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Mixed Media Masterpieces with Jenny & Aaron: Create Incredible Art Journals and Handmade Mixed Media Treasures with Two Master Crafters
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Mixed Media Masterpieces with Jenny & Aaron: Create Incredible Art Journals and Handmade Mixed Media Treasures with Two Master Crafters

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by Jenny Heid, Aaron Nieradka

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Mixed Media Masterpieces with Jenny & Aaron by Jenny Heid & Aaron Nieradka

Craft One-of-a-Kind Art Journals and Mixed Media Keepsakes

Jenny and Aaron of Everyday is a Holiday help you create vibrant art journals and unique mixed media pieces with this easy-to-follow guide.

With eye-catching projects true to Jenny and Aaron's quirky style, you'll have


Mixed Media Masterpieces with Jenny & Aaron by Jenny Heid & Aaron Nieradka

Craft One-of-a-Kind Art Journals and Mixed Media Keepsakes

Jenny and Aaron of Everyday is a Holiday help you create vibrant art journals and unique mixed media pieces with this easy-to-follow guide.

With eye-catching projects true to Jenny and Aaron's quirky style, you'll have fully-formed pieces of art to display in your home, gift to friends or even wear as jewelry. Projects include an art journal page dedicated to your favorite place, mini faux doughnuts to display in your kitchen or make into magnets, a graffiti-style portrait of a retro pinup girl, and a necklace that allows you to wear elements from your favorite art journal pages.

In the end you'll have awe-inspiring results that'll reflect your artistic vision and personality, and have you smiling every time you see them.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Heid and Nieradka, founders of the blog Everyday Is a Holiday, have presented a mixed bag, from mini faux doughnuts (which look delicious if one ignores the presence of clay, paint, and glaze) to a journal-making project in which a white cover of a notebook is painted black, then accented with embellishments and colors. Those who have dabbled in mixed-media projects may have more tools at hand than the average reader. Many projects require up to five colors of acrylic paint, plus upwards of a dozen smaller items, such as painter’s acrylic latex caulk, tracing paper, striped paper straws, stage-curtain collage sheets, distressed ink and applicators, and a rose cupcake pick (for the Fabulous Keepsake Cake). The projects are complex, but may provide just the spark of inspiration to those who already experiment with intricate necklaces made from wooden beads and paper ephemera (Sweet Spot Necklace), or heirloom bride-and-groom photo assemblages for unique family keepsakes using rickrack and rulers, sheet music slices, and a vintage photo of the newlyweds. (Dec.)
From the Publisher

“I was smitten with Jenny and Aaron's design work from the moment I first spotted it. Not only do they stay true to their talents and brand, they keep growing and evolving. They are ones to watch!” —Cathie Filian, Emmy-nominated host of Creative Juice on HGTV, producer of Craft Wars on TLC, and bestselling author

“Jenny and Aaron are two of the most talented folks we know. We are super proud to hang so many pieces of their artwork on our bakery walls because it always makes us smile - and our customers love it too!” —Cheryl and Griffith Day, authors of The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

“Jenny and Aaron have stuck to their dreams and followed a sweet path they know is true to their hearts. [They] take (and make) the cake…always have, always will.” —Jane Dagmi, HGTV Remodels, Designing Spaces

Library Journal
★ 11/15/2013
Heid and Nieradka's crafty partnership started almost 20 years ago, and their designs have been sold at major craft stores as well as at their own retail shop. Here, in their debut, a companion to their blog Everyday Is a Holiday, they focus on paper and mixed-media art. There's a very particular aesthetic to these projects: think bright pastel colors, vintage photos, cheery kitsch, and a tasteful (but not insubstantial) amount of glitter. However, the ideas can be adapted to suit a variety of tastes. The directions are lavishly illustrated with step-by-step, full-color photographs, so even crafters who don't know what a spouncer is or who have never frosted a Styrofoam cake with paint-tinted caulk can follow along. The best thing about this volume? The authors are obviously having fun with their art; this title is infused with a sense of joy. VERDICT Ideas and inspiration abound in this clever collection aimed at scrapbookers, jewelry makers, and mixed-media crafters.

Product Details

Page Street Publishing
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7.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Mixed Media Masterpieces

Create Incredible Art Journals and Handmade Mixed Media Treasures with Two Master Crafters

By Jenny Heid, Aaron Nieradka

Page Street Publishing Co.

