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Showing posts from March, 2010

Book review: Altered Photo Artistry

  Altered Photo Artistry by Beth Wheeler Beth’s work is glorious ! Using mostly floral imagery, she has created captivating quilted artworks. The subtitle of the book is “Turn everyday images into works of art on fabric.” That’s just the information that this book delivers: it covers the special materials that you’ll need, shows you how to prepare and alter the images you wish to use, and tutors you on printing out on fabric. And then begins the stitching! Beth also covers how to add outlining and thread details to really make your images sing. There are a handful of projects to round out the book, but for me, the most instructive part centered on choosing and altering those images. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

A new mixed media art retreat this summer

CREATE with Cloth Paper Scissors is a new retreat that will bring together inspiring artist instructors and enthusiastic participant artists of all levels for an exciting weekend of workshops, special contests and prizes, shopping opportunities, and the first ever Mixed Media Mixer. The Retreat will take place August 25 through 29, 2010, at the Rosemont Hotel just outside Chicago. I'm adding this retreat to our list of retreat opportunities .  If you can't make it to this one, maybe you can plan to attend another! Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Gel glue resist

I have been wanting to try doing a piece using the  Elmer's gel formula of their school glue as a resist. Since it can be rinsed out of fabric even after it has dried, it seemed like it would be ideal. The only problem I ran into, if you can even call it a problem, is that acrylic paints can't be heat set before removing the resist, so the colors will fade a bit. Just be prepared for this and don't get married to those bright colors that you see when the paint is wet! 1. I drew a tree outline, based upon some gnarly catalpas in our yard.  I wanted to have the resist around the edges of each branch so that I could add beading to it later.  Maybe.  So anyway, I didn't put too many details or any small branches into my tree.  I traced the outline with a thick black marker . 2. Lay a piece of muslin over the pattern that you've made and tape down the edges so that it won't shift as you work.  Trace the outline with a large black fabric marker and

More artsy links!

The Kid's Fun Review A trip to the Dollar Store yielded the supplies to make this fun Easter craft. Tottie Talks Crafts Noreen got all inspired by some links from the Artsy Bloggers group and has designed some adorable paper Springtime eggs. Beading Arts Does the beginning of spring lift your spirits? Cyndi has made a spring bracelet sponsored by Artbeads to celebrate this most wonderful of all seasons. Creative Dreamer This month has been a month of give aways, there have been twelve "doodles" so far, with three more to go, and one art doll still to find a new home...and to thank all of the loyal folks who are always there, I have one final "bonus" to give...   The Artful Crafter Have you seen Xyron’s Creatopia? Prepare to be amazed by the baby booties going through a Creatopia in the video!   Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals
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Artsy blogging round-up!

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter Wanna be a 'trashionista?' Join Madge as she turns old magazines into a fabulous decoupage purse in this week's project for ILoveToCreate Teen Crafts!  Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery How to make a dress from a recycled tank and skirt inspired by one in the book Built By Wendy Dresses The Artful Crafter Read some glass etching tips from master etcher Eric Robert.   About Family Crafts Find out how to get creative while making prints with kids by using a variety of supplies you already have on hand. You can share your ideas too!   Aileen's Musings Follow Aileen along her creative path and see how she transforms a 16x20 canvas and a map background into her dream piece!   Cathie Filian The Easter Bunny has been busy over at Cathie's workshop! Check out all the fun Easter Craft Ideas.   Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world Craftside's got a how-to on making a zippe

A new set of wings!

A lot of you know of my daughter's obsession with all things winged.  I've shared many of her student and professional projects with you...and at the risk of being too much of a proud mama, I have to share her latest.  These are a pair of wings that were commissioned, and we took pictures just before she sent them off to the new owner.  Dani has a cool little video of the wings opening and closing on her blog Danielle Hurley .  Take a look!  With fully articulated frames and every single feather applied by hand, they are a thing of beauty.  Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Book Review: Altered Curiosities

Altered Curiosities by Jane Ann Wynn Altered Curiosities is an excellent name for this book. Instead of starting with the usual list of supplies and tools that every altered art book feels obligated to include, Jane Ann Wynn jumps right into techniques. My kinda girl! Fearlessly, she plows into soldering and cutting apart small plastic animals, drilling, breaking glass, and cutting shapes into egg shells. This is not your average altered art book! Just when you think your brain is going to explode with all the new ideas, Jane Ann plunges you right into the heart of the matter…storytelling. Assemblage without a story is just not as interesting. It has no soul and no real meaning. But, assemblage with a story…well, that’s worth making and viewing! Many projects are included in the second half of the book, but it is stressed again and again that you really shouldn’t try to slavishly follow her directions, using the exact same items she’s used. Good luck with that anyway! Many of th

