Monday, 28 July 2008

Beeswax Collage

This week's theme on Maggies Mondays Musings (MAMMA) is 'The Sixties' - well I am of course far too young to remember them (LOL!!!)but I was a sixties baby and this is always a fun subject. Having said that the ATC I've made for the swap is a bit on the serious side - not the subject but the look of it! I've called it '60s Grunge Fashions' and it is a beeswax collage. The background is an old tissue dressmaking pattern and the pattern is a printed image of one from 'Woman's Realm' of the 1960s. I've melted some coloured wax around the edges in colours to pick up the colours in the dress pattern, but overall it has a rather grungy look - hence the title. I've added some ribbon and buttons in complimentary colours to finish it off. Everything is stuck down with melted beeswax. I can't wait to see what everyone else does and whose ATC I will be drawn with.

Further information on the technique is in my earlier posting on Wed 9 July called 'Beeswax'.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

The Rise and Fall of Neptune!

This week over on Maggies Monday Musings (MAMMA) the theme is WATER. I found an image of Neptune, the God of the Sea and that seemed appropriate enough so 'Neptune Rising' and 'Neptune Falling' were born. For 'rising' the background is some dabbings of Starburst Stains and although the photo doesn't show it very well, it has a nice rippling water effect. The image itself is coated with one layer of gloss glaze. For 'falling' I tried out the 'peeling paint' effect using acrylic paint and vaseline. The idea being to smear vaseline in the areas where you don't want the paint to stay. So it's a bit random and hit and miss, but I was pleased with the effect. Hope whoever gets them will be pleased too!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

This week's theme is THREE

Over on Maggies Monday Musings (MAMMA)the theme for this week is THREE. Here are my two offerings - I was baffled at first as to what to do, but the good old domino and alcohol inks came to the rescue for 'Third Time Lucky' and I found some clay heads which I'd made from moulds a while back and they developed into the '3 Girls Blue' - with a background of Starburst Stains and a little bit of glitter around the edges. I always enjoy making up the heads and doing the hairstyles and these were no exception. I think it takes me back to my youth and combing the hair on the Cindy dolls!

Thank you Jan!

Jan has given me an award! I'm sure that I don't deserve it, but I really appreciate it and feel extremely honoured. Ever since I saw some of Jan's work over on the DoCrafts site (many moons ago now)I have been totally in awe of her talent. I'm sure she must have got fed up with my many questions - how did you do that, what did you use for that ... and so on - lol! She is truly a wonderful artist and inspiration to me and I'm sure to many others. Thank you Jan xx

(I'm not sure what I have to do now, but if I'm to nominate the award to others, then all the people in the 'blogs I like to visit' section deserve it!)

I was going to upload a picture of the award, but I can't seem to do it at the moment - lol. Will have another go later.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008


Over on the DoCrafts ATC forum Sheila C is hosting a 'Beeswax Swap', the idea being to create some ATCs which have beeswax on them in one form or another.

As beeswax is my favourite medium at the moment I really enjoyed making these ATCs. The top two ATCs are collages. The first uses an old dressmaking pattern for the background and the image of the model is cut from the front of the pattern packet. All the papers were adhered to the card with melted beeswax. The second one again has part of a dressmaking pattern for the background, and the main image is of a ballerina which I cut out from a newspaper - I had to coat both sides of the image with gel medium otherwise the print from the back of the image would have shown through, as when the wax is applied, the image becomes transparent. Some of the print from the back does in fact show through, but I quite like the effect. I've also scribbed some oil pastel around the image too.

The other three ATCs all have heads on them, made from melted beeswax in moulds. The 'Playing Mind Games' one has some extra heavy gel medium on mainly to cover up part of the background which didn't quite look right.

