Sunday, March 26, 2006

Thrift Shop Finds, Almost Ready for Beeswax Collage

I have been itching to try beeswax collage. I already own a book which outlines the directions; it is Claudine Hellmuth’s “Collage Discovery Workshop”. The things needed to do it are beeswax, a heating device that stays warm while in use (not a microwave, not a stovetop), and an iron with a flat bottom or a quilting iron.

Not following the directions, I once tried doing this by microwaving the wax. It didn’t work because the wax cooled too fast and I just could not do the work fast enough. (Later I read that the beeswax can actually explode and catch on fire in the microwave! I won’t be doing that again!)

Last week I went to thrift shops in search of a certain board game (Life) that my boys were asking for. I didn’t find it in a thrift shop but I did find a used electric skillet for $4.99, which I can use for the beeswax collage. (I had seen a product in the craft store that can be used for beeswax or UTEE heating and the retail on that was $34.95, yikes!)

(I still need an old iron with no holes in the bottom or a quilting iron.)

If you want to learn more about beeswax collage, read Claudine Hellmuth’s book. You may also find some information on the Internet. There is also a Yahoo Group! on the subject of beeswax collage which features a files section with information, plus the usual chat.

One other thing I found in one thrift shop was sewing patterns. Some artists use them as the background for collage. I found a whole basket full for 25 cents each. I limited myself to four patterns. I made sure to check the patterns looking for ones on the thin brown tissue paper. Since the patterns were old I was happy to find the papers in different shades of brown. Some of the others for sale were on thick white paper (which is not what I was looking for). Hooray!

Thrift shops are hit or miss. In that thrift shop, I had never seen sewing patterns before, but all of a sudden they had about 30. They also had lots of fabric for sale on that day for $1 per piece (some were a yard or more). I also saw about eight dolls for sale, the type that crafters use, for $1 each. Some looked to be from the 1970s. Since I was low on cash and had my kids in tow, I just left without further pondering those items. My mind was already churning with ideas about altering the dolls and using the fabric. I figured I have enough supplies here to do stuff with and given the low cash situation I should just get the heck out of there, and fast, so I did.

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