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, January 31, 2014

Artsy blogging round-up!

A few more folk art dolls before moving on to mail art!

Art Bead Scene
Check out more Pinterest Inspiration Board advice from Kylie Parry!

Beading Arts
The Bead Journal Project has started up again for a seventh session! Here's how to get involved, or just to enjoy the eye-candy!

Carmi's Art/Life World
I have never made a baby mobile. It was so much fun to create one with Peter Rabbit imagery from Crafter's Companion.

Courage and Heart
Cherie's art this week reflects Bible verses talking about courage.

Hooking Up
Even the furry children need something soft to snuggle with. Here's an easy little afghan for them or a lap-ghan for you.

Resin Crafts Blog
You'll never wonder what to put in resin again after viewing the 60+ artist submissions currently on the Resin Crafts Blog. Twenty more will be added next week!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Marcia DeCoster's new book, Marcia DeCoster Presents, is a great inspiration! See Jean's review of this unique collection of interviews of 30 of the most remarkable beading stars in the world on jean's blog, and comment if you are a US resident for the GIVEAWAY, ENDING FEB. 6th!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Busy, busy, busy! Andrew shares some of the things he's been up to lately!

Valentine Craft Project Ideas
Are you looking for some Valentine's Day inspiration? The Artful Crafter has everything from card designs, to decorated candles, recipes and more. Do you know what a bagalope is or how to make a multicolored heart shaped crayon?

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Yay for Kelly!

Kelly Hughes won our copy of  Stylish Weddings to help plan her own August wedding!  Congratulations, Kelly, and mazel tov!

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Quote of the week!

Here's your sign!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Chickadee collage-qulit - part two

Yay!  I've finished the little fabric and paper piece that I started last week, and I now feel that I'm in the groove for using tutorial samples in my work this year!  Take a look at the first part of this tutorial, posted last week, to see how the component parts were made and the piece was arranged.

7. Quilt and/or glue collage piece in place through all layers.

8. Lay your collage quilt right-side down and position the substrate.  Turn the base fabric to the back and miter the corners.  Stitch them in place.

9. After mounting the piece, I decided it needed a bit more embellishment.  Rather than attempt to sew the buttons into place, I added embroidery floss to each and then glued them into place.  

Copyright 2014 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, January 24, 2014

Artsy blogging round-up!

A Bead A Day
Looking for Valentine's Day project inspiration...Lisa's sharing heartfelt projects created by her fellow Cousin Corp ambassadors.

June's been making a few folk art dolls...

Bye Bye Mess!
The mess is corralled for now, and that means time and space to design some jewelry!

Charlene Sevier
Charlene mixes elements from different worlds and cultures. Can it work and can you do it too?

Document Craft Project Steps so You Can Replicate Them Even Years Later 
Some crafters and artists keep notebook journals of their ideas and projects. Eileen has fine-tuned a digital system which works really well for her. With digital cameras, it's easy to take step-by-step photos as you go.

Mixed Media Anniversary Quilt 
Cherie starts a quilt with embroidery, applique, and mixed media items.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has started a new collage quilt, featuring one of her favorite birds...the chickadee!

Resin Crafts Blog
A wonderful series has begun on Resin Crafts blog. I am sharing over 80 different artists submissions featuring a pocket watch. You will be so inspired!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean makes a Winter Tree of Life Pendant, inspired by a friend on Facebook who is creating Trees of Life as he swelters in the heat of summer in Australia!

What's up next for the Inspired by Reading Book Club? Andrew shares the reading list for the next round of books!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Chickadee collage-quilt - part one

One of my goals for this year is to be more conscious of using pieces that I've previously made as samples for various tutorials that I've written here.  Often those samples get flung aside and I never go back to them.  But there they sit, the perfect ingredients for a new finished project!  Such is the case with the samples below:

I decided to use both fabrics and papers in my new piece, and since there would be both stitching and adhesives involved, I'm calling it a collage-quilt.  

1. Choose your papers, fabrics, and image(s) for the collage, and determine your final size.  The size of my collage-quilt was determined by the masonite piece that I decided to use for a substrate.

2. Cut a piece of fabric for the base, making it 1 1/2 to 2 inches bigger on each side than the substrate.  Using your substrate as a guide, place masking tape along each fabric edge to mark the work area for your collage.  