Recent publications: March 2010

Secrets of Digital Quilting--From Camera to Quilt: 8 Projects; 25 Techniques; Embellish with Paints, Inks & More by Lura Schwarz Smith Digital Art Revolution: Creating Fine Art with Photoshop by Scott Ligon Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

More on tangles

Amaryllis Creations Isn't it always this way?  You buy a car in a new color and suddenly start to see it everywhere?  Or in this case, I post about something, and then become aware of how many other folks are enjoying the activity too! When I posted last week about zentangles, or just plain tangles as I prefer to call them since I'm not too zen myself, little did I expect to be suddenly surrounded by the knowledge that just about everyone has been enjoying this pass time and I'm kind of late to the party!  I want to share some of the wonderful and fun work that I've seen since then. Of course, my friend June sprang immediately to mind because she has elevated doodling to a whole new level in my book!  At her blog, A Creative Dream , she's actually giving away her lovely work all month long.  June's artwork just plain makes me happy.   Geneviève , a jewelry artist friend of mine (you can read her artist profile here ) has enjoyed doing zentangles so muc

Online artist dates: places that make my heart soar

  Silver Lake, NY When you can't make it to the physical place that revives your spirit, here are some online places to go for an artist date :-) The Creativity Portal Artella’s World and Art   Dot Calm Village   MakART’s Art Resources Tera’s Wish Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Using the pointillism filter in Photoshop

If you simply slap Photoshop filters onto an image, you usually don't get a very good result.  Photoshop filters are a lot of fun, and they're somewhat addictive to use, but they really shouldn't be viewed as magic "Make Art" buttons. I want to show you what happens when you tweak the filter process a bit, and how much better the results will be.  Here's a picture of our friend Amy at her wedding:   Here's what happens when you apply Filter > Pixellate > Pointillize:   Notice how it's rough and grainy, and we've completely lost Amy's face.  The contrast is way too high.  It's basically a mess. Here's what I think we should do instead, but it takes lots more steps:   1. Duplicate your image.  Make sure the color selector has white set for the background. 2. Apply Filter > Pixellate > Pointillize with a very small cell size.  3. Use Edit > Fade.  I've found that somewhere between 70 to 90% works well f

More artsy links!

Home and Garden Cafe An easy to make paper mache egg Easter table centerpiece The Artful Crafter Looking for canning jar art ideas and supplies? Let Eileen help you out with resources and tips.   Tottie Talks Crafts Doodling is so much more than mindless twiddling with a pencil- it can be the source of all kinds of design inspiration Beading Arts Cyndi worked out a pattern for a simple but pretty floral seed bead chain!   Creative Dreamer It's a month of give-aways over on my blog...and I'm half way through. Come see what's going on and toss your name in the hat!!!   Did you art your mission statement this year? Katelyn finally got her yearly mixed media mission statement done and is hanging it right in front of her desk so she stays inspired to follow it.   Gadabout Media DIY Turn a fabric remnant into a pretty and stylish fringed scarf in an afternoon.   Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , p
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Artsy blogging round-up!

Crafty Princess Diaries The Crafty Princess has done some house cleaning, at least she's been cleaning up her blog that is. Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style Looking for an easy way to paint coloring-book art on the walls in a kid's room? Linda walks you through how she did it. Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery How to make recycled plastic bunny ears inspired by the techniques in the book Upcycled Accessories   The Artful Crafter Have you seen Xyron's Creatopia? Prepare to be amazed by the baby booties going through a Creatopia in the video!   About Family Crafts Celebrate spring with Sherri and these fun craft projects! Cathie Filian Check out Cathie's silk screen projects for Better Homes and Gardens. She has something for everyone.   Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world This week at Craftside there is a fun Steampunk style socket set bracelet, how to repurpose a canvas tote with applique and make faux patc

Book Review: The Art of Personal Imagery

The Art of Personal Imagery by Corey Moortgat Corey makes a strong request of her readers: please keep an open mind about using imagery that you’ll probably consider too personal and intimate. This request echoes what I read each month in the mixed media journals…"please, no more dunce hats and cute children with wings." Although I’m not ready to give up wings, since that’s a particularly meaningful image to me, I share her dismay that so much artwork is churned out with a similar look. I’ve been guilty of it myself. Instead, Corey wants us to dig into our stash of MODERN photos, and to dig even deeper into our own lives to come up with symbols and images that actually mean something beyond being cute. My favorite chapter in her book gives half a dozen ways that you can make a modern photo work in your mixed media piece rather than always reaching for vintage images. Nothing wrong with vintage images, but Corey wants us to move beyond them. No one says, least of all the

Call for entries and submissions

Lark Books photography contest: self-portraits Deadline: 04/30/10 Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Do you Tangle?

