Monday, November 4, 2013

Glue book

I seem to attract collage fodder the way Pigpen attracts dirt.

 Even when I'm not trying, it finds me.
In addition to all the things I clip from books and magazines, rescue from recycle bins, and pick up off the road, I get oodles of wonderful things in the mail from pen-pals and MMSA swappers.
It comes in at a much higher speed than it gets used.
And I won't even talk about the "I'm saving this for something special" mentality, and the "this is too good to use" line of specious reasoning.

BUT, drawing on the endless inspiration I get from reading Green Glass, and seeing all the creative ways Liz turns her ephemera into books, I got serious about diving into my stash this weekend.

I grabbed the most recent bits of stuff from my inbox as well as favorite images stored in a cigar box "for later" and spread them on a folding table, imported to the art room for this very purpose.

Thanks, as always, to Jake for his assistance with this critical mission.
My primary goals were to treat nothing as precious, and to use as much as I could in one weekend.

I started with 2 old file folders, rescued from the recycle bin at work.  I cut them into quarters, and then folded each of the 8 pieces in half.
This gave me 32 surfaces to cover.
Here are the results.
Some I love, some I hate, but all were fun to make:




#5 The brown part is a half-page with blue circles glued on top, and holes that show the green page below

#6 & #7: Here's what it looks like when that half-page is turned.


#9 & #10: Painted tag taped into the middle of a two page spread

(Same spread with the tag flipped the other way)



#14: I've been saving that electrical-outlet-with-eyeball image for years


#16:  found poetry

#17: It's possible I never throw any scraps away.  Ever.

#18 & #19



#22: This one kept going from bad to worse, so I went over the top










It took the better part of three days, but I managed to cover every surface.
 And what did I do with them?
Stitched them together into a book, of course!
At first I thought I'd just make a Diana Trout-style duct tape journal and hold it together with rubber bands, but I upped the ante on myself last night and used the long-stitch binding method (also learned from Diana Trout!) to make this book:

CitraSolv papers grace both the inside and outside covers.
I may or may not add more collage to the cover surfaces.
This makes me so incredibly happy. 

 I wish I could say this project used up all the scraps on that table, but not even close.
Guess that means I'd better start another one right away!


  1. Looks like I see what we should do Saturday night!!!

    1. Yes! and don't you dare bring any more scraps into this house :)

    2. Oh, but my plan was to let our scraps comingle....:P

  2. This is awesome! It always feels good to use those pretty little bits in our stash :)
    Having Jake as a helper must really speed along the process, too ;P

    Great book, Karen!

  3. first off I am a faithful reader of Green Glass, and love her journals, and I love what you did

  4. OK. I officially hate you... (...Read: I love you tons and am totally jealous you got to play so much, and from start to finish made so much beauty!!). And you and Mandy are having another play date? Wahhhhhhhhhhh! :D I am so overdue in so much of my mail, and hope my Thanksgiving/Bday weekend will be allotted for some MailArt indulgence.
    You are my SuperHeroine!!

  5. Can I just say A-MA-zing?!!!! This looks like SO much fun and creativity and I can just imagine those sticky fingers sorting through the stacks of scraps. So fun! Wish we lived closer so we could delve into piles of scraps together too! Hope you and Mandy share the results of your artsy play date! Have fun.

  6. Great fun. Yay to the de-stash and Yay to the amazing arty piece you can now look at over and over again...with room for additional layers and tip ins. xox

  7. What an exhilarating project to dig in and use all those scraps and not, as you say, treat anything as precious. It feels good, doesn't it? When I get new papers from a trade, I tend to throw them in with the rest of my stash, but this last time, I committed to making some postcard collages with the pieces, and made several new ones that I really like and can use with my mail art friends. It's a great exercise to set a pool of supplies in front of you, and just draw from them. Feeds the creative soul!

  8. How wonderful -- i love that you made a book instead of postcards you mailed away. Sometimes we've got to keep the good stuff for ourselves -- right? And i am jealous of the art play-dates too. I love using up my stuff too.....(well....I will never live long enough to use up all my collage stuff but I'll do down trying....)

  9. I'm always inspired by the journals at Green Glass and all the great ephemera and drawings she includes. Looks like yours were lots of fun too.

  10. Unusual, original and marvellous art just pours out of you at a tremendous rate, like artworks tumbling over Niagara! There isn't one I don't like, they are all piece that demand more than a quick glance. My favourites are No 24, 27, 29 and 30. Whew, I'm worn out just thinking about your weekend, I think I'll have to sit down.

  11. Love this so much! Awesome collages, and then suprise - a book! Very cool!

  12. holy carp! I'm not even done reading this. I saw that table, and I thought--HOW did she get my tableful of crap?!

    The big lump at the end of mine is brown, though. not black.
    back to reading.

  13. If I weren't such a well behaved person, I'd say HFC!, but since I'm a public person with a responsibility to my ones of follower, I will simply say, CRIMINY SAKES! I am so jealous of this. Now, I realize that I'm an almost complete failure when it comes to collage--

    no, no. don't blow smoke about collage and how it's the friendliest technique

    --but if I could get all my scraps (or 1/zillionth of them) into such a sturdy and organized recepticle for more scraps... I WOULD BE SO HAPPY!

    Three days?!? I'll miss Scandal!

  14. Just yesterday I was thinking that 300 collages later and i have MORE stuff collected, not less. glad I'm not the only one!! wonderful, wonderful pages. I have too many faves to list and I love how you bound them. xx