever do an art show where you knew you wouldn’t sell anything?

Recently, I did exactly that!

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.

How about you? If doing shows is important to your income, can you imagine doing one that you knew would be a selling bust? You can leave your comments here, or if you’d like to share a picture of your show booth and a link to your site, email me with the details at cyndi @ mazeltovjewelry.com (remove the spaces).




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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Oblique Strategies


Here is a handy online version of Brian Eno’s creativity tool. Concentrate on the problem you are trying to solve, and hit this link. If the brain booster that appears really doesn’t help you, hit refresh and try again!

For more information, including its history, read about Oblique Strategies here.



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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Giveaway: Woven Treasures by Sara Lamb!

***FREE STUFF ALERT***FREE STUFF ALERT***






Have you ever wanted to try loom weaving? Do you already do some weaving and would like to try more styles? This lovely book by Sara Lamb may be just what you've been looking for: an introduction to loom weaving that will take you from the most basic beginner steps through more projects that grow in complexity as you make your way through the book.

Sara teaches seven different handmade bag projects to guide you through the entire process, from concept and planning all the way to personalizing and embellishing. There is an excellent materials and equipment section in the beginning of the book, and along the way you will be treated to information on the history of folk weaving techniques.

Is it time for you to learn to weave? Just leave me a comment below, and in a week I will randomly pick a winner to receive this exciting book!

***FREE STUFF ALERT***


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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Bonefolder - Fall 2009



The new issue of The Bonefolder is online and available for downloading. Not familiar with The Bonefolder? It's an excellent online journal for book artists and bookbinders! Visit the link and see all the back issues too.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Stitching away...

I can share the next few steps in making my pear quilt with you now!

Plan the layout:



Blanket stitch all the pieces down to the background fabric. I used three strands of embroidery floss for this.



Add embroidered details like the branch and stems:



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.


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