Monday, January 28, 2013

Game, Set, MATCH!

I LOVE great design.  If you're on Pinterest, you'll eventually run into someone who is posting images of these fantastic Czech matchbox labels from the 60s and 70s.  I have quite a few and they're my favorites of all of my matchbook labels, in a collection that is getting embarrassingly large.  :D

Not only is the design wonderful, but they serve another purpose for me - they have a lot of teeny-tiny illustrations I can use in my work!  Let's take a look at some labels that will most definitely be used at some point:

*SWOON*  They're all so lovely, aren't they?  Striking design, wonderfully illustrated, awesome colors - they just don't make 'em like that anymore.  And they all have teensy little images that I could use in my tiny work!

Here's one label that's chock-full of little pictures:

You may notice that a couple of images are already gone - why, yes!  I DID use them in some recent work, work that I had never attempted before last Thursday:

I took the pear and the glass/pitcher from the matchbook label (which measures 1 1/3"W x 2"H) and made some collages with them - each of these tiny collages measures less than a quarter inch square.  Here is the collage shown at approximately the actual size:

You may ask yourself if I am a masochist.  Maybe I am!  But when you've got such great design elements to begin with, maybe they were just BEGGING to be used in a challenge!  :D

I am teaching a class at the fabulous Moondance Studios on February 21 called "Tiny Works" and I wanted some examples for the folks who attend the workshop.  In the blown-up shots of the collages, you can see that my cutting isn't up to my usual standard, but you can't really tell once you see the collage in its actual size. So I'm going to cut myself some slack for these.  :)

I'm kind of hooked on these collages now - they're easy to start and a bit wonky to execute, but I love a challenge!

Thanks to Retro Cafe Art Gallery for making these little masonite squares available - you can find them here!  :D

Monday, January 21, 2013

What the Hell is ORLON?

HA!!  I HAD to use that line for my blog post today - it was just too good.  :D

Hi everyone!  I hope you had a marvelous week.  I am happy to be inside today during this DEEP freeze - currently, the thermometer sits at 1 degree Fahrenheit!  Maybe I should put on my ORLON sweater!  :D

Okay, a little back story - some of you may remember this post I did back in September, where I talked about all of these amazing labels I received from my friend Dawn in Maryland.  Well, Dawn strikes again!  I just received two more beautiful labels from sweaters that belonged to her sweet and eccentric aunt Marge.  Here's what Dawn has to say about them:

"I stumbled upon a couple more labels.  The Fairfield one cracks me up.  What the hell is ORLON?  Hope you can use them."

HA! See?  How could I not use that great quote for the blog post title?  :D  For those of you wondering what exactly Orlon is, here is the Wikipedia entry.  It was one of the "miracle" fibers of the mid-century, and was synonymous with "acrylic" in the early days.

I love both of these labels!  Dalton must've been a popular clothing line back in the day, because I already used one in this fabric collage I made for my sister and her family this Christmas:

Dawn's labels have inspired so many collage ideas - my head is swimming with them! Add to that the fact that I got a new sewing machine a few weeks ago, and SHAZAM!  I can't wait to get started working on some new fabric collages!  :D

I will leave you with the card design that Dawn created - isn't it beautiful?  I'm thinking of framing the card, I love it so much!  :D

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cover for me!

OOH!  I am so excited - I'm teaching my second class at Moondance Studios in Fond du Lac on Thursday - this time I'm teaching "Collage 101"! We have a whopping SEVENTEEN people signed up for the class - that's HUGE!  We're going to have lots of fun.

I've been creating various collages for the class, to show the workshop-goers (I don't like to call them "students", because to me that implies that I am somehow elevated in comparison).  I recently cleaned out my car after a very long period (oopsy!) and found a whole bunch of book covers.

