Thursday, March 31, 2011

Our trip to Guatemala - day one


Our love of Guatemala began years ago when each of our kids went to work at an orphanage for a two week period.  Little did we know at the time that Nate was going to end up making it into a longer-term commitment.  When he came back from his first visit (right after his senior year of high school), he declared that it had been too short and that he was going back the next summer for two months.

Well, two months turned into two years.  Nate met and married his great love, Lizzie, who was one of the daughter's of the orphanage directors.  He returned to the States for a time, but last year Guatemala called them again, and this time they went off for a year (well, a bit more) with our granddaughter Katherine in tow.

Mike and I have just returned from our second working vacation to Tzanchaj Atitlan, Guatemala.  You won't find Tzanchaj actually on the map at this link; it is located about 5 miles southwest of Santiago Atitlan, and is just a tiny little village right next to Panabaj, the scene of total devastation during the 2005 mudslides caused by Hurricane Stan.

We arrived in Guatemala City at around 1:30 pm local time on March 19 after an uneventful and easy flight via Miami.  Then we were off on Mr Toad's Wild Ride, driven by Nate's friend Micah, the most fearless driver I have ever met.  Until I met Dave, later at the orphanage, that is!  Going the wrong way up a divided highway in order to make an obscure turn is expected.  Visibility may be nil, but as long as you have nerves of steel you'll be fine.  Traffic rules?  What traffic rules?  We don't need no stinkin' traffic rules.  Besides, they're more like guidelines anyway...

 A taxi


The bridge is out because of mudslides?  Don't worry, we just drive right through the stream, even though water is coming in under the doors...  Stopped by some cops along a particularly bad stretch of highway and you can't find your registration to prove it's your car?  No worries!  They actually let us go.

As we got closer to Lake Atitlan, we had to travel through many smaller towns, still at breakneck speed of course.  Micah knows where every speed bump is along every road, so the suspension (such as it is) didn't get too much worse on the ride.  Wheel alignments and shocks?  Why bother!  Narrow streets and people milling out in the middle of them didn't slow Micah down at all.  He says that second generation missionary kids are the best/worst drivers, because they learn to drive just like their dads, but without the fear.

 A tuk-tuk.  Yes, it really does look like a clown car.

Five hours later, we arrived at the hotel that would be our night-time home for the next week.  The sun goes down fast in Guatemala, and we were hoping to get there in the usual 3 1/2 to 4 hours, but we had to stop for lunch and at a couple of other houses on the way.  Mike and I forgot that missionaries would want fast food at any opportunity! 


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.

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Online photo editors



Last year I wrote about some available online photo editors and why you might want to know about them.  It might puzzle people who know just how addicted I am to Photoshop...why would I care about online editors?  Free or not, who cares?

So again, why care about online photo editors? What about when your computer is in the shop, or you’re traveling without a laptop, stopping into libraries to use their computers? You’ve taken lots of great pictures, and you’d like to send a few to some friends without sending the full-sized file that will make them hate you. You’d like to post some of your travel pictures to your blog, but the file size is too big, the picture needs cropped, the eyes have the dreaded red-eye…
Anyway, I found a newer article recently, which gives an overview of even more photo editing programs: 11 downloadable and 5 online.  Surely with this many to chose from, you'll be able to find one you'll like!


Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quote of the week


Black holes are where God divided by zero



Image: Ute Kraus, Wikimedia Commons

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fabric books - part three


OK!  Last week I showed you how I put together a simple little ox-plow fabric book form, and now I want to show you the finished project.   Along with the original rusted fabric that I used for the book itself, this week I used a painted piece of rusted fabric for the text.  What I found was that the thin muslin just wouldn't hold up to my black fabric pens without the color showing through.  Since each page of this book is double-sided, I needed to find something to write on that I could attach to the book instead of writing on it directly.  You can solve this problem by making your book from two pieces of fabric to begin with, but I didn't have enough fabric to do this.

