Archive for May, 2008

Beeswax Collages

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

A while ago I took some wonderful classes with collage artist Mary Jo McGraw. I’ve not taken many classes, I’m pretty much self taught but I learned alot from her and had a great time “playing” with other artists. Take a class sometime, even if you’ve been doing your art for a long time, you can always learn something new and get inspired by other people and their work, you’ll be glad you did.

One of the class I took with her was working with beeswax, we took copies of photos, pages from old magazine, etc and dipped them in beeswax. And adhered them to cardstock and added stamping and other embellishments like mica and buttons.

Here are some of the pieces that I made:


Vincent Price (I love him:)) I re-melted the wax with a heat gun and pushed buttons and mica flakes into the hot wax to adhere them:

Victorian Woman, the buttons were dipped into alcohol inks before being added to hot wax:

Victorian Girl:

And another Geisha, I poured wax onto the piece and then stamped into it with a rubber stamp , after it cooled I rubbed pearl ex onto the wax:

So, you may be asking how is the heck do you do this?:) This is the easiest way I’ve found to use beeswax. I bought a small inexpensive mini crockpot just for my beeswax (once you use it for wax you can NOT cook food in it, so keep this in mind). I bought the small beeswax pellets at Michael’s craft store, they are in the candle making section. You can use the large chunks of wax too put the pellets melt faster and are easier to work with. So just turn on the crock pot, pour in some pellets, filing it up about half way and let them melt, this can take quite a long time, be patient:) When everything is melted you can then dip your items into the wax, be sure to use tweezers or small tongs as the wax is VERY hot. Be sure to dip quickly and pull your item out fast, if it sits in the wax too long it will not be very clear and you might not be able to see your image underneath. The wax dries very quickly so you can lay your piece down almost immediately after dipping. When you are done turn off the pot and let the wax cool inside and harden, when you are ready to use it again just turn on the pot and let the wax remelt.

Kimono Tag Book

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

This book was inspired by one I saw on the old Rubberbabybuggybumper site.

I took a large shipping tag and two smaller tags and covered them in a reddish/pink ink using a sponge and then embossed some Asian stamp images (from Hero Arts) in gold all over the tags. Then I taped the two smaller tags to either side of the larger tag to make the shape of a Kimono (very clever, huh?:) I also wraped some ribbon and added a coin to the front and tied some fibers to the tag holes. Then using another large tag as a template I folded a 12×12 piece of cardstock in an accordion fold and traced and cut out the tag shape to make the “pages” of the book. I added some more stamped images and some torn washi and origami papers to the pages to finish them off.

Front of the book:

Inside pages:


Monday, May 5th, 2008

I’ve gotten questions about where I find my images. I do use some images from “collage sheets”, there are  lots of wonderful places on line to buy sheets of old photos, etc. one of my favorites is Art Chix Studio:   

I also have a small collection of photographs of woman from the Victorian era that I purchased from a man in Britain on E-Bay. They were pricey to ship but well worth it to have some beautiful and unique images that no one else has.

I also LOVE old books and use alot of images and text from those as well. Art books, dictionaries, text books, foreign language and children’s books are my favorite ones to buy. When buying old books don’t pay too much, I usually won’t pay more than a few dollars for a book. Don’t worry about intact spines, you’ll probably be tearing out pages anyway. And be leery of buying from garage sales, rumage sales or any places books might have been stored for a long time, the reason is bugs. Silver fish love old books and you can bring them home in old books (I’ve had it happen!) and they will spread to other books, etc (yuck!) so try to buy from book shops where the books have been kept in an environment free from creepy crawlers:)

Eclipse of My Heart

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Here’s another collage of a fairy. I painted the canvas board with a pretty blue acrylic paint and then made a very watery wash with a darker metallic blue paint which I poured over the painted canvas, I tipped it back and forth to make the wash run and puddle up and then let it dry (which took awhile:)) I photocopied a tree branch from an old childrens book and colored it with Prisma colored pencils, cut it out and glued it to the canvas with gel medium. I also photocopied a lady who was sitting, cut her out and attached her and some butterfly wings ( a sticker) to have her sitting on the branch. I cut out a crown and punched a heart from silver metallic paper and added those and some tiny crystals for her crown and some glitter to her wings. The moon is a silver charm that I aged with some black Staz-On ink. Lastly I added a quote from an old book.