February Zine 2009

This month brings with it the promise of spring, new life and love. It is a great time to finish up projects that have been sitting around all winter or begin something new and exciting. Want to see what other artists have been creating using easy to follow instructions and techniques from "Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Art"? Check out the awesome book review.

Here is a fun project just in time for Valentine's Day, called: "Serendipty Hearts" by: Sherre Hulbert

Supplies Needed: *Cardstock *Paper Scraps *Security Envelopes *Fibers *Ribbons *Lace *Glue *Rubber Stamps *Permanent Ink *Embossing Powder * Glossy Accents *Colored Craft Wire * Assorted Beads & Charms *Xyron Machine *Brayer and *Jewelry Findings.

Here are some basic instructions to create the base papers.

1. Arrange your scrap papers and other bits onto your cardstock. Glue in a random fashion. You can start with larger pieces and add smaller ones on top. Let dry completely.
2. I like to add some stamping in black using a large text stamp or a scroll design stamp. I also use permanent ink, such as: Stazon.
3. Add some more pizzazz to your hearts, by adding a metallic embossing powder and another decorative stamp or you could forego the embossing powders and use Perfect Pearls mixed into your glaze during that step.
4. Cut your background papers into heart shapes either with a hand punch, a die-cut machine or a pair of scissors.
5. Attach the cut out hearts to a lightweight cardboard backing. (I used a recycled cracker box). First run the front of the box through a large Xyron machine and stick the hearts to the cardboard. Brayer them down and cut them out.
6. Add a layer of Glossy Accents or Diamond Glaze. Add Perfect Pearls at this step. Set aside to dry overnight. If the hearts curled while drying, place them under a heavy book for a night to make them lay flat again.
7. Wrap wire around the hearts, add beads as you go. I started with a piece of wire approximately 15" long. Curl the ends around a pencil or a dowel.

You can add other embellishments at this time also, ribbons, lace, whatever you have on hand. Use these heart cut-outs as an element to a greeting card, attach a hanger and wear them as a pendant, hang them as small ornaments from a Valentine tree or add a pin back and wear them as a brooch.
We selected these three books to review this month from several fantastic books that are either currently on the market or "Golden Oldies" from the past.

Sherre selected "Vintage Collage Works" by: Mary Jo & Sunny Koch.
Published by Quarry Books, 2007.

If you love vintage collage and vintage ephemera, this book is filled with delightful pictures and projects. It contains a few step by step techniques and a variety of projects. This book also includes some full color clip art for you to use in your own designs. There are even a few pages in the back of the book for you to jot down notes. Lovely photographs feature project vignettes and even the photograph of supplies are nicely composed. Projects incorporate vintage postcards, cabinet cards, old maps, letters and postage stamps; wall-paper scraps, assorted boxes for assemblages (cigar boxes & matchboxes), old glass & tins. Even the dried flowers, seaweed and lichen is used. Each project has at least one unique element to inspire your own ideas. The one "con" to this book is, the very small font used for the general text. When text is hard to read even with my glasses, I find it easier to skim the pages rather than read the information word for word. I would tend to use this book like "eye candy" to fuel my own ideas. It would also be useful for a novice mixed media artist, who would like to have some step by step project ideas.
Cindy Selected "Mixed Emulsions" by: Angela Cartwright
Published by Quarry Books, 2007

To me, this is a "Must Have" book for anyone interested in altering photographs. My copy is so dog-earred and used that the pages are starting to fall out! I chose this book to conduct a workshop last June ('08) for the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Art, Yahoo group (link is in the sidebar). It is chock full of wonderful artistic effects! Techniques such as: adding a variety of textures with various mediums, washes, paint, antiquing, fading, stamping, adding fibers, different elements, etc. etc. etc. I spent months experimenting with these techniques and still haven't explored them all! If you love to experiment with different products to achieve a variety of effects, this is the book for you! It allows you plenty of room to play with the effects as well as create your own. An excellent book to get you started! Wonderful photographs of each technique, great projects, fabulous "eye candy". If you have a drawer full or boxes full of photos, drag them out and start playing!
Sherre also selected "Mixed Mania-Recipes for Delicious Mixed Media Creations" by: Debbi Crane & Cheryl Prater. Interweave Books, 2008

The book cover is so bright that it really draws your eye. Using an orange-red with aqua, gold and green makes for a colorful cover! I love the play on words using "Recipes" as their tie-in for all of the chapter headings. The conversation between the two authors, sprinkled throughout the pages makes for a fun read. The projects aren't "New" in idea or materials and for the most part are very simplistic. Debbi's "Reliquary Girls" shows innovation. Although "inches" aren't a new idea, I like how Cheryl incorporated them into a multi-photo frame using the same image yet changing each background. This book is a colorful, enjoyable read and would be ideal for someone just beginning to explore the mixed media arts arena. More advanced artists will enjoy the beautifully photographed projects to help stir up their own creative ideas.