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...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!


Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world This week at Craftside there is a pattern for a knit hat with a cable ribbed edge, a tutorial on how to draw the grim reaper, a link to Carla Sonheim's blog tour filled with all sorts of fabulousness and a recipe for a grilled steak salad with creamy cowboy ranch dressing. 

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy takes a look at Knitmare on Elm Street.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Do you know the 3 best ways to sew hidden seams with panne velvet or any thick fabric?  

Resin Crafts!
Carmi is happily surprised to make plaster art in her resin molds!  

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to use home made rubber stamps to customize a Freak Flag  

Beading Arts
Cyndi believes that you can never have too many ideas for how to use your lampwork beads... 

Cherie Burbach: Yellow and Blue and Birdies
Cherie is on a yellow and birdie kick with her paintings.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Making your own journals...in almost no time!

Kittykill  (aka Pam) shares the easiest peasiest way to make your own journals from old hardcover books.  Not exactly the most professional way to do it, but fast, fun, and kid-friendly...as long as you help out with the cutting.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

I found a delightful blog last week that I know my homeschooling friends will love.  It's called Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, and today's entry is a carnival that happens to include one of my projects!  Give Kris a visit. 

My new old journal

I realized that I've been accumulating an awful lot of sample papers and fabrics, and occasionally I have even had a difficult time remembering what techniques a given piece is supposed to be an example of.  That could be very inconvenient if I decided to use one of them in the future for another project!  I don't really want to have to look back through all my files to find pictures of the piece.

So I decided to use an old photo album that I had bought years ago and turn it into a journal of sorts.  First I took it apart and cleaned it up, removing some of the pages for (maybe) later use.

I used double-stick tape to tack the pieces into the journal loosely.

The best part?  I printed out the date and outline of instructions for each piece and taped it into the journal under the example piece.   

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, September 21, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!


Cherie Burbach Cherie makes a blue glass sculpture with bud vases and beads.  

Beading Arts
Fabric art and beads? Of course!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on transfer dying with stencils and how to make a Duct tape skull shower curtain decoration for Halloween along with a call for entries for a new book 1000 Food Styling Ideas and a recipe for low-cal cocoa tapioca. 

Crafty Princess Diaries
Just in time for Halloween, download this free zombie paper project. 

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
World Cardmaking Day is right around the corner. Are you ready for BIG prizes and GOOD causes?

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
The Crochet Dude's coaster pattern maikes a great Halloween mini doily.  

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yay for Kara!

Kara, an extraordinary cake maker, is the winner of our Artful Halloween giveaway!  Congratulations, Kara!!

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Heather Vollans's mixed media mosaics

 Mosaic Wall, 7 x 20 feet

Pick up stuff that's been thrown out, turn it into something wonderful.  How could I not like Heather Vollans?!  Besides making amazing pieces, Heather also teaches workshops.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Book review: Push Print

You may remember that last year I introduced you to the first two members of this new Lark series: Push Paper and Push Stitchery (see my review here).  Now the next two books are set to be released, including Push Print.  This volume became available in the beginning of September 2012, along with Push Jewelry.  [Note: the review for Push Jewelry will be posted on Beading Arts].

I don't know really what to say about this volume.  I've liked all of them, but I know soooo little about printing (other than my vague forays into monotypes and stamping).  My daughter taught me a little about some of the terminology when she was doing a printmaking course in college, but I've never done any of it.  So I feel totally out of my depth to remark on any of the work in this book.  I like some of it, other pieces fail to move me, which is typical of boundary-edge work in any medium.  But here I have only the editors' word for it that the work is cutting edge!

I really like the work that is printed on 3 dimensional forms, but that's about all I can say.  If you are a print artist, you'll probably want to see this book and you'll probably come to the conclusion that you know a LOT more about prints than I do :-)

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Soy silk fabric and embroidery

Quite some time ago, I shared a three part post with you on my adventures with Soy Silk Roving.  The sheets of "fabric" that I made sat around until I finally came up with an idea to use at least one of them.  They are surprisingly strong, and if handled carefully, they make a great support fabric for embroidery and bead embroidery.

1. Follow the directions that I've already provided to make yourself some pieces of soy silk roving fabric.   You can add acrylic paints to it or back it with interfacing if you want (both will help to make it more stable), but I just left this piece plain.

2. Sketch the outline of the design you want to use, if desired.  Transfer to a piece of tracing paper or some other thin paper it will be easy to tear away later.

3. Pin the design in place on the soy silk roving fabric, stitch, and tear away the tracing paper as you go.  Use tweezers to remove pieces that get stuck in the stitches.

4. I added small seed beads to each of the cross stitch stars.  The outlining was done in stem stitch.   

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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, September 14, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!


Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make a recycled champagne cork acorn. 

About Family Crafts
Browse through this list of unique, homemade Halloween costume ideas and then share yours!

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shows you how to turn a washing machine lid into a chalk/magnetic board!  

Beading Arts
Did you know that you can bead a bezel for...get this...a large BEAD? Yup! And it's really easy! 

Cherie Burbach's blog
Cherie makes a sculpture using green and gold glasses.  

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a pattern and tutorial on how to sew an acorn, two cat cross stitch patterns, an interview with Lisa Solomon author of Knit Thread Stitch, and some fiber nutrition tips.  

Crafty Princess Diaries
Download a free book excerpt from the adorable new title How to Make Stuffed Animals published by Quarry.  

