Review of Janelle Nichols’ “Little Birdie” Online Class

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This article is written by Ann Strecko Koeman

A while ago I got the opportunity to review Janelle Nichol’s Mixed Media class: Little Birdie. The class is available at “Skillshare”.  Being an avid maker of all things, and a lover of learning new techniques I was very much looking forward to testing out this new to me format. I can honestly say that I was pleased.

Ann’s project

For one thing, going on the Skillshare website was easy.  Second,  finding the class by Janelle was simple.  All that was required of me were a few clicks on the keyboard. Easy peasy! The hard part came when I began to doubt my own abilities to create something as pretty as the teacher herself had made. However, it did not take long for the soothing voice of the teacher to ease my concerns.

Janelle takes the time to explain all the steps involved in making the project. She gives a lot of information and goes into quite a lot of detail on how to accomplish each step. My favourite aspect of taking the class was the ability it gave me to stop, pause, go back to any part of this video class.  As my own life got quite busy all of a sudden. I needed to take a long break from completing the class.  However, when I returned I was able to just replay the video and begin anew.

Ann’s 2nd project

I enjoyed taking a class in this format because of the flexibility it allowed. I also appreciated the extensive notes and lists that accompany the class. It was a pleasure for me to create two projects over on my Youtube channel Annmakes that were due in part to the influence I got from taking Janelle’s class. The links to the two examples I made are here:

 

 

You can view the introduction to the Little Birdie class on Skillshare here.

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Ann loves to collect and organize as many tools and supplies as possible because she is always making things.  Incredibly she finds a use for most of her collections.  She enjoys making Mixed Media Art because it allows her to use all her skills and collections.

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Disclosure: Access to this course was supplied by Janelle Nichols for the purpose of review. All opinions are that of the MixedMediaArt team. Some links on this page may be affiliate links and any purchases help to support the ongoing work by MixedMediaArt. 
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DIY Candle Holder

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This article is written by Sandra Parés

Today I am going to show you how to make a candle holder with a magic light to illuminate our summer nights.

Candle Holder

The supplies I will use are the following:

  • An open top container glass (to make these candle holders usually I use recycled glass jars)
  • white tissue paper
  • the big shot and a star die
  • 8”x10” Gelli Plate
  • a brayer
  • black acrylic paint
  • a stencil
  • extra heavy gel medium (gloss)
  • 2 paintbrushes
  • Facetten-Lack metallic platin Vica Deco
  • a makeup brush
  • Primary Elements of LuminArte
  • hairspray
  • wire and a candle

First of all we will start using the Gelli Plate: we will use the brayer to put the black paint over the stencil, then we will press the stencil over the gelli plate. With this step we can print the mark of the stencil over the gelli plate. Then we will take a piece of tissue paper, it must be large enough to surround our glass jar. And we put the tissue paper over the gelli plate to print the texture. With this step, the mark of the stencil will print in our tissue paper.

And with the Big Shot and the star die we will open a few holes in our piece of tissue paper.

Candle Holder

Then we will paste with extra heavy gel medium the tissue paper around our glass jar and we will leave it to dry. Then we will paint the holes with Facetten-Lack to give a touch translucent at the glass. For this step, also you can use any paint or paste that allows you to do this translucent effect.

Candle Holder

Once dried we can add the color. I will paint with the Primary Elements of LuminArte, I will use the pigment directly. First of all we have to spray the entire glass jar with hairspray, you will see how the jar is wet. Taking advantage of this dampness, we will catch the Primary Elements pigments (the color or colors that you want) with a makeup brush and we will paint with them making circles. When we run out of pigment or hairspray dries, we will go back to add more product to get the whole jar painted.

Finally, if we want to hang it somewhere, we only need to put some wire around the jar. And don’t forget to put the candle inside!

Candle Holder

You will see that the result will be beautiful and shining: a candle holder with a magic light for our most special nights. The first time I used these candle holders was at my craft stop in the “Enchanted Night“, the shopping night from my city, and they produced an amazing shine!

Candle Holder

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Sandra Parés loves working with mixed media! The colors and textures leave her amazed and she enjoys creating and getting their hands dirty with paint and gesso! On her site My mixed media you can find a mixed media online store, art and craft products, mixed media workshops in Spanish, tutorials, ideas and mixed media techniques.

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Making Unique Photo Frames

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This article was written by Cecilia Sanchez

I have made a friendly and funny photo frame, thinking of putting pictures of my naughty children.  It’s pretty simple. They like to play with bottle caps, and so I wanted to include them in the frame.

Photo Frames

List of materials:

A wooden frame 
Bottle caps 
marbles 
metal washers 
glue 
stencil (Stencil girl products)
 gesso 
acrylic paint 
paper towels 
mod podge 
crakle paint 
Zig Painty FX

First, glue the metal elements or whatever we want. 
Then, cover with a coat of gesso.

I used a stencil of electronic circuits with gesso to give more texture.

Photo Frames

I like to use the paper towels used, and stained with paint.

I have fixed with Mod Podge.

A layer of acrylic paint.

I remove some paint with a baby wipe.

Photo Frames

Finally, a layer of Distress Crackle paint, gives an interesting effect.

