"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ GATEWAY


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Stacey Merrill the prompt for this week's challenge is GATEWAY. Create a piece of mixed media art using these words as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Pat May is our featured artist with her wonderful interpretation of GATEWAY. Thanks so much !

Image © Pat May

Melange Team on ByHand.me Thank you Karen Lemachi!

And the winner is.......

The winner of the book by Gwen Diehl is ta da........Pat. Congratulations Pat! You work so hard for our team, and this is so exciting that you won the drawing. Send me your snail mail by convo and I will get your book right out to you.

This was a fun challenge.

To everybody who joined in the fun. Thank you so much, truly a team who jumps in and supports one another and I am so grateful that I got to see such lovely work from one and all.

Big art hugs, G

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ HEAVENLY


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Janet of Paper Dreamer the prompt for this week's challenge is HEAVENLY. Create a piece of mixed media art using these words as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Stacey Merrill is our featured artist with her wonderful interpretation of HEAVENLY. Thanks so much !

Image © Stacey Merrill

Melange Team Add Fabric challenge due 9/24


Today is the day! The "hey, add a little fabric to one of your art pieces" challenge is due today. I, for one, who am addicted to using fabric in my work, cannot wait to see what everyone has created. So, post your pieces in the comments section so that we can see. I will hot link if you are having problems with that, so not to worry. Just post where the piece is located, and I will catch up. If your piece is for sale on Etsy, tell us that also.

The showcase piece this time belongs to Maureen. It's gorgeous. I love the way she did the leaves and actually, the whole piece is fantastic. Way to go Maureen. Maureen's piece is located here on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31251189

Interview with Loudlife-Laurie Blau-Marshall




1) Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed as an artist in the Melange Team on Etsy group. To start off, why don't you give us a little background information about yourself. When was it you discovered you wanted to be an artist?



I was one of those people who always wanted to be an artist, but tamped down the thought because I thought I needed to be “practical.” I thought I could take care of the artistic bent I had by becoming an interior designer and started college with that in mind. Unfortunately, my mother died during my second year and what with working full time, trying to take care of the family, and coping with my own loss, I had to quit school. Life just got in the way and I never went back. Then, in 1989, I made a pair of earrings at a bead store and a few months later someone asked me to make them a pair. I went back to the store, bought $40 in supplies and voila! A jewelry business was born. I sold jewelry at small craft fairs, in local boutiques, and - literally - out of my purse for the next 15 years. I used to have little impromptu jewelry trunk shows in bars while I was out with my friends! In 2000, while talking with my future husband and another friend we all decided that we wanted to take a painting class. We did, and I’ve never looked back. Painting is my first, and biggest, love. I take painting classes whenever I can.



2) What would you say has been one of your biggest influences on yourself as an artist. How has that changed you, and what you do?



I studied Interior Design - in school and out - from the time I was about 15 years old. I have a huge collection of interior design magazines, books about architecture and design, and I’ve freelanced as an interior design consultant infrequently over the years. I think the knowledge and visual input that I’ve absorbed over the years has left me with an innate sense for the principles of design and a love for simple shapes.



This can lead to a fairly simple, clean-lined pieces.




More recently, I’ve been hugely influenced by the people I’ve met online. I love the bold colors and inventive compositions of Suzan Buckner, the beautiful texture and depth that Pam Carriker creates, the whimsy of Kelley Rae Roberts, and the stunning imagery and symbolism achieved by both Judy Wilkenfeld and Michael DeMeng.



These people? Not so much into the simple and clean-lined. I’m learning to embrace texture, pattern, and symbolism. Scary stuff for a literal-minded control freak!



I’m constantly learning and experimenting. I thought I was still trying to find “my” style, but I think now that what I’m really doing is learning my “process.” What is it that motivates me not only to begin a piece, but to finish it? I have found that if I’m not being true to what I like and what my message is, then I am unable to finish the work. If I start thinking too much about what will “sell,” then I am unable to finish the work…”Be true to yourself.” is the best advice ever given.



3) What made you decide to start selling your work on Etsy? Can you give us any tips as far as what works well for you as far as selling online and getting your artwork "out there".



