March Zine 2009

Daylight Savings Time is coming! Remember to set your clocks ahead one hour on March 8th!

Our featured project this month is courtesy of Lesley Venable: "Fabric Gift Bag". A quick and easy project with very few supplies other than a sewing machine, you would need: 2 fabric scraps *thin decorative yarn * sewing thread * a needle with a large eye * scissors. Pretty basic supplies!

The first step is to determine what size you would like your gift bag to be. Cut your fabric 1" larger than your finished size to allow for the seams. Place your fabric scraps together, with right sides facing each other and using either a needle & thread, or a sewing machine, stitch 3 sides of the bag together, leaving the top open. Turn right side out and using the eraser side of a pencil or your scissors, gently push the corners out. Thread the large eyed needle with your decorative yarn and with a basic blanket stitch, sew around the top edge of the gift bag, leaving enough yarn to create a handle. You can further embellish your gift bag in several different ways, add decorative beading, rosettes, ribbon embroidery, chenile yarns, etc. Have fun!
Book Reviews:

Sherre chose to write her review on this wonderful book, published by Watson-Guptill Publications/New York 2008.

Collage Journeys explores collage in many forms, from ATC's and journals to large-scale pieces. This book is a good primer for collage with chapters titled: "Gathering Materials", "The Collage Artist's Tool Box", "Painting With Paper", "Working in Layers", "Using Text in Collage", "Meanings and Personal Expression" and "Journals & Journeys". There are lots of project samples and some clear step by step tutorials on the basics. This book is good for all levels of collage artists. The projects are interesting for the more advanced artist and the step by step projects give clear directions for those just starting their own art journey. It is a good book for inspiration and to learn techniques that you may not have tried before. The samples express the spontaneity and joy found in collage-making. The author shows that collage can be soul-searching, make a statement, or just be pure joy in creation. Ms. Davies shares her knowledge freely throughout the pages. "Collage Journeys" delivers exactly what it's sub title says: "A Practical Guide to Creating Personal Artwork". This book makes you want to go to your art room and make a collage!
Book Review:

Elizabeth beat me to the punch when she selected this book for her review this month. It is a fabulous, well written book by: Sharilyn Miller and published by: North Light Books.

This book features full color pictures and is 128 pages full of information and inspiration. Sharilyn combines the two worlds of wirework and beaded jewelry to make 25 projects and variations. The book begins with an introduction and what you will need in your jewelry tool kit to follow along with the techniques and projects featured. She walks the reader through basic wirework techniques, from working with pliers, to preparing the wire for use and then onto making several basic components that will later be combined to make jewelry in the project section of the book. Even though I have some prior jewelry making experience, I found this section extremely helpful as a refresher and also to learn a few new components that I hadn't made before. The instructions are step by step and the close up pictures make it easy to follow along and make the same components as those shown. In the second half of the book, Sharilyn illustrates how to make 25 different bead and wire jewelry projects, beginning with basic earring hoops and ending with a very intricate twin-spiral bracelet. One of the things I like best aboout this book is that the projects graduate from easy to more difficult as you acquire more experience and skill by working your way through the book. Each project is outlined with the basic skills that you learned in the first half of the book. I would recommend beginning with the skill building section before proceeding with the projects. The projects are specific enough to teach a particular technique, but also allows you to put your own personal spin on them to create jewelry to fit your own style. Overall, this is an excellent book and I would recommend it to beginners who are just starting out, as well as intermediate jewelery makers, who are looking to acquire new skills and stretch their creativity with some of the more advanced projects.
Book Review by: Cynthia (Cindy) Powell

I chose this new release, written by: Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, published by North Light Books, 2009

If you enjoy working with wax in your art projects, this is a great book to help you explore the many possibilities for incorporating various other elements to create textures, use images, tools for carving, adding color, charcoal and the list goes on. The book is divided up into mini-workshops for each of these techniques and more. There are lots of wonderful examples for each lesson and a gallery of finished works in the back. Easy to follow, step by step instructions with plenty of room for you to experiment with your own combinations of various materials. This book is a must have for the wax artist's personal library. A terrific reference book that you will visit often.

I will be using this book as a reference in an upcoming wax workshop on the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Yahoo group (link is in the sidebar). I hope you will join us for some fun experimenting with various tools, paints and of course, wax!

What else are we up to over on the Yahoo group? We have several things going on each month, beginning with our Monthly Designer Paper techniques. This month I will be sharing with you a technique using cheesecloth for texture. Come join the fun! Meet some new art friends!