Copyright © 2013 Jenny Heid & Aaron Nieradka
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62414-030-3


Painting, Making, Sculpting and Escaping into Mixed Media

As artists our career together has been of the make-it-up-as-you-go variety. But there is one thing that has always been certain: We are always at our absolute happiest when we're doing the things that we're good at. And knowing this, we try like heck to be good at a lot of things!

And in art, being "good" is totally relative. When we say good, we more or less mean interested, or inspired. When getting creative, variety is essential. For us that's what mixed media is all about. In putting together these projects — with bits of sculpture, some jewelry making, lots of painting, drawing, assembling, cutting and even making some faux sweets — the one constant is that we loved the creative process.

The only way to unearth your undiscovered talents is to try something new. We don't think it's lofty to say that we think you can find yourself through the artistic process. And we've got all the confidence in the world that you'll not only make some great art in following along with these projects, but you'll also make some great discoveries about yourself and how much talent you've yet to realize. Happiness truly does come with doing the things that you are good at — and doing them often. So if your creative curiosity brought you here, you're halfway there. The rest of the way is in the painting, the making, the sculpting and the escaping into mixed media.


We think this project embodies the spirit of its title, both in subject matter (cupcakes!) and in the celebratory light it shines on so many of your creative skill sets. A lot of simple steps and mediums make up this fabulous piece of wall art.

There's painting and stamping, scrapbooking and assemblage, and even some faux wood graining. With so much to do and so many fun elements to play with, we're confident that you'll happily lose yourself in this mixed media party, and in the end you'll have an amazing work of art to display in your home.


12" × 16"/30.5 × 40.6 cm canvas board
Grain striping comb
Circular paint spouncer
Patterned paper
Recipe book page
Seam binding or ribbon
¾"/1.9 cm flat brush
#8 round brush
Hole punch
Tracing paper
Flag cupcake picks
Acrylic gel medium
Acrylic molding paste
Chipboard/game letters
Cupcake image template (see here)

Acrylic paint

* cream

* pale pink

* chocolate

* white

* mocha

* burnt umber


1. Basecoat your canvas board with cream paint. You may need two coats for full coverage. When the paint is dry, measure 4 ½"/11.4 cm up from the bottom edge of your canvas and draw a pencil line horizontally dividing the canvas. This will be your horizon/table line.

2. Use a circular paint spouncer to create your polka-dot background. To give your polka dots a faded or distressed effect, use a paintbrush to unevenly apply the paint to the spouncer. Stamp on your polka dots one row at a time starting from the top left corner and working across, staggering each row of dots. When you reach the horizon line, hold a piece of scrap paper flush along the horizon line as a blocker so that the painted polka dot only appears above the horizon line. Let dry.

3. To further fade and distress the polka dots, apply a wash of the background cream color over them. Mix one part cream paint with two parts water, brush over the polka dots and blot to the desired effect.

4. To create the faux wood grain, mix one part mocha paint with one part gel medium. Mix enough to apply an even coat to the bottom portion of the canvas. Use the 3/4"/1.9 cm flat brush to evenly coat the table with your mocha/gel medium mix. Then, while the mixture is still wet, drag the graining comb horizontally with the smaller teeth of the comb at the horizon line. Drag all the way across the canvas and then repeat this motion on the remaining table area below. Let dry completely, about 10–15 minutes. A blow dryer helps to speed things along.

5. Use a photocopier to resize the cupcake image template to best fit your canvas. Ours is about 9"/22.9 cm wide. Then lay tracing paper over the image and trace the lines with a pencil. Press hard to ensure the lines transfer.

6. Flip the tracing paper and transfer the image onto patterned paper by rubbing with a smooth, blunt object. We use the back end of a Sharpie marker. Be sure to rub hard and thoroughly for an even transfer.

7. Cut out the transferred image and position it on your canvas so that the horizon line intersects the image where the cupcakes meet the uppermost edge of the plate. Adhere it to your canvas with decoupage medium, making sure to smooth out any bubbles. Let dry for about 5 minutes.

8. Use the same tracing paper to rub the shapes of the cupcake bottoms onto a recipe book page. Then cut out the cupcake bottoms and adhere them to your image with decoupage medium. Let dry for about 5 minutes.

9. Apply a topcoat of decoupage medium over the entire canvas. Let dry for about 5 minutes.

10. Mix one part burnt umber with two parts water, then apply the wash to the edges of each cupcake bottom and blot with a paper towel to the desired effect.

11. With a #8 round brush, apply a smooth line of the wash along the rim of the plate.

12. Apply and blot the wash in the same fashion around the cupcakes, giving them an antique glow. Then do the same to the edges and corners of the entire canvas.

