Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Comfy Make: collage pictures

Collage (noun): a piece of art made by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric on to a backing.

I love a good collage.  They're easy to do and really satisfying, they're organic (that is, you kind of make them up as you go along), they're potentially as cheap as chips, they're colourful, and all ages and abilities can get involved.

I've made a number of collages in recent months, as have the kids.  It's a lovely thing to do with children as it's a little bit messy (but not too much!), it's fun, and you can't go wrong because there are no hard or fast rules - anything goes.

Here are a couple of collages I've made recently.  The first three are all framed and on display in our home.   They cost pennies to do but were an awful lot of fun and are, I think, quite striking.  This first one has a very dark background, which not only makes the flower design 'pop' but also makes the display stand out against our white walls.

Retro-tastic flower.
Rabbit from charity shop, 50p.
Tealight holder, Atomic Soda from The Old School Gallery, Alnmouth, Northumberland -
one of my favourite-est ever shops.

The black background is just black card.  The flower design I came up with myself - I kind of faffed around with various shapes and colours and eventually decided on this simple motif.  It's got quite a retro, 1960s/1970s flower-power feel to it, which is right up my street!

I love the crazy colours...

...I think the centre of the flower is my favourite.

I used paper that I've saved from all manner of places - free giveaways in magazines, packaging, patterns I see anywhere and everywhere.  Although I've used paper, you can use any materials you like - from fabric to spray painted pasta shapes to small collectables, the world really is your oyster when it comes to collage.  The frame was from Dunelm Mill and, if I remember, cost £3.

This second collage was made about six months ago.  It was inspired by an amazing display that Linzi at Stitch Studio made for her window, which was a large fluffy white cloud made from material and stuffed, from which hung gorgeous fabric raindrops of varying colours.  It was incredibly effective and I decided to try and recreate it on paper.

Linzi's cloud inspiration...

...and my collage tribute.
Bird and yellow candle holder, both charity shop buys

For the background I used some paper which had come free with a craft magazine a little while ago, the cloud itself was just white card, and the raindrops were snippets of paper from various sources.  I free-handed the cloud and raindrops but if you search online you can find all manner of printable templates.  The frame for this one came from a supermarket - it's simple, black and cost £1.50.

Grey skies and jewel-like raindrops.  Bliss.

Do you know what would work really well for the raindrops?  Those tester cards you get from hardware stores, so you can match your paint to your décor.  They come in every colour under the sun and would look brilliant!

My final piece of art is one that was loosely based on the first collage.  I wanted to do another flower motif but slightly different; again I messed around with styles and colours for a while and this is what I came up with…

Gotta get a bit of orange in there, you know me

The background this time is simple and white, and the colours sit on it really well.  I love the clash of the colours and the patterns… I think I'm just a retro kid really - must stem (excuse the pun) from growing up in the seventies!  Again, this is a supermarket frame and cost no more than a couple of pounds.

The central red paper came from a Charlie & Lola annual if I remember correctly

If you want to do a collage yourself, all you need is some imagination, some basic materials and some glue.  If your imagination is letting you down, copy something from a magazine or a book, don't worry about it.  You can use anything you like in collage but just remember that you'll need reasonably strong glue to hold anything of weight.  Try tearing paper rather than cutting it, scrunching stuff up, using all manner of textures… it's such fun! To stick ours on we just used a stick glue (liquid glue can make the paper go gooey, and spray glue I find is best not used when there are children around).  Have a go - you really can't go wrong!

Recently a some lovely people moved into the house opposite ours, and the kids decided they wanted to do a 'welcome to your new home' card.  The Boy decided to draw a dragon and had it wrapped in layers of paper to make an envelope before I could take a photo.  The Girl, however, decided she'd like to do a collage.  I decided to join her.  Together we sat at our front window and pieced together our collages, basing our designs on the view of the new neighbours' house from ours.

Here's what I produced…

…and here's what the Girl produced…

Aren't they just fantastic?  This is actually the Girl's second attempt - the first one was even better but again, she gave it to our lovely new neighbours before I had the chance to take a photo of it.  But she enjoyed herself so much she did another one!

The yellow door was a photo of a sofa, and the green doorstep is a little bit of Orla Kiely;
both are cut out of a homes magazine

The Girl also used snippets from homes magazines. I love the bottom right window,
which is actually a photo of an exterior view, so there's a tree in the house!
Messes with your head a bit...!

She also did the most amazing collage for her Dad for Father's Day earlier this year.  She took her inspiration from a set of books we love in our house - the Hairy Maclary stories by Lynley Dodd.  If you haven't discovered Hairy and his friends I urge you to do so, they're fantastic for kids (and big kids) of all ages.

The Husband actually sniffled when given this on Father's Day... and who could blame him? 

What do you think?  All her own work, no input from anyone else at all.

My favourite bit is the sun.  I just love this sun.

She pieced together various bits of paper for the sky, sun and grass, then freehand copied the dog from one of the stories.  She then added a short verse below, also based on one of the stories.  Absolutely brilliant, and so good we put it in a frame from Ikea and it now hangs in our hallway.  Clever, clever girl.

Take a deep breath, and get collaging - it's inspiring, fun and messy, what's not to like?!

Bye for now xxx

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