So here's what you'll need:

A fabric book
Pen
X-acto knife, scissors, or rotary cutter

Cutting mat
Clear ruler
Fabric
Embroidery thread
Needle


1. Plan where your text or pictures are going to be attached, what shape they should be, and what orientation you want for each.



2. Cut or rip pieces of fabric to write on and use a fabric marker to add your text.



3. Stitch each piece in place using embroidery floss. 



4. The finished ox-plow book all folded up. 

Fabric books - part one
Fabric books - part two
Fabric books - part three


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.

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sunprints redux


Clever clever clever!  The folks at Photojojo have done it again.  If you're tired of sunprinting with ferns and flowers, consider this: how about using a negative from one of your digital prints to create a sunprint?  I can hear you now...but digital prints don't have negatives!!  Well, they do if you follow the directions.  So easy, so cool! 

Image: Photojojo

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quote of the week

A day without sunshine is like, night.


Image: Vincent van Gogh

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fabric books - part two


This week I want to show you a second fabric book that I made using the instructions from Alisa Golden's new book Making Handmade Books.  This is another traditional form, known as an ox-plow pamphlet structure.  The ox-plow book form uses both sides of the paper or fabric, so it will look best if the piece chosen is either double-sided or backed with a second piece of material.

I'm going to use this fabric book for a specific project, and next week I'll share the finished piece with you.  

Here's what you'll need:

Paper mock-up of book form
Pen
X-acto knife, scissors, or rotary cutter
Bone folder
Cutting mat
Clear ruler
Fabric (I used a piece of rusted fabric that I painted quite awhile ago)
Wood hardener
Sponge brush

1. Choose two pieces of fabric, both the same size, or one piece that is patterned on both sides (that's what I did).
2. Use wood hardener on them and allow them to dry.


3. Match the fabric pieces, and slit them halfway across the width.


 
4. Zig zag stitch the two slit edges (not to each other but to the matching fabric).
5. Zig zag stitch all the way around the outside edge. 


6. Fold into an ox-plow shape.  As you leaf through this book, you'll open the cover to reveal pages 1 and 2, then you'll lift page 2 straight up to read pages 3 and 4 vertically.  Page 4 opens the regular way to show pages 5 and 6.  In order to have the text or pictures oriented properly, it really helps to have your small paper mock-up handy!

Fabric books - part one
Fabric books - part two
Fabric books - part three



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.

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

More artsy links!

 

8 Fun Easter Cake and Cupake Ideas
Easter's just around the corner, so here are some yummy treats to get you started.

Beading Arts
Cyndi posted a tutorial to show how she made her Bead Soup necklace!  

Creative Dreamer
A background technique for the visual journal journey going on!  

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Most silk scarf painting/dying is done with a stretcher frame. But if you don’t want to spend the money on a stretcher and are not planning a detailed design, this easy dye method can yield beautiful results as well.  

Kim's Flowers & Art
Kim's goal: 30 journal pages in 30 days. Take a look at her progress. 


Made by Nicole
What to do when paint smears... troubleshooting mixed-media meltdowns.  

Moore Gourd Whimsies
Barbara has some exciting news to share! 


Yet More Ways to Use Up Rummage Sale Fabric
Cherie makes the third project from the fabric she bought for a quarter.  
 

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

About Family Crafts
Follow these tips shared by Sherri to successfully color on fabric.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen offers you a couple of Easter Egg projects to inspire you!  

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes a sweet sachet with fabric she printed herself.  

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make a custom car windshield sun shade, carve novelty erasers into cute rubber stamps, paint pale skin tones, some history about sheet music and a crazy quilt made with techniques from the book Designer Bead Embroidery.  

Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess gives you the scoop on some yarn deals she found at her local Michael's.  

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen reviews Chapter 4 of Cyndi Lavin’s eBook, “Every Bead Has a Story”.  

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi found a new product to help out with her fabric books...  

