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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...

Monday, December 26, 2011

See you in a week!


Love you all! I'm taking the week off and will see you in 2012!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

More artsy links!

 

Mo(o)re Whimsies
Merry Christmas!

Beading Arts
It can be a bit hard to find nice ornament cover patterns that are free, so Cyndi has rounded up a few goodies for you!  

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Learn how to make cute little patterned rosettes to embellish your paper crafts, including where to download some pretty patterned papers which can also be used for tea bag tile folding.  




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Friday, December 23, 2011

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Make these cute clothespin Christmas ornaments. Eileen shows a skier, but you could also do a nutcracker or skinny Santa.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen gussied up a shipping tag for Christmas with a beautiful stained glass look. Check out her step by step tutorial. 


Carmi's Art/Life World
This week I have a great rubber stamped project - that can be showcased as an ornament!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy reports on a crochet (and knit) friendly local yarn store in Florida. 



 
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Paper for gravestone rubbings (reader question)

 Brian & Dawn at Wild World
Gene Hammiel, who shows his wonderful colored pencil work on the Colored Pencil Society of America website for Washington DC, asked me about paper for gravestone rubbings. He was looking for some lightweight paper that he had found years ago, but could no longer locate.

The only thing I knew to suggest to him was the standard Aqaba paper which is specifically made for gravestone rubbings. There are lots of sources for it online, but that's not exactly what he was looking for.  Gene wrote:


I found some Aqaba from Gravestone Artwear on-line in York Harbor,Me., but it was thicker than what I had before years ago. I have been using calligraphy paper in the meantime. It worked pretty good.
So, at least Gene has something to start with, but do any of you have more experience at this?  Any recommendations?

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

For the calendar next year



Wish I'd known about this art market well ahead of time, and also wish I lived closer to Indiana so that I could go!  This year in November, the second annual Do It Again Art Market was held in central Indiana.




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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sundown tonight...eight crazy nights!





If you forgot to go out and get a Menorah, here's a perfect solution for you, thanks to Paula Biggs!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Marbled fabrics



To marble fabrics, you're going to need some specialty materials that you might not use for anything else: carrageenin and alum.  I used plain unbleached muslin for my fabric, tearing it into rectangles that would fit flat into my kitchen sink.


The fabric must be laundered and treated with alum ahead of time so that it can thoroughly dry.  The carrageenin also needs to be mixed up ahead of time, at least 24 hours in advance, so you can see that a good deal of planning goes into a marbling session.  Day one will consist of prepping the fabric and the size (that's the jelly-like carrageenin mixture that you'll float your paints on), and on day two you can do all your marbling.  Plan to do a lot: this is a lot of work to go through for only a few marbled pieces.




I used Pebeo Setacolor fabric paints, but any fabric paints will probably be fine. I recommend Carol Taylor's Marbling Paper and Fabric for it's easy to follow instructions, and if you get into marbling in a big way, I really like Patty Schleicher's book Marbled Designs, which shows you how to achieve many complex patterns you'll love.  I began by just playing around with the paints to see what would happen, and as the day progressed, I got more and more tricky.  I certainly didn't achieve in one day anything that I was astounded by, but I was still very happy with the brightly colored results!



Besides the books, most of the materials and tools you might want are available from Dharma Trading if you can't find what you need locally.



Marbled fabrics - part one
Marbled fabric quilt - part two
Marbled fabric quilt - part three
Marbled fabric quilt - part four


Copyright 2011 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, December 17, 2011

More artsy links!

 

Creative Dreamer
June has created 15 ornaments for the season, and you can too because she's sharing the patterns for all of them!

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Make these cute clothespin Christmas ornaments. Eileen shows a skier, but you could also do a nutcracker or skinny Santa.  

Beading Arts
Every new year should bring a new challenge. How about getting inspired by the Ring A Day challenge...and maybe win a copy of the book?  

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is able to spill the beans about a new jewelry business adventure she is exploring. 

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
"Santa Claus is coming to town." Are you ready for The Artful Crafter's annual Christmas Parade of Crafts?  

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge turns some styrofoam and sparkly things into a Retrofabulous Suzy Snowflake Snowlady!  

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make a yarn ball and dpn Christmas tree.  

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shows you how she took pre made cards and embellished them to make her own Christmas cards she mailed out this year. 


Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi enters the Friendship Bracelet world and learns a thing or two.  