Lots of my artist friends are into Zentangles .  I thought it was just called doodling, but there's a whole website devoted to teaching you how to do it and letting you hook up with teachers who will come and do workshops.  On the one hand, I think it's kind of neat, because it seems to be raising the humble doodle to a whole new level, but on the other hand, it's still just doodling. Anyway, I guess I don't really do Zentangles, because I'm not into the whole relax and focus on your strokes kind of thing.  I do Prayer-tangles instead, and most likely the nice folks at the Zentangles site would say this is just fine :-)  I choose not to focus on the strokes themselves, but rather to focus on the things that I need to talk with God about.  In fact, if I do find myself thinking about the pen strokes, it's a signal to nudge my thoughts back in the proper direction.  I like to make mine inside of a circle.  They are also a bit bigger than the standard tangles,

Another hand-tinted print with Photoshop

Yesterday, I shared the steps with you that I use to make a pretty fair-decent facsimile of a hand-tinted print using my favorite toy, Photoshop.  The photo that I used was very badly composed, so I thought it would make a good shot to experiment with. Here's what you can do with this technique when you use a nicer shot to start out:     Copyright 2010 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: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Hand-tinted prints with Photoshop

I'm back in a digital mood.  It's not that I don't want to make another quilt or a new collage, but I've been having so much fun just poking about with Photoshop and figuring out some new techniques.  Don't forget about all the other techniques that are already listed on the Digital Effects page linked on the sidebar.  Today and tomorrow I want to share two easy new ideas for you to try out. ( Here's the link to the next post! ) I don't know about you, but I often take pictures that are less than perfect!  One of my biggest problems is that I fail to see what's in the background.  Here's a shot I took at a wedding, with someone's backside right behind (ha ha) the flowers that I was aiming for.  And there's a stack of dirty cups back there too.  In fact, two stacks!  Great...         If I can make this picture into something interesting, it will be a miracle.  That's what makes it a really good shot to use for experimenting!  I decid

All of creation

God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.  (Genesis 1:31a ) For the Christian artist, all of creation can be our subject.  Sometimes our thinking gets short-circuited into narrow views of what can properly constitute Christian art, but really, if God said that all He made was good, then who am I to argue? My friends all know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ first and an artist second.  My close online friends know that as well, although perhaps not all of my more casual readers do.  I certainly don't do anything to try and hide it, but my work doesn't always consist of art themes that are traditionally identifiable as "Christian."  Not that my work is ever anti-Christian either, so don't start to get worried! What I want to suggest to other Christian artists is that it's important for each one of us to develop a full understanding of what is the proper content of Christian art...applicable only to ourselves.  After studying this issue fo

More artsy links!

  Beading Arts Cyndi has a fabulous Zulugrass bracelet to giveaway this week! Creative Dreamer Let's finish the's the last part of how I created the latest book...come see how it was done!   Gadabout Media DIY Easter is coming soon, so why not use your sewing machine to help decorate for Easter?   Gadabout Media Holidays Springing into warmer weather with mixed media wooden letters.   The Artful Crafter Takes a spin with Eileen and Shaaron on the Craft-N-Spin crafting turntable. The Kid's Fun Review Fun St. Patrick's Day craft ideas for kids.   Tottie Talks Crafts A friend of Noreen's mentioned that she uses her doodling for inspiration in crochet. That inspired Noreen to make a Doodle Doll with spool knitted arms and legs. Here's how to make a Doodle Doll     Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals
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Artsy blogging round-up!

  Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world Craftside has a fun St. Patrick's Day necklace with a tutorial on how to make a flat coil head pin, instructions on how to make an adjustable lace up shirt alteration, a free round topped box template download and some cool Collage Lab stuff. Crafty Princess Diaries Tammy has another book review. This one looks at Pretty Little Presents, a book about stitching up small gift items.   Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style The cardmaking station is pulled together in Linda's sewing and craft room. Now she's looking forward to making some cards!   Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter Had your eyes checked lately? Madge did...and was she surprised to find out she needs glasses!   Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery How to sew a recycled tank and t-shirt dress inspired by one of the projects from the book Twinkle Sews by Wenlan Chia   The Artful Crafter Looking for canning jar art ideas and s

The National Gallery of Art has the greatest online toys!

