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Time off

Rising Mist , my last quilt You're probably wondering why there haven't been any new projects here for awhile.  Well, the problem is that I've got a pinched nerve in my neck, which is not only painful, but is also interfering with my shoulder and left hand through the nerve pathway.  I had to make a decision which blog to concentrate on, and Beading Arts won.  I'm sorry, but I had to hold on to my first love and let most everything else go. I am doing physical therapy and am working hard to heal, but it takes time.  It's also problematic, as many of you can probably relate, because I have the tendency to hunch over my work which makes it even worse.  I'm not sure how successful I'll be in training myself to stop, but I'm working on it! Meanwhile, make wonderful things, and please do visit me on Beading Arts .  When I'm able to start quilting and collaging again, I'll also start posting here again. Love you all!

Quote of the week!

Artsy blogging round-up!

Art Bead Scene Check out Ema's new favourite tool - her wood-forming block for making curved metal components! Beading Arts Cyndi has been experimenting with bead embroidery and metal mesh ribbon! Charlene Sevier Book Review: The Complete Photo Guide to Making Jewelry (2nd Edition) Origami-Inspired Calling Card Holder Suits Gift or Credit Cards This origami-inspired card holder had two large pockets on the inside and 2 "secret" pockets on the outside. It holds about 20 cards and fastens with an elastic ponytail holder. Resin Crafts What could be cooler than miniature people at the beach? Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Book reviews: two new books for winter and Christmas!

If you want to get your quilting gifts finished   before Christmas is over this year, then might I suggest Here Comes Winter and Celebrate Christmas , both published by Martingale . Here Comes Winter was written by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks .  The basics of quiltmaking are in the beginning for those who are just venturing into this artform.  Almost all of the book, though, is dedicated to the projects.  Using simple background blocks and delightfully cute appliques, each quilt project has a yardage and cutting guide to make construction go smoothly. Some of the projects are really simple, but can be made in different color patterns to suit any giftee on your list.  The quilts that are a bit trickier, with some of the more intricate appliques, all have patterns for these extra embellishments.  A couple of my favorites from this book are immediately above and below this paragraph. Besides full quilts, the projects also include lap quilts, table runners, table top

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Book review: Quiltmaking Essentials 1

Donna Lynn Thomas has written a new book for Martingale called Quiltmaking Essentials 1 , which focuses on cutting and piecing skills.  That leads me to believe that there will be more books in this series, what do you think?  :-) If you are interested in trying traditional quiltmaking, or if you wish your piecing skills were better for making your art quilts more precise, this may be the book for you.  The author doesn't take anything for granted, but starts with the very most basic quiltmaking skills, from there she moves on to rotary cutting, pressing, block construction, machine piecing, and ends with special sewing techniques. This little book is simply packed with information that will of great help to both beginners and to intermediates who want to perfect their skills.  The information on the steps to piecing particular block styles alone is so very valuable. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered boo

Artsy blogging round-up!

Carmi's Art/Life World It is wonderful to see how a bit of fabric ribbon and a button can be featured into a new beaded cuff. Resin Crafts Blog There are inexpensive bamboo tiles that can easily be turned into wearable jewels with some simple resin application techniques. Beading Arts With a few funky components and a little bit of wire, you can quickly have a new necklace! Crafty Cupcake "Recipe" Calls for Styrofoam and Glue Not only are they cute, these cupcakes are fun to make. They’re guaranteed to be sugar-free, gluten-free, calorie-free and cute as the dickens. Back to Amigurumi Crafty Princess is loving amigurumi again with this new project that was a tad challenging. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Book reviews: three new quilting books

The following books are all published by Martingale , which specializes in instructions, templates, patterns, and photos that are easy to follow, and pretty much fool proof!  If you haven't done much quilting before, these books are always a good place to start.  Some feature traditional quilt block patterns, while some are contemporary and original. All have yardage and materials lists, block assembly directions, and quilt assembly instructions too. English Paper Piecing II by Vicki Bellino In this follow-up to her best-selling first volume, English Paper Piecing , Vicki Bellino again presents a collection of beautiful new designs to tempt quilters of all skill levels.  You can learn to add even more shapes by using the English paper piecing method to construct gorgeous quilts, table runners, and other decorative and functional projects.  If you've never used this method of piecing before, don't worry; Vicki covers the details from the beginning.  And she off

Quote of the week!

Book review: Reclaimed Textiles

Kim Thittichai takes the readers of Reclaimed Textiles through a mountain of innovative techniques for repurposing discarded materials, reclaiming and recycling them to make unique and often stunning works of art.  Starting with the basic techniques you will need to know throughout, Kim moves on through textiles, paper, packaging materials, plastics, and mixed media.  You will also be treated to a really fun chapter titled "Inspiration"...it is, yes! Each chapter has projects included that you can try out if you've never worked with that material before, but mostly the chapters are just packed with inspiring examples and new ideas for what experienced textilers are working on these days.  This is a British publication, so you'll have to do some 'translating' for things like "Bondaweb" (fusible webbing), but no worries...you'll figure it all out!   Batsford is the UK publisher, and you'll find the book marketed by Sterling here in the

Artsy blogging round-up!