Craft. You.
Meet Jenny Barnett-Rohrs of Craft Test Dummies this week on Craft. You.!  

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a double giveaway featuring books and Styrofoam shapes along with tutorials and patterns for Christmas painting and knitting along with a recipe for vegan nut butter dip and some adorable photos of our newest Amineko.  
 

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quote of the week

Guys, click for a larger version so you can read all the real color names!

Image: The Doghouse Diaries


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mobius scarf in two hours



Making a mobius scarf took me just a little longer than the football game.  I didn't have to pay too much attention to either one ;-)  By the end of the second game, I had two scarves...at this rate, I know what everyone will be getting from me for Christmas!  Use a really large crochet hook, and you'll be amazed how quickly you can make one of these. 

1. Leaving a long tail of yarn (about 12 inches), crochet a chain as long as you want your finished scarf to be.  I chose a shorter cowl style for this one.   

2. Stitch along the chain in double crochet and recheck the length.  Add a few more rows of DC. I usually add three or five, any odd number so that I end up back on the end with the yarn tail.

3. Using the yarn tail, slip stitch the two short ends of the crocheted strip together, putting a single twist into the strip.  Tie the yarn tail to the working yarn, but do not clip yet.

4. Begin to crochet in single crochet around the outside of the strip.  Since you've created a mobius strip, there is only one edge, and it will take you twice "around" the shape to come back to where you started.  Continue to add rounds of SC until the scarf is as wide as you want it.  End back where the seam is.



The seam will be fairly small, and you can wear it on the inside 
at the back of your neck.
5. Tie off the working yarn and use your hook to weave it down to where the other tail is.  Tie them together and weave the ends into the scarf before clipping off.

Copyright 2011 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, December 10, 2011

More artsy links!

 

Beading Arts
Wanna learn to work with chains in your jewelry designs? Cyndi has a copy of "Chains Chains Chains" up for grabs! 

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
"Santa Claus is coming to town." Are you ready for The Artful Crafter’s annual Christmas Parade of Crafts?

Felt Eiffel Tower Ornaments
Cherie makes some more ornaments out of felt.  




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Friday, December 09, 2011

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a fun new video on how to tint gesso with pastels by Traci Bunkers, tutorials on how to draw Christmas trees and poinsettias, tips on cleaning glassware and a yummy recipe for vegan maple bacon doughnuts. 

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy takes a look at a craft book packed full of projects. 

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Do you know about yarn bombing? Whimsical hand knit and crocheted art is circling the globe!  

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
It's a video! It's two craft projects with instructions! It's RETROFABULOUS! Yay!  

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make a recycled sweater wreath with a candy style bow.  

About Family Crafts
Play along with the current craft challenge and submit an angel craft or two.  

Aileen's Musings
Aileen not only offers you a fantabulous Glitzy bleached Christmas tree project but also a giveaway on her blog this week!  

Carmi's Art/Life World
A post about remembering the December birthdays!  

Craft. You.
This week on Craft. You.: Heather Mann of Dollar Store Crafts  





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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Artful package wrapping



It used to make my kids howl with laughter sometimes, but I always loved to write little "hints" about what was inside the package on the tags.  The clues were so oblique that they weren't really much use in helping them figure it out, at least not until after they'd unwrapped and seen what it was!  Here are some beautiful and creative package wrapping ideas that won't take you all day to accomplish...who has time for that?


The Wrap Artist

Wooden spool gift tags

Card boxes

More card boxes

24 Creative wrapping ideas

10 Green wrapping ideas

15 Frugal wrapping ideas

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Calls for entries and submissions

 Metal Clay Design Competition 2010

Crafts National 2012
Deadline: 01/06/12  
   
Time Flies reader challenge

Deadline: 01/09/12  
   
Small Expressions

Deadline: 01/25/12  
   
Metal Clay Design Competition

Deadline: 01/30/12  
   

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Monday, December 05, 2011

An autumn leaf bouquet



I apologize that this post will come after most people no longer have quite such easy access to the raw materials, but our autumn was soooo late this year, that I only just got around to making these!  I saw the tutorial for these autumn leaf flowers on DesignSponge, written by Kate Pruitt.  You need to go check out here tutorial, because even if you can figure out how they're done, you owe it to yourself to see examples that are far more beautiful than mine.  Part of it was that my leaves were a bit dry and crispy, and part of it was that Kate is just more talented than me!