Here's a sad fact - books sometimes do get destroyed.  Whether by neglect, age, use or lack of space, many books get thrown out in the recycle bin.  Well, here is one book cover that I salvaged:

"Read all About it" collage

Come ON!  I mean, I HAD to give this cover a new life!  Not only are there some great typography items on it (like that awesome NO.), but some stamping and those great signatures from the late Thirties/early Forties.  Add to that the random scribbling, and I had one beaut of a "canvas".

I spent an hour or two browsing through my 1940s "Life" magazines, because I knew that I would find the perfect collage fodder for this cover.  BINGO!!  I sure did!  All of these folks came from the same ad for TVs - really early TVs (that's what the couple is looking at whose backs are turned).  I have a thing for anyone or thing mail-related, so the postman had to be included.  And since I used to work in the newspaper industry, our little paperboy had to also make the cut.

Almost done!  But it just needed a little more, so I dug through my rub-on transfers until I found the little embellishments you see on the top and bottom.  VOILA!!  C'est fini!  :D

Today I will be making a trek to our library to pick up some old Reader's Digest Condensed Books - if you've ever seen them, you know how awesome the inside covers are.  Hooray!  More collage material!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Collage in a Flash!

Oh my gosh.  One of the coolest items in my ephemera stash is just sitting here, waiting to be talked about!  I can't believe I haven't mentioned them...until now.


I love these so much.  I got them at my friend Eileen's shop about 2 1/2 years ago.  I think they're so cool just from an ephemera standpoint, but leave it to finding new projects to create for a collage workshop I'm teaching to get those creative gears in motion.

The box doesn't have a copyright but based on the fact that they mention the Elson Basic Readers Primer, I'm going to guess that this set is from the 1930's.  The font on the cards tells me that, too.

"him" collage

Here is the latest collage I've made, and I've FINALLY gotten around to using one of the cards!  I have to say, I'm pleased with how this one turned out.  And as you can see, I've got LOTS of ways I can make new collages!  :D

I'm going to have a pile of these available for collaging during the workshop, so I can't wait to see what transpires!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy 2013!

Hello to all of you, my dear readers!

My goodness!  It feels like AGES since I've written, although it's only been three weeks!  Still, that is much longer than normal in between posts, and I've missed you all!

Can you believe we're at a new year once again?  I for one am quite ready to move away from 2012, although this past year brought much success personally.  I had a wonderful year, but it's time for some changes.

Do you ever get an itch to try new things?  That's how I'm feeling in the new year!  I want to learn more, see more, DO more. I'm going to be teaching more classes, and I'm going to be taking lots of classes, too!  I want to take my love of ephemera to a whole new level!

Part of the change does indeed involve this blog.  Oh, don't worry!  I'll still be writing, but I am going to stick to its original purpose, the idea that germinated back in May of 2010 - almost THREE years ago already!  In this new year, I am going to be following my motto, the one that's right below my logo:  "Taking the discarded and making it arted".  I began this way, but sort of lost my focus because I just enjoyed sharing all of the super-fun items in my collection.  But this past year, I began to realize that a huge chuck of my work day (like, 25%!) was being taken up by the writing, photographing and researching of my posts.  That's a lot of time that I should be spending in the studio.  And because 2013 will be more of a learning year for me, I must adjust my focus.  So I will still be writing, but the focus will be on the artwork created with my ephemera and not the ephemera itself.

I wholly understand that I will probably lose some readers with this news, and that does make me sad.  I gained literally hundreds of "likes" on my Facebook page this year and I'm so happy that you like my blog that much!  I do hope you find the content to be as enjoyable as in the past, even if it's a little different and I won't be posting every day.

And not to worry - I will still be doing giveaways!  I know how much you love entering the contests for wonderful prize packs.  I would be silly to give THOSE up!  :D

But most of all, readers, I want to thank you for a wonderful year.  I hope you've enjoyed my posts and shared in our collective love of ephemera.  It truly brings like minds together, and I hope in this new year I can inspire you to find new ways to enjoy your "stash" - and maybe bring out your creative side!  :D