a career in collage

so.  i have had a little box, sitting in my basement neatly labeled, “h’s school stuff” for 2 years.  each time i looked at it, i wanted to de-clutter it right out of my life, but when i opened it, something stopped me from pitching the contents.   i did this 4 or 5 times before i finally thought of what to do with it all. 

the box was full of lesson plan books, photos, and student work from my 7 years of teaching.  i enjoyed looking through it, and yet it wasn’t anything anyone else would find interesting.  i was conflicted over what to do with all that paper.  it came to me all at once, i don’t know from where, but come it did.  i went out, got the supplies, and got to it.  i finished in one week. 


  • one giant warped canvas, rescued from the trash
  • lesson plan books, student papers, photos, saved from the trash
  • mod podge (purchased)
  • acrylic paints (purchased)
  • paint brushes, swiped from the kids art box

in the beginning, there was canvas. 

the canvas was sad, droopy, and headed for the trash.  it was a very large canvas.  it sat in my living room, behind the bookcase, for months and months, wondering when its time would come. 

there were photos, and lesson plans. 

and, there was a woman with a mission…  (me).  first, i cut/tore the more interesting and meaningful pages out of the books, and decoupaged (can that be a verb?) them onto the canvas. 

next, i added the photos, then i began to paint over it all with the acrylics.  i should say here that i’ve never done anything like this before.  i’ve never painted, or decoupaged.  i just sort of stumbled through, and did what i felt worked.  i went in chronological order from the top left to the bottom right, ending in the corner with the surprise birth of my daughter at 30 weeks gestation.  her photos are displayed on the page from my lesson plan book from the day she was born.  as i painted, i went with my color instincts, and ended up with a rainbow effect, with some female, animal, and flower forms floating around.  here’s the finished product:

and some detail shots:

i’m entering this in whiplash this month- the theme is recycled craft. 


6 Responses to “a career in collage”

  1. I find this project a very courageous one for you. You tackled several mediums and techniques that were new to you and you put personal papers and images up for display. Kudos!

  2. How gorgeous and expressive! I love the colors and texture of the collage/decoupage, and the thoughts that went into it.

  3. Whoa. That is so cool!

    I love the color and the way it’s put together.

    Amazing — and great job!


  4. It is wonederful!!! I am so happy you did this. I love that you put it to art use and decoupaged your heart out! It is really great.. I love the little girl in the bottom left with the pink hair too! Cute!

  5. This looks fantabulous (as Tori would say!) What an amazing leap of faith…I’m always too afraid of ‘making a mistake’

  6. i love this! i love you!

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