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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...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Embroidered floral necklace



A few weeks ago, I showed you some floral embroidery that I was working on.  I'm happy to say that the piece is finished and now I just have to wait for spring to arrive in order to wear it!  Within the next few weeks I'll be posting a tutorial on Beading Arts which goes into more detail on the steps to make a necklace like this.  For now, I just wanted to share a few shots with you. 



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, February 26, 2011

More artsy links!

 

Beading Arts
Cyndi is wrapping up a month-long emphasis on education for jewelry and bead artists.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Here are directions for making a double strand charm bracelet from Eileen. She made this one for a real life angel. Choose your charms to suit any occasion you like.  

Making Pillows from Rummage Sale Fabric
Cherie makes two pillows from fabric and forms purchased at a tag sale.  



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Friday, February 25, 2011

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Crafty Princess Diaries
Have you got a lot of crafting stuff? It's time to get organized!

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Time always seems to get away from us, doesn't it? Eileen reminds you not to forget to scrap those special moments.  

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge finally reveals her project for the JoAnn Fabrics Spring Press Kit!  

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to transform a Rubik's cube with inspiration from the book Photojojo!  

About Family Crafts
Discover how you can create your own music crafts and then amaze your friends, your family, and yourself with all of the beautiful music you can make.  

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi creates a circular collage as a momento of her trip to the big Paris cemetery.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are directions on how to make a hammock, tips on matching paint colors, a cool story about a wind powered knitting machine and a unique calla lily fishbowl flower arrangement.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Let your buttons send a message


How clever is this?  With a nine-hole grid in your polymer clay buttons, you can spell out any message that you want to with contrasting thread!  Visit Derek and Lauren on Design Sponge for the how to's. 


via: CraftZine


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Yay for Lynne!

Lynne Lewis, aka  Liniecat at Large, is the winner of the book Scraps!  Lynne was profiled here on Mixed Media Artist last year.  Lucky number 11 this time, courtesy of Random.org 


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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quote of the week


Computers are not intelligent. They only think they are.




Image: WikimediaCommons

Monday, February 21, 2011

Foil giveaway

Lynne Lewis is running a giveaway on her blog, Linie Cat at Large that you might want to get in on...foil!  She's done this before, so take a look and sign up if you are interested!

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Randi Parkhurst demonstrates Patience

Randi Parkhurst is a paper and book artist who has certainly captured my imagination with this incredible work of art. I love her message: art is pleasure and requires no patience at all! This video will leave you breathless...or at least speechless.


Patience from Glowing Heads on Vimeo.




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Saturday, February 19, 2011

More artsy links



Mixed Media Art With Poetry
A simple picture with some lines of poetry.

Beading Arts
Have you heard of a hair fascinator? Come see what Cyndi put together with a handful of Swarovski crystals and a length of thin gauge wire!

Creative Dreamer
The February Creativity Invitation is in full swing... the theme this month is "Love" (what else?)... Come play with us!  

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen has some tips for Tara and other aspiring young artists.  
 



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Friday, February 18, 2011

Artsy blogging round-up!

 
Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a free tulip quilt block pattern and tutorial, interviews with Susan Strawn author of Knitting America on NPR, Carla Sonheim author of Drawing Lab with details of her workshop at the Etsy Lab in Brooklyn, and a couple of cool DIY sewing tips.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy's craft club is now slip stitching squares together to make their first baby afghans.  

Cross Stitch at About.com
Connie's dedicating a design to some serious stitchers who are gearing up for some HUGE stitching projects. She reminds them to "Begin with the End in Mind".  

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Here are directions for making a double strand charm bracelet from Eileen. She made this one for a real life angel. Choose your charms to suit any occasion you like.  

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make a recycled color wheel dart board.  

The Crochet Dude
Drew gives five good reasons why January was a blur!  

About Family Crafts
Stop by and share your crafty cleaning tips and read other people's tips!  

Aileen's Musings
Aileen has repost of a fun shipping tag tutorial, stop by and check it out!  

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi crafts some pretty flower brooches with a new tool from Clover!  

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yay for Connie!

Congratulations to Connie, of Connie Eyberg Originals!  She is the winner of the little Lark Studio Series book, Handmade Books!

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Painter Rogene Manas

Unwanted Thoughts by Rogene Manas

Rogene Manas quit her day job to create her own folk-inspired art full time, and I'm very very glad she did!   There's a fabulous video posted on the Oregon Public Broadcasting website, and right around the 4th minute, Rogene explains how she started adding texture and dimensionality to her work through paperclay!


