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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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Recent publications: February 2013


Art Doodle Love: A Journal of Self-Discovery by Dawn DeVries Sokol

Art Journal Freedom: How to Journal Creatively With Color & Composition by Dina Wakley

Daily Beauty: 365 Ways to Play with Everyday Quilt Embellishments by C├ęcile Trentini

The Hidden Power of Blend Modes in Photoshop by Scott Valentine

An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers by Danny Gregory

Easy Memorabilia Quilts: Ties, T-shirts, Photos & More by Trish Bowman

Fanciful Cloth Dolls: From Tip of the Nose to Curly Toes - Step-by-Step Visual Guide by Terese Cato

Playing with Color: 50 Graphic Experiments for Exploring Color Design Principles by Richard Mehl



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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Here's your sign



To prevent being nominated for the Darwin Awards: it's not smog, stupid.  It's volcanic fumes and it's deadly!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow candles for Katherine



Our most complicated project with Katherine was making snow candles.  Not that it was really terribly complicated, but it took Dani and me awhile to figure out the best way to melt the wax! 

We had a barely white Christmas this year, and the teeny little snowfall found me outside with a dustpan, scooping snow off of the driveway, trying to avoid the stones!  I scooped up enough for our project, thankfully.




Once the wax was melted, Auntie Dani helped Katherine pack her jar with snow around the central wick.  I poured the wax for safety's sake.  Oh, and we used crayons to color the wax...they worked beautifully!

Copyright 2013 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, February 22, 2013

Artsy blogging round-up!

 
Think Spring and Read How to Preserve Purple Iris
Iris are among the trickier flowers to preserve in 3D but don't let people tell you it can't be done. Here are the secrets for iris and many other delicate blooms.

ACreativeDream
June's first journal page in over a year.  


Beading Arts
Cyndi tries a project from Julie Picarello's beautiful book, "Patterns in Polymer". 


Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are two sketching-on-the-go tips, an idea for using t-shirt iron on transfer paper to create art, how to make a rolled fabric rosette, details about Susan Schwake's teaching events in Los Vegas and a recipe for bacon-wrapped dates with lemon aioli.

Free Beads Leaving Soon!
February is a short month, so do not space out and forget to enter to win some gorgeous lampwork beads over at the Crafty Princess Diaries.  


Rainbow Craft Challenge
Drop by the Family Crafts site and check out some fun rainbow crafts and then take a moment to share yours.  


The Difference Now - Mixed Media Print
Cherie uses words from an early poem to create a new mixed media print.  


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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book review: Design, Create, and Quilt



I have had the opportunity to read through Rose Hughes's Design, Create, and Quilt, published by That Patchwork Place.  I've been a fan of many of their titles since I first started getting involved in fabric arts, and this current selection is no exception!  Reading straight through the book gives you a basic lesson in composition, beginning with line and shape, then adding texture, color, and the use of space.  Rose doesn't stop with designing though.  She also covers the basic skills you'll need to create an appliqued design and to quilt and finish it.  With all the techniques and encouragement to experiment contained here, this is a great first book for a new art quilter.


Each chapter of design tips also has a project or two that you can customize to suit yourself, and that will allow you to practice the skills taught in that chapter.  All the materials and tools needed are fully explained, and templates are provided should you wish to reproduce the sample quilts exactly.  One of my favorites is pretty early in the book; Rose's Winter Mountains (shown above).  I love the use of curvy and straight lines together, the bold colors, and the use of sheer fabrics to create focal points.  Very pretty! 

As you work your way through the book, the projects get more challenging, but don't worry...all the techniques are very well described, step by step.   The highlight of the techniques taught in this book is Rose's fast-piece applique method, which will allow you to add curved pieces to your designs with no need for painful traditional piecing.  So simple, but so pretty!  And you'll also really enjoy her tips for adding embellishments to your quilts...after all, that's what often sets a quilt apart and makes it truly yours!




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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Here's your sign!



Don't feed the geese.  No, really.  Don't do it.  After being endangered for so long, they are now becoming as annoying in some areas as Canadian geese are in New England...but we still don't want to see them run over in the parking lots :-)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Making soap balls



Even though this project was super-easy, it turned out to be one of Katherine's favorites.  Maybe that is because it was super-easy...there was really no way to go wrong!  I found the easy-peasy directions on Beautiful Sun Montessori, and I immediately knew this was something that the grandbaby and I would have to do together, along with Grampy this time.


I grated up the soap ahead of time, because I only have a regular sharp kitchen grater board and didn't want her to end up with sore fingers.  Then we mixed it with a bit of water, some ground-up oatmeal, some chopped rosemary, and - the best part - some food coloring.  I wish I'd purchased purple food coloring, because mixing the blue and red never results in a very pretty purple.  But Katherine was pleased, so what does it really matter?  These had to dry overnight before we were able to use them.


Photos copyright 2013 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, February 15, 2013

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Turning Your Ear to Wisdom Cherie is still pondering the Proverbs this week for inspiration in her art. 


Beading Arts
Cyndi has finished up her second e-book, "Some Assembly Required"! Yay! Finishing a big project is always a relief.

ACreativeDream
June's second attempt at a folk art girl. 