Art Bead Scene Check out Kylie Parry's beautiful post on summer inspiration! Beading Arts Note every project can be a smashing success...come see why! Crafting Discount Alert! Get 25% off a cool Hobby Holster with this discount code good until the end of the month Creative collaboration helps raise awareness and funds for a worthy cause. Andrew participated in the Beads of Courage Design Challenge. Check out pictures from the Bead&Button Show and see images of his finished piece. How to Make a Page Map Card Unique to You Page maps, layouts, or sketches - whatever you call them - are a great way to: 1. Learn basic design principles; 2. Come up with a quick design on the spur of the moment; and 3. Observe how other artists interpret the sketch - honestly, no two are ever alike. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Book review: Patchwork Loves Embroidery

Don't be afraid to mix and match these projects, says Gail Pan about her pretty book, Patchwork Loves Embroidery .  That means that although there are fifteen stated projects in this volume, there are in actuality potentially many more.  Featuring full-sized hand embroidery designs, this book is sure to please embroiderers and quilters who want to merge the two.  Gail Pan is mostly known for her garden-inspired motifs as you can see in the samples below.   The book covers the basics of hand embroidery: using the correct needle, choosing threads and fabrics, and transferring the designs to fabric.  Then you can select from patchwork and embroidery projects that include wall hangings, table runners, totes, and fabric covers for books or folders. Photography credits: Martingale, Brent Kane Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Quote of the week!

Wearable art

Mobius bracelet Mobius strip scarves - part two Mobius strip scarves- part one Twisted copper wire bracelet Mobius bracelet Mobius scarf in two hours Fairy wings Antikva's shrink buttons (two parts) Clip art shrink buttons "Mostly Metal" challenge cuff Painted striped summer dress Easy lace flower hair ornament Steampunk fabric cuff Embroidered floral necklace Painting your summer sandals How to make leather-look felt A painted foil pin Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Artsy blogging round-up!

Beading Arts Cyndi managed to finish her June piece for the Bead Journal Project with a little time to spare...but only a little! Cuteness Alert What is cuter than a matching bunny and baby afghan? The Inspired by Reading Book Club reads about botany and booze! "The Drunken Botanist" by Amy Stewart is an intoxicating exploration of the botanical histories of some of our favorite beverages. See how this book inspired a group of artists and jewelry-makers! Would it be Pretentious to call this my Studio? I ask because it's really starting to feel like one. And I remodeled it on less than $15! Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Book review: Alternative Art Surfaces

Several years ago, Darlene Olivia McElroy and Sandra Duran Wilson published a fabulous book through North Light Books called Surface Treatment Workshop .  I rarely buy books since I receive so many for review purposes, but this one I did, and I am so glad for it too.  And now I am even happier!  The dynamic duo has published what is to my mind a companion volume, called Alternative Art Surfaces .  Instead of focusing on the mixed media techniques that the first volume covers, this new one looks in depth at the surfaces themselves.  Oh, don't worry, there are techniques included for sure, but they are arranged according to the materials you'll be using. Sandra Duran Wilson I don't usually give you lists of chapters, but this time it is appropriate.  Darlene and Sandra will introduce you to working on metal (aluminum, tin, steel, and rust), metal leaf, metal foil and screen, mica, cast acrylic, glass (including mirrors), resin, cement (plus mortar and grout), pl

Quote of the week!

Crafts with Katherine and Julianna

We had a vacation, all-too-short, with our grands at the beginning of the month.  It was lovely to have long summer days to spend getting to know them better, doing projects with them, and finding out that the baby likes to draw!! Above is a picture of Katherine after we went on a highly successful treasure-seeking walk.  We added some of our treasures to plastic bottles with colored sand. Another day we visited the Rochester Museum of Play in Rochester NY.  What a great time!  There were all kinds of activities to try and crafts to do. Back at the homefront, Grampy discovered that Little Miss has a thing for crayons.  She's just a bit over a year, so we're pretty pleased.  We've got one picture of Dani at 9 months drawing, so maybe this is a good sign...? We also did fridge magnets , but I forgot to take a picture! Copyright 2014 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for pe

Artsy blogging round-up!

Art Bead Scene Take a peek inside the studio of Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry as she prepares for her exhibition at Gallery Q - and be in with the chance of winning one of her beautiful and unique Q Marks the Spot necklaces. Beading Arts Cyndi has finished a second bead embroidery cuff featuring pleated shibori silk ribbon, and she's provided a tutorial too! Carmi's Art/Life World My Pastel Statement Necklace is featured in the summer issue of Perles et Cetera magazine. What is unique is the addition of an applique for the pendant. Knit Lab Review Here are some pros and cons about Craftsy.com's Knit Lab class. Old Timey 4th of July Card The old time feel of this card evokes Eileen's childhood memories of 4th of July festivities, hot summer days and cool lemonade. Directions for this stamped card included. Resin Crafts Blog Who knew that fabulous paint could be swirled to create stunning designs under resin. Snap out of it, Jean! Ther