Although I do have a Melting Pot, I didn't use it at all for these ATCs, Instead I melted some beeswax directly onto the ATCs with a small quilter's iron and smoothed it over the surface. I love this technique and it's a lot quicker and easier than getting the Melting Pot out. I got these ideas from books and a DVD from Claudine Hellmuth whose work I really admire.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Round Robin Journal Page - for Paula

I'm involved in a round robin being organised by Astrid.

This is my page for Paula who is an extremely talented artist. Paula's theme is IMAGINE and after seeing her own page, I could only imagine what it would be like to be as gifted as her!

I started the page off by covering it with torn pieces of the old book (mentioned in posts below) with some matte medium, then painted another coat over the top. I then melted some beeswax and black oil pastel over the whole page and covered it with a light dusting of some gold Pearl-Ex. This gave a nice texture and in a few places some of the text from the old book still showed through.

The three diamond shapes are Memory Glass with Pearl-Ex coated on the back and rubber stamping on the top (except for the woman's face which is stamped onto paper and placed behind the glass).

To finish the page off I stuck on some pieces of mosaic near to each piece of Memory glass.

I was pleased with how the page turned out - and hope that Paula likes it too.

There is a blog dedicated to the round robin which can be found here.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

ATC Challenge - theme: Parisienne

There is an exciting new group, being run by Margaret, called Maggies Monday Musings where a weekly challenge for making ATCs is set. This week's theme is Parisienne. You can choose whether or not you wish to swap your ATC with another player. This is my entry called 'The Gay Parisienne' and I have chosen to swap with a random partner (how exciting, wonder who it'll be!)

I made the ATC by using some acrylic paint glazes onto some unstretched canvas, which I then stuck onto the ATC. On top of that I collaged some printed images, there is a real old French postage stamp and a bit of rubber stamping - as well as a couple of charms to finish off. I hope whoever ends up with it, likes it!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

An Altered Alphabet Card

I used some of the old book pages (see post below) for this altered alphabet card which I’m sending to someone as a gift.

The alphabet card is actually quick thick and sturdy (4mm). I coated a layer of matte medium over the card and stuck on pieces of the torn pages. I gave it another coat of the medium over the top. I then painted a light wash of white and burnt sienna over the top, with more of the burnt sienna around the edges. I then glued onto the top of the card a piece of mount board which had began as an ATC. This also was covered with one of the book pages with matte medium. Once dry, I stuck some random pieces of masking tape over the top, then tore them off. I then painted over the top with some watered down acrylic paint - this gives a nice distressed look. The main image is printed and stuck down, as are the numbers along the bottom. Finally, some lace, buttons, ribbon and beads to finish. Oh, and not forgetting the ‘crystal’ at the bottom which was actually recycled from an old chandelier.

A Bygone Age

Hunting around a charity shop recently I found a beautiful tatty book of the
‘Old Curiosity Shop’ by Charles Dickens. It must be very old as the pages show real age around the edges and it doesn’t even have a publishing date in the front. Tucked inside was an old postcard (blank on the back) showing a picture of the Old Curiosity Shop. I used to work near to the actual shop in Holborn, London, so this brought back some happy memories for me.

I’ve been wanting to have a go at altering a book, ever since I saw a webisode called ‘Altered Baby Book’ on TV Weekly. However, the book I bought was too badly damaged at the spine to do this with, so instead I’ve been ripping and tearing the pages to incorporate in various projects. I feel a bit bad about defacing the book but ease my conscience when I think that at least it’s being lovingly crafted with and not just languishing at the back of a shelf in a shop somewhere.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Torso Shaped ATCs

I love making ATCs and recently saw some unusually shaped ones on Cindy's blog. She agreed to swap a couple with me so here are the two I've made for her.

Both are made from mountboard and have backgrounds of melted beeswax and oil pastels and crayons. The first one has a printed image and the second a rubber stamped image onto paper from an old French dictionary, sealed with Gesso. I sprayed some gloss varnish over both of them, but the second one blurred a bit - still I think it still looks ok. Hope Cindy will like them anyway.