Monday, September 14, 2009

Soul Collage treats

This weekend my 9 yr old granddaughter Alyssa was decorating her 'writing notebook' for her class, & needed some images from my store of old magazines - & when I was helping her look, I found some that inspired me . . . . & then some more . . .

So after a hiatus of several months, a group of SC cards came forward.

It seems that's my tendency in art/craft - something will engage my imagination for awhile, & I'll find myself involved in that media or with that subject, then interst will shift.

The first card: Tower & Labyrinth I bring you peace, a 'breather.' Time to step aside, let go, let down your hair - move into the tower of tranquility & repose.

Firekeeper, Protect
We remind you of the Heart of the Fire, of our protective warmth & secret depths. I am the tender of the Sacred Flame, guardian of the hidden treasure.

I carry the traditions in my eyes & on my shoulders. The dream catcher snatches away aught that threatens to disenpower. I dance to the ancient drum, & call you to remember your roots, in the depths of time!

I am the transformation! Open to the possibilities & catch the sun.

N W Passage

The NW adventure is your for the asking - move through the Northwest Passage & come home! Open your crown & remember the mer-people (mermaid with child on the Left above the Orcas) Hear the sounds of the Northern winds & whale song calling.

There's a lovely enrty on the Threads of Spiderwoman blog about the symbol of hands with an eye in the palm - such a fascinating symbol! I have a hamsa (eye of Fatima) pendant I picked up in Los Vegas (!) after admiring my girlfriend's piece.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wedding Book

Last week our receptionist asked if I'd be willing to write the text for her son's wedding ceremony in a journal. For years I've been the one in the office to do fancy writing or calligraphy (when I was a kid, I had a calligraphy booklet, & copied the different fonts using a regular pen!)
Of course I said yes :)

They went to the art shop around the corner & picked up this lovely journal made & handbound in Tibet of fibers from an endemic shrub which grows quickly - the pages have a nice texture & it's renewable.

I used a 'Micron' pen with archival ink, which I use to transcribe songs I've composed or arranged for the harp.
The script is a loose 'Italic' which worked well with the fine-tipped pen. They had laid out the text by page - I used different spacing on a couple of the pages, & marked faint guide lines in pencil on each one.

Our receptionist's husband is the officiant, & she said he's got most of the script memorized for the special day!

I showed the book to my daughter, who got married in Jan - suggesting I'd be happy to do the same for their ceremony & vows. I'm also playing for a wedding this weekend - maybe I should add a blurb about wedding calligraphy to my wedding harp page, lol!

Seriously, this is a very sweet way to preserve your wedding ceremony & vows - I don't know if they're using this for a guest-book as well, but that would be a nice combo.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Yesterday I stopped by the local yarn shop (yummm) & picked up a few skeins from their discount area - a lovely lavender (alpaca & tercel) for a shell or top of some kind, & a linen blend for a bag!

My daughter brought me an 'ergonomic' bag that one of her work friends was passing on several months ago, & the fastener is wearing out - plus I seem to (always) overpack it . . . just keep putting in a few more things, . . . I was perusing the knitting books for a pattern, & saw several bags that looked fun, inc a book By Cat Bordhi (watch her cast on a moebius here) that adapted the points from a jester hat into a bag, for pockets!! I hadn't checked at the library yet, so did a search for bag patterns on-line, & found this lovely Bag list! They also have a list of hats & socks & . . . .

Fun to try to determine from the pattern names if it would have elements I can use for my own 'ergonomic' & practical bag! I love the look of felted bags, & want to do some of those as well - but the linen won't lend itself to that process!

Here are some favorite bags - Juli has done a nice job of creating a pattern for a larger bag - either for toting stuff to the gym, or for those LONG knitting needles. I like her use of buttons at the end of the I-chain handle.
I have a lovely collection of needles from my mama, inc some my Uncle whittled for her one afternoon, when she commented she'd like some wooden ones in a size she couldn't find in the shop!

How fun it will be to begin . . .

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Table Play

I have an old wooden table that's been on my front porch for about a year - it was white - but about a week ago I had my granddaughters help me paint it blue - & we've begun painting flowers & spirals & hippopotomi, according to the 4 year old (her 9 yr old sister painted this one) ! They love helping paint the table - I drew the basic patterns (except the hippos!) & they have helped me fill in some of the designs with acrylics.

Sis added a heart, the letters & a purple hippo. Kakay's hippo patch is green. I think we'll paint designs all over the top, & just borders on the side pieces (which fold down)

Sis can remember when she was 4, & the table was in the back yard of their old house. When ate out there when it was hot, or when there were several guests - Kakay thinks we should leave it in my yard - where we're painting, so we can eat outside (it's almost warm enough - but I'm planning on putting it back in my dining 'nook.'

Today the youngest cousins were busy painting - KayK working on her 'hippo,' & Gregory his own pictures (the red was a tree at first)

Friday, February 13, 2009

heART cards

The heART cards arrived this week - & they are all so beautiful!! They arrived wrapped in pink tissue paper - perfect for making some more beeswax collage :)

My grand daughters quickly began 'claiming' cards - "I want THIS one!" . . . I explained that while we could make some similar ones, these are mine for now :)

THank all of you for making this exchange so fun! Some of my favorites are the itty bitty ones - who would have thought??

Of course, i love doll's houses & minatures - just received some dolls from England, & am thinking of making 'herbal healer's' cottage, based on Monica Furlong's 'Wise Child' series, set in Middle ages. Several homes are described in great detail.

I've checked a few doll house books out from the Library, & have been jotting down ideas. When Mary & Josh were young, I drew paper dolls, & we loved doll house stuff. For several years she played with one from her grandparent's attic, then gave it back to the aunt for whom it was originally constructed.

Our dear friend Kate also loved doll houses, & refurbished one from her own childhood - which entertained my kids for hours. The grandkids have passed a sturdy wood 'kid style' home back & forth - i'ts currently at Emily & Gregory's home.

I gave some of the earlier beeswax heart cards to my office buddies & a group of gal friends - stamped a word on each (my original idea for the heART cards) & everyone smiled at getting a home made valentine!

Thanks again to all the heARTists for participating in theValentine's exchange!

Monday, February 2, 2009

heART Card - the creation

Here's a brief tutorial on beeswax collage - feel free to ask questions!

I found a 'butter warmer' at Bi-Mart, it's perfect for warming a small amount of wax. The tea light lasted for all twenty valentines. For a larger project, I'd use a double boiler or crock pot, but for a small job, this worked well.

I propped the brush against my knife rack, to keep it upright. I used a piece of cardboard as my surface for placing the elements & ironing them.

The base is a watercolour paper circle, covered with a 'donut' cut from a pretty red & gold print napkin. Next comes a doily.

Each step includes painting the surface with melted beeswax, then heating that with the blow dryer (which seems to work fine) & Ironing that layer down.

This is repeated for each layer.

I covered the center of the doilies with a layer of pink tissue paper.

Next is a heart cut from a napkin scrap. I covered this with a layer of plain red tissue.

I printed hearts on red tissue, using gold acrylic paint on a stamp I'd cut into a heart shaped eraser. & last - a shimmer of gold powdered pigment, to outline each heart! Viola - heART Art :)

The valentines remind me of the ones my mom would help me make, using construction paper & doilys. Before deciding on the stamp, I'd thought of running a banner with a word (like a candy hart) across each heART, but I like the gold stamp!

Last Friday, I picked up a two pound block of beeswax from a local beekeeper - so I'm well set for salve & collage :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Harp Dance

I finished the Beeswax collage valentines, ready to ship off to Mother Henna!! My 'trial run' cards I'll be giving to 'friends n family.'
I'll outline the process later :) As a kid, my mom would help me make construction paper valentines with doiles; when I saw these, I finally had the inspiration for the cards. Each has a heart or Harp stamp (hand carved on a white heart shaped eraser) for the heART in the center.

Inspired by a lovely SoulCollage card 'she dances the world into being' created by Ilah; (& here's a card by Rainepresence - both posted on KaleidoSoul) I did this little Harp Dance piece with the rest of the wax using a small pressed board 'picture' I'd picked up at St. Vincent's a few days ago for 25 c :)
"We dance on the gold strings of the universe, singing the llano, soaring & spinning amongst the stars!"

The gold on red in the corners is from large paper party napkins I'd picked up at Goodwill; I've had the lino cutters since High School, & used them occasionally over the years.
My 8 year old grand daughter carved the other side of a heart shaped eraser I used to make the valentine stamps.

I got a call this AM that the beekeeper had dropped off 2 # of wax at his mom's sewing shop for me, at ~ price of one pound if I'd gotten some at Michael's craft shop! I picked up a small 'butter warmer' (over a candle) at Bi-mart last week, & it works well to heat the wax! Just have to prop the brush against something, as it's not deep.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Waxing Poetic!

