Wednesday, 31 December 2008

One last post for Pluggers United Team!

I just couldn't let 2008 go without one last post for the Pluggers United Team, now could I?

Still being in holiday mood it was fun to trawl through the items that this great team have listed on Etsy.

For instance:

Now I know it is a little late in the day to be sending seasonal cards but this could be sent for other anniversaries as well!



Church Window - Handmade Note Card with Original Photography by Mercyming



Mr and Mrs Gingerbread Towel by Sew Happy Designs

These would be wonderful any time of year!

Looking ahead to the next 'event' which will be Valentine's Day I stumbled across this listing .. isn't he cute?


Cavalier King Charles Valentine Figurine by The Magic Sleigh



For my final item in my selection from this talented team I had to include this one!

Happy Belly Tea by Omshanti

Ate too much pizza last night? That deadline giving your tummy problems? Try Happy Belly Tea. A blend of chamomile, peppermint and fennel seed -- all known for their beneficial effects on the digestive system -- makes Happy Belly Tea both tasty and effective.

Just couldn't resist that last one which is useful any time of year!

All that's left is to wish everyone a wonderful 2009 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Last day of 2008

Whilst we spend the last few hours of 2008 reflecting on the past year, our mistakes, our joys and achievements, we should still be looking forward to another wonderful year ahead.  Life is what we make of it with a little luck thrown in!  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't so well.  It's all trial and error!

I am not trying to make light of situations but just feel you have to try to think ahead..... you know, the light at the end of the tunnel idea again?

Well, whilst you are all doing that I decided to have one more listing on Etsy for 2008!  Actually my shop On A Whimsey is just over a year old and I am pleased with what I have achieved so far.  I have loads of ideas in the pipeline for 2009.

Meanwhile, I digress!  Here is my latest addition to my shop.....

Pastel Pansies - giving us the hope that a lovely spring is just around the corner!

imageI love the delicate petals that pansies have with their meaningful centres which seem to give them all a soul!  Here I used my new hot air gun to swirl the different colours around the canvas.

That just leaves me one more thing to do and that is to wish each and everyone of you a very hopeful, good, healthy and happy New Year!!

Thank you all for your continued support - I do so appreciate it and look forward to seeing you and meeting new readers in 2009.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Amidst so much trouble and strife....

It saddens me to hear stories about so many folk who are suffering through illness or the loss of their jobs.  LIfe is not easy at the moment, for anybody.

Money is in short supply and what there is needs to be carefully used and spread on the necessities of life rather than the luxuries we have come to expect as normal.

I feel particularly sorry for those who have never seen life where you have to be careful and think ahead.  There was always 'another' job for those who seemed unhappy in their current positions.  Money was no problem either; you just spent what you earned because there would always be more.  Right?  Wrong! Times have changed and now is really the time to learn prudence.

However, on a more realistic note, please remember that however bad things appear now, there will always be someone out there who is worse off.  These times, though hard, will pass and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.  So have faith, take the moment to re-evaluate your lives.  Find out what the really important issues are and how they affect you as well as your nearest and dearest.  Out of this situation you will emerge a stronger and, hopefully, wiser person who will be able to help others less fortunate.

So, rather than dwelling on the miseries of the present look to the future with hope and put a spring in your step!

Remember, faith, hope and charity!

Monday, 29 December 2008

The Muse .... She has returned!

My long suffering friend has returned! My Muse. Oh, I have been truly lost without her and have just drifted along with no real ideas or aim regarding my encaustics. This is really unusual for me but now I hope to be all geared up again.

At least with all those Christmas preparations over and done with I now have more time to devote to creating again. What really helped was that I was given a hot air gun with variable heat settings as a Christmas present. This would make hot air work so much more easy to do rather than fight with my hair dryer all the time when the hot air and wax had lives of their own!