I’m especially fond of the Collage Machine , as you might be able to guess! The Kids’ Art Zone , part of the NGA’ s fabulous website, has over a dozen really fun online artsy toys to play with, to challenge your creativity. Warning…not for kids only. This site is potentially a huge time pit, so you might want to set a timer :-) Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Calls for entries and submissions

Somerset Digital Studio Deadline: 04/15/10   Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Real life international quilting bees

International Quilt Festivals Shows held in several locations. Quilt Surface Design Symposium Workshops held in Columbus Ohio for the non-traditional quilter. Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops The beautiful Greenville Arms Inn is the location of these New York workshops. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Adding beading to your collages

  Peace Like a River Peace Like a River is a mixed paper and fabric collage that I made a few years ago.  It looks pretty crude to my eye now, but at the time I was just beginning to explore the cross-over between beading and collage.  Anyway, no matter what the relative merits of this piece are, I did take some process shots at the time, so I thought it might be worthwhile to share them with you and go through the steps. Hopefully your own experiments will be more of a masterpiece than this one ;-) 1.  I added beads randomly to a piece of muslin that I had previously painted.  You can use any method for painting that appeals to you, and of course you can also have an advanced plan for your beads if you wish!  If the fabric is too soft, iron on a small piece of lightweight fusible interfacing behind where you'll add the beads.  2. Create an image transfer on muslin, using the transparency and inkjet method , or whatever method you desire. Here is a round-up of all imag

More artsy links!

  Creative Dreamer It's March...I am Irish....Let's celebrate with a HUGE month long blog give away....come join in! Gadabout Media DIY Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding, which allows you to turn a flat piece of paper into a 3-D sculpture. But did you know that it's another fun craft to share with kids? The Artful Crafter Looking for canning jar art ideas and supplies? Let Eileen help you out with resources and tips. Tottie Talks Crafts Due to circumstances beyond Noreen's control, Hankering for Yarn no longer exists. But you can still follow her work on Tottie Talks Crafts... AND! You can win a copy of Noreen's new book: The Woven Bag: 30+ projects from small looms   Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals
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Artsy blogging round-up!

  About Family Crafts Sherri shares some suggestions to help you celebrate National Craft Month. Aileen's Musings Aileen's altered a pair of old white tennis shoes and gave them a whole new look....they were pretty wild but she's toned them down with some spray webbing. She's even worn them out and about and received some great compliments on them!  Beading Arts Cyndi is running a contest on Beading Arts, and the prize is an absolutely free advertisement! Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world Craftside's got a post about working with grids in mixed media, a ribbon embellished quilt from The Quilt Bible, 3rd Edition, tips on outlining a photo and a bunch of journal pages from 1000 Artist Journals. Crafty Princess Diaries Tammy shows off some jewelry she and her husband made for a local charity auction, perfect for animal lovers! Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style Linda's making progress in the sewing and craft roo

Question of the Month: Which new year's resolutions are you going to keep?

Once a couple of months have passed by, I find I need to revisit my (often ambitious) list of business and personal goals for the year and ask myself the Question of the Month: Which new year's resolutions am I actually going to keep? So I'll ask you too: Which of your resolutions and goals seem to be the most likely to be kept this year? Maybe you've already managed to cross a bunch off your list already and you're all set to add the next batch. Or maybe your list has gone the way of most of the lists that start out with "Exercise more and eat less". For me, I've managed to start on two out of five: 1. Take another class this year in something… anything. *** 2. Get a light tent or light box and learn to make my photography better. 3. Work on a book proposal. *** 4. Schedule a better balance between making and writing. 5. Eat better, exercise more, get more sleep…oops! Don’t know how that one slipped in there! I've got a light tent

Artist profiles - part seven

  Zura Beth Enjoy the inspiration from some more fabulous mixed media artists!  If you'd like to share your work, please contact me...there's always room for more.  Eileen Bergen, mixed media and digital art Zura Beth, collage Christy Grant, mixed media Arlee Barr, mixed media Boris Bally, metal sculpture and assemblage Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Calls for entries and submissions

Heart Ornament contest Deadline: 04/01/10 Mixed media pendant swap, Cloth Paper Scissors Deadline: 04/05/10 Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals