Wednesday, January 27, 2010

beeswax part 3

Today I want to show you what happens to photographs when you play with beeswax.
I have these photos cropped to a smaller size so I'll be able to dip them into my mini crock of melted wax.
They're 2X2, 4X3, and 4X4.

Before dipping, I sand them with sand paper.
For these photographs, I've sanded them all differently and to varying degrees.

This one had the edges sanded and then I did a swirl motion overall.

Next I drop the photo into the melted wax.
I let it sit for about a minute.
This allows the paper to come to the same temperature as the wax and I get a finer coating of wax that way.
Otherwise it comes out blobby and white with a thick wax.

I use tweezers to pull it out and I let it drip for about a minute.

Next, I use my bone folder to scrape of most of the wax.
When I do that, it takes some of the photographic coating as well and I get an even more distressed effect.

Here's a closeup of what I mean:

You can repeat the dip and scrape method as often as you want to.
Repeated dips and scrapes give you an increasingly altered effect.
Here are my final photos after dipping and scraping 2 times:

Let me know if you're trying this at home - or if you have any questions.
I some more fun with beeswax posts planned for later this week too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

sun tea

sun tea today
no ice
warm and delicious

a bumper sticker I saw this morning on the way back from The School Run:

wag more
bark less

don't you just Love that?!?

Here are some other warm and delicious tea spots:

Friday, January 22, 2010

beeswax part 2

This is the beeswax I use:

I have also used beeswax in pellet form.
I prefer my block of wax - probably just because it looks so cool and my Dad gave it to me.

I simply cut off (using a big chef knife) small chunks of it and melt it in this thing:

I have a small saucepan lid that fits perfectly over this - it helps speed up the melting process to have a lid on it.
it is FLAMMABLE if it gets too hot.

For larger sized projects (like this one) I simply spoon the hot wax liberally over the whole thing.
Let your spoon sit in the wax for a minute or two so it gets to be the same temperature as the wax.
Otherwise you'll just get a big cold blob of wax on a spoon.

I do spooning of the wax while the project is on a piece of foil with the edges folded up:

I prefer a thin layer of wax - so all I need to do is pop this in a 200' oven for about 5 minutes.
The even temperature of the oven causes the wax to soak in nicely and spread in a thin layer.
All the excess wax just flows off the piece and onto the foil.

Here's a close up shot so you can see some of the texture of the wax:

Next week I'll show you how some more beeswax how-to's.


This particular art piece I've mounted in a baking pan as the frame:

This piece IS for sale.
You can find it in my etsy shop HERE.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


... this is before beeswax

... and this is after beeswax. The thing with beeswax is that it makes your paper more transparent or translucent and it enriches the colors. You can see how the swirls on the background paper show through where the bird is - and the text, because it came from a book, has faint text showing through because of what is printed on the reverse side. 

... here is a closeup of before

... and here is a closeup of after. You can also see some of the white color of the solidified beeswax showing up underneath the raised parts of the text and in among the string.

I'll show you more about the process I used here tomorrow. Today I just wanted to point out the differences.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

... oh and ....

... this is the book I read yesterday, in honor of MLK.

My 4th grader is reading it with her class.
It is a very very good (and important) story.

tea and "what is it?"

I'm still getting input as to what this wooden press or stamp would be used for.
The images on it are: a bird, mushrooms, a hare and what looks to me like a cornucopia.

Here are just some of the ideas that have been passed along:

I am pretty sure that the item is a mold for putting designs on shortbread especially at Christmas.
My Aunty had one and she was of Scottish birth.
I think she used to roll the dough in a ball and then push it into the mold.
Whatever it is it will make great patterns on something.

-Doreen G

The mold look similar to springerle cookie molds that I use at Christmas. Although, perhaps it is a butter mold? You can try a gingerbread recipe, roll dough to 1/4 inch, then press into the mold and lightly roll on the back, remove from mold and trim. To prevent sticking, you can either dust before each use with powdered sugar and have toothpicks handy to keep details clean or I also use nonstick spray one time, wipe off excess and you are all set to do a batch! Good luck!
-Holly aka Golly

Back to your beautiful mould I think it is for being able to recognise what filling is in a pie...for eg you have rabbit/hare,
mushrooms, bird/fowl however I cannot make out the other one.
The pie crust would have a pastry scone with an inprint on the top so the cook would know what was in the pie and it could also be used to recognise the flavour of a pate.
BUT I could be

-Chriss Rollins

In this next photo, I made some shortbread cookies ....
I think Chriss' suggestion that it would be used to label pies may be right - because of what the images are (hare, bird, mushroom ...)
I also think a pie crust dough would puff less and the images would be more clear.
I will have to make a savory pie and test it.
Anyway, it's been a fun and tasty experiment.

