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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, June 30, 2010

Book review: Fabric Art Workshop

Fabric Art Workshop: Exploring techniques and materials for fabric artists and quilters by Susan Stein.

There you have it! If you would like to learn about different surface treatments that you can add to your quilting or other fabric projects, this is an excellently written book to get you started. Not all of Susan’s techniques are easy-peasy beginner stuff either. This is a book that you can grow with.

While I did not find a lot that was really new to me, I was impressed by how well it was written and illustrated. There are more than two dozen techniques taught with variations on each and LOTS of pictures.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Mixed media art education

Whether you can make it to a physical class or not, you'll no doubt want to keep learning and growing as an artist.  Here is a round-up of my art education posts.  The most up-to-date list will always be in the sidebar, under The Basics.   

Mixed media art classes and retreats

Copyright and images

Foundations of design and typography 

Online training in the design elements 

Online color training and tools

Online mixed media art tutorials

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

More artsy links!

Beading Arts
Cyndi has finished her Bead Journal Project piece for June, using a very cool faux leather technique.

Creative Dreamer
Another recipe from my Grandmother's yummies...EASY potato gnocci!  

Handmade chunky beads for a teething necklace
Noreen's grandbaby is teething, so she has been making over size beads from arbutus wood to make 'teething necklaces' for his mamma to wear. Noreen had a bit of a mis-adventure making one set of beads, so this is more of a 'how not to' than a 'how to'...

The Artful Crafter
How to decorate a canvas tote bag with Quick Fuse fabric sheets.    

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Artsy blogging round-up!

Beading Arts
Cyndi has a copy of "Metalworking 101 for Beaders" to give away! 

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi uses the sweetest bird embellishments to make a card set.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside's got a chance to win a copy of Jennifer Worick's Simple Gifts and how-to's on making a silhouette, a homemade flea collar for your dog, stringing rings onto a ribbon necklace and a fun video interview with Drew Brophy the author of How to Draw with Drew Brophy.  

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is hitting the school books again but takes a moment to review her summer crafting and other accomplishments.  

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Have you ever felt like the 'red headed step child?'  

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Green Ring and wire earrings inspired by the book 101 Wire Earrings by Denise Peck

The Artful Crafter
How to make a wooden country critter wall plaque. 

The Crochet Dude
Get out your hooks and warm them up because Drew reveals all the projects from his upcoming book "Crochet It Love It Wear It - The Ultimate Collection for Every Occasion". You are not going to believe how gorgeous crochet can be!

About Family Crafts
Read through Sherri's tie-dye tutorial and you will discover how easy it is to create your own colorful, tie-dyed t-shirts and more.
Aileen's Musings
Watch Aileen's newest video and see how she transforms a boring canvas bag into a snazzy colorful tote!  

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jennifer Collier's paper and plastic clothing

I love paper clothing...not to wear, but to admire.  Remember the toilet paper wedding dresses?

I totally fell in love when I found Jennifer Collier's site.  She makes all sorts of gorgeous paper and plastic garments: shoes, baby shoes, ballet slippers (see a trend here?), dresses, men's ties, and other accessories. Recycled materials have never looked so stylish.  The pieces are not meant to be functional, but are just a delight to behold.

Jennifer writes:

Through methods of weaving, waxing, trapping, embedding and stitching I create unusual materials, which are then developed into garments and accessories. I often utilise plastics, papers and fabrics into my pieces. The works have the power to communicate ideas about recycling, as well as themes exploring the body.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Digital effects techniques

Another topic we visit pretty frequently here is different digital effects tips and tutorials (including those that mix physical and digital work). So I thought that they should get compiled for future reference too!  You'll always be able to find the link in the sidebar under The Basics.