There were more of them, but I gave some away!





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Saturday, December 03, 2011

More artsy links!

 

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Do you know about yarn bombing? Whimsical hand knit and crocheted art is circling the globe!

Wooden Birdhouse Necklaces
Cherie makes some necklaces for holiday gifts. 


Beading Arts
Cyndi is featuring an entire month of tutorials to get you ready for the holidays!

Creative Dreamer
First the patterns... now the ornaments! Now June's givin' 'em away, be sure to get in on this!  



 
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Friday, December 02, 2011

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Craft. You.
It's hectic around the holidaze, don't forget to take a moment to enjoy and exhale. Zuzu's Petals.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside we have our Fabulous Book and Yarn Holiday Giveaway-enter 3 ways to get yourself in the running for 10 books and a basket of goodies! There is also a free knit stocking pattern with monograms, a whole bunch of cool gift topper tutorials, how to embellish antique gift tins and a recipe for Asian turkey and rice soup. 


Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy gives you some tips for finding fun and yarn friendly project bags.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Do you craft for profit - or would you like to? Here are some tips for reaching your target market.  

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Need a craftacular gift for the holiday season? Fret not, Madge has got you covered!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make a recycled die cut sweater Christmas tree.  

About Family Crafts
Share your homemade gift stories, whether they are good, bad, or ugly! You can also read other people's stories.  

Aileen's Musings
Aileen offers you a blinged out Dollar store ornament transformation!  

Carmi's Art/Life World
Displaying an art collection is a craft too!  




 
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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Handmade ornaments and decorations


When my children were young, I was always looking for easy projects that we could do together to decorate for different holidays.  They may be grown up and gone, but there are now GRANDchildren to think about!  Some of these lovely ornaments would be a bit much for small people, but others could easily be adapted to working together to decorate the tree.


Crochet chain trees

Plastic bird ornaments

Tweed wreath 

15 ornaments in 15 days


Holiday table decorations

Felt ornament houses

Fabric pinecones 

Angry Birds felt ornaments

Quilled snowflake

Fond memories ornament

Kirigami paper snowflakes

Ribbon ornament

3-D folded paper star

Photo ornaments

Gingerbread house book

Fabric trees

Great family photos

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Recent publications: November 2011

Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists: Experimental Techniques for Composition, Layering, Texture, Imagery, and Encaustic by Ann Baldwin

Inside the Creative Studio: Inspiration and Ideas for Your Art and Craft Space by Cate Coulacos Prato



Metal Artist's Workbench: Demystifying the Jeweler's Saw by Thomas Mann

Personal Geographies: Explorations in Mixed-Media Mapmaking by Jill K. Berry

Photoshop Brushes & Creative Tools: Ornate Letters and Alphabets by Alan Weller

Create Your Own Printable Scrapbook Papers: 135 Vintage Designs for use with Photoshop Elements by Jodie Lee Patterson

Sew to Swap: Quilting Projects to Exchange Online and by Mail by Chrissie Grace

Stitching a Culture Together: African American Quilters of Ohio (Ohio Quilt Series) by Carolyn L. Mazloomi

Firefly's Step-by-Step Encyclopedia of Needlecraft: Patchwork, Embroidery, Quilting, Sewing, Knitting, Crochet, Applique Plus Dozens of Projects with How-to Instructions by Louise Dixon

Mickey Lawler's SkyQuilts: 12 Painting Techniques, Create Dynamic Landscape Quilts by Mickey Lawler

A Field Guide to Fabric Design: Design, Print & Sell Your Own Fabric; Traditional & Digital Techniques; For Quilting, Home Dec & Apparel by Kimberly Kight

A Quilted Memory: Ideas and Inspiration for Reusing Vintage Textiles by Mary Kerr


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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

At First Light - part four



Woo hoo!  It's finished!  Let me introduce you to At First Light, companion piece to As Daylight Fades.  They are both approximately 3 x 2', all hand painted silk except for the batting and backing fabrics, and all hand stitched.





I started by stitching down the top-most pieces, that is, any pieces that were not covered on any sides by any other pieces.  I then moved on and worked more or less from the center outward so that I could trim pieces as needed as they shifted slightly.  I used a single strand of embroidery floss and stitched through all layers of silk and the batting layer, using a blanket stitch.