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
This week, The Artful Crafter tells how you can create free yarn crafting patterns online.  

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jason Laferrera's map collages

I can't remember where I first saw Jason Laferrera's work, but I bookmarked the site immediately.  I love how he takes the imagery from old maps and digitally manipulates it to form these fabulous birds and beasts!  Visit him...you won't be sorry!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book review and giveaway: Artful Halloween

Please don't hate me, but I'm not particularly a fan of Halloween.  I know that puts me in the minority, because according to recent statistics, Halloween has become the second biggest retail sales holiday in the US.  But I don't do anything for it other than to put together a costume and pass out candy.

However, I know a lot of you like to go all out, and if I were going to make a big deal out of Halloween, Artful Halloween is the book I'd use for my ideas!  Author Susan Wasinger writes:

[Halloween]...had become so frightfully commercialized, overwrought with cringe-worthy plastic decorations, tart-y getups, and high-fructose junk foods.  Halloween had begun to lose me, and I suspect was becoming uncomfortably tawdry for many of us.  Americans will spend billions (yes, with a "b") on Halloween this year alone, and both the pragmatic and the creative sides of me think we deserve a whole lot more aesthetic whiz bang for all those big bucks.

So Susan proposes to help us to go after that aesthetic whiz bang, with 31 beautiful projects, using readily available craft materials and easy-to-use tools.  There are over ten unique and beautiful pumpkin decorating ideas included that don't require scooping out the guts.  Gotta like that!  There are also projects for inside and outside your home, and a few for your own costuming.

***Free Stuff Alert!!!*** 

If you'd like to win my copy of Artful Halloween, 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: September 19, 2012

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Twisted copper wire bracelet

I really enjoyed reading through Kerry Bogert's new book Rustic Wrappings, which I shared about on Beading Arts (my review is here).  I made a very simplified version of one of Kerry's pieces, actually leaving off the beads that she added (GASP!!) and just letting the patina be featured.  It was a great opportunity to get out my basic Coiling Gizmo that I haven't used in, like, forever.  I actually started to do the 20 gauge wire wrappings by hand, but I realized that I wasn't going to get the smooth perfect coils that I wanted until my wrists were screaming in pain.

The Gizmo is soooo easy to use.  I just clamped it to the table and began cranking!

I used ammonia and salt to add the wonderful turquoise-ish blue patina to the wire.  It took about four hours. That's netting that you see taped to the tupperware container, which suspends the piece in the fumes while you have it closed up.

I used a very heavy 12 gauge wire (heavier than what Kerry uses, I think).  The coiled wire slipped onto it perfectly though.   

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, September 07, 2012

Artsy blogging round-up!


Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Wood and copper combine for a casual blue jeans themed bracelet. Instructions included.

Beading Arts
Beading Arts takes a look at lampwork and glass fusing all this month! 

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has been experimenting with t-shirt fabric all week. Who knew it could be used like yarn?  

Cherie Burbach
Cherie makes a glass sculpture using candy dishes, ashtrays, and a tea light holder.  

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a fun mixed-media card tutorial and the graphics and techniques it was inspired by along with a recipe for edamame hummus.  

Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess is giving away a book about chain jewelry this month. Enter for your chance to win.  

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Thursday, September 06, 2012

Beautiful bookshelf idea

This image is making the rounds all over the internet, but I haven't been able to figure out exactly where it first appeared.  I hate to post something like this without proper credit, but it's too good not to share.  The earliest post I've been able to find is Pianissimo.  Great piece of recycled art, huh?

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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Monday, September 03, 2012

Felt flowers...a happy bunch of love to give away to your friends

Back when I was happily leafing through Stash Happy Felt by Amanda Carestia in order to review it, I came across an idea that made me start thinking.  Yup, just simple felt flowers.  But I had to add some spins and twists to the project presented in the book until it became truly mine.  There's nothing wrong with Amanda's directions...I just wanted to do them differently.

The biggest change I made was to substitute cotton fabric backed with interfacing for the center of each flower.  Another change was adding leaves to the stems.  I also added a layer of sticky-backed felt to the back of each flower to give it extra stiffness (large flowers will tend to flop, even with several layers of felt).  And last, I added some circular mirrored pieces to a few centers, stitching them on with shisha-style embroidery.  This meant having to attach the stems differently too, but it worked out well.

Materials & Tools

Cotton fabric and shirtweight interfacing
Sticky-backed felt
Mirrored plastic or shisha mirrors (optional)
Embroidery floss
Floral stem wire
Shank buttons
Two-holed buttons

Templates - 3 of each shape, graduated sizes
Black marker
Crewel embroidery needle
X-acto knife

1. Iron cotton fabric to shirtweight interfacing.

2. Trace the smallest flower shape on the interfacing side and cut out the flower centers.

3. Do the same for the leaves.

4. Cut the medium and large shapes from felt.

5. Cut the largest flower shape from sticky-backed felt too.

6. Stitch all the flower shapes together, starting with the smallest.  Stitch around the outside of the largest shape, backed by the sticky felt. 

7. Do the same for the leaves, but they probably won't need a sticky felt layer unless they are very large.

8. Add the stems to the flowers by making a small slit in the middle of the flower.  Bend a piece of floral stem wire through a shank button and insert both ends through the slit from the top.  Underneath, thread the wires through the holes of a regular button and twist them together.  When you get to the place you want to add a leaf, poke one wire through the leaf near the bottom and continue twisting the wires together.  

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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