The 'Waxing Poetic' Class was great fun! The teacher Diana is the Children's Librarians at our local Public Library - & does the blog :)
She's also done SoulCollage, & said she'd been thinking of doing more, so that was fun! There were 5 other students, & a great flow to the class.

Basic tools are: fairly lightweight paper (tissue paper is great!), a small crock pot or electric frying pan to melt the wax (a combo of white & 'normal tan' beeswax - NO PARAFFIN!), inexpensive brushes (~ 1" wide), & either a blower that's used to strip paint (Darn, I forget what she called it! - that one gets very hot, looks like a hairdryer) or an embossing blower; & a quilting iron (I have one of these mini irons already :)

We made 3 collages, using several materials for backing - a medium weight card stock, artist's canvas on cardboard, canvas on wood, & a pressed board. The lighter weight boards buckle a bit, so you need to take that into account when you choose what to 'play' on!

We began with the card, & basic technique of painting some wax on the background, heating it with the blower (not long, & keeping it moving), then applying a piece of tissue. You could put a bit of wax on top, & then either 'blow' or iron. Ditto, ditto, ditto!!

Darker colours first, in most cases, tho you can also do some 'framing' with dark colours at the end. Old patterns are a lovely option (the curved lines on the upper L of the 'Egyptian' piece are from a pattern!). This was done on the canvas, & black & white Egyptian figures are from the 'goodies' I received in Ophelia's Give Away. the black circles on white (& in the lower L of 'Egypt') are painted in black ink on white tissue. We also did some transfers, using acetone & RECENT xerox pictures, transferring the image to white tissue paper.

My 4 year old Grand daughter 'claimed' the picture with the Girl on the Moon - my Full Moon in Cancer Dream board! It's her birthday Sunday, so I'm letting her have it :) The moon image is also from Ophelia.
The blue wavy circles were a print I did in class (from a stamp Diana brought). Stamping was done with acrylic paint on tissue paper from an art store. She had some lovely bits of paper to choose from! Old printed paper napkins are fun - the word in the lower L of 'Full Moon' are the top layer from a napkin! The gold is on white tissue; the white disappears into the wax!

I brought along some 8x5" matt board to use for a SoulCollage piece; so after doing my 3 'class pieces,' made a card. The statue was from a magazine, the black circle from that sheet of white with painted circles, the coins from blue tissue printed with coins, on a background of painted tissue & handmade paper, with another piece of gold on white tissue.

Gatekeeper: I am the one who stands watch at the gate, who monitors the flow, who welcomes abundance & grace. I am the one who watches, who listens, who waits.

Other techniques we played with - incising a design or line into several layers of wax, & colouring in the groove with oil pastels (you can wipe off the excess), using the iron to melt a BIT of crayon (she had the 64 colour box!) One gal embedded a feather she'd brought, & that turned out well. Diana often mounts the wax pieces on white board in a frame - no need for glass! The wax will scratch, but is a fairly permanent, & old, way to preserve images! I plan to do more :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

ephemera & Beeswax collage

Today the 'goodies' from Ophelia's give away came in the mail! Little odds & ends, with sparkles of colour & pattern, fun things for altered journals, collage, etc. There are a few pieces of music - I never quite 'dare' to cut up the music I have; tho I've considered playing with some copies; these will be perfect!
Saturday I'm enrolled in a beeswax collage workshop at the local Artists co-op studio & gallery, Currents. Here's the blurb:

Waxing Poetic: A Beeswax Collage Workshop
Diana Anderson, Instructor

"Learn to make a multilayered collage using wax, color and paper. Build layer upon layer of wax and paper to create a translucent collage. There will be demonstrations on incising, wax transfers and embedding into the wax. Supplies to bring: Xerox copies of a few favorite images sized under 5”x 5”, apron or old shirt and a few pieces of your favorite papers. Some paper will be available."

I've seen some of these, & they're lovely. The beeswax gives the images a patina & depth that you don't see in ordinary collage. I've been gathering 'bits & pieces' - some from Ophelia, paper from the exchange & some scrapbook paper, a few of those 'favorite images.' This should be fun! & always nice to explore a new technique.

With my daughter getting married in a few weeks, we need to make little baskets for tht flower girls, & a ring pillow. Dresses are picked out, other items are being assembled; the space booked, & the harpist (me :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year Altar Collage

2009 begins.
I spent NY eve doing a wee altar collage (on the inside of a small box, so it stands up on its own) & then at a NY party with a group of friends.

Sacred space calls, pearls, a red heart bottle, a small buddha, an archway, whispers of presence as we dance into the next phase.

Soon my youngest grand daughter turns four, the wheel turns, life dances on.