Creativity and Inspiration throughout 2013

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What an amazing year 2013 has been! As I run back through all of our tutorials, guest artists and projects, I just continue to marvel at the wonders and joy that mixed media art has brought us! This year also saw the start of the Mixed Media Tips videos, along with two Online Tutorials and ONE book published! Just amazing!

So, to put all of this wonderment into one place, I present to you…

The Creativity and Inspiration of 2013

Here is the best and the most inspiring events and articles on Mixed Media Art throughout 2013!

Online Tutorials and Videos

A summary of our Mixed Media Art Online Tutorials

  • In April we featured our Creating Layers in Mixed Media Art tutorial and gave away the three canvass featured on the tutorial
  • Our 4th birthday celebrations featured the Postcard Art Tutorial, where we created easy-to-post pieces of art and 16 of them were posted to members of our community, around the globe. You are still welcome to share the postcards you have created at the bottom of the tutorial.
  • We attacked our “Art Envy” with the Wish Art Journal Layout tutorial
  • Kate Palmer also joined us to share one of her Layering Mediums Art Journal Technique

Mixed Media Artists

Our Famous mixed media artists

We had a wonderful collection of mixed media artist with is across the last 12 months, including:

If you would like to see your story and artwork featured on Mixed Media Art, we are always looking for artists and crafters to share your work, so send a quick email to Michelle and let her know!
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2013 has seen the continuation of product and book reviews, and it has been our delight to bring you:

Mixed Media Art Tips Videos

Michelle has had lots of fun this year, bringing you the start of the Mixed Media Art Tips Videos – there is just something about video that brings Michelle’s tips to life! And while it takes a lot more work than just taking photos, the effort that goes into editing and uploading videos is certainly worth it.

The Tips Videos include:

Projects and Inspiration

We have features so many projects and tutorials from a range of artists and crafters, across the spectrum of the mixed media genre. It has taken ages just to pull them together, all in one place for you to have a look through!

Art Journaling

Our art journaling has certainly reached new levels across 2013 – it is such a great way to create small, portable pieces of art and it a place for trying new techniques or reflecting on your own thoughts and creative process.

Guest Artist Projects

Handmade & Altered Books

Other Mixed Media Gems



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So there you have it! 2013 in review – all 46 articles!

We would LOVE to hear about your favourite project or artist – please leave a comment below!


The photo collages here were created with Shape Collage

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Mixed Media Artist: Ann Strecko Koeman

This article is writen by Ann Strecko Koeman

Hi. My name is Ann, I have always been making stuff. In fact just two days ago a fellow scrap booking friend stopped by my house, it was her first time. As I was giving her the nickel tour of my home and then my craft room area she asked: “Is there ANYTHING you don’t do?” I did have to admit that I don’t know metal work very much. Hee hee. Actually, there are probably many things I could learn and it will take more than the rest of my life. That is why I am hardly ever bored, I am too busy.

Ann’s Arts and Crafts         Ann’s Arts and Crafts         Ann’s Scrapbook

As a little girl I would spend hours gluing, stapling, taping, and stringing odds and ends into whatever my imagination wanted. I learned to sew at my mother’s side when I was at pre-school. I wrote little stories and illustrated them. I learned to knit and cook before I was nine. I loved flowers and playing in the dirt in my toddler years. As an adolescent I built forts in our woods and igloos in the winter. I have always been creative and wanted to make whatever I imagined.

Ann’s Arts and Crafts         Creativity         Creativity

Today at, ahem… 45 years, I have amassed an incredible collection of skills and stuff. My skills impress my friends and family. My stuff, well, shocks! But it is organized! I love to collect stuff and find a use for it down the road. My collecting, repairing and repurposing drives my husband insane! He has little vision! We clash. I persevere. I do not like to throw stuff out and just go buy new. I hate waste. Thankfully we own a large home and I am able to stuff it in an organized manner. Hee hee

Arts and Crafts                                              Arts and Crafts

My children think I can fix anything! And always bring me stuff to repair. They think it is normal, and believe every mom can multi task and is creative. I have sewn and knitted many or their baby clothes. I continued to sew many articles for them over the years. Even now in their teenage years I sew some of their pajamas. I do more altering and repairs now, as they are, well, teens. I have made many of their costumes for Halloween or plays. I crochet some of their favorite video game characters. We have made buildings and towns out of cardboard boxes, board games from the recycling bin contents, and more.