The backing fabric was added and cut to size.  I stitched all around the outside with the same blanket stitch.  Even though the image at the top shows straight edges, they are not completely straight: wherever the blocks jutted out slightly around the edges, I allowed them to stay that way.





I added buttons to the back in strategic spots, stitching up through all layers and around seams on the front in order to keep the quilt from sagging.  Since I didn't quilt through the backing fabric, something must be done to help stabilize a quilt this size.  Tiny ones can get away with no buttons or knotting





Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Copyright 2011 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 26, 2011

More artsy links


 
Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Do you craft for profit, or would you like to? Here are some tips for reaching your target market.

Felt Ornament Houses
Cherie makes little felt ornaments for the tree.  

Beading Arts
Beautiful toggle clasps are meant to be seen, not hidden away!

Creative Dreamer
Exciting news!  

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Carmi's Art/Life World
This week I have a little card tutorial featuring Popcorn the bear digital images.

Craft. You.
This week on Craft. You. we feature craft activist Corrine Bayraktaroglu a.k.a. Jafabrit 

Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess attempts to design her own cotton market bag with mixed results.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
It's that time of year to harvest (or buy) hard shelled gourds for crafting. Here are some ideas to get you started.  

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Retrofabulous Christmas Craftabration marches on with some upcycled holiday greetings inspired by a 1966 Christmas Helps magazine!  



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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Best way to darken fabric pattern (reader question)

Image via Wikimedia Commons

I received the following question recently, and I thought I'd share it with you along with my answer.  I am unfamiliar with textiles from Uzbekistan, so I did a little searching around before answering.  I don't know if my answer was "correct" or not, but it was my best guess.  Anyone have a better idea? 

[Note - before doing anything to ethnic fabric, you should really read Caroline's comment below]

Dear Cyndi,

I purchased an antique suzani from Uzbekistan on ebay. When it arrived, some large areas of the design are grey, not black. I need the grey to be black. I am willing to take the time to make the grey black. The design is intricate so I will need some kind of brush. I am going to have this framed when I finish. So no worry about it being washed and used over time. My only concern is appearance. I am thinking that I will probably have to do the black areas too for evenness of color. I believe the thread and is cotton and the backing muslin. I think it will take color fast.

Please give me your suggestions about paint to use and tools and do I need to wet the areas as I go.

I thank you for your time.

Sandy


Hi Sandy,
I've thought about this a bit, and I think the first thing I would try would be fabric markers rather than either paint or dye.  Marvy makes pretty juicy markers in a variety of sizes so that you could touch up the intricate parts and also draw over larger areas to get that even color.  I have not had any problems with these markers bleeding on muslin, but it's always best to do a small test area first. 

Best wishes with your project!

Best ~
Cyndi


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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book reviews: Push Paper and Push Stitchery



Make way on your bookshelf for a new series by Lark Publishing.  Containing Lark's usual fine attention to detail and color, the first two books of the series are ones that you will savor!  The purpose of the new series is to explore artwork that pushes the boundaries of tradition in various media; the first two books tackle paper and stitchery.  Just in case you think you know everything that can be done with these materials and techniques...you're wrong! 

Push Paper will introduce you to artists who are doing things with paper that you'll sometimes find hard to believe can be done with...well, humble paper!  I was already familiar with the work of a couple of the artists, but this book introduced me to many many more that I wish to know better.  Thirty artists in all, to be exact.  I was particularly enamoured of what Chris Gilmour is doing with cardboard.  It sent me searching online for more, and I was so happy to find that he's got a wonderful website (link above, image below).   That's all cardboard, folks!

   Chris Gilmour

The other book in the series, Push Stitchery, is equal in its ability to delight, charm, and inspire.  Viewing some of the artwork, I found myself scratching my head and saying, "But that's not stitchery...oh, wait...I guess it is!"  Very challenging stuff!  Please be aware that this new series is a gallery series, not focused on the how-tos and tutorials, but instead is a showcase for the artists to talk about their inspirations, passions, and what might be next.  






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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

At First Light - part three



Trying to get the layout right for my new quilt.  This was not a fast process!


Log cabin style?


 Different centerpiece?




Reverse the colors?




Strips instead of block?




Move colors around?






Bottom colors too dark?



 Oh, duh...it was upside down!  And needed a better frame.

Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Copyright 2011 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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