Recent publications: June 2014

The Collages of Jonathan Talbot by Deborah K. Snider, Andrew Marvick and Jonathan Talbot Collage Couture Studio Paper Dolls: Design, Collage, Cut and Play by Julie Nutting A Gelli Printing Adventure: A Beginners Guide to Printmaking. Make your own Gelli Plate, Texture Tools, Prints ... by Mahe Zehra Husain Zentangle 9: Adding Beautiful Colors with Mixed Media (Design Originals) by Suzanne McNeill Adobe Master Class: Advanced Compositing in Photoshop: Bringing the Impossible to Reality with Bret Malley by Bret Malley Celebrate the Day with Quilts: An Art Quilt Challenge by Shannon Gingrich Shirley Quilts with Unique Borders: Extraordinary Border Finishes by Annie's The Quilt Block Bible: 200+ Traditionally Inspired Quilt Blocks from Rosemary Youngs by Rosemary Youngs Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Quote of the week!

Art quilts

Here are the links to my finished art quilts.  Often the tutorials are posted in several parts, but you should find the links to earlier posts are each of the posts listed here.  Don't miss the additional information on techniques that you will find at my Fabric painting link. Rising Mist quilt Glacier Bay quilt Sepia photo quilt Chickadee collage-quilt Machine sewn lap quilt Alaska quilt Machine sewn lap quilt Vulture quilt - Downdraft Orbital Flow My TAST 2012 quilt Kīlauea quilt   Sequined quilt Felt flowers Lava quilt Black felt quilt Lost In Thought Manipulated fabric for texture in quilting Marbled fabric quilt - Falling From a Blue Sky Painted silk quilt - At First Light Painted silk quilt - As Daylight Fades Bird post card quilt Reverse applique quilt Margaret - a combination collage and quilt Fall Migration quilt Felted fabric technique Woven fabric background Making an applique quilt A small mixed media quilted colla

Artsy blogging round-up!

A Bead A Day What's on your beading table today? Lisa's getting creative in hopes of having something new to wear tomorrow! Beading Arts Cyndi finished up her project that combines shibori silk ribbon and bead embroidery, and has posted the rest of the tutorial! Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi has given up trying to bead in a traditional manner - hence the crazy cuff. Knitting Circles Looking for a way to store your circular knitting needles? Here is a different solution. Mixed Media Artist It's been a long time since Cyndi worked with image transfers...here's a new variation that she worked out! Piecing Lazertran Inkjet Decals on Wood You can piece Lazertran Inkjet Decals to create a larger image te 8 1/2 x 11. If you've ever made long printed posters where you have to overlap and make seams match or have ever matched seams to hang wallpaper, you know the basic technique. Resin Craft Blog This week in a two part post, Carmi took a tray that

Book review: Water-Based Texturing

Tucker Stouch has a clear purpose in her book Water-Based Texturing , released recently by Schiffer Publishing , and that purpose is to teach you how to emulate the textures all around you, particularly natural ones, by using water media and tools that are readily found in craft or hardware stores.  She begins with a brief description of the products and tools she uses the most, plus a list of resources and a discussion of the importance of texture in art.  From there, it's one gorgeous technique after another! The majority of the book is given over to step-by-step instructions for the various samples she shares.  Tucker uses a consistent wood panel so that you can compare the techniques in a meaningful way, but she also shows you many examples of the techniques used on other materials.  As you would expect with a Schiffer book, the photos are beautiful and will inspire you to want to push the limits of the ideas shared as well. The instructions are simple and clearly writ

Book reviews: two new quilting books

Civil War Legacies II by Carol Hopkins Like the first volume of Civil War Legacies , Carol's book feature small-sized scrap quilts made with reproduction fabrics.  Each project takes you through how to make the blocks, starting with yardage needed and cutting instructions, and then moves on to assembly.  Although I'm not a traditional block quilt kind of quilter, I found many of these really appealing, though perhaps in different colors for me!  I particularly liked Gettysburg Sun, shown below: You Can Quilt It by Deborah M Poole Deborah teaches all the ins and outs of  free-motion quilting designs.  You'll learn how to use templates, rulers, stencils, and registration lines to keep your quilting patterns even.  She includes both traditional and original designs: Photography credits: Martingale, Brent Kane Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography , altered books , art journals

Quote of the week!

Fish image transfer

I have many photos of fish skeletons that I took at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and the stark contrast in them made me think that they might make a pretty good image transfer.  I wanted to try something just a little different, so I came up with a variation on one of my favorite methods, the Inkjet to Fabric Transfer .  The major difference was that I wanted to add paint and gesso to the fabric first, hoping to get a grainier result...and it worked! 1. Cut cloth to size and iron. 2. Spray with water and paint with yellow ochre.  Top with white gesso and spread around. 3. Sponge with quinacridone gold.  Let dry. 4. Size the image and print out on an inkjet tranparency sheet. 5. Stroke on a light coat of liquid polymer medium where the image transfer will go and quickly place the image down on the fabric, burnishing the back.  Pull off the transparency before it dries to the cloth. 6. Let the image dry thoroughly before using in a projec