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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book review and giveaway: Scraps


Scraps.  Just the name of this book evokes images in my mind of happily cutting and tearing out words and pictures to combine into a fabulous new collage.  And then I freeze.  Ohmygosh...how to start?  What to use?  Where to go from here? 

Has it ever happened to you?  Well, Scraps: an inspirational field guide to collage is a book that may very well help you get unstuck.  It's not full of techniques so much as it's full of inspiration, although it certainly does cover the basic techniques.  If collage is your thing (or you'd like it to be) and ephemera is your medium, you will love the visual treats in this book.  If you are a more traditional scrapbooker who has been wanting to branch out, this volume from Lark Publishing will make your toes tingle!   


***FREE STUFF ALERT***

If you would like to win a copy of this delightful book, leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered to win.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice!  Please make sure that the link you leave here leads to an active email address...if I can't reach you, you can't be the winner!  Deadline: February 23, 2011 



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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quote of the week



Quote from daughter Dani:
Today's Low: Had a very sad cashew stir fry - too much rice vinegar.
Today's High: Had a good heavy layer of saw dust all over me today. I love my job.


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Monday, February 14, 2011

Chocolate hedgehogs for Valentines Day?


And now for something completely different, how about a little chocolate?

Or maybe a LOT of chocolate!  Dani made a polymer clay hedgehog for me when she was home for Christmas, and I finally got around to ordering some food-grade silicone putty ( Easy Mold 1:1 RTV Silicone Putty) to make some molds.  PLEASE...do not use any mold-making material except for ones that specify food-grade.  And don't use your molds for anything except for food.  If you use them with another material, please retire them from food making.  Better safe than sorry!

So here's what I did:


1. Measure out the putty carefully by weight.  If you don't get the ratio right, the silicone will either fail to harden properly, or you'll find that it's grainy and won't take a good impression.  Mix it by hand quickly but thoroughly


2. Press your mold into the silicone, squeezing and rolling gently to get all the details and to avoid bubbles.  Create a flat part on the top, which will become the bottom when you are pouring chocolate.

3. Unmold your model.  It's really that easy - silicone doesn't stick to anything, so it should pop right out.  Your chocolate candies will pop right out too. 

Two chocolate hedgehogs sit next to the original model

4. Temper and pour your chocolate, adding fillings if you wish.  I did wish, and I added peanut butter truffle filling to the middle of each. You'll find the information you need about working with chocolate on my blog Real Food Fast.  I've got a link there to the method I use to temper chocolate, and you'll find the recipe that I use for the peanut butter filling.  Yum :-)  




Easy Mold 1:1 RTV Silicone Putty
Easy Mold 1:1 RTV Silicone Putty
Easy Mold Putty is a strong, flexible, food-grade mold-making material for plaster, concrete, wax, soap, low-melt metal, baking, chocolate, ice cubes, air-dry clay, and resins. It's excellent for picking up small details. The putty has a work time of 3 minutes and a cure time of 20 minutes. Easy Mold can be heated up to 400°F (204°C), is self-releasing , and will not shrink after curing.







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, February 12, 2011

More artsy links!



Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen has some tips – learned from painful personal experience – about how to take care of your muse.

Valentine's Day Cupcakes!
A last minute cupcake idea for your sweetie or Valentine's Day party.  

Beading Arts
Cyndi has written the promised tutorial on making beaded buttons with watch faces...fun!  

Black and White Afghan
Cherie is making a black and white afghan to help with those chilly nights.  



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Friday, February 11, 2011

Artsy blogging round-up!



Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a pop out card tutorial on her blog this week.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are 2 chances to win any book of your choice from QBookShop.com, insight into double exposure photography, 2 free Valentine graphic pattern downloads, 3 samples of extreme lettering, a bunch of the cutest Amineko photos (one with Suede from Project Runway!) and a fun decorating idea.  

Crafty Princess Diaries
Check out this recycled/reused craft supply score.  

Cross Stitch at About.com
Connie has a versatile Heart and Hands Blessing pattern for use as a Valentine, wedding, anniversary, or even a St. Patrick's Day project.  

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen has some tips for Tara and other aspiring young artists.  

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make a recycled sweater, fabric and button cuff  

About Family Crafts
If you are in need of a last minute Valentine, check out these printable cards.  

Aileen's Musings
Aileen offers you a new recipe along with a cupcake postcard you can download and send to a friend. Remember when all else fails keep calm and eat a cupcake!  