Anyway, my first creation for quite some time has now been completed and I have listed it on

It is entitled The Eyes Have It. left to right I love flowers and I guess I often look right into their centres and imagine I can see into their souls through their eyes. Using several layers of colours I moved the hot air gun over the box canvas. To add detail I used another small iron attached to the hot stylus to create the flower aspect. The final detail of the eyes was added with the hot stylus. The grasses around the painting which were also taken around the sides were added with my encaustic iron. So, there you have it. A touch of fantasy with some thought thrown in for good measure! close up

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

A very merry Christmas!

Without further ado, I would like to thank all my readers for joining me in my various escapades during the year, the highs and lows!

The parcels/presents are all wrapped and sitting invitingly under the tree... no feeling them to guess what is inside!  The shopping has been completed apart from the few last minute items.  The food is being prepared and readied for cooking on the big day.  Light up the lights, pull a cracker or two and share a 'not so funny' joke with a funny hat on whilst you try to play with plastic toy from the cracker.  Don't you love tradition?

So it just leaves me the important job to wish you all the merriest of Christmases.  May your cup be overflowing, as they say!  Some of you will be experiencing a white Christmas (and how!) whilst the rest of us in parts of UK will be enjoying a cool, damp day.  Where ever you are, may your Christmas be peaceful, share with family and friends bringing you fond memories to relish over the years to come.

Minstrels a Christmas Poem by William Wordsworth

The minstrels played their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,
The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

And who but listened?--till was paid
Respect to every inmate's claim,
The greeting given, the music played
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And "Merry Christmas" wished to all.




Saturday, 20 December 2008

The last weekend before Christmas

I guess we will all now be in a flurry of activity as we work through our list of last minute things to do before the BIG day!  Did you remember to get Auntie Flo's present, you know the one that always seems to slip through the net?  Those elusive stocking fillers? And so it goes on.

Oh no!  Now it's snowing!!  Well not here in UK where we live in the south east  where it is just damp and dull.   However, many of my internet friends over in the US are experiencing a lot of snow.  Children love it but the adults just know that after all the digging they just want to sit by the fire with a mug of something lovely and hot!

Encaustics are on hold at the moment.  Too much to do what with shopping, cooking, organising of everything so the creative juices will have to take second place for a few days.  That is the joy of this time of year.  Once the main celebrations are over you can then relax and allow the creative muse to take over again.  I wonder what she will be creating?  Rather an exciting thought!

Friday, 19 December 2008

You wake up to find.....

.... a wonderful surprise in the form of the Butterfly Award! Liv of The Filigree Garden bestowed an award on my blog and mentioned me too! image

Whilst you are reading her wonderful blog I am sure she won't mind me mentioning her shop on Etsy which is well worth a look! Here you will find a blend of vintage and new handmade jewellery.

One of the conditions of receiving this award is that I pass on the love to 10 other bloggers! And so, the awards go to the following:

  1. Alis Clair
  2. Purple Missus
  3. The Lone Beader
  4. Art Garden
  5. Black Rose Creations
  6. Art to the Extreme
  7. Quilts Galore and More
  8. Althea Peregrine
  9. Razor Berries
  10. Creative Apples
  11. Now those receiving the awards are urged to do the following:
    1. Post a copy on your blog.
    2. Mention who gave you the award.
    3. Pass the award on to 10 others.
    4. Leave a message on their blog letting them know the honour has been bestowed upon them.

    Happy hunting!!!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Inspired by nature!

Some years ago I was fortunate enough to pay a visit to the Grand Canyon. It's majesty left a huge imprint on my memory. So much so that I tried to recreate some of the vastness and solitude in this original encaustic painting.

This encaustic painting is just 6" x 6" (15 cms x 15 cms)without the frame.  I have put it into a frame with glass so that the actual framed painting is 9" x 9". I just felt the wood effect frame brought out some of the colour from the wax.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

For all those of you who enjoy scrapbooking etc....

I was looking at some of my paintings and a small light bulb illuminated in my head!  How would it be if I created tiny individual paintings in encaustic art which in turn could be used by scrapbooking enthusiasts or by folk who enjoyed making their own homemade greeting cards?  You know the ones you can pay a fortune for in the main shops these days.  Very pretty but imagine creating your own cards for that special person in your life..... hence the card topper was born!

