Friday, May 16, 2008

Some Thoughts on Collage

I've been doing more and more work with collage lately. And not just on the journal covers. I've been working with watercolor paper and then mounting the collages onto greeting cards. I've got a few other projects planned as well, with new materials and media, but I won't reveal the details until I have photos to post.

I've always been a collector of paper and ephemeral bits and pieces. I especially love the vintage stuff circa 1940-1965, sometimes a bit older, and sometimes a bit younger, but mostly that's what I seem to gravitate towards. I love the colors they used then, the muted tones. Collecting papery bits is one of those uber-addictive things. I have boxes, and drawers and stacks of papery goodness all over my work space. Some things I especially love: sheet music, maps, sewing patterns, and books that are beyond repair.

Collage is all about juxtaposition, that's what makes it fun. It's about working with colors, contrasts and compliments. It's about being true to an era or a theme, without being literal. And it's about irony. I especially love the irony. I noticed the other day that it's not unusual for me to chuckle out loud to myself when working on a collage. That almost never happens when I'm standing at the press.

As a word lover I find myself almost always including text in my collage. Sometimes the words are the starting point, but sometimes they come later. I'll never get away from the words, I really don't want to.

Collage is also about experimentation. Trying new materials, and media. It's a way to really explore the vast world of art supplies, and sometimes you discover something you love. I recently went to the craft store and shopped the sections I never used to, I also went to a bead store. I didn't buy much, just a few odds and ends, the idea was to push myself creatively, to look at new materials.

Like the journals, I've been posting the collaged greeting cards in my Etsy shop. I think it shows that I've been having fun. At least I hope it does.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Grow Your Own - Wheat Grass!

Here's another super simple way to have fresh greens and to add a little life to the kitchen; grow your own wheat grass. Get yourself some wheat berries, they are available in bulk at most co-ops, natural food stores, and finer groceries. Put several tablespoons in a small dish, cover with water and soak over night. In the morning, find yourself a container for planting - you can use a pot, a dish, or I recycled the containers my raspberries and blueberries came in.
Fill to almost full with an organic potting soil, sprinkle the surface with the plump soaked wheat berries. Barely cover with more soil. Keep them moist with daily watering, and put them in a sunny window. It doesn't even really need to be that sunny. Once your grass is 4 inches long, mow some off for use, and it'll keep growing. You can juice it in a juicer if you have one. Add some to your smoothies. Or feed it to your dogs and cats, they can either graze right off the plant (cats especially) or you can cut it up and add it to their kibble. It's really good for them and you.

Happy planting!

Earth Day Project Update: New total on re-crafted re-usable totes is 134!