It seems like I haven’t been posting frequently. Maybe this is so, but it isn’t because I haven’t been busy working on projects. Actually, I’ve got a lot on my plate, craft-wise.
I’ve subscribed to an internet group that works on collage journaling using illustrations that mainly come from magazines. I’m not interested so much in using it as a kind of diary, as many of the participants do, but want the practice of assembling a collage that has a kind of meaning behind the illustrations, that they are not random, and practicing with using a source that I have in abundance — catalogs, brochures, and magazines that I get in the mail. Basically lots junk mail. (You would not believe the amount of stuff that comes to new home owners. For example, I’m receiving subscriptions to three magazines that I never contacted.) Anyway, I’ve made a few collages so far. Nothing I’m awed by, but I really like the practice.
Then I’m creating from scratch a journal geared towards young children. I’ve taken a blank sketch book and am slowly filling various pages with writing prompts, doodles, collages, and other things to get a child to think creatively and expressively. This is a longer project that is going to take me at least a year to complete. I’ve got so many ideas for pages on this but just don’t have the time to do them. At least I’ve made a list of my ideas so I wont forget them. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet.
The third thing I’ve got going on is my creation of an altered book. Basically, you take an old book, tear out some pages, prime the rest of the pages, and then paint, draw, glue, collage, decoupage, stamp, stencil, or do whatever to it. This will be a longer-term project as well but I’ve finally begun. I’ve wanted to do this for years and just haven’t gotten to starting. This one I want to use entirely for experimentation of techniques in applying color and layers to the pages.
Am I wasting the little free time I have on hobbies and crafts when I could be doing something more productive? Maybe. I love my kids but they wear me out physically and mentally. I’m not complaining, it’s just a fact. These projects distract me from everyday stress and give me a sense of completion, even if they come in little tiny steps. And it makes me happy.