Transparent digital backgrounds

A photographic collage

Gaussian blur

Adding an embossed layer to your photos

Digital collage using scanned background papers

Multiplying your color options

Encased tissue paper

Using a gradient fill

Creating a digital mixed media collage

How to create a peaceful landscape

Making a digital stamp

How to digitally create "fuzzy memories"

How to make a digital Polaroid image transfer

Infrared with Photoshop

Cyanotypes with Photoshop

"Match color" in Photoshop

Black and white conversion methods with Photoshop

Pop art with Photoshop

Making a layered digital collage

Mixing digital and physical art

Digital manipulation with a torn landscape

Messing around with curves

Mixed media piece with watercolor background

Combining texture shots into a new image

Creating a glowing blurred border

Tesselation tool online

Graphic style florals

Adding a shadow with Photoshop

Photoshop border with a burned edge

Combining cartoon and vintage imagery 

Fractured photographs

A spooky tree - playing with layers

Hand-tinted prints with Photoshop

Using the pointillism filter in Photoshop

Duotone prints with Photoshop

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

More artsy links!

Beach Cupcake Wrap
Here's a fun sand bucket cupcake idea for your beach party. 

Creative Dreamer
The birth of a new baby is always something to celebrate. Here's a simple, easy, and fun birth announcement to create or inspire you to make one too!

Gadabout Media
Wedding season is almost upon us. Chloe shares some great ideas for DIY wedding favours 

Hurrah for upcycling!
Noreen treated herself to a really frumpy skirt and a too small dress at the thrift store. WHY? So she could upcycle and re-fashion them, of course!

The Artful Crafter
Join Eileen in June’s June “Let Them Eat Cake” creativity challenge and get a free cupcake. Sweet! 

Beading Arts
Do you like Chinese food? Do you like jewelry...?

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Artsy blogging round-up!

Aileen's Musings
Need a new recipe for all the zucchini your growing? Download Aileen's printable recipe card, and baking some yummy Zucchini Cheddar Cheese Bread

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi takes a Twilight cotton bag up a notch!

Cathie Filian
You can dye stripes and it is easy! Cathie shows you how.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside has a chance to win one of 50 "Bulking Dummies" and a "Lab" book, a new Look, Learn and Create Video with Tracie Lyn Huskamp showing us how to make a Nature Inspired Mixed Media card, some pencil drawing and illuminated art techniques and an interview with Nancy Langdon.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy has listed the first few kits in her jewelry making kit collection, some awesome Raku earrings.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Tell Dad how much he rocks this Father's Day or on his birthday with this fun and easy to make card from Madge for ILoveToCreate!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi shares some thoughts on her recent foray into self-publishing.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make coffin shaped cupcakes inspired by the book Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse

The Artful Crafter
Join Eileen in June’s June “Let Them Eat Cake” creativity challenge and get a free cupcake. Sweet!

About Family Crafts
Be prepared for the next time you hear "I'm bored" from your kids... Bookmark this collection of fast and simple 10-minute crafts for kids!  

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chainmaille genius

I know that chainmaille isn't just for jewelry.  In fact, it originally wasn't for jewelry at all; it was for...wait for it...protective clothing!  But Chainmailbasket has brought this artform to places that I never envisioned it would go.  

Baskets, wraps, a wall hanging, sculptures, and a chess set.  Yes, a chess set.  And another chess set on the way if you'd like to watching the pieces being added.  

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Book review: 1000 Artist Journal Pages

1000 Artist Journal Pages
by Dawn DeVries Sokol
This is a beautiful and inspirational book, full of the most glorious examples of modern artistic journaling you’ll ever see…and it’s got lots of newcomers, not just the same well-known faces. The reviews are unanimous: gorgeous, with large, well-spaced images. The journal entries are actually readable, if they’re meant to be!
Why would anyone need a book on journaling? Well, you don’t really: not anymore than you need art of any type. This book will inspire your own journaling, but even more than that practical reason, it will just fill your soul with beauty and poignancy. Is that enough? Oh yeah.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Publishing your art book

What happened to the music industry a few years ago is now happening to publishing.

Have you noticed that there are a lot more people selling e-books these days?  As readers get better (like the lightweight Kindle from Amazon), and book prices continue to climb, many folks have taken the plunge into digital books.

The flip side of the coin is that many writers are also by-passing the traditional path of publishing.  Just recently, I released the first two chapters of my new e-book, Every Bead Has a Story, on mixed media bead embroidery.  After mucking about and trying to figure out how to print such a photo-intensive book at a reasonable price, I decided that the best way to do it was to not print it at all!  As a test, I have made my first chapter available for free.  It covers the basic stitches, materials and tools, and a beginner project to get someone going.  After 2000 downloads (and counting), I decided to go forward.  The second chapter (72 pages long and full of step-by-step photos), I released for just $3. 

