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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...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!

 
Beading Arts
Have you seen Maruti beads? They're gorgeous, and they make it really easy to make a one-of-a-kind necklace!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a Holiday Goodness Giveaway full of books, Westcott scissors and holiday Duck Tape, a tutorial on how to fold two directional accordion fold book, a wine aroma wheel and a video on image transferring and embroidery stitches. 

Crafty Princess Diaries
A shawlette is the perfect accessory when there is a little chill in the air.

DIY Bridesmaid Gifts
CraftFoxes shares a round-up of elegant and unique bridesmaid gifts you can make yourself.  


Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Make your Christmas tree sparkle with sequin faceted ornaments.  


Felt Ornament Houses
Cherie makes cute house ornaments out of felt and beads.  


L Thykeson's Uniques
A Wonderful life enjoyed...  


iPad Sleeve Sewing Pattern
Make a quick holiday gift for yourself or a loved one, with this free sewing tutorial at Craft Buds. Learn how to fit any size of e-Reader, from a Nook to Kindle or other tablet.  


ACreativeDream
An easy, and gorgeous, ornament to make!  





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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mixed Media Artist for your Kindle!



Did you know that the Mixed Media Artist blog  is available for your Kindle?  Unfortunately, it's not free (Amazon sets the price), but it's only 99¢ a month.  Is technology great, or what?

My other two blogs are now there as well:
Beading Arts
Real Food Fast!






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Julie Simpson's handwoven textiles

 Bamboo scarf

I don't get very excited when I walk into a booth at a show which is filled with scarves.  But that's because I'd never seen Julie Simpson's work before. I pretty much wanted one of each, but it was really hard to even make my way up to the racks...they were completely surrounded by women who were running loving fingers over them, trying them on, cooing over them. Yes, cooing!! Look at these examples and tell me you wouldn't coo too :-)

Cotton shawl



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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quote of the week



Terrible grammar. Fabulous sentiment.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Lava quilt blocks from Spoonflower - part one



I told you awhile back that I was looking into making another quilt using the lava photos that I took in Hawai'i.  Well, I got sidetracked for a short while, because it turned out that the best plan I could come up with called for the blocks to be printed out by Spoonflower rather than being printed out on my inkjet printer.  So here's what was going on over the last few weeks!


1. I chose 16 different shots of lava and turned each into a line drawing.  You can refer to my tutorial on digital line art in order to print out your own line drawings for a quilt or other project.

2. I moved the blocks around many times on a Photoshop template I made until I liked the arrangement.  Then I made a higher resolution final pattern to upload to Spoonflower.  I set my final pattern to be 14" x 14" so that it would fit onto a fat quarter.


3. While I am waiting for the fabric to be printed and shipped to me, I've been messing around with colors on my Photoshop template.  I tried lots of different ideas, including coloring individual blocks, rows, columns, etc.  It's really convenient to do a different color treatment on separate layers in Photoshop, because you can "turn" off all but one in order to rapidly view the possibilities.


4. The idea I ended up liking best was to have an upward rising sweep of color, sort of mimicking the traditional Hawai'ian rainbow.  I plan to have the colors run into each other when the fabric arrives and I get to paint it.  The final step will be to add brighter accents using my Inktense pencils.

So, we'll pick this up again next week when I'll have something more to show you! 




Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four



Copyright 2012 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 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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Friday, November 23, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

ACreativeDream June's been making tiny glitter houses and is giving one away!  

Beading Arts
Cyndi has another delicious giveaway book: Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! 

Cherie Burbach's blog
Cherie makes a small blue and green glass sculpture because she's obsessed and can't stop.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy tries out one of the Crochet Dude's new ergonomic crochet hooks as she makes a shawl using some luscious yarn.  


Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Check out some winter and Christmas craft projects at The Artful Crafter.  





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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving...or is it still Halloween?



Nothing like being so far behind in my work that it takes me all the way to Thanksgiving before I get around to sharing our Halloween costumes with you!  Our wonderful friend Deb invited us to a post-Halloween Masquerade with a Mayan/Steampunk theme.  Something to do with the world ending in December ;-)  We went for a steampunk aviator with her intrepid explorer of Mayan ruins.  That's our story, and we're stickin' to it!





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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Book giveaway: Push Print



Just in time for the holidays, either for yourself or for someone artsy that you love! I am giving away my copy of Push Print, the volume filled with cutting edge designs that will challenge the boundaries you have in your mind. You can read my review here, and sign up below to win this copy!

***Free Stuff Alert!!!*** 

If you'd like to win my copy of Push Print, just 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 your link will lead me to an email address, or else I won't be able to contact you.  No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person.  Deadline: November 28, 2012

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book review: Crochet Saved My Life


"I wish crochet had immediately solved all of my problems but of course it didn’t happen that way. What did happen was that crochet slowly became a positive replacement for some of my most destructive downtime."
Do you think the title Crochet Saved My Life is absurd?  Kathryn Vercillo assures us that in a very real way, crochet played a crucial role in moving her through a period of deep depression.

"Of course, crochet alone could never have taken me out of that desperate place. It is a craft, not a cure-­-all for serious illness. And yet I am also fairly certain that I could never have loosened myself from the grip of that depression without crochet. I was stuck in between that proverbial rock and a hard place and my crochet hook served as a crowbar to begin prying me out of that difficult space. I hardly knew that it was happening and yet that hook dug deep down into the core of my being and lifted me into a space where I could once again begin to breathe. In the most basic and obvious way possible I was creating a life for myself simply through the act of creating."


I'm going to simplify Kathyrn's message drastically here, and I hope that I don't do it a disservice: crochet can be a physical form of meditation, a gently repetitive and focused task that can help to take a person outside or herself and her interior trauma. And it results in the practitioner actually creating something, which is no small thing for someone who feels derailed in other ways.

This is not a medical textbook, nor does Kathyrn share it in order to "prescribe" any specific regimine. What it is, is a story book. There are stories by 24 crafters, including the author. People who suffer with depression, anxiety, OCD and addiction, PTSD flashbacks, schizophrenia, bipolar, Alzheimer's and memory loss, pain, stress, mobility. These stories are interspersed with research on mental health and needle arts, how the practice of crochet can help break destructive cycles, release serotonin, build self-esteem, help ground a person in reality, give them a sense of continuity, and relieve anxiety and stress. There are also special tips for caregivers, one of the most under-appreciated groups of people who are stressed.

Resources at end of the book include online communities, online crochet classes, crafting for health resources, crafting for charity groups, recommended reading, and all of Kathryn's scholarly research sources.


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Eileen - The Artful Crafter  
Crafters are easy to shop for.  
 
LThykeson's Uniques
Fall Projects in Mixed Media

Lindsay Sews
For holiday entertaining, whip up one of these aprons with built-in hot pads. Genius! Lindsay reviews the sewing pattern.  


Old Solar Light? Use It in a Glass Sculpture
Cherie uses an old solar light as part of a new glass sculpture for the garden.  


Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make a felt Thanksgiving "Be Thankful" banner.  


ACreativeDream
June is going back into her archives to get the holiday season started. Come see how to alter a book to make a photo frame. It's a great gift for those holidays rushing at us!  


Beading Arts
Cyndi is celebrating a month of books! The newest book up for grabs is "Simply Stylish Crystal Jewelry", so head on over and get in on all the great giveaways!

CraftFoxes
Looking for a new sweater knitting pattern? Here's a round-up of 10 free knitting patterns for women's sweaters, to keep you warm this winter.  


Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is an interview with Linda Wyszynski author of The Complete Photo Guide to Needlework, tips on sharpening, cleaning and storing kitchen knives, the AEIOU organizational framework technique, and a tutorial on how to draw shoes.  


Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is experimenting with frogs, but this is not the type you use in biology class of course.  






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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book review: Free-Form Embroidery


Free-Form Embroidery with Judith Baker Montano is a beautiful thing.  I wasn't completely sure if I was going to want it since I already own Elegant Stitches and have read her other two books.  But I'm definitely in love with this book.  Yes, there is some information that you will find in the other books, but this volume goes far beyond the others with the artful addition of paints and dyes, felting, and what I'd have to call mixed media stitching.  Not just ribbons, not just floss, not just yarn...everything!  

I love the organic designs that Judith features, the landscapes and seascapes.  She begins with an exhaustive list of fabrics, threads, yarns, and ribbons, and moves into 60 beautifully illustrated stitches that will add texture to your own -scapes.


Judith explains her process and shows how she makes on-site drawings and notes her observations in a small watercolor journal.  Later in the studio, she draws detailed images with Pigma Micron pens and fills them in with pencils and watercolor paints.  This attention to detail is what makes her -scapes work so well: one of the keys, she says, is to know what the specific growth patterns of real plants are.  The landscape won't look real if the components aren't real.  It might seem obvious, but I'll bet some of us hadn't really considered that before.

Judith includes many of her journal paintings along with her notes on the features of specific trees, bushes, flowers, etc, and what techniques and stitches would emulate them the best.  She also points out that you'll want different techniques for background items than for detailed foreground ones.

My favorite chapter is "Think Like a Painter", which features many of Judith's finished mixed media embroidered pieces, along with background information on how they came to be.  My other favorite is "Laguna Pueblo", which follows the creation of one extremely complex landscape from initial conception to the end.  This is yet another gorgeous offering by C&T Publishing.    






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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book review: Journal It!



I know of Jenny Doh from her years a Somerset Studios, and now she has brought her editing talents and her eye to Lark PublishingJournal It! is Jenny's latest edited volume, featuring nineteen art journaling stars.  If you've wanted to go take a class and immerse yourself in mixed media techniques, creativity boosters, and art exercises, this book might be the next best thing to having an instructor in the room with you!


In paging through the book, I had some favorites.  I loved Belinda Fireman's merger of words with doodle art.  Since doodling is currently so popular, I took note that quite a few of the artists featured here incorporate some form of it.  I also loved Debra Cooper's scraped paint backgrounds with added doodles.  But my very favorite was Melanie Mowinski's tree rubbings!  Yup.  That's right.  Like grave rubbings only with those tall textured things.