13. Select acrylic paint colors that you'd like for the frosting of the cupcakes. Then basecoat the frosting on each cupcake. While the basecoat dries, mix each of the frosting colors with molding paste using one part paint with two parts molding paste. This will be your frosting mixture.

14. Apply frosting mixture to each cupcake using a #8 round brush. Let dry overnight.

15. When the frosting is dry, adhere the flag picks with a dab of all-purpose glue.

16. Adhere the letters with all-purpose glue as well.

17. Use a hole punch and multitone papers to make confetti sprinkles. Apply the sprinkles randomly with dabs of all-purpose glue.

18. Adhere some pom-pom trim with all-purpose glue.

19. Drill holes in the top corners of the canvas for the hanging ribbon. Cut three equal lengths of seam binding or ribbon and feed the ends through the holes from back to front. We often use the back end of a very skinny paintbrush to push the ribbons through the holes. Then tie all three ribbon ends into a single knot to keep them from slipping back through the holes, making sure to leave some slack showing in front for a festive party-streamer effect.

This is certainly a piece you should be very proud of. And that's the reason we chose this fairly large format. It really does show off so many crafty talents all in one place. It's great for any room in the house, but we think it would be so fab in your little workspace, or even on the door to your studio or craft room.


You can't help but feel a twinge of guilty pleasure when you start off a project by popping open a tub of Crayola clay. You're instantly transported back to childhood, messy hands and all. Faux sweets have a tendency to evoke smiles, and mini doughnuts are kinda at the top of the smile scale. As far as crafting goes, these embody the something-from-nothing method of creation. In the end you'll hardly believe that the perpetually perfect confections were once just globs of clay in your hands. And if you're looking for a project that the kiddos can help with, this is the one.


Crayola Air-Dry Clay
Heavy molding paste
Gloss varnish
#8 round brush
Craft mat or waxed paper
Cup of water

Acrylic paint

* pale yellow

* pink

* chocolate

* white

* tan


1. This project requires some drying time between the sculpting step and the painting steps. So make sure to plan accordingly — these can't be last-minute gifts that you whip up the night before! To start, first lay down a craft sheet or a piece of waxed paper as a work surface. Then roll up equal-sized balls of clay, roughly the size of a golf ball.

2. Roll the ball into a log shape that's just long enough so that you can make the ends meet to make a mini doughnut.

3. Bend to make the ends meet.

4. Use your water to smooth your clay. A tiny dip of the finger works wonders. Smooth out the seam where you joined the two ends together.

5. Further smooth your doughnut with damp fingers.

6. Continue to shape and smooth the rest of your batch. Once you're done give them all a final once-over. Make them as smooth and round as possible. Let the clay fully dry for a couple of days. You'll know it's dry when the clay turns from gray to nearly pure white.

7. Basecoat the dry doughnuts with pale yellow and let dry.

8. When actual doughnuts are fried they float on the surface of the oil and are flipped to brown each side. You'll notice a lighter tinted line that divides the doughnut. This is the part that wasn't fully submerged in oil. We call this the "fry line" and with some careful brushwork you can get this realistic look. First apply tan paint to half of your doughnut and then partially wipe it away with a paper towel to bring back some of the yellow. Ideally it'll look as if it's golden from the fryer.

9. When the first side is dry, do the same to the other side but leave a small strip of the pale yellow untouched. This is your "fry line," and it really adds to the realistic appearance.

10. Apply a clear coat of either decoupage medium or varnish to seal the doughnuts.

11. While the clear coat dries, mix up your glaze. We use one part paint, one part heavy gel medium and two parts gloss varnish. (So, half of the glaze is gloss varnish and the other half is evenly divided between paint and gel medium.) Use this as a starting point and adjust your glaze until it's a consistency that's dip-able without being too thick or too thin.

12. Dip your doughnut in about a third of the way.

13. Set your dipped doughnuts down flat to settle and dry. The peaks will go down and spread evenly for a realistic glazed look. Let the glaze dry overnight before handling. But before displaying or stacking, give them about a week to cure in order to prevent them from sticking together. These also make really cute magnets for the fridge. Hot-glue little magnets to the back to make some fabulously sweet home accessories.

You're going to pick up these little cuties about a million times once they're all dry and done. You can give them as gifts, all nestled in some tissue paper in a pink bakery box. Or display them on a tiny plate with a doily. What a cheery way to brighten your desk, countertop, vanity or windowsill.