I decided to start selling on Etsy when I realized that all my sales on eBay were to other artists - so why not go to the marketplace where other artists hand out? As others have found, I think I am most successful on Etsy when I put myself out there on the forums and other social networking groups (ning.com, face book, flickr, etc.).



Right now I’m trying to work on my photography skills. I can nearly sell out my booth in a couple days at an art festival. I’m trying to capture whatever it is that people see in person that doesn’t translate into my photos.





4) Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How do you plan on getting there?



In 5 years I would like to be working in both very large and small sizes. When I paint in oil, I love a super big canvas. I would like to do mixed media work on a large scale as well. I would like to be published more. I would like to find “my” niche. That thing that no one else does, so that I can begin teaching. I love interacting with people and I would love to do it in the art world. I would also like to enter and be active in my local art scene.



5) Enquiring minds want to know, what art supplies are on your studio table right now?

Are there any you can not live without?



Many tubes and bottles of acrylic paint, a big bottle of black gesso, and 3 containers of brushes. I can’t live without a medium sized filbert paintbrush.



6) If you could do anything artistically and you knew you would not fail, what would that be?



I would paint gigantic canvases; like, 6’ x 4’ - or larger!




Links to mixed media work on Etsy:





http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28774050


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_1&listing_id=28945032



Other Links:





My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/loudlife/



A work in progress: http://www.flickr.com/photos/loudlife/3664038983/

Interview by Jodi Ohl
posted by Glenda

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ WEE WITCHES



Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Kathy Maximo the prompt for this week's challenge is WEE WITCHES. Create a piece of mixed media art using these words as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Janet of Paper Dreamer is our featured artist with this wonderful interpretation of WEE WITCHES. Thanks so much, Janet!

Image © Paper Dreamer

Time……….what is that? Where the heck did it go?!

I could literally fill up 24 hours a day with something, if only I didn’t have to sleep! I can never relate to boredom or to people who retire and don’t know what to do with their time. So much to do... so little time.

I’ve tried to develop a bit of a routine as a Melange Team member, with resolutions that I’ll do better. Since I’m a list maker I thought I’d share some thoughts and perhaps others will add their own tips and tricks in the comments section for ways to invest little amounts of time and gain the biggest bang for the buck, so to speak!

1. “Hug” peeps when they are in a Treasury. I think we’re allowed 15 clicks, sock it to ‘em. The more clicks any Treasury receives the more attention it will get from buyers using the Treasuries to search.

2. Follow and visit your team peeps' blogs……..and leave comments as often as you can. Active comments can move a blog up in the search engines. Just say….."awesome piece” or “love this one” if you don’t have time to write a book. It not only lets the artists know you care…..it really helps them.

3. And to continue: bloggers...think about adding our team peeps' blogs or websites to your blog list. See item #2. When we comment in blog entries we're exposing advertising for our shops from the peeps’ lists to those who stay and look around, and most do.

4. Think about shooting a convo over to some of our team members who may not have time to chat in the forums. Just a “hi, I’m on the Melange Team and was checking out your shop and loved this……..”

5. Add a few of your peeps’ items to your etsy favorites.

6. Think about adding a team feature every once in awhile on your blog, Facebook, Twitter…….throw it out there. A couple sentences and a cut and paste photo about a fellow etsian/Melange peep will attract visitors and lead people to your blog.

7. Bop over and add a few words on the Teams and Events thread, bring it TTT (to the top)

The camaraderie we exhibit can produce positive results in multiple ways. Good will says a lot about our attitude as sellers and others will pick up on that. It’s not a goal to do it all, but a goal to catch a couple of minutes here and there and maximize results that benefit many, including ourselves.

Pat May.  Please visit my shop on etsy Whyte
Public Domain image from takeabreak at flickr

FABRIC ART COLLAGE ~ A Book Review


Fabric Art Collage by Rebekah Meier is a wonderful resource book with a wealth of over 40 mixed media techniques.

Divided into nine sections, this book is well-organized and reader-friendly. The full color photographs showcase not only finished projects and techniques, but also key steps along the way.

Beginning with the section entitled TOOLS AND SUPPLIES, Rebekah offers an extensive and thorough overview of a wide range of products including fabrics, paints, dyes, inks, adhesives, tools, accessories and more. There is truly something for everyone; Rebekah's vast experience with a wide array of products and materials is evident.