.... and another, "What's this?"

well he's just a silly little bunny for my cousin's baby that will be due in the summer :)

(HERE's the free knitting pattern I used)

For more "tea on tuesday," please visit these other fine blogs:

Monday, January 18, 2010

my favorite quote

... my favorite quote from Dr. King
used today in my art/heart journal.
The drawing was created by my middle child (9 yrs old).
Apple trees seem to always be a favorite subject for children.
This one is replete with a swing, a bird nest and its bird, a chipmunk and his hole in the tree.

... have a beautiful MLK day ...
I always try to read a thoughtful book on this day
I'll tell you what it was tomorrow over tea :)

Friday, January 15, 2010


(another journal page from the art/heart journal .....
mini-chunky board book, tissue paper, oil pastels, odorless mineral spirits, black ink, gold star)

Elizabeth had a beautiful quote on her blog a couple of days ago, which I've used here.
In fact I am adopting this quote into my heart.
It is so true.
"Beyond mountains, there are more mountains."
... and being a Haitian proverb it is especially filled with meaning right now.
It always helps me sort through my feelings to apply something troubling to art.
In '03, when the space shuttle Columbia exploded in mid air I got busy making handmade paper which I made into a book and is now a prized possession.
My thoughts go to Haiti with every glass of water I so freely pour for myself.
With every night laying my head upon my soft pillow.
With a multitude of mundane everyday luxuries.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

from where I sit ...

... with my t

(verry berry anti-oxidant t)

... I see

... a work in progress


... a silly smiling face.


... a dog waiting to come back inside.


... piggies doing their piggie thing.


... and an upside down tag that says:

Grace brings trust,
appreciation, love
and prosperity.

I will qualify the "prosperity" bit with this definition:

Old French: prospere,  from Latin pro sperus
 pro = according to + sperus = hope
(Antonym = despair)


Please visit these other lovely bloggers and their "t" spots:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

sidewalks and children

(page 2 of my art/heart journal)

Where the Sidewalk Ends
- Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

... for this page I used my own "flower pounded paper," oil pastels, an image from a storybook and my micron pen. For the how-to on flower pounded paper go to this earlier post.
Thank you for all of the kind and wonderful comments on what I've done so far with this mini-chunky book.
This little project is helping me out of a funky rut ... and your comments are encouraging :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I'm joining in on today's challenge over at The 3 Muses.
The theme is "angels."
This particular angel is from a collage sheet of Kodachrome slides. I've edged it with glitter and attached it to black tissue paper also edged with glitter. The background paper is vintage data paper of some sort sent to me by Patty at Magpie's Nest - I love the vintage green color of the ink. I edged the page with metallic pen. I decided to write the poem in a rambling and rolling fashion (if you need a more legible view of the poem, it's in today's post on my other blog with a photo). It's a beautiful poem, written by Maya Angelou, having more to do with love than with angels.
I've used one of the chunky board books sent to me from Jean at Bluebirds Living in the Meadow (wasn't that just amazingly sweet!?!)

I've decided to fill this book with some favorite poetry.
As an art and heart journal.
Looking at that giant W you can see that it's obviously a work in progress - maybe I'll get working on the cover soon :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

what is t on tuesday?

I started my t on tuesday gig a little over a year ago.
I was becoming a little ocd about posting a lot of posts and needed a mental break.
Tea will give you that - a mental break.
Tuesday became a welcome relief from the "look what I made" posts all the time.
Then I started my other blog as another kind of mental break,
but that's another story.
So "Tea on Tuesday" - or just "t" has become that needed break for a few other bloggers as well.
We post something about our cuppa (tea, coffee, etc) and whatever else we feel like chatting about ....
even the "look what I made" stuff - cuz we all love to see what you made!
So if you feel like adding some "t" to your blog, just let me know and I'll add you to the link list I put up every week.
Oh - and - it's no pressure.
If you miss a week or 2 or 3 - we now you'll be back.
It is just a t party after all.

Today's t was all drunk up while it was still dark out :)
Tetley's British Blend and soft boiled eggs.
The breakfast of champions!

I wanted to share my favorite Christmas presents with you.
This first one was from my 8 yr old daughter.
The pom-poms and the note were stashed inside the handy dandy toilet paper tube carrier.
The note says (verbatim):
"thees are not just pom-pom's.
there kiss's for when you when your sad, mad, fruchuated (frustrated), sory exc (etc) ...
you can just put them on your cheeks and it's like me kissing you and they last forever!!!"
...  wow - just wow ....

... and then this cool gift from my dear auntie.
She said,
"I've had this for years and thought you'd like it for your art."
I think it's a cookie press ...
do you know?
I'd love any info if you've got it ...
Please visit these other lovely bloggers and their "t" spot:

Friday, January 1, 2010

bonne anee!

... wishing you a happy new year in any language at all ... this just happening to be francais :)

I'll be back on Tuesday for "t!" - cheers, Kimmie