Mixed-media artists Debbi Crane and Cheryl Prater share their enthusiasm, humor, materials, techniques, and projects to make mixed-media art accessible and appealing to the masses. Featuring tips and tricks that seasoned makers will find invative but those new to artsy-crafting will find attainable, Mixed Mania shares all the ingredients readers need to kw to get their creative juices flowing. Divided into three main sections, Mixed Mania takes an unstuffy approach to a range of techniques including art quilts, painting, collage, bookbinding, assemblage, drawing, image transfers, sewing, doll making, scrapbooking, keepsake art, and decoupage. The book is divided into artistic appetizers, creating main courses, and sweet treats and special occasions. Projects are laid out like recipes complete with ingredients (materials), instructions (what to mix, add), and tips (how it should look, taste, etc.) Each showcases colorful, invative collage and assemblage projects created with a variety of ephemera and mixed-media materials, all with detailed how-to instructions. Each artist contributes projects, tips, and ideas in their own distinctive voice, and the overall narrative captures the playful and spirited tone of a conversation between two opinionated friends. The graphics and design of this book have a mid-century modern flavor with a fun retro cookbook theme and a narrative voice to match: a tone that is two-parts feisty June Cleaver with a heat gun mixed with one-part savvy instructions and a sprinkling of sassy on top.
As an elementary teacher and artist, Debbi Crane has been an avid book artist for many years and has studied book arts at Penland and Arrowmont. The current focus of her studio practice is making one-of-a-kind books, fully realized compositions that include a narrative text, imagery, and a binding structure that complements the content. In 2004, she began her first year-long daily art project, which was making a miniature book every day. She has continued making daily art ever since, giving herself a different assignment every year. Since 1998, she has been teaching art workshops for adults in various fabric arts, including at the International Quilt Festival at Make-It-U, sponsored by Quilting Arts Magazine. Her work has been published in several magazines, including Cloth Paper Scissors and Somerset Studio and featured in books such as 1,000 ATC's (Rockport) and Beaded Cards (Lark). While she was always gluing, sewing, writing, or painting something, Cheryl Prater started scrapbooking in 1996. This was a great creative release affording her a break from her stressful professional career, as well as a way to catalog all those adorable baby pictures. She began experimenting with collage and altered books in 2005, after discovering and being greatly inspired by Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. Her work has been published in Cloth Paper Scissors, Creating Keepsakes, and the forthcoming 500 Handmade Dolls (Lark). She creates, blogs, teaches workshops, and takes on other artful endeavors in Atlanta, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Mark, twin boys, Connor and Reese, and show dog, Trumpet the Wonder Dachshund.