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, May 30, 2014

Artsy blogging round-up!

Beachy Souvenir Copper Coin Earrings
These drop earrings were made using souvenir pressed coins from Busch Gardens and Sea World in San Diego. Pressing them through the machine is fun, but then you get home and wonder, "What am I ever going to do with these?" Here's one solution!

Beading Arts
Cyndi has decided that pleated silk shibori ribbon is where it's at for bead embroidery!

Learn to Knit
Yippy - doo - dah - day! With the help up the Knit Lab Craftsy class, the Craftsy Princess is learning to knit, for real!

Of Faces and Fairies
Charlene finds some gorgeous handmade fairy face pendants and charms she just has to share

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has some free and very cool project tutorials, including one she created herself! These include a variety of cool techniques--sure to appeal to all creative people!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Artsy blogging round-up!

A Facebook Request
Help a Crafty Princess out and learn how to "like" and also get blog update notifications through Facebook.

Beading Arts
Cyndi shares a really fun little project that will have you running for your button jar!

Sunday Morning with Lynne
Lynne Suprock of Simply Pretty Things stopped by for a playdate with Andrew. Check out what they made!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Book reviews: two new books with sewing and quilting projects

If sewing and quilting are not your main thing, you might feel intimidated to get started.  Books published by Martingale are out to change that.  They specialize in instructions, templates, patterns, and photos that are really easy to follow.  All projects have exact yardage and materials lists, cutting and assembling instructions that will guarantee your results.

Sew Practical by That Patchwork Place

A collection of designs for around-the-home kind of projects: tote bags, aprons, place mats, sewing tool covers, and even an e-reader cover.

Sweet and Simple Sewing by Jessi Jung   

This collection has straight sewing and also some simple quilting projects, including pot holders, luggage tags, quilts, cozies, wall pieces, makeup bag, purses, and a pincushion.

Photography credits: Martingale, Brent Kane

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Artsy blogging round-up!

A Bead A Day
Sometimes you just need a little jewelry pick-me-up to make a work Friday a little more fun. Lisa is sharing her Fun Friday jewelry and would love to hear about yours!

Beading Arts
Cyndi has been sharing some of the practice pieces that she made for her new e-book!

Get Your Felt On
Tammy takes a look at a book from Schiffer Publishing that's all about felt and felt making. 

It's party time!
Andrew celebrates the Grand Reopening of Allegory Gallery in their new location! Check out the recap of the event. 

Mixed Media: Adding Layers
Cherie creates a mixed media picture with her favorite colors.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews a lovely set of paintbrushes by showing what they do!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Yay for June!

June Crawford, who writes A Creative Dream, has won a copy of Make Your Mark!  Congratulations, June!

Book reviews: three new books with fast and easy quilting projects

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.

After covering the basics of quiltmaking, there are 4 sections of super-fast quilt techniques: strip piecing, quick corners, sliced, and stacked and sliced.  Each shortcut method is exlored in a couple of variations to show you just how easy it is to get different looks from the same technique.  Some of the designs end up looking fairly complex, amazingly.

Simple Appeal by Kim Diehl

Kim includes 14 designs that use patchwork or applique to make everyday items for the home: bed, lap, or wall quilts, table toppers, placemats, and a pin cushion are included.  I am personally very drawn to her color combinations.

Stack, Shuffle, and Slide by Karla Alexander

I have not heard of the "Stack the Deck" method before.  Karla teaches this patchwork technique and then has detailed instructions for 15 variants.  Basically, fabric squares or rectangles are stacked, sliced into various shapes, the shapes are shuffled, and then each layer is sewn back together. Kim adds a second shuffle to some of her designs to obtain even more variation.

Photography credits: Martingale, Brent Kane

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Layering Techniques For Mixed Media Art Projects

A guest post by Alison Lansky

One of the best things about creating mixed media art is that the possibilities are pretty much endless and there is a huge scope to have a lot of fun expressing your own creativity through various mediums. One of the key elements of mixed media art work is layering the various materials to create exciting textures and to add more depth to the piece. Let's take a closer look at some great layering techniques that you might like to try.

Layering Paint and Gesso

Another great layering technique combines regular acrylic paints with gesso and it is perhaps the easiest technique for beginners to master. Gesso is traditionally used for priming canvas ready for painting. It looks very much like standard white acrylic paint, but it is much thinner and dries hard to create a stiff surface with a slight texture. Many artists use gesso as a base to stop their paints from soaking into the canvas. However, in order to make gesso part of your mixed media artwork it is used a little differently.

Start by applying a generous layer of gesso to your canvas. Next you will want to take a wooden skewer, wire brush or some other stiff object to draw in the wet gesso. The possibilities are endless. You might try just some lines or swirls, you can add text, or with practice you can do more detailed sketchy. Once you are happy with your design you can leave the gesso to dry completely.

Once the gesso layer has dried completely it is time to start adding color using the paint. This can be done in a number of different ways. Some artists prefer to use light washes of color and will let each layer dry before adding a new one while others blend the paints on their canvas to create thick textured layers. The key is to experiment until you develop your own style. The paint will settle into the grooves of the gesso offering various shades of the color you have chosen.