My plan is for each additional chapter, each one nearly book-length itself, to be only a few dollars.  That way anyone can afford it, and I can pack it full of as many pictures and detail as I want.  Funny enough, after I decided to do this and started down the path, I came across these two articles on the current state of publishing and digital media.  If you've ever thought you might want to write a book, I urge you to look at these and think through all the possibilities seriously.  Oh, and help yourself to a free copy of my first chapter!

Self-publishing turning book world on its ear 

'Vanity' press goes digital

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.
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Image transfer methods

We've gone over a LOT of different methods for doing image transfers over the several years that I've been with you, and I like to recompile the list every so often. I'll be keeping it updated as we add more!  You can always find the latest list in the sidebar under the heading The Basics.

Polymer medium transfer film

Paper image transfers - plain paper

Paper image transfers - photo paper

Fabric image transfers - t-shirt transfers

Fabric image transfers - transparency transfers

Contact paper transfers (aka Packing tape transfers)

Caulk image transfers

Polaroid image transfers

Digital Polaroid image transfer

Contact printing

New digital ground products from Golden's

Waxed paper transfer 

Tilano Transfer Kit

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

More artsy links!

Father's Day Cupcake Ideas For Kids
Here are some fun cupcake ideas the kids can help make for dad.

Tottie Talks Crafts
When Noreen was a little girl, she gave her mother a special gift, and now it has come home to Noreen...  

How to sew felted wool boxes to organize odds and ends.

Beading Arts
Shhh...don't tell Cyndi's Mom! Cyndi made her a necklace from some wonderful lampwork beads from Artbeads.com!

Creative Dreamer
Creating "new" , maybe a bit irreverent, but FUN, family portraits from old family photos...  

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Artsy blogging round-up!

About Family Crafts
Check out this collection of free printable projects for Father's Day. Print and make Father's Day cards, coupon books, tags, and much more.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi turns wood curtain pulls into pretty dolls.  

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside's got a tutorial on how to print on tissue paper from the book Creative Wildfire and a chance to win a copy of it, a super cute tutorial on how to needle felt a hedgehog, making a tole painted message block, and the latest Look, Learn, & Create video with Lisa Kettell.  

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is spilling some of the beans concerning a new project she's working on - jewelry making kits!  

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge has a new DIY Website! Come read all about it and check it out!  

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Silver French knot sunburst embellished tote using the pattern in Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts  

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Book review: Craft Corps

Vickie Howell has written a gem of a book here!  Craft Corps celebrates the creative community through stories and profiles.  She has included a wonderful interview with craft pioneer and all-around creative guru Carol Duvall.  I was so happy to see this, because really, what would a book that documents the craft revolution be if it didn't pay homage to those who made it all possible to live this creative life we love?  

Some of my other favorite people are included as well: Margot Potter, Jennifer Perkins, and Cathie Filian...30 craft celebrities in all.  There are also sidebar stories by many other people.  Disclaimer: I'm one of them!  

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Fabric painting techniques

Here's a round-up of many of the fabric techniques we've covered here. Many of the techniques covered in Creating backgrounds for artwork, although they were designed with paper arts in mind, can be used for fabric painting too, so don't forget to check them out as well!  You can always find the latest lists in the sidebar under the heading The Basics.

T-shirt transfers

Transparency transfers

Painted fabric trim

Leather-look felt

Rusted fabrics

Painting fabric in a bag

Twisted fabric painting

Wiped and striped fabrics

Shibori fabric

Snow painting

Custom printed fabric with Spoonflower

Gel glue resist

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Monday, June 07, 2010

What's new...

My son, fetching fuel and food the old fashioned way!

Mudslides in the Guatemalan village (Panabaj) next to his orphanage made the roads impassible. I think they still are. Everyone was safe, but food supplies are a bit low. He doesn't think there's anything to worry about though ;-)

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Can You Keep a Secret?

Shame on me...I didn't take any process shots of this one.  I think it's pretty straightforward, though.  It's hard to see the little girl well in this photo: she is lying with her head on a pillow, looking straight on at you.  There's a moon overhead, and the look on her face is so solemn (as in most vintage photos).  The phrase "Can you keep a secret?" came to me as I was looking at her.

