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...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

See you in a week!

Love you all!  I'm taking the week off, and I'll see you bright and early in 2013!!

Image: The Meta Picture

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!

Knitting Patterns for Beginners
Are you just getting started with knitting? Check out this round-up of easy knitting patterns for beginners over at CraftFoxes. 

My Family's Homemade Ornament Exchange
Cherie shows off some of the homemade ornaments her family has made in their exchange.  

Beading Arts
The parties aren't over yet! Here's how to put together a festive hair ornament!

One of my favorite treats, candied ginger dipped in chocolate. It's easy to make, and a great holiday gift!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy takes a look at the wave of hand-made toy drives going on right now and considers the needs of her own community as well.  

How to Create a Cheery Folk Art Angel Ornament
Make several of these jute ribbon angels to represent friends or family members. You can even let the kids draw on the faces themselves; just be sure to date their art!  


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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!

How to Make Bread Dough Clay Holly Leaf Christmas Ornaments Bread dough clay is fun for kids of all ages. What a great project for a wintry snow day! 

Modern Quilt Pattern
Remember Lindsay's Equalizer Quilt? It's a modern look that makes a perfect quilt for men, and it's now a free pattern.

Beading Arts
Cyndi has three bead kits to give away, thanks to The Bead Shop! 

Wedding Cake Ideas
Even if you're not planning a wedding, check out this post on wedding cake ideas at CraftFoxes. From ombre to cake tattoos, this list is inspiring.

Ornaments, ornaments, ornaments! Fifteen of them in 15 days... and plenty of them you can get finished in time for THIS Christmas! 

CD Scrapbook Ornaments
Cherie makes ornaments out of old CDs and scrapbooking supplies.  

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to fold an origami gift box, make a recycled t-shirt wreath, create a comic with found text, some deer themed logos to inspire different drawing styles, and 6 tips for choosing healthy foods.  

Crafty Princess Diaries
Get into the holiday spirit and get some great crafting and gift giving ideas from two books created by the folks at Country Living magazine.  

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lava quilt blocks from Spoonflower - part three

I have had soooo many fits and starts with this new quilt.  I was hoping to finish it up before the end of the year, but I'm afraid that is just not to be.  Or at least, getting it written up is not to be...we'll see about the stitching part :-)

Anyway, I had no completely clear idea of what to do with the blocks once I painted them, so I just forged ahead.  Which turned out to be a bad idea!

Bad idea #1 - Keep the blocks attached and add embroidery on the lines.  Oh yuck, I really didn't like the way this looked at all, but I almost stuck with it because I HATED to have to pull all that stitching out.  But I did...

Bad idea #2 - Cut the blocks apart and begin to add beads.  After beading three blocks, I decided that I just hate the way they look.  However, I can always cut the beading off later, so I decided to leave them as is for now and make that decision later.  Maybe I'll decide that the rest of the blocks need beads, and I won't have to rip out the beading that I've done.

OK idea #3 - Decide how the blocks will be arranged.  I have this beautiful raspberry fabric that I've decided to use for the background, so the next step is to figure out how the blocks will be arranged.  Fortunately, when I cut them out, I numbered them on the back so that it wouldn't end up being one big messy puzzle.  Here are the arrangements I tried, and the one above is the winner.

Time to start stitching!

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, December 07, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!


Crafty Princess Diaries Enter to win a free copy of the new e-book by Margot Potter, "The Fine Art of Shameless Self-Promotion." 

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Make these sweet bread dough clay candy cane ornaments with the kids.

Holiday Gift Guide for Arts and Crafts Lovers
What to buy for the crafter in your life? Here are our current favorites! 

Beading Arts
Cyndi is featuring quick and easy jewelry projects all month long for your holiday gift-giving, including this special bracelet...sooo pretty and sooo fast!

Laura Thykeson's Uniques
A Wonderful life - well lived! Plus some arty eye candy!  

Modern Quilt for Music Lovers
Lindsay shows off her Turntable Quilt, a modern crib-size quilt that's unlike anything you've seen. 

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make recycled cup glitter votive holders. 

Very Last Minute Stocking Stuffer
Cherie makes a simple ribbon bookmark with charms.  

June's having another give away. This time it's a mid-century style glitter house!  

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a double giveaway featuring 16 new craft and cook books, 25 days of paper crafts, and a recipe for vegan stuffed cabbage rolls.  

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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Holiday tutorials from around the town - wreaths

Are you a hopeless procrastinator (like me)?  Here are some fantastic wreath projects that you'll have plenty of time to whip up for yourself or someone else...I promise you they are all worth the time!

Thread spool wreath

Origami wreath

Birch wood wreath

Vintage-style velvet button wreath

Crocheted wreath

Sheet music star wreath

Burlap wreath

Mini rosemary wreath

Plastic ornament wreath

Butcher paper wreath

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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Monday, December 03, 2012

Yay for Barbara!

Barbara, who writes Rocky Cross Studio, is the winner of the fabulous Push Print.  Congratulations!!

Lava quilt blocks from Spoonflower - part two

My lava fabric that I told you about last week arrived from Spoonflower, and I ironed it out and began to paint it just as soon as I could find a couple of uninterrupted hours. 

1. I was really pleased with the way it turned out.  I ordered a good quality cotton print on a fat quarter, and it was exactly what I was looking for.

2. My first step in adding color was to choose some acrylic paints and water them down a lot.  It was very helpful to have a nice wide margin of fabric around the blocks so that I could test colors.

3. I added thin washes of the colors and built up some layers to make them fade into each other.  I let the paints dry and then heat set them with an iron.

4. While I had the iron out, I added a very lightweight fusible interfacing to the back.  Later, when I cut the blocks apart, this will keep them from unraveling.

5. I used Inktense pencils to add more definition and color to the texture of the lava.  Here (above) it is shown still wet, and below is what it looked like when dry.  You can see in the right margin that I sampled the various pencils before committing to them.  Since they are permanent once dry, I wanted to be sure of my color choices.  Even though Inktense pencils don't really need to be heat set, I ironed the fabric again anyway after it dried just for extra insurance.

Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four

This post contains affiliate links
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.

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.  

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

This post contains an affiliate link

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.  

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!

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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