Each topper is unique and original, and cannot be replicated.  I have mounted each picture on a white background matt card which in turn can be attached on to a greeting card or any other project. If the white surround is not required then this could be simply trimmed off.   A sticky cushion could be placed behind to create a 3D effect too!!

The approximate measurements are 2.5" x 2.5"

Take a look and see what you think?

This has been created using just blue pigmented wax.






imageWhilst here I have one using red and.....





Now.... greenimage

What I am really trying to say is any colour could be used.  If interested just visit my Etsy store!





Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Feeling in a tropical mood

I should have created a spot where I could hang my hammock; swing gently in the tropical breeze without falling out as I reach over for the pina colada!

Tropical Island

A quiet cove somewhere in the tropics. It is warm but the palm tree provides some shade whilst I stand looking across at signs of civilisation. Just the gentle lapping of the water on the rocks below with the odd bird sounds disturb the sultry air.

This encaustic painting is just under 6" x 4" (15 cms x 10 cms).
It would look great in a simple frame or mounted on some board.

Palm Tree Cove - encaustic is for sale in my Etsy shop where you will see more pictures of this painting.

Monday, 15 December 2008

The birth of an encaustic

When an idea comes into my head I just want to get the waxes out, support and decide which tools I am going to use.  Once I am nearly at the completion stage I wish that I had taken some pictures to demonstrate the process of how one of my paintings become the finished product.  Always, too late so I was determined to remember this time!  Some of you may remember this post from my other blog which will gradually be 'run down' since I find blogger more user friendly!

To continue, with this in mind I have used my latest encaustic and remembered, just, to take pictures along the way.

Step one was to take a blank, white canvas that had been triple primed with gesso and to decide whether I would use it landscape or portrait.  For this exercise I decided on portrait style.

I wanted to paint a flower using my iron, hairdryer, stylus and tissues.

The top of the painting would need a yellow background. Next I wanted some depth of colour.  To do this I used a hot iron, tipped it up with the point heading for the canvas and melted some wax on it so that splodges of wax would fall in dots overall.  Now to heat up the hairdryer and blow on those spots so that they would blend  and I also used some tissue to blend even further. Iron and spotty canvas

Each layer of spots would be blown and pushed around with some tissue until I got the effect I was looking for.

Bit by bit more depth is achieved by adding darker colours on top of previously lighter ones.

White gesso based canvas with yellow layer

In this third picture you can see the different coloured layers producing different effects.Blending spots into canvas




Now the time has come to heat up my mini iron.  This is inserted into the stylus which can heat up different sized tools to create different effects.

As you can see I have started to paint an idea of a flower using the mini iron.  The painting continues to evolve although I am not totally certain of the final direction the waxes will take me!More depth to flower

At first I thought of a poppy flower and here is where you will see the dilemma I have put myself in..... should I continue or just stop!  There is always the time to decided to walk away from the painting or to add just that little bit more.Getting there  If I were doing this on support card I could just redo the whole thing and start again.  However, painting with wax on canvas is a little more permanent.

Well, I just couldn't resist it!  I went that bit further and now have changed the whole structure of the flower.  I stopped using the mini iron for a while and started with the hairdryer again.

Poppy after hot air treatment

The shape of the flower was beginning to evolve but it needed some finer work to be done on it.  Now, I really had to be careful not to overdo it so that it would be completely spoiled.

I added, using the nib of the hot stylus, some stamens and detail for the centre of the flower.  It was very nearly finished.  Again, I carefully heated the centre to try and soften the look.

Here we are!!! TADA!!!!

The completed painting!  What do you think?  I find the ragged edging to the flower helps make it more interesting.

So, you see, you never really know where you will go with encaustic art.  The waxes decide the final outcome for you and to try and go against the flow just will not work.  Believe me, I have tried!!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

I have a fascination with water!

There are times when my muse needs to sit on my shoulder to guide me.  Once I began the water and wax seemed to flow!