3. Cut a piece of batting equal to the substrate and set it aside. 

4. Prepare and cut all your collage pieces.  My chickadee needed to be backed with lightweight fusible interfacing.  

5. Tack with double-sided tape and/or pin collage pieces to the base.  

6. Fold back each base side at the masking tape line to line up the batting in the correct place on the back.  Re-pin the collage through the base and batting.   

Next week, we'll look at all the assembly steps!
Pieced fabric chickadee
Three-layered paper fabric

Copyright 2014 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, January 17, 2014

Artsy blogging round-up!

Do you amigurumi? Why or why not?

Beading Arts
It's official...Cyndi's gotten hooked on making bead embroidered pendants!

Mirrored Wall Cabinet Jewelry Holder
This jewelry organizer is not only very decorative hanging on the wall, but also allows you to keep your most-worn pieces organized right at eye level. Put them on and check yourself out in the mirrored front. What could be more convenient?

Snap out if it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews an excellent book on jewelry design from the great Cathy Jakicic: Jewelry Projects from a Beading Insider--it is wonderful!

Teal and Brown Afghan 
Cherie makes a new afghan to keep the family warm.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew reveals where his porcelain pendants will be at during this year's Tucson Gem Show!

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book review and giveaway: Stylish Weddings

Customize your wedding, with beautiful designer-created projects. You'll find quick, simple, and stunning items to make from each top designer, including invitations, table settings, favors, decorations, and gifts for the bridal party. With six signature themes to choose from, we've got the perfect cost-effective idea for your special day.  Stylish Weddings is published by Lark Books.


Would you like to win a free copy of this book?  Here's what you need to do...please read this carefully.  Leave me a comment here and include your email address.  If I don't see your email address, I won't be able to contact you.  No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person.  You are welcome to spell it out if you'd prefer, for example, cyndi at mazeltovjewelry dot com.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice! Deadline: January 22, 2014.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quote(s) of the week!

 I personally don't agree with #2!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mobius strip scarves - part two

Last week, I shared with you a pretty simple and straightforward method for making a Mobius Scarf (above) from crocheted strips.  Several scarves later, I decided to use some really chunky and irregular yarn that just wasn't going to lend itself to single crocheting back along each chain.  The chains themselves were thick enough to stand alone, so I started to realize that I had to think up another way to do it.  

1. Following the directions from last week, create a base for one end of the strips.  Chain as many stitches as you like (an even number) and single crochet back along the chain.  At the end, make a chain as long as you want your scarf to be.

2. When you reach the end of the first chain, continue to chain a second base piece as long as the first.  Single crochet back along the base until you reach the first strip.  Slip stitch back over to the correct position to start the next strip (it should be the third stitch on the base).  Single crochet a second strip and attach it to the first base piece with slip stitch.  Slip stitch into position to start the third strip.  Repeat until all the strips are complete.

3. It is impossible to see clearly in my photo because of the texture of the yarn, but these are the two base pieces slip stitched together.  First, straighten out your strips and base pieces, laying the strips side by side.  Pick up one of the base pieces and flip it over so that there is a mobius twist in the bundle of strips.  Slip stitch the two base pieces together.  Cut the yarn and weave in the ends.

Copyright 2014 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, January 10, 2014

Artsy blogging round-up!

It's a mail art call!!! Come on over and join in!

Beading Arts 
The new Bezel Effects paints make a great centerpiece for bead embroidery!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi utilizes a "saved" crazy quilt block and turns it into wearable art in this special blog post.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Knit and crochet combine in Red Heart Sashay Yarn. Did you know you can create "crocheted" scarves, shawls and the like without picking up a crochet hook?

Fishers of Men
Cherie uses the "Fishers of Men" passage to help create mixed media prints.

Resin Crafts Blog
Wondering what is better to mold with? We have a post showing you how great Jewelry Clay and Jewelry resin can be!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Making tiny jewelry takes just as much thought and planning as designing full sized regular pieces. See Jean's blog for the details! http://prettykittydogmoonjewelry.blogspot.com/2014/01/when-you-are-making-doll-jewelry-you.html

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Participants of the Inspired by Reading Book Club share their creations inspired by "Bridge of Birds" by Barry Hughart and "The Journey to the East" by Hermann Hesse.