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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Once upon a time...vintage technologies

Don't worry that it's in French...there are speech bubbles with the English translation.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Book review and giveaway: Handmade Books


Thank you thank you thank you to the wonderful folks at Lark Publications!  First, for publishing this fabulous little book called Handmade Books, and second for sending me a copy to give away to one of you!  Inspiration abounds, and you won't believe just how much is packed into this tiny (only 5x5) volume.  Some of my favorite mixed media artists are represented here: Judith Hoffman, Gabrielle Fox, Susan Lenz, and Dayle Doroshow, and so many more who have become my new favorites! 

You need to know that the images here have been culled from the larger 500 series, 500 Handmade Books, so if you already own that one, this will be redundant.  However, if you don't own either, then it's your choice.  You also need to know that this is not a how-to book: it is filled with nothing but the gorgeous inspiring images that Lark is famous for.  Not a bad deal! 


***FREE STUFF ALERT***

If you would like to win a copy of this fabulously inspirational book, leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered to win.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice!  Please make sure that the link you leave here leads to an active email address...if I can't reach you, you can't be the winner!  Deadline: February 16, 2011 


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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Quote of the week


Don't anthropomorphize computers - they hate it. 




Image: WikimediaCommons

Monday, February 07, 2011

Some floral embroidery

No beads added to the centers yet!

Since I was seduced by beads and bead embroidery so many years ago, I have somewhat neglected my thread embroidery skills, if I ever really had any.  Part of my new year's resolutions was to try something new, so I dug out an old book I'd purchased but never used, and put my needle to work: The Art of Dimensional Embroidery by Maria A. Freitas.

If you are proficient at thread embroidery, you'll see all kinds of imperfections and irregularities in my stitches.  I just want you to know that I got better as I went along!  My next step is to fill in the centers, with beads of course.

Added later: Here is the finished piece

Pistol stitch flowers
Bullion and loop stitch flowers


Knotted chain, bullion, cast-on, and pistol stitches


The book features what is called the Brazilian style of embroidery, which is a raised form that usually features rayon threads.  I used some rayon, but mostly stuck with the cottons, silks, and blends that I already own.  I highly recommend Maria's book (all the stitches are shown as black and white drawings...very easy to follow), but if you'd like to see a few of the easier stitches online first before you decide, here are a few resources:
Loretta's Custom Stitchery
Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery



The Art of Dimensional Embroidery


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, February 05, 2011

More artsy links!

 
Handmade Chocolates
A rich yummy Valentine's Day treat

Beading Arts
The Bead Journal Project is starting up again for its fourth year! Check out what Cyndi has decided to make each month...  

Crocheted Pot Holder
Cherie ponders how many people have crochet and knitting skills these days.  

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Here's a peek behind the scenes as The Artful Crafter debuts on Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski.  



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Friday, February 04, 2011

Artsy blogging round-up!

 
Aileen's Musings
Aileen is participating in One World One Heart again and offers you a chance to win a door prize if you leave a comment.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi showcases the fabulous paper dress from DCWV at CHA.  

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a knit gingham pattern, tutorials on how to paint a reverse image on Mylar and shade an object and info on Traci Bunkers' 30 days of carving stamps.  

Crafty Princess Diaries
The paper was flying as a college craft club discovered the fun you can have with paper crafts and making Valentine's Day cards.  

Cross Stitch at About.com
Looking for charts for holiday and special days for February? Connie has just what you need in her February Stitching Ideas with charts for Valentine's, Candlemas, Chinese New Year, Hari-Kuyou and more.


About Family Crafts
Check out what item is chosen for this week's spotlight craft and play along.  



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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Book review: 500 Vases

500 Vases: Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Form (500 Series) 

Another gorgeous Lark publication, 500 Vases in inspiring to the max.  It never occurred to me to even really wonder what the full range of creative vase-making was out there, which is somewhat surprising since vases are what I'm most likely to buy at a fair or in a gallery.  I love to have a vase from each of my ceramic and wood-turning friends.

Why would you want a book on vases if you don't make vases?  I strongly recommend browsing through books like this one in order to refill your creative well.  Whatever your preferred art form, don't you find that an infusion of inspiration from a totally different direction will often set your head spinning with possibilities?  It's never a waste of time to go on an artist date with an amazing book like this!

It's hard to chose favorites as there are so many amazing, lovely, awe-inspiring, and jaw-dropping pieces included, but one that caught my eye and tickled my funny bone was this porcelain piece by Adam Chau.

He calls in Egg Crate in the book, but it is labeled Hatch on his website.  Whichever name you prefer, who'd a thought?  Isn't it wonderful?

I simply can't show you anymore, because I just can't chose.  If you have never experienced the wonder and the beauty of a Lark 500 series book, this would be an excellent one to start with.  I don't work with clay, but a thing of beauty is a thing of beauty, and this book is full of them!


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