It is even possoble to purchase gesso in a variety of different colors as well as the common white. You will find various colors of gesso such as yellow, terracotta, ochre and black on sale in art supplies stores.

Experimenting With Paper Ephemera

Paper ephemera is a very interesting technique which makes use of various types of paper. The word 'ephemera' comes from the Greek language and refers to items that are intended to last only a short time. With paper ephemera this means the paper items we usually discard such as bus tickets, greeting cards, letters or shopping receipts. Over time, this has been extended by artists to include more valuable items such as bank notes, pages from books, sheet music and other documents which are not so freely discarded.

Once you have collected a variety of paper ephemera you can cut out or rip pieces of it to add to your art work as a collage style. Layers can be built up by tucking pieces under others to build up textures. You can include paint or ink to cover or highlight some of the wording if the text is a significant element of your design. This is a common technique for those creating altered books from old texts. Some artists also choose to add addition elements such as ribbon or buttons to give more texture to the layers.

Using gesso and paper ephemera are just two of the many layering techniques that can be used by mixed media artists, but they are some of the most effective and the easiest to master. Art is about experimentation so use these techniques as a base to develop your own layering techniques.

Alison Lansky is a blogger who loves to write about art, family and life in general. She is the mother of two adorable children who are her greatest works of art!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Artsy blogging round-up!

A Bead A Day
Are you taking time to yourself to allow creativity to flow? Lisa gifted herself with a Saturday and was inspired to create!

Beading Arts
Cyndi has some metal goodies from Fire Mountain Gems to give away!

Call for Bird Nests
Yarn crafters are being called on to help out some baby birds by knitting and crocheting tiny nests for them. 

Creating a Poetry Book Cover
Cherie talks about the process in designing the cover for her latest poetry book.

Resin Crafts Blog
What else can you do with resin filled bezels? Why make art cards!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean writes about a reunion which she had with her sister and her cousins last week which included great memories, delicious food, and jewelry!

What will a group of jewelry designers make working from the same materials?
Check out what the participants of the Deep Waters Challenge made! Each of the pieces is inventively unique!

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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Book review: Make Your Mark

One of the simplest ways to add a unique decorative touch to everyday items is to hit 'em with a couple of markers!  Of course, you want to make sure you choose the right marker for the job, and if you're a bit timid, you might also appreciate a few ideas and maybe even some templates...

Search no further!  Lark Books has published Make Your Mark, with all the insight and guidance you could ever need to start marking up everything in sight, using markers, paint pens, and even bleach pens!  It's cute: the designs are non-intimidating and cheerful.  You could easily let this new obsession get out of hand, but I'm going to leave that up to your own discretion and self-control.


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: May 14, 2014

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Monday, May 05, 2014

Digital effects

Another topic we visit pretty frequently here is different digital effects tips and tutorials (including those that mix physical and digital work). So I thought that they should get compiled for future reference too! 

Digital line art methods 

Achieving sepia tones

Poster edges in Photoshop 

Expanded squares

Old linen postcard look for your photos

Using the pointillism filter in Photoshop

Duotone prints with Photoshop

Van Gogh style flowers

Fractured photographs

A spooky tree - playing with layers

Hand-tinted prints with Photoshop

Adding a shadow with Photoshop

Photoshop border with a burned edge

Combining cartoon and vintage imagery

Creating a glowing blurred border

Tesselation tool online

Graphic style florals

Messing around with curves

Mixed media piece with watercolor background

Combining texture shots into a new image

Making a layered digital collage

Mixing digital and physical art

Digital manipulation with a torn landscape

"Match color" in Photoshop

Black and white conversion methods with Photoshop

Pop art with Photoshop

How to make a digital Polaroid image transfer

Infrared with Photoshop

Cyanotypes with Photoshop

How to create a peaceful landscape

Making a digital stamp

How to digitally create "fuzzy memories"

Creating a digital mixed media collage

Using a gradient fill

Encased tissue paper

Multiplying your color options

Digital collage using scanned background papers

Adding an embossed layer to your photos

Gaussian blur

A photographic collage

Transparent digital backgrounds

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, May 02, 2014

Artsy blogging round-up!

A Bead A Day 
Do you have the urge to alter your beads and components? Lisa's pondering the reason why she sees smiley faces on yellow charms.

Beading Arts
Cyndi has written a second chapter to her book Bored By Back Stitch, in which she shows you how to combine bead embroidery stitches for more complex motifs and designs.

Egg Earrings Complement Eggs in Nest Charm Bracelet
Make these quick, easy, eminently wearable earrings to go with the Eggs in Nest Charm bracelet Eileen shared last month or to wear on their own.

Finding Inspiration in Reading
Check out what the participants of the Inspired by Reading Book Club made for the April selection, Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Golden Glass Sculpture With Solar Lights
Cherie makes a couple solar lights for the yard using plates and ashtrays.

New Novel & Quilts!
This new novel has some online freebies you can get right now, including the first few chapters as well as a quilt pattern that is featured in the book.

Resin Crafts Blog
Jewelry Clay and Jewelry Resin can be combined to create new dimensional objects and jewels.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has a review and a giveaway of a fantastic new book by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson, WIRE + METAL, 30 Easy Metalsmiting Designs, at her blog! Hooray!

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