PAINTING AND STAMPING illustrates 13 techniques for adding design to fabric. Concise instructions are given for each technique.

Eight techniques for CREATING BASE MATERIAL show how to combine materials such as fusible web, paper, Lutradur (a non-woven translucent web) and more.

CREATING TEXTURE offers five methods, including needle-felting and machine stitchery, utilizing a wide variety of materials.

Sections entitled EMBELLISHMENTS and FIBERS AND HAND EMBROIDERY offer up ideas and approaches for adding extra “punch” to your fabric collages.

HOT TOOLS explains how using the Creative Textile Tool, an iron or a heat embossing tool can fuse, emboss or etch a variety of materials to be used in your collages.

Rebekah demonstrates DISTRESSING materials with tea, coffee, dye, ink and paint and she offers guidance in ASSEMBLING THE LAYERS. A focus on creating composition, balance and construction of the finished piece rounds out the techniques presented in this resource book.

Five different quilt projects are found at the close of Fabric Art Collage along with a gallery of 17 beautiful examples of mixed media/fabric projects. Finally, the materials referenced throughout the book are listed in the “resources section” with detailed source information.

The author suggests creating a “techniques swatch book” as you move through the book. I think this is a wonderful idea and would make for a handy reference.

Fabric Art Collage
will be a “go to” resource when you are looking to master a new technique for use in your mixed media projects. The techniques range from the simple to the more complex, thereby satisfying the novice or the experienced artist.

This book is available through C&T Publishing.

Image © C&T Publishing

Brand New Melange team challenge

Are you ready for another challenge? This one for Melange members this go round. Just pretty much like we did last time. Anybody who wants to be featured can write up a blog post (and then you can post it on your own blog also) or anybody who wants to just take part in the challenge can leave comments where your piece is located...Etsy, Flickr, web page, etc.

In honor of the fact that I have almost finished my project for ArtQuiltingStudio--you must use fabric somewhere in your pieces. Using fabric is getting more and more popular (hey, I am so glad) and it really does give a new dimension for mixed media art. You can use fabric, lace, trim, cheesecloth, etc. It will be due 9/24. That's two weeks. I will do another book giveaway, this book is called "The Decorated Page" by Gwen Diehn. Her emphasis is on decorated pages in journals, but the techniques work equally well on canvases, watercolor paper and other paper substrates.

Be thinking about it. Convo me if you are "in". I just want to know approximately how many will take part.

Remember it doesn't have to be elaborate. You could just use fabric for the background or part of the background to get your feet wet. Any type of projects will do, even bookmarks, tags, canvas, on wood, anything. Add fabric to a journal cover, notebook, on and on.

Glenda

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ SERENITY


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Jodi Ohl the prompt for this week's challenge is SERENITY. Create a piece of mixed media art using that word as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Peggy Gatto is our featured artist with this wonderful interpretation of SERENITY. Thanks so much, Peggy!

Image © Peggy Gatto

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ NAUGHTY


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Eva the prompt for this week's challenge is NAUGHTY. Create a piece of mixed media art using that word as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Stacey Merrill is our featured artist with this wonderful interpretation of NAUGHTY. Thanks so much, Stacey!

Image © Stacey Merrill

And the winner is.......

First, I again want to thank everyone who joined in this challenge. We even had two visitors, Silke and Abby. Who, by the way, did fantastic work. If you all didn't look at their pieces, do yourself a favor and do that.

I think what was so exciting for me was the participation that we had. It was phenomenal. So many of you, tried and tried and showed us your results. Thank you again for your time and your support. I want to do this again, when I figure out something suitable. So, send me or MidwestieLady, LB, your ideas.

And tada, the winner is none other than Janet, PaperDreamer. Janet, send me your snail mail on my convo and I will mail the book in next day or so. It's heavy, so I will mail media mail. I know you are going on vacation here to Texas anyway. Wave at me if you pass Dallas.

If you all have not, post your results and all on your own blog. It's great, and people who look really do love that. We have new followers and tons of hits on this blog with the challenge. I think it was great fun and I send big ole hugs to all ya'll. lol Okay, okay.

Glenda