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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Book review: The Mixed-Media Artist

Do you remember how for years, I shared artist profiles with you that looked at the likes, loves, favorite materials, and creative processes of mixed media artists?  I truly loved that feature of Mixed Media Artist blog, so how could I not love a book that does the same thing...and that is titled The Mixed-Media Artist?!  Seth Apter has compiled this wonderful book for North Light Books, and whether you are an art lover or a maker...or both...you will want to read through it.

Section one introduces 30 artists (some of whom you'll know, others not), each of whom shares a non-traditional artist statement and some insights into who are are as artists, followed by really cool "self-portraits" that give you a decent glimpse into their hearts.  Section two tacks the hard stuff, with answers to through provoking questions.  For example: "What do you do to make sure you are always growing artistically?" and "What do you like and dislike most about your own work?"  This section also shows a second work by the artists in response to a prompt.

Scattered throughout the book are little step-outs and sidebars with explanations of how the artists designed and created their self-portraits or some other piece which allows them to share a favorite technique.

Section three finishes with 14 more artists who create and explain an original work, made in response to one of four prompts.  It's particularly fascinating to compare pieces made to the same prompt side by side.  Rarely do any two people have the same vision!

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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Monday, January 06, 2014

Mobius strip scarves - part one

Two years ago, I had a lot of fun making Mobius Scarves (aka Infinity Scarves) for many people on my Christmas list.  If you visit the link above, it will take you to the instructions I wrote up for these scarves at the time.  This year I came up with a couple of variations on the technique, both using thinner strips rather than a solid piece of crocheting.  The inspiration came in part from the Mobius Bracelet that I made last year.  I love the way the strips cross over each other, and even though I knew it wouldn't look quite the same in a longer piece, I wanted to try it out.

Here's my first method:

1. Crochet a base by chaining and then adding single crochet.  I did 10 stitches.

2. Chain as many stitches as you want for the length of your scarf.  I added 75 stitches for a rather short scarf.  Single crochet back along the chain until you reach the base.  Slip stitch into the same stitch you started with on the base, and into the one next to it.  Add 4 more strips evenly spaced across the base, 1 strip to each 2 base stitches.

3. Slip stitch along the short side edge of the base, ending in the first stitch on the other long side of the base.  Straighten out the strips and lay them side by side.  Pick them all up near the loose ends and flip them over so that there is a mobius twist in the bundle of strips.

4. Use the crochet hook and yarn to slip stitch each strip into place on the free long edge of the base.  Cut off the yarn and weave the free ends into the base.

Next week, another method, Part two!

Copyright 2014 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, January 03, 2014

Artsy blogging round-up!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Using a lap grinder, Andrew facets polymer clay to create really cool, geometric beads.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Are you looking for copyright free images for your artwork? You ought to know the ins and outs of vintage image copyrights. Usage restrictions may depend on where you find the images. 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean writes the story of the very first piece of jewelry she made for 2014..."The Viola Pendant", and tells how it came to be designed and named. 

Beading Arts
Cyndi finished up her last piece for the 2013 Bead Journal Project! On to 2014!!

God Gives Us Each Gifts
Cherie makes a print about the spiritual gifts God gives each of us.

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Thursday, January 02, 2014

"Mostly Vegetable Soups" help us get rid of the holiday pounds

Tomato Basil Soup 

Mike and I have just begun our annual Mostly Vegetable Soups spree, which starts up again just after the New Year gluttony ends.  We fill ourselves up with healthy healthy soups and stews.  These comfort foods give us the boost we need to resist some of the worst abuses, and they also help to get us back on track in the New Year.  This has been our pattern for years now, and I'm happy to say that even if we pack on a few pounds during the week leading up to Christmas and the week in between it and January 1, we always manage to get them right back off before another two weeks have passed.

No, we're not special (as in "well isn't that special?")...we just choose our gluttony wisely!

Well, I've put together an e-booklet with 13 of our favorites.  While I can't make any health or nutrition or even diet claims for these soups (I am not a registered anything), I can tell you that they work for us. 

Mostly Vegetable Soups

Click to purchase ~ $2

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