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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...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Recent publications: July 2013


The Art of Steampunk, Revised Second Edition: Extraordinary Devices and Ingenious Contraptions from the Leading Artists by Art Donovan

Fabric Surface Design: Painting, Stamping, Rubbing, Stenciling, Silk Screening, Resists, Image Transfer, Marbling by Cheryl Rezendes

Showcase 500 Art Necklaces (500 Series) by Ray Hemachandra and Chunghi Choo

Handmade Books for Everyday Adventures: 20 Bookbinding Projects for Explorers, Travelers, and Nature Lovers by Erin Zamrzla

Mastering Mosaics: 19 Artists, 19 Projects by Rayna Clark

The Way of the Digital Photographer: Walking the Photoshop post-production path to more creative photography by Harold Davis

Stitch Zakka: 22 Projects to Sew & Embellish 25 Embroidery Stitches by Gailen Runge, Amy Adams, Lynette Anderson and Leanne Beasley

Seasonal Silhouettes: 12 Inspirational Quilt Blocks Featuring Raw Edge Applique by Edyta Sitar

Embroidered & Embellished: 85 Stitches Using Thread, Floss, Ribbon, Beads & More Step-by-Step Visual Guide by Christen Brown






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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Vulture quilt - part five


It took awhile for me to decide how the vultures would be constructed.  I wanted them a shiny black with basically no other texture, just the way they might look spiraling around up in the sky.  But shiny black fabric tends to unravel.  Badly.  Here's what I came up with!


1. In Photoshop, I turned my vulture photos into solid black shapes by finding the edges and filling with black.  Then I found the edges once more, this time obtaining a solid black outline.  Size and print out on computer paper.



2. Using shirt weight interfacing (only fusible on one side) I traced the outlines onto the sticky side.  Cut out the shapes with a generous margin and iron them to some shiny synthetic black lining fabric (the wrong side if there is one).



3. Place the fabric on a piece of glass or a flat metal surface.  Use a heat tool with a pointed end to cut and melt your way around the shape.  The heat will fuse the edges and keep the piece from unraveling.



4. Clean up any stray threads around the edges.



5. This is approximately where the vultures will be on the quilt, but I'm not sure yet how to attach them.  I hate using glue, but I really don't want to stitch through the lining fabric, since I'm sure the stitching will be very visible.  Maybe if I use fine nylon beading thread in black.

Part one
Part two
Part three

Part four

Part five
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, July 26, 2013

Artsy blogging round-up!


Don't throw out cool boxes. Imagine the possibilities! 
Eileen has some inspiration for you, plus one completed upcycled cool box project to share. 

Hooking Along 
Even though the Crafty Princess is busy doing lots of craft wrting and designing right now, she has made a little crochet progress on some projects. 


ACreativeDream 
June's turned a couple of pairs of jeans into a couple of skirts. 


Beading Arts 
Cyndi shares all the finishing touches on her new mixed media necklace tutorial! 


Clear Glass Sculpture 
Cherie uses clear glass to create a garden sculpture. 


Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world 
This week at Cratside there is a video tutorial on how to make a mixed-media travel journal with a pop up turkish map fold and how to make a rebus necklace with a book and bead giveaway along with a recipe for lemon sorbet with prosecco. 



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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Glacier Bay, Alaska


We entered and cruised up Glacier Bay in Alaska with the primary purpose of seeing the magnificent Margerie Glacier.  It extends about 21 miles upstream, and is approximately 1 mile across at the waterline.  It usually calves at least once an hour, and bright sunny days result in abundant activity.  I didn't take any video, but you can clearly see the face crumbling in the shot above.  Totally impressive.




The blue ice is very visible, as are lines of sediment.



Some of the larger icebergs become a convenient resting place for various critters!



Near the mouth of the inlet, marine mammals abound, like the pods of humpback whales we saw.  See the fluke in the shot above?



There are plenty of glaciers everywhere you look that haven't yet made it down to the waterline.

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, July 24, 2013

Filipino fruit and vegetable carving


We had some amazing shipboard entertainment on our Alaskan cruise, but one of my favorite demos was by a group of young Filipino men who had all mastered the art of fruit and vegetable carving.  They did not teach it, but demonstrated at top speed, all using their own personally customized knives and tools.


The results ranged from the sublime to the (slightly) ridiculous, meant to make you smile.  It worked!


Here are some more shots:





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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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Vulture quilt - part four


I don't have much to show this week because Mike and I were off spending some time with family, visiting...are you ready for this?...the beautiful state of Alaska!  So here's the little bit of quilting I got finished just before we left.  Next week, I hope to be able to show you the construction of the vultures themselves.



1. Use blanket stitch to secure the central hole and to tack down each of the tucks.  I started with them all going the same direction.



2. The quilting stitches spiral out from the center, and with each pass, I flipped the tucks in the opposite direction so they were wibbly wobbly (but not timey wimey for you Dr Who fans!).

Part one
Part two
Part three

Part four

Part five
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, July 19, 2013

Artsy blogging round-up!



Where Is the Crafty Princess? 
Writing, writing, making jewelry, and writing some more! 


Beading Arts 
Fabric beads plus wire beads equals the start of a new mixed media necklace you can make! 


Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world 
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make Rowlux votive covers, how to draw an imaginary animal, make a recycled wood block decoupaged sign, draw 8 types of fabric and a recipe for lip-plumping moisture gloss. 