There's a distinct self-affirming pleasure in being your very own source material for future creative projects. The art you make today can be reproduced and repurposed in such a way to create the perfect give-and-take relationship with your work. Not to sound corny, but we like to think of the facets of this bracelet as the facets of your artistic development. A twist of the wrist is like turning a dial, or flipping back through the pages of your art journal. And you get to take all of that with you wherever you go. You'll look upon this piece of wearable art as a daily reminder of your unique creative talents.


Unfinished wooden bracelet
(We found great styles on etsy.com.)
Reduced photocopies of your
art journal pages (chapter 2)
Proportion wheel
Decoupage medium
½"/1.3 cm flat brush
#2 round brush
#6 round brush
Gloss varnish
Mini rhinestones
Sanding pad

Acrylic paint

* white

* aqua

* pink

* burnt umber


1. Measure the dimensions of your bracelet. Then select pages from your art journal and make reduced color copies to fit the dimensions of your bracelet. Because most copiers can only shrink an image to 25 percent, you may have to make second-generation copies like we did (meaning, make a reduced copy and then make a reduced copy of that copy). With the proportion wheel it's easy. (These are available on loan at most self-serve copy shops and can be bought there too.) Adjust the wheel to line up your beginning size with the size you'd like it to be. Or you can get all technologically fancy and do it the non-analog way with your home scanner and printer. But we went analog to show that it's doable for anyone.

2. Basecoat your bracelet. We first primed ours with white and then painted the inside aqua and the rim pink. Paint on all sides, inside and out, and let dry for 5–10 minutes.

3. Using decoupage medium adhere your cutout imagery to all sides of your bracelet and let dry for about 5 minutes.

4. When dry use a sanding pad to sand off any excess paper edges and to smooth any rough paint. Dust off any particles.

5. Apply a topcoat of decoupage medium to the entire bracelet, inside and out. To avoid getting your hands too full, do only a portion at a time so there is always at least one dry spot to hold on to when you set the bracelet down to dry. Each portion should take about 5 minutes to dry.

6. Make an antique wash with one part burnt umber paint and two parts water, and then brush this over the surface of the bracelet. You can also make a white wash or a color wash using this same method. Go with the look you desire. Because you sealed it in the previous step, the wash will be easy to wipe off to the desired effect.

7. With a paper towel blot off the wash until you reach the desired effect.

8. Apply a coat of gloss varnish to the entire surface of the bracelet. As before, do only a portion at a time so you are able to set it down. Let dry completely, approximately 10 minutes.

9. To adhere tiny rhinestones, use a #2 round brush to apply a small dot of the gloss varnish and then drop a rhinestone onto the dot of still-wet varnish.

10. Press down gently on each rhinestone and let dry. Our overall design is pretty subtle with the focus more on the texture and color of our teeny tiny art journal pages. But you can go all out with rhinestones and adornments if you like. Make your bracelet a representation of you and your art!

We hope this bridged the gaps for you between art journaling, crafting and jewelry making. There's a bit of each in this bracelet. It really is so cool to wear your own artwork ... to look down and see your miniature handiwork captured under gloss upon your wrist.


Two of our favorite collectibles are old photographs and vintage wedding cake toppers. So naturally this was the perfect starting point for an artful assemblage. And even though instant relatives (old photos found at flea markets and junk shops) generously inhabit our artwork and decor, we thought it would be all the more special to use actual relatives (Aaron's grandparents) in this little project that celebrates love and family. So dig through the family album, gather your supplies and create a piece of very personal and collectible art.


Excerpted from Mixed Media Masterpieces by Jenny Heid, Aaron Nieradka. Copyright © 2013 Jenny Heid & Aaron Nieradka. Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Jenny Heid and Aaron Nieradka are the artists behind the popular crafting blog, Everyday is a Holiday. Their designs have been sold at top retailers such as Michaels, Barnes and Noble and Paper Source. They reside on the Jersey Shore.

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Mixed-Media Masterpieces with Jenny & Aaron: Create Incredible Art Journals and Handmade Mixed-media Treasures with Two Master Crafters 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great project ideas and easy to follow instructions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. Jenny and Aaron make it so easy to make beautiful mixed media art projects. Every page is filled with colorful fun! My very favorite is Art Journaling; you can make every page personally your own and they have so many awesome techniques that are so different from any others I have ever tried. And all the yummy colors will just take your breath away. We all have a story to tell and every story is special. To me, my journal will be like a heirloom I will pass down to my children and grandchildren (along with this book!!). And a bonus is reading their blog, Everyday Is A Holiday. These two truly live this way and they have helped me to do the same thing! Love from the Alabama Princess!