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make an Easter egg locket necklace.  



Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mixed media artist Carmen Torbus


I came across Carmen Torbus's work recently as I was browsing through upcoming book titles (one of my other favorite pass times).  She has a book called The Artist Unique that isn't coming out until May, but the cover of it sent me running to find her website!  That doesn't happen every day.

Carmen calls herself a bliss follower, big dreamer, and mess maker.  How can you not want to go see her work? 



Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book winner!

Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms

Yay for Suzie Button, winner of the fabulous book, Making Handmade Books.  Congratulations, Suzie!

Sistine Chapel



Many of you have probably already seen this online tool, but for those who haven't, may I suggest an up-close-and-personal visit to the Sistine Chapel?  One person claimed that this was even better than actually going since you didn't have to crane your neck.  My response...NOT!  But it's not bad for not having to travel thousands of miles.

When we did go to visit, I found myself in tears.  I was so afraid the experience of visiting this amazing place would turn out to be overrated.  I was so wrong...it was far more amazing than I ever expected. 




Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fabric books - part one


Last week, I showed you the little sample book mock-ups that I made using the instructions in Alisa Golden's new book Making Handmade Books (don't forget to sign up for the giveaway!).  Well, I had a few inspirations hit me while I was fooling around with the paper samples, and today I want to share one of them.  If you don't have access to Alisa's book, many other books have the instructions for a simple X book as well...it's a traditional form that I think you'll even be able to figure out from my pictures pretty easily.

The X book form uses only the front sides of the piece of paper or fabric, so it can be made with a single thickness rather than having to be backed.  I decided to use fabric rather than paper for my finished book, and since I wanted it a bit stiff, I treated each fabric piece with wood hardener before constructing.  You'll need the following tools and materials:

Paper mock-up of book form
Pen
X-acto knife, scissors, or rotary cutter
Bone folder
Cutting mat
Clear ruler
Fabric
Wood hardener
Sponge brush
Sewing machine (or you can hand stitch if you'd prefer)
Thread

1. Pick out 8 pieces of fabric, all the same size.

2. Use wood hardener on them and allow them to dry.


3. Arrange according to the pattern for an x-book.


4. Butt the pieces up against each other and zig zag stitch all the top pieces together and all the bottom pieces together.


5. Zig zag stitch along the top and bottom edges.  Zig zag stitch along the inner edges of the middle two squares.


6. Butt the top and bottom pieces together and zig zag stitch the two outer squares together, skipping the inner two squares which are already finished.

7. Zig zag stitch along the outer edges.


8. Fold into an X book shape.

Optional steps:
Write on pages
Stuff the pages and stitch together
Add beads, buttons, trim, etc before stitching together


Fabric books - part one
Fabric books - part two
Fabric books - part three


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.

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Friday, March 11, 2011

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to lengthen the straps of a tank top with a recycled t-shirt and little help from a Simplicity Power Rotary Cutter.

The Artful Crafter
Writing and journaling – whether prose or poetry – can help you move forward as an artist. Here’s an example from Eileen that turned out to be quite prophetic. 


About Family Crafts
Looking for some St. Patrick's Day printables? Sherri has some coloring pages, games, cards, and more! 

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes a gatefold card...with a gate embellishment!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are videos on how to use henna stencils in your art journals and the 365 skull a day project and tutorials on how to make a recycled sweater clover for St. Patrick's Day and a stitched 2 fold postcard book.  

Crafty Princess Diaries
Black Dog is offering 50% off on two books that paper-artists will enjoy.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen shares some of the pleasures and perils of working from home. 

 




Technorati Tags:,,,,,,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mixed media artist Melody Madden


The view from Melody Madden's neighborhood is gorgeous.  And so is the artwork that she shares that is in large measure inspired by the view.  Maybe we should all move to Canada?

 The Yearning Fields

You can find Melody's daily musings on her blog, and you can drool over more of her artwork at gallery sites like this one. 

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