Make Someone Feel Special with a Unique Hand Made Card 
How to make a cute country-look gatefold card. 


The Big B 
Cherie uses an alphabet letter to make a photo collage. 




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Thursday, July 18, 2013

First day out on our Alaska cruise


Last week, I told you that we started our Alaska vacation in Anchorage, on the Solstice.  This is as huge big deal, and the light was incredible, just like everyone says.  The sun only went "down" for a few hours, but it never got dark, just kind of twilighty.  We were able to walk around a bit before being shuffled off to meet the cruise ship in Whittier Alaska, just a bit to the south.  Mike pointed out the little white building to me, which is the starting point of the Iditarod!


Then it was off to Whittier, and to board the Sapphire Princess cruise ship.  The shot above is just a little stop that we made, waiting for the tunnel traffic (one way) to start flowing in our direction.








We launched, and I couldn't restrain myself from just taking shot after shot after shot after shot.  As the light changed and clouds came and went, I couldn't resist "just one more shot."




The next day, the water started to be filled with little chunks of ice, mini-icebergs if you like.  We were approaching the Hubbard Glacier, but I didn't know that because I hadn't paid any attention at all to the itinerary before we left for the trip.



The Hubbard Glacier is much bigger than any picture from a distance can show, and unfortunately they had to be from a distance since the water around it was clogged with so much ice.  We didn't need to reenact scenes from the Titanic!  Love that blue color the ice gets when all the air bubbles have been compressed right out of it.



Here's a decent shot of it as we pulled away, but you still can't really get a sense of scale.


Like I said, I love that blue color!


At a certain distance (not sure exactly how far) the water clears again from the icebergs.  I must have missed the lesson in school when we learned about the ecological importance of the glaciers.  Besides carving up the land, which is a feat not to be sneezed at, they are FRESH water, so the constant "calving" into the water of broken off pieces churns up the sediment and mixes with the saltwater to create a very different environment.  Just outside these areas tend to be flush with marine mammals.

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, July 17, 2013

Book review: 500 Paper Objects


Just about anything you can imagine doing with paper is represented in this fabulous eye-candy book, 500 Paper Objects, juried by Gene McHugh and published by Lark Books.  Artists are featured who practice origami, kirigami, cutting, quilling, papier-mache, casting, quilting, rolling, and shredding...seriously.  If you can do it with paper, it's probably represented in here!

It's hard for me to pick favorites when it comes to books like this, but there were a few stand-outs.  In some cases, it was because they had multiple pieces in the book, and I not only liked their style, but could recognize and pick it out.  For example, there is Michael Velliquette, who works with crazy-loud colors:

Michael Velliquette
Meat Eater, 2011

On the other end of the spectrum is Amy Genser, who works with subtle natural tones, but whom I also fell in love with:

Amy Genser
Dead Sea Satellite 2, 2011

I wish I could show you everything, but obviously I can't.  The images in the book are also much clearer and truer to life than anything I can show you online.  Just one more example to nudge you, Patrick Gannon:

Patrick Gannon
To Breathe the Pale and Shining Moon, 2011




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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Butterflies with googly eyes!


We didn't have an awful lot of time to work on projects together during our last visit, but granddaughter Katherine and I did manage to make some clothespin butterflies, a classic kid craft!  I brought the wooden clothespins with me, and son Nate supplied some primer paint that had been used in her room.  The final idea was to use these cuties to hang some of K's artwork from a rope in her room.  Whether or not they've actually gotten that far is a mystery   :-)


Still, they were fun to make.  I primed them one night so they could dry before we started the next day.  Katherine collected all her markers, and we were delighted to find out that she had a package of googly eyes in her craft drawer too!


We used markers on the primed wood, and then I showed Katherine how to fold a napkin in half and cut out wings from the fold.  We decorated those and attached them inside with a dot of glue.  Two more dots of glue attached the eyes, and the happy bugs were finished!

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, July 12, 2013

Artsy blogging round-up!



Solar Light Glass Sculptures 
Cherie makes some small glass sculptures with solar lights. 

Beading Arts 
Cyndi shares a tiny beaded art quilt that she finished recently. 


Cool Cards 
Learn to make some cool and uncommon greeting cards with this new book. 


Remember These Handy Dandy Hanging Towels? 
How to sew a handy towel to hang securely near any sink. 




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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Anchorage Market and Festival


Here's what we've been doing that took me away from work on my quilt and other projects...we visited ALASKA!!  This is something that I've wanted to do, oh, forever.  DH has been there many many times for work, but not recently, so this trip has been anticipated for about 20 years!

We managed to land in Anchorage on the Summer Solstice, so as you can probably imagine, the entire city was going wild...in a good way!  The Anchorage Market and Festival runs all season, but everyone was especially bright and cheery, albeit a bit bleary-eyed, when we walked through just after opening on Saturday, June 22.  We didn't have a lot of time to spend, unfortunately, because we were on our way to hook up with our fellow passengers for our inner passage cruise.  But I do have to tell you about one vendor couple that we met.

Shanda and Gary Graham are the owners of Designs by Shanda, and I fell in love with the 3D wall pieces that they make, using some typical Alaska icons.  Here are examples of my two favorites:




Visit their website to see moose, whales, eagles, and a whole lot more!




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