Become a Pioneer
A new book about becoming a modern-day pioneer has some interesting crafting inside its pages.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to use boucle yarn to embroider loops on knitting, make Valentine heart felt button covers, use your favorite things to inspire a painting and a recipe for a yummy vegan sandwich.  


Inexpensive Original Craft Foam Art Stamps are Easy to Make
Simple kids' craft foam and a ball point pen are all you need to create your own art stamps.  




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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Candy and the Cankersaur



Since I'm sharing so many children's projects this month...something I've never done before...I thought you might also be interested in seeing a new e-book that's been lovingly published in the tradition of Syd Hoff.  You all know Syd Hoff's style, right?  Danny and the Dinosaur, the Henrietta series, and all the rest?  Well, Jason Sandberg has written Candy and the Cankersaur as his debut children's e-book, with the feel of a Syd Hoff classic.  Perhaps there will eventually be more...? 


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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Here's your sign!

 Volcanoes National Park


In case you can't quite read it: "CAUTION   Volcanic fumes are hazardous to your health and may be life threatening.  Do not enter this are if you are a person at risk."

Don't say you weren't warned.  Of course, that's exactly where I most wanted to go!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bird seed cookies



My grandbaby Katherine loved the idea of feeding the birds and squirrels (in reality, probably exclusively the squirrels...), so I had her help me make bird seed cookies to put outside for them. I found a really easy directions for them at Natural Kids, which just uses some flour, water, and corn syrup to stick together the bird seed.



The project is immediate in the sense that the children can mix, roll out, and stick the cookie cutters in right away, but it is delayed gratification in that they must then wait a total of 12 hours for the mixture to dry out. We had a blast, and Katherine loved helping me scatter them around outside, just before the next snowstorm arrived!

Photos copyright 2013 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, February 08, 2013

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery How I gave my Aminekos recycled glove mohawks.

Win Some Beads
Get a chance to win some awesome lampwork beads on the Crafty Princess Diaries.  
  


You Can Decoupage
Not only can you learn how to decoupage, you can find many fun projects, books, decoupage paper, and much more.


ACreativeDream
June's giving away some art!

Beading Arts
Cyndi has new polymer clay projects to share, including resin and beads!  


Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are a whole bunch of Valentine heart cross stitch patterns, tutorials on how to make an edible arrangement of gummy shish kabobs in a mini flower pot, a texturing hammer and cover a snap.  


For Wisdom Will Enter Your Heart
Cherie uses Proverbs as inspiration for her artwork this week.  


How to Design Two Unique Notecards on a Single Page
Do you know how to lay out two unique invitation size notecard designs on a single 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of card stock? It's really quite easy and can be done in any graphic or greeting card program.  






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Thursday, February 07, 2013

Gingerbread train



Many moons ago, I used to make really delicious gingerbread houses.  I think I stopped mostly because they were a bit tricky to assemble.  In order to have a nice soft gingerbread that you actually wanted to eat, you needed to have a cardboard form for your house, plus super-sticky frosting.  I really need to find that recipe, though, because after our experience putting together a pre-fab gingerbread train this Christmas, my vow is never again with a pre-fab.

Help from Auntie Dani

The gingerbread was rock hard!

Well, of course it was.  It needed to be in order to stand up all on its own and not frustrate a small child who was building with it.  But come on...this stuff was completely inedible.  Nonetheless, Katherine enjoyed herself and was able to do much of it alone, or with just a bit of help.

Help from Papa (our son Nate)



Photos copyright 2013 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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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Here's your sign!



You'll see this one all over Hawai'i.  I began to wonder if there was anyplace on the islands that didn't have high surf.  Last year at this time, that's where we were...what a difference a year makes!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Yarn trees for Christmas



I'm sorry that I didn't get these projects up closer to Christmas, but we just had waaaay too much going on this year!  Anyway, I've got a series of projects to post that we did this year, and now you'll have them in plenty of time for next year!


What a fun thing this was to do on Christmas eve!  I brought out the funky metallic-trimmed yarn I had purchased, along with two styrofoam tree forms, beads, and straight pins, and showed granddaughter Katherine how to wrap the tree forms and anchor the yarn with pins.  Her Auntie Dani took over with the decorating so that I could just take pictures and go oooo and awwww at appropriate moments. 

Katherine kept remarking to her Auntie that they were making the trees "so very beautiful".  It was a sweet moment, and helped to keep the Christmas eve craziness under control!



Copyright 2013 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, February 01, 2013

Artsy blogging round-up!

 

L Thykeson's Uniques Product Review - Lyra PolyCrayons 

Origami for Beginners
Check out this round-up of easy paper-folding projects for origami newbies, over at CraftFoxes.   


Real Life Princesses Cherie creates two paintings inspired by grumpiness and poetry.  


Yarn Adoration!
The Crafty Princess acquires some of the Crochet Dude's new Decades yarn.

ACreativeDream
June's done a painting, that strangely enough, turned out exactly like she wanted it to... but...  



Beading Arts
Cyndi's readers have been weighing in, sharing their best pieces of advice with each other! 

Do-It-Yourself Floral Lampshade Creates a Soft Glow in a Child's Room or Bath
This sweet lampshade gives a soft glow and is perfect as a night light in a bathroom or child's room.




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