Blues and greens always erupt into some kind of water scene such as this creation entitled Cascades of Water!  This presently for sale on as a framed painting ready to hang.

Can you just feel the coolness as the water plummets over the rock face?

Friday, 12 December 2008

The Artisans Shoppe

I am sure many of you will remember from my wordpress blog that I have some of my wax paintings displayed on an Internet site called The Artisans Shoppe

As well as having the good fortune to have my own paintings displayed I would love to draw to your attention another artist called Linda from LDPhotography on Etsy who specialises in Unique aceos, atcs, photography, art pendants.

I love her avatar at the moment which shows this ACEO entitled Harvest Moon.image This is an altered photographic collage that was made in photo shop combining three images. One image was a photograph taken of the full moon, the second was a photograph of a black tree with a blue sky and the third was a ttv frame image. This is the result of that creation. The ttv frame image makes the subjects slightly out of focus and give a soft vintage feeling to the image. The black border is visible in the photo.

Another favourite of mine is Ponte Vecchio Florence reflections photograph aceo or atc limited edition ZNE ESQB


This is a wonderful photograph of the Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River in Florence.

Why not visit Linda's shop and see what other wonders she has on offer!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

TADA!!! At last I have a couple of copies of the soft back for sale on Etsy!

Well, I have gone and done it!!!  As promised a few posts ago I have jumped in a new direction to bring my love of encaustics to a wider audience!  Instead of saving up to buy individual paintings why not buy a book which includes illustrations and descriptions of some of my paintings?

The holiday season is here and I am sure there are many of you, like me, who end up scratching your heads trying to think of an original present for a dear one.  You can't keep giving sweaters or socks so be original this year!  Especially, if the person you want to buy for is interested in the arts and new to encaustics.

Go to this link and you will find my first book entitled 'My Encaustics - Art in Wax'.


Here is the front cover of the book which contains 20 pages full of illustrations of my paintings.  You can either purchase the book as a soft cover or as a hardback with a dust cover.  The site leads you through the buying process and helps determine the shipping charges according to which country you wish to have your book delivered.

Let me know what you think?  You may even want to buy a copy as a Christmas present for a friend, a member of your family or just for you to place on your coffee table to enable you to browse through a selection of my paintings!




I have a couple of softcover books that I can sell to you through Etsy  It will be slightly cheaper and I can send it out straightaway!

My first Pluggers Unite post!

I recently joined a wonderfully friendly team on Etsy called Pluggers United! What is that all about, I hear you say.

Pluggers United is a group of artisans FOR artisans whether you are on Etsy or further afield. This is a truly global team but we are all here to support and help each other rather than compete all the time which is so counterproductive. It is a group that is committed to promoting each other’s shops, and working as a team to provide additional exposure through blogs, web sites, and various advertising and marketing methods, as well as the Blockhead Radio show for which you will see my promotional button further down the page!

Part of the promotional help we give each other is to help show and tell about each other's shop. So, I would love to start with a fellow team member who also lives in the UK, as I do!

Sassa Lynne at Etsy

The lady who runs this shop, Myfanwy, has been seriously involved in textiles for about 20 years and has been dyeing for almost that whole length of time. The dyed items featured in her shop are from her Serendipity range. Serendipity means 'the result of a happy accident', and these items from random dye pots are so very special and individual. Cotton and Viscose items are dyed using a combination of Fibre Reactive Dyes. Procion dyes are one member of this family, but Myfanwy uses other types too. All are colourfast and are disposed of in a caring manner with a keen eye on the environment. Silk and wool are dyed using acid dyes. image

Swinging Sixties Sassa Lynne Serendipity Perle 5 Green Landscape


Sassa Lynne Serendipity Jumbo Perle Medium, Red, Autumn, Gold

The richness of the colours is amazing with no end of variety. Stuck for ideas? Then look for the gift vouchers that are available in sets of $25, $50 and $100. image

Sassa Lynne Serendipity Hand Dyed Scarf

Loosely woven, this viscose scarf is stunningly hand-dyed in Turquoise, Raspberry, Mustard and Olive. You will see from the photographs that there are even shades of Blue and Terracotta in there. It is a real head-turner.