Here are the layers of this small quilt:

1. A piece of sun printed fabric.  I used circles and stars to make the pattern, along with night sky colors of paint and some spattered silver.  Some of the shapes are outlined in silver-lined beads.

2. Commercial plaid fabric.

3. Vintage sheet music. This gives the answer to the question of what the girl is thinking about.  "Why did you make me care?...sweethearts should never part..."

4. Vintage photo image transferred onto muslin with text written on by hand afterwards.

5. Assembly was done with beads, buttons, embroidery thread, and clothing rivets.  

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.  

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

More artsy links!

Creative Dreamer
The first Creativity Invitation prompt is up! We're celebrating with cake...come on over and join in, EVERYONE can play!

How to make tarn or t shirt yarn
Here's a video tutorial from Noreen Crone-Findlay on how to make tarn by re-using, reclaiming, recycling, upcycling, re-fashioning, re-purposing old t shirts by cutting them into the most wonderful yarn!

Madeline Scrapbook Page
How to commemorate an author event and a love of books in your scrapbooking. 

The Artful Crafter
Advice on selling large lots of craft supplies.  

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Friday, June 04, 2010

Question of the month: What are your art goals this summer?

It's reassessment time for me!  Time to look back at the goals I set back in January and to decide which ones to chew on this summer :-)  Want to join me in planning?

So far this year, I have taken a class and acquired a light box for photography.  I've been working on improving my jewelry photos, making a piece each month for the Bead Journal Project, and I've been continuing on my quest for a good balance between making and writing.  It's all been going pretty well.

Oops, I forgot about this goal:
Work on a book proposal.

If you don't know this already, I've written and released the first chapter (FREE!) of an e-book that has been in my mind for forever: Every Bead Has a Story.  So what happened to the book proposal?  I guess that has gone by the wayside.  Here's the thing...I don't want to end up becoming a slave to my goals, so I allow myself to rethink them as the year progresses.  That doesn't mean that I ignore them or forget about them.  If it seemed like a good idea, why doesn't it seem like one now?

In this case, it's because I've decided to approach the writing project in a different way.  I'm still doing it, but I'm not worrying about finding a publisher.  In some ways, I think it will be more accessible if I continue doing it as an e-book and release it chapter by chapter.  So that's what my summer goal is: to get another chunk of this project written and released!

How about you? Do you have any updates you'd like to share, along with links to your work? Leave your comment here below, or send me an image if there's a shot you'd like to share. Email cyndi @ mazeltovjewelry.com (remove the spaces).

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Artsy blogging round-up!

The Artful Crafter
How to sew felted wool boxes to organize odds and ends.

About Family Crafts
Father's Day is just around the corner. What will you do for all the other special dads you know? This year, why not make a special, home-made gift for all of the guys in your life!  

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shows you how to make vivacious vivid shipping tags to use on your gifts and in your art!  

Beading Arts
Chapter two of Cyndi's e-book is available for download! "Altered Surfaces" begins the exploration of the exchange between mixed media and bead embroidery!  

Cathie Filian
It is fashion time for dad! Check out Cathie's father's day ideas.  

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside's got a recycled book page mobile from the book-Playing With Books and a chance to win a free copy of it, a new Look, Learn, and Create video on how to make a box stitch ribbon bracelet with Elaine Schmidt, tips on painting Rembrandt style, and some "Graphic Stew" line and shape ingredients!  

Crafty Princess Diaries
After seriously losing sleep over taking photographs for her Etsy shop, Tammy has a eureka jewelry photography moment.  

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make a Steampunk button and recycled 80's earring into a cool new necklace  

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Museum of Bad Art

Mama and Babe
Acrylic on canvas by Sarah Irani, 1995
Donated to MOBA by the artist

The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA) is the world's only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms.  I fully expect to see one of my own pieces in it anyday now, because by golly, we all have THOSE days, right?

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Hedgehog pin cushions

You know how much we love hedgehogs around our house, or at least how much we love Thistle!  So how could we resist these adorable hedgehog pin cushions from BurdaStyle featured member SKG?  The pattern is simple, and even better, she is making it available free!  We all like that ;-)

via Craftzine

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