Occasionally people want to know why they should bother to do art journaling.  The best answer so far came from Jill K Berry (page 62):

Journaling helps me take time to be in the here and now.  I notice more about my life when I journal.  I don't miss the little stuff I should be appreciating, like the color of the sky, the pearls of wisdom from my kids, the food on my table, the view from where I am sitting.  In my journals, I make sketches of what I notice and the ideas that come to me.  My larger art pieces usually germinate in my journals.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Inktense postcards


Ok, so I got a bit sidetracked...


I had intended to follow up immediately on my inkjet and Inktense experiments, but reality came crashing down!  Once I worked out the design that I wanted to print out, it became apparent that it would make more sense to order it from Spoonflower than to print it all out myself.  So, I'll be back to that topic in a few weeks!

While waiting, I decided to mess around with using Inktense Pencils on fabric batting.  I use a thin natural cotton batting in most of my quilts, and sometimes the batting ends up exposed and painted.  I quickly found out that the batting soaks up a LOT of color.  What looks like it will be bright color fades away as the batting dries.

So let's try gesso.




1. I cut four postcard sized pieces of batting and painted them with strong acrylic colors.  



2. Without even waiting for them to dry, I saturated each with white gesso, and then I let them dry overnight.



3. Using the Inktense Pencils on top of the dried gesso led to fully saturated colors, and not a lot of absorption into the batting.  I'm not sure what I'll do with these, but I feel the experiment was well worth it.




Copyright 2012 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 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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Friday, November 09, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Crafty Princess Diaries November's give away has just been announced. Get your chance to win a year subscription to Pick-A-Stitch. 


Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Check out The Artful Crafter's fall and Thanksgiving craft projects. 

L Thykeson's Uniques
Bracelet Giveaway and Workshop News  



Beading Arts
Cyndi is soooo excited to let you know that Chapter three of her new book is completed and ready for download. The name? "Bridging the Gap." Are you curious...? 

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make a large scale silhouette in an altered book.

ACreativeDream
Part two of the stamped salt clay ornament. 


Art and Poetry
Cherie talks about the link between her poetry and how she creates mixed media art.  







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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Cats Eye Craftsman



Gary Knapp is an extraordinary clockmaker, who works in a recognizable Arts and Crafts style, but with a twist.  Each clock is unique, using natural stone, fired ceramic tiles, textured metal, or anything else that catches Gary's eye.  I enjoyed meeting him and talking with him about his clocks at the Art in the Pearl Show (Portland OR).  If you can't get to one of his shows, see his beautiful work on Cats Eye Craftsman




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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Calls for entries and submissions


Down to sleep, work inspired by the bed

Down to Sleep
Deadline: 12/01/12  
   
Art Supply Doodle challenge

Deadline: 12/14/12  
   
Altered Couture: Frightful to Delightful

Deadline: 12/15/12  
   
Art Doll Quarterly: Bride Doll challenge

Deadline: 12/15/12  
   







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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Monday, November 05, 2012

Inkjets and Inktense Pencils

Pahoehoe, 2012


I've been experimenting quite a bit with the Inktense Pencils that my sweetie gave me this fall.  I know that one project I want to do will again involve the pictures that I took of lava when we visited Hawai'i early this year.  Since I already have some files available of lava texture that I used in the quilt Pahoehoe (shown above), I thought I'd print out a few of them on some cotton inkjet panels and try some different coloring patterns on them.

 


You can refer to my tutorial on digital line art in order to print out your own line drawings.  Coloring them was a lot of fun: I used at least a dozen colors for each panel, stroking them on dry and then wetting and blending them with a small watercolor brush to watch them burst into colorful life..  The nature of Inktense Pencils is that once they are dry, they are permanent.  Blend away while they're wet, because later on you're committed! 


Someday I will figure out what exactly to do with these two samples, but for now I know that's not exactly the direction I want to head for the next piece.  But I learned a lot in making them, so no loss!


Copyright 2012 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 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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Friday, November 02, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a pattern for crochet granny square earrings, a jigsaw puzzle animal drawing exercise, a tutorial on how to curl your eyelashes and a recipe for dark chocolate chip multigrain cookies. 


Crafty Princess Diaries
Money talks, or in this case, it folds and bends into extreme origami.  


Cthulhu Ski Mask and Mittens for Halloween
Cherie crochted a ski mask and mittens for a Cthulhu costume.  


Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Preserving memories with My Memories software is easy as 1-2-3.  


ACreativeDream
Oh look, June is starting the Christmas ornaments... here's the first part of a two part tutorial making a stamped salt clay ornament.  


About Family Crafts
Check out these scarecrow crafts and also submit your crafts made using Scrabble game tiles.   
 


Beading Arts
"Metal Month" comes to an end on Beading Arts, but it leaves with a BANG! 




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Thursday, November 01, 2012

RAW Designs

Spirus


Robert Wilhelm is the creative genius behind RAW Designs.  I saw his work when I last visited Portland OR (which seems to be his home base!), and I was delighted by many of his items.  Visit his website to see not only more of these wicked cool sculptures, but also his functional work, like wooden bowls, grinder and shaker sets, and tables.

Sculpture



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