Until a few years ago I had never heard of Mixed Media. When I did I thought, “that’s me!” I do and love so many things and often combine them. I sew, knit, crochet, scrapbook, do paper crafts, draw, paint, repurpose, decorate, garden, cook etc… In art school I got discouraged because of one professor, and there was family pressure to have “something to fall back on”. I switched concentrations. I went to University and Graduate school and became a professional. And hated it! I kept my “hobbies” and became a wife and mother, I was happier!
My kids are my proudest creations.



Ann lives east of Ottawa, Canada’s capital, in a small bucolic country town with her husband of nineteen years, their two teenage sons and a meowing fur ball on four legs.  She has been creating since she could hold scissors and hasn’t stopped.  She was introduced to mixed media four years ago and declared: “That’s me”.

You can see more of Ann’s work at Ann Makes.



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 Mixed Media Backgrounds with the Credit Card Painting Technique

Creating your own backgrounds is an exciting part of any mixed media art project. While there are many commercially available papers and products out there, creating your own background from scratch is a great way to ensure no one else will have a project looking like yours.Making your own backgrounds also allows you to tune the colours to match your theme.

Credit card painting backgrounds

Credit card painting backgrounds

Background papers can be made in a variety of ways. Today will concentrate on using the credit card painting technique. I’m not sure who created this technique, but the likes of Lisa Vollrath and others have all added to my knowledge and inspired me to give it a go.

The materials we need are items you will have around the house; base paper(mine has text on it from an old conference papers book), two different coloured paints, one metallic paint and an OLD credit card or store card or any other small, flexible plastic card. I read somewhere that using your real credit card with the paints will wreck the magnetic strip on the back, so please do not use your current card! We will also need some backing newsprint or plastic, to protect our working surface from the paint.

The credit card painting technique can create lots of backgrounds in a short space of time, so be prepared with extra text paper and somewhere to put them flat to dry, before you begin to get dirty. Lay out your work surface and place the text sheets on top.Give the paints a good shake and apply a line of the first of the two paints, directly onto the top of the page. Hold the top of the page with one hand and use the credit card in the other. Hold it angled towards you and carefully drag in down the length of the page. When you’ve reached the bottom of the text page, lift the credit card and move across the the next bit of paint. Again, angle it towards you and carefully drag in down the length of the page, going parallel to the first strip on paint. Continue until you’ve covered the text page or run out of paint. Sit aside this first paint layer to dry. Move onto the next sheet, with the same paint.

As you experiment with the mixed media technique, you will find different paints have different runniness (or viscosity) and this will vary how well it spreads down the page.Also the different in angles the credit card is held will change the effect that is created. These are the fun aspects of this technique as each attempt produces a slightly different result.

Once the first layer of paint is dry it is time to repeat the process with the second colour or shade. Depending on how different the two colours are will alter the results. If the second colour is a lot darker than the first, then I often apply it sparingly, so the colour comes out patchy,rather than having the second colour obscuring all of the first colour.  Once more, give the paint a good shake and apply a line of the paint directly across the top of the page. Hold the paper with one hand and use the credit card in the other. Hold it angled towards you and carefully drag in down the length of the page, then move across the the next bit of paint.  Drag the card down the length of the page, going parallel to the first strip on paint. Sit aside to dry.

The third, metallic layer of this technique is often what bring this background to life.Spot the gold or silver or bronze paint across the top of the page and lightly drag the credit card down the page. The metallic paint brings a sparkle to the painted paper that adds a wonderful finishing touch.

So that’s the basics for creating a mixed media background using the credit card painting technique. Feel free to experiment with different paint and paper combinations to see what wonderful creations you can make. You can even elaborate on these painted sheets by adding some stamping, or adhering them straight on to your next mixed media art project.

Happy creating!

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