I Haven't Been Swindling Your Paper - Honest!

EDIT: The Paper Chase Project has now closed.

Can you believe it? It was in July that I started the Paper Chase! Some of you may have been wondering if I was ever going to make & send the promised collages, or that maybe I'd skipped town with all that paper. Well, fear not, I'm still here & I'm busily collaging.

I've received 36 packages of paper so far, & although I'm still more than happy to accept people's parcels, I just want to let you all know that it might take me a while before I can post back the collages - I've had a much bigger response than I expected.

Thanks to everyone who's participated so far - I hope you can be patient with me! Hopefully I'll finish updating everything this afternoon.

Here are the first six collages (and the finished stamp that I put on the back of each collage) - I hope the recipients like them! I'll be popping them in the post on Thursday!

I made Collage No.1 for artist Rosa Murillo. I love Rosa's work & I hope she likes my little collage! The square of paper with the masked woman stamped on it is from a legal document from the 1880s that Rosa sent. The paper has a beautiful crinkly texture that I didn't want to lose by gluing it down, so I cut a little window in the backing card. When you hold it up to the light, that section is kind of luminous - it reminds me of a watermark on a dollar bill.

Collage No.2 was made for Smoobage who sent a big pile of amazing vintage 7" record sleeves. I really love the muted, drab colours.

Caroline of Peaseblossom Studio sent me some beautifully aged pages from a French dictionary. Collage No.3 reminds me of an 18th century entomological expedition to an exotic island somewhere.

Collage No.4 was made for High Desert Diva who sent me a lovely collection of vintage stamps & labels & things. I made a green & purple collage for her!

Moving on to Collage No. 5...Mandy sent me a really nice letter with her parcel of paper. She thinks the lining of envelopes are really beautiful (I agree with her!) & sent a little collection to me - I wanted to make her a collage that somehow incorporated their intricate patterns. I think this collage has something to do with the migratory habits of a big brown moth - he flies to Dublin each summer to stay with relatives apparently.

Lastly, one that I just finished this morning - Collage No.6 that now belongs to Joanne, aka Shaving Kit, who sent me a really colourful collection of paper. I wanted to give her collage a storybook feel...

So that's it for now! I may not be able to get started on the next batch of collages for a week or so, since I'm finishing up on some gocco prints that I need to post off to the UK for an exhibition, but I'll keep you posted on any further Paper Chase developments!

Quick! Where are My Scissors & Glue?!

EDIT: The Paper Chase has now closed.

Trips to the post office are not normally this thrilling... The response to the Paper Chase has been huge - 19 parcels of paper so far, & more to come. Hooray! Here's what I picked up this morning...it was like Christmas Day opening them all!

I'm obviously going to be very busy making collages for all the participants, so I'd like to ask people to be a little patient.

I'm devoting my evenings & some of my weekends to the Paper Chase so I can post back everyone's collages as soon as possible!

I'm just amazed & really really moved by how great you all are! I hope I can do this project justice by making collages everyone's happy with! Thank you!

Still Chasing Paper...

EDIT: The Paper Chase project has now closed.

I am absolutely floored by the response I've had to The Paper Chase. I've already received 6 packages - 5 of them arriving super-fast from the US.

This project means so much to me, not just because I love paper (& I do love paper!), but because it's enabling me to make contact with so many amazing artists & art-lovers, & I'm just so touched by people's generosity & kindness. This is going to sound ultra-corny, but I really feel connected in the warmest, fuzziest way through this exchange - this is what art's all about. A big thank you to everyone participating in The Paper Chase!

As you can see, I've posted tantalising shots of the packages I've received so far. I've made an extra-special photo gallery just for The Paper Chase where I'm uploading pics of the bundles as they arrive, as well as the finished collages I make to send back.

These parcels of paper pleasure were sent by Mandy in NSW, Peaseblossom Studio, Smoobage, High Desert