Photo Frames

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My name is Cecilia Sanchez (CeciScrap) and I live in Málaga, Spain. I am married and we have three gorgeous sons. They inspire me every day with their crazy ideas.

Since my childhood I liked the photography, drawing, collage and make photo albums with cuts and travel souvenirs. I also love crafts in general. In 2006, a few months after birth my twins, I discovered scrapbooking, digital first and then the traditional. I love to do 30X30 pages, cards and mini albums, and for a while now I am fascinated with the Art Journal and Mixed Media, and I do not imagine scrapbooking without getting my hands dirty.
I am inspired by everyday things, feelings … The art journal is a real diary for me, because sometimes I need to express feelings with colors and shapes.

I love learning and discovering new techniques and materials.
I am part of the European design team of KURETAKE, and I am also designer for a monthly blog challenge Sweet Card Club. I contribute with some blogs and digital magazines and organized Scrapbooking workshops in Malaga.

You can see more of me at: http://ceciscrap.blogspot.com.es/ & http://www.facebook.com/ceciscrap

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Artistic Jewelry made from Fiber and Fabric

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This article was written by Katja Blum

Mixed media and jewelry are a great combination – jewelry is a perfect way to take a piece of your art with you in your everyday life, and thinking about the functional aspects and size of jewelry gives you an interesting framework for your creative ideas.

I selected this project to highlight the endless possibilities of mixed media jewelry with fabric and fiber, because you do not need any special jewelry tools or skills to make this pretty bangle. You probably have some pretty fabric scraps lying around, some rope, a few beads … no pliers, hammers and anvils necessary.

You need:

  • 3 pieces of woven or braided rope to fit around your wrist – any thickness, as long as it bends easily. Man-made is fine, but those solid plastic ropes like clothesline don’t work well, because you need to be able to pass a needle through.
  • Duct tape
  • Assorted fabrics, fibers and beads
  • Mod Podge, Fray-Stop or PVA glue to treat fraying fabric edges
  • Needle and thread
  • Thin craft wire, yarn or thread to wrap around the bangle, if desired

Jewelry made from Fiber and Fabric

To cut the lengths of rope to size, measure the inner circumference of a bangle you like. If you don’t have one, here’s how you can measure: Hold out your hand, palms down, fingers together. Tuck your thumb and pinky under, so that they touch underneath the other fingers. Now measure around the widest part of your hand, which is probably close to your knuckles.

Don’t pull the measuring tape too tight. The bangle will have a slightly smaller inner circumference once you wrap the fabrics around. You won’t lose much though, so 1/4 to 1/2 inch (about 6-12 mm) should be enough extra length.

Cut the rope pieces to size, lay them out together and tape them with duct tape to form a closed ring. The three pieces are just connected at the bottom.

Jewelry made from Fiber and Fabric

Cut long strips of fabric or use unspun, dyed spinning fiber to wrap each ring, beginning with the two outside ones, leaving the center one for last. Start wrapping at the duct-taped bottom, where the three rings separate. Don’t worry about the fabric and fiber ends. Just leave them hanging, they will be covered later.

Dab some Mod Podge or Fray-Stop on the fabric, if necessary. If you are using unspun fiber, covering all of the wrapped fiber with Mod Podge or something similar works best. Otherwise the fibers might come apart with use.

Smooth fabric like the batik cotton here works well for the center bangle. Start wrapping in the center of the duct tape at the bottom, tucking in the ends from the other bangles as you go. When you have wrapped all the way around, tuck the end of the fabric strip into one of the wraps. It will be secured with thread later.

Jewelry made from Fiber and Fabric

Jewelry made from Fiber and Fabric

Once you have your triple bangle wrapped in pretty fabric, the real fun starts. Decorate your statement piece to your heart’s content. Wrap it with thread, yarn, cord or thin craft wire (no pliers needed). Add beads to the wraps, if you like, or sew on individual beads. Glue or sew on charms, paper flowers, ribbon rosettes…you get the idea.

I had much more elaborate plans for this piece, but once I saw the colors of the fabrics and fiber together, I loved them and didn’t want to obscure them too much. Remember to begin all wrapped decorations at the bottom and tuck them into the fabric of the center bangle. When you are done, secure the fabric covering the duct tape and the tucked-in end with a few stitches. If you want the rings of your triple bangle to sit close together on your forearm, sew them together in a few places. A little bit of spray varnish helps protect your paper or other fragile decorations.

Of course you are not limited to three rings, nor do you have to wrap them individually. A five-piece bangle wrapped together (just use the steps for the center ring in this project) would make a terrific background for larger mixed-media decorations. The bangles are fun to wear and so easy to make that you’ll have a whole collection of your personal, wearable mixed media art soon.

Jewelry made from Fiber and Fabric

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Katja Blum is a writer and translator from Tulsa, OK. As an artist, she started with yarn, fabric and papier mache (rarely together), branching out into collage and other paper arts about ten years ago. Her latest obsession is making soft stuffies and art dolls – to the delight of her toddler. She also likes to find creative solutions for ugly or broken things around the house – to the delight of her husband.

You can see more of her work with fiber, paper and words at www.thewaywardsheep.com

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