And finally, I had to show you this lovely combination of 70% silk and 30% cotton.image Hand-dyed using their Serendipity technique there are several colours ranging from Persian Green, Emerald and Bright Green with tiny flashes of Turquoise. I'm sure you will find more colours than these.

So, remember the name

Sassa Lynne at Etsy

Do watch out for further posts about members of this fun and sportive team - Pluggers United!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


Well, we don't have snow in this part of the UK but there are some folks who do and I know there are plenty in the US and other parts of the world.

So, to make this a more festive looking blog without detracting too much, I hope, I have added a widget that creates gentle spots of snow on your screen! No, it's not the monitor!

This was another great idea from a blog I came across today called Blogger Buster where there are some super ideas to enhance your blog!

Monday, 8 December 2008

More sites I sell on!

Always looking for different Internet sites on which to list my paintings.  After all, the more exposure the better it is!

One site I sell on (you may have noticed the logo button at the side of this blog) is called  Here you can list for free or you can become a verified seller and pay $7 per month for life for however many listings you want.  Once they have 5000 sellers signed up the fee will go up to $20 per month.  You also get a chance to show loads of pictures plus lots of other incentives which are well worth looking at.  It is easy to copy and paste from Etsy, in fact it is encouraged!!  The whole listing process takes place on one page thus making it a lot more user friendly.

The other site I have started to use is specifically for UK based artists but the buyer can come from all over the world!  This site is called  and offers original art from UK artists.  The exciting layout of this site is that you can 'test drive' your painting to see what it will look like.  Obviously, it works better if you have a large painting but this service is one of the first I have come across.  I must admit I have played with Photoshop to achieve a similar effect but here it does look that much more professional.

The decision is always hard to make.  Do you spread yourself around thinly or concentrate on one venue?  Only time will tell and, of course, a sale or two!!!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Pluggers United!

Are you an Etsy seller? YES!!

Are you getting enough exposure? NO!!

If you have answered 'No' to any of the above questions you should immediately go to this link!

A new Team working on your behalf! Yes, that's right, working on your behalf and they are called Pluggers United. What could be better than that?

The team consists of artisans for artisans....working together to can gain more exposure for team members and their shops. This is done through the radio shows, blogs, advertising, guerrilla marketing, entrecard generator, website, etc. They will be doing charity events also.

Only requirements for members:
1. Join the Yahoo Group and add your info to the databases. This is
needed for team guerrilla marketing.

2. Place the Pluggers United badge on your blog.

3. Blog about one of your team members at least once a month. You
pick them. This is done on the honour system and you do not have to
report it.

4. Try and sell on of your team members item during the month. Blog
post, twitter, etc. One item specifically......honour system here too.
We will not allow any calling out, blasting sites, etc. This WILL be
a fun and friendly team. We are here to support each other.

Check out thread on Etsy

So, what are you waiting for?

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Welcome to my newest blog!

For those of you who know me you will remember that I have had a blog using for quite a while.  This blog is still active but since there are numerous constraints using that platform I have decided to duplicate posts and insert them into blogger.  Hence this new blog!

If you would like to follow me just glance to the right of this screen and click the 'follow me' button so that you won't miss out on any new information in the future.

As the days go on I will be posting descriptions here to help explain encaustic art - my favoured medium.  Just as a taster here are a few of my paintings for you to consider.

Spilling over with dark background This one is entitled Spilling Over.

As you will see in many of my paintings, water elements have a great influence in my life.  I love the depth of colour within the shadows and the vibrancy that draws you in which can only be achieved in this amazing medium of painting with molten wax.  Green close up for Susie

This was a painting I created for my daughter.  Although the camera has caught the light in the centre it seems to enhance the rest of the painting, don't you think?

Remember to make this blog one of your favourites so that you can follow me during my journey with encaustics!

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