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Showing posts from May, 2012

More Rome...the catacombs at Priscilla

Our guide at the Priscilla Catacombs was quick to inform us that they were a burial ground, not a place that the Christians met to avoid persecution. This was the only place that we took a guided tour (besides the glass factory on Murano), because the lighting is dim and the tunnels are twisty. Every year, more sections are opened, and more treasures are revealed. No pictures can be taken, but they had an excellent selection of postcards and books. There were none that showed the tunnels with all the niches dug out of the rock for burial platforms, so I found the image above on a tourist site, but there are many good postcards of the frescoes which have been uncovered in some of the larger chambers. This one is the three young Hebrew men that were thrown into the furnace in the book of Daniel. They emerged unscathed, and the King saw the figure of God walking around with them. This fresco has the oldest known image of the Virgin with her child. She is sideways on

Recent publications: May 2012

Stitch, Cloth, Shimmer & Shine by Sarah Lawrence Mixed-Media Girls with Suzi Blu: Drawing, Painting, and Fanciful Adornments from Start to Finish by Suzi Blu Dreaming From the Journal Page: Transforming the Sketchbook to Art by Melanie Testa The Crafty Bird: Sewing, Jewelry and Mixed Media Projects to Inspire and Delight by Rachael Scheller More Fabric Art Collage: 64 New Techniques for Mixed Media, Surface Design & Embellishment Featuring Lutradur®, TAP, MulTex by Rebekah Meier Journeys To Abstraction: 100 Paintings and Their Secrets Revealed by Sue St. John Photoshop Brushes & Creative Tools: Leaves (Electronic Clip Art Photoshop Brushes) by Alan Weller Easy Grid Quilts by Karen G. Fisher Floral Dimensions: 20 Stunning 3D flowers to Machine Applique by Pauline Ineson Creation Story: Gee's Bend Quilts and the Art of Thornton Dial by Mark W. Scala Sliver Quilts: 11 Projects,  Easy Technique for Dynamic Results by Lisa O'Neill The

More Rome...Palatine Hill, the Forum, and the Colosseum

I’ll share with you a tourist secret that I learned from my daughter: when you want to visit the Colosseum , go and visit Palatine Hill first. The line there is shorter, and the pass you buy will get you into the whole area. When you do make your way down to the Colosseum, you’ll be able to get in the shorter line since you've already paid :-) And Palatine Hill is well-worth the visit anyway! It’s gorgeous. You can see the ruins of all the Caesar’s houses, and there are some rooms that have just opened up for public viewing recently with frescoes on the walls. Amazing! You can’t take pictures of the rooms, but the outside area is all fair game, and very picturesque. Mike and Dani pose so you can see the scale: From one of the walls of the hill, you can look down into the Forum . We didn’t go down that day because Rome was having a heatwave, and the temperature had soared over 100F by 10am. Here’s the Forum with all the “modern” buildings in the background:

Hedgehogs...cutest critters ev-ah!

Thistle Some of you may remember that my hedgehog obsession began when daughter Dani got one as a pet.  Thistle is just the cutest thing in the world, and because of her existence, I began to notice hedgehogs and to enjoy their general cuteness. So, no surprise that when I found a terrific pattern to make crocheted hedgehogs by Nickie Engle , I went a little bit overboard, as you'll see below.  Overboard in the sense that every little girl I know is getting one or more of these.  And some big girls I know are getting them too ;-)  Other hedgehog projects: Chocolate hedgehogs Hedgehog pincushions Simon's Cat: Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

More artsy links!

  Wooden Birdhouse and a Secret Message Cherie adds a secret note to her wooden birdhouses. Beading Arts A tutorial for simple but elegant earrings is featured this week!   Eileen - The Artful Crafter Pearl stretch bracelets make the perfect accessory. Eileen made 3 in 30 minutes for less than $2 each. Here's the how-to. No beading tools required!   Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Artsy blogging round-up!

  Carmi's Art/Life World The Go Baby! has made sewing fun again!   Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make polymer clay cabochons and transfer muslin markings to a sewing pattern, a billboard doodling exercise, a cool oversized stitching detail and recipes for flavored water and banana breakfast bars. Crafty Princess Diaries The Crafty Princess continues to relearn cross stitch; this time she redisovers outlining.   Eileen - The Artful Crafter Do you know how to repair cracked ceramics? Eileen shares two methods.   Mixed Media Artist Cyndi's family finished up their wonderful trip to Italy in Rome!   Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

More Rome...St Peter's Basilica

One of the most moving sites we visited in Vatican City was St Peter’s Basilica . Again, as a church, picture taking is limited, although it’s allowed in most areas without flash. Being extremely phobic about heights (and averse to two-hour long lines), I declined to go up into the dome. In the picture above, which I took from the floor, I’ve marked two little orange dots that you might be able to just barely make out. They are near the bottom of the shot, above the “O” in the lettering. Those dots are on top of the heads of two people who are looking out over the railing…that’s how high the thing is! There are people all the way around the dome, but you can’t see them in my photo. Dani tells me that the “O” is wider and taller than a person! I was heartbroken that my very favorite statue in the entire world now has to be kept behind bullet-proof glass, quite far from where you stand to see it. La Pieta, by Michelangelo. Some idiot took a hammer to it a number of years a

Book review: The Complete Decorated Journal

Have you read or do you own either of Gwen Diehn's journal books, The Decorated Journal or The Decorated Page ?  If not, you might want to seriously consider adding this newest version to your personal art library: The Complete Decorated Journal .  This new book by Lark Publishing combines the two previous books (with a newly edited flow so they truly become one book, and adds new techniques, a new project, and 13 artist profiles with a gallery of their work. This book is an incredibly inspiring reference work.  Besides the usual materials and tools guide, you'll find page layout ideas, tips for a building layered pages, information on specific genres of journals, and many many creative techniques for personalizing your journal. Do you want to use a pre-made journal or build one from scratch?  Both are covered in this fabulous book.  As for me, I can't wait to try a little more paint and a little less structure! Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , asse

More Rome...well, the Vatican

I’m sure most people are aware that Vatican City is a little sovereign nation right in the middle of Rome! I don’t even know where to begin with telling you about our visit to the Vatican Museum …I saw pieces of art that I never in my life ever thought I’d have the chance to see in person. I was a Greek major in college, and many of the mythological heroes of antiquity are to be found in the museum, like Perseus up above. Or Laocoon and his sons after they ran afoul of Poseidon. And this one, the god of the Nile, which is enormous! There are mosaics and inlaid work that defy description And there is the huge sphere within a sphere which dominates the courtyard. It moves, by the way! I believe this last lady is a muse of some sort. Even though her thread has long since disappeared, she is binding a book! How cool is that? One of the best parts of the Vatican has to be the Sistine Chapel . It is just breathtaking. No photos are allowed, but you ca

Being a mixed media artist

Hi! I wanted to ask you a few questions, if I may, about being a mixed media artist. I'm 43 and looking for an artistic career that can actually bring in some money. I'm in love with all kinds of creating, but I'm just getting started with mixed media. I read on your profile that you are a full-time artist. How do you sell your work?  I'd like to eventually have my own store, do you know other mixed media artists who have their own stores, or is it a smarter idea to start with something on Etsy? Also, what are some good resources where I could network with other artists? I appreciate your help and am looking forward to combing your website. Thanks! Cara Hi Cara, Congratulations on your decision to embark on a new career!  I've actually got dozens and dozens of posts about having an art business, but they are on my other blog, Beading Arts .  Even though many of the posts are geared towards jewelry artists, the information there is sound for anyone think

More artsy links!

  Eileen - The Artful Crafter Do you know how to repair cracked ceramics? Eileen shares two methods.  New Paints: Sometimes I'm an Old Woman Cherie uses poetry to create two new pictures.   Beading Arts We're celebrating everything to do with wire this month! Come and visit with some fabulous wire artists and try your hand at working with wire yourself!   Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Artsy blogging round-up!

Aileen's Musings Aileen has 2 free father's day banners you can download and print! Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi's Ghastlie Zipper Pouch!   Crafty Princess Diaries Summer time means bug time, and the Crafty Princess has gotten bitten by the cross stitch bug.   Eileen - The Artful Crafter Pearl stretch bracelets make the perfect accessory. Eileen made 3 in 30 minutes for less than $2 each. Here's the how-to. No beading tools required!   Mixed Media Artist In Photoshop, there are multiple ways to make line drawings...but which way is the best?   Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals


We traveled by train from Venice back to Orvieto to retrieve all of Dani’s stuff from the monastery. From there we took a train into Rome’s central station (Termani). That pretty well shot the day, as you can probably imagine. Bright but not too early the next morning we began our Roman adventure! Our first stop was the Borghese Museum . Since you have to make reservations (or take your chances, which I don’t recommend), we had a set time to show up, and only two hours to enjoy it. NO PHOTOGRAPHS, thank you very much! Suffice it to say that it is well worth the visit. Click on the link above, and you can see the official photos of some of the works we saw! Here are the only shots I took, of the outside: Yes, that is a pigeon! After lunch, we headed to the National Museum of Rome , housing an amazing collection of mosaics, inlaid stonework, and other treasures. You might think we’d be museumed out after that, but not when every corner you turn takes your breath away, n

Book review: Making Mini Books

Have you noticed how popular all things little and cute are recently?  Lark Books is right on target with Kathleen McCafferty's newest book, Making Mini Books: Big Ideas for 30+ Little Projects . You'll learn great techniques for binding all different types of materials together, and even though these are pint-sized projects, you'll be able to apply the techniques to other projects of your own choosing too.  I love that this book promotes the use of recycled or upcycled materials more than store-bought supplies.  I also love the emphasis on learning many stitched binding methods.  If you don't love the needle the way I do, you'll find plenty of stapled and folded alternatives here too. This book has plenty of the beautiful photos that Lark Books is famous for, and there are so many innovative materials used, it will set your mind spinning!  One of my favorite techniques is Japanese stab binding, and there are a number of inspirational projects using th

More Venice...the food

Gorgonzolla especk (smoked prosciutto) The food in Venice was phenomenal…the pizza, the handmade pasta, the wine! Mushrooms and ham Handmade vermicelli carbonara Verdure alla griglia (grilled vegetables) Insalata mozzarella The feast! Spritz Additional information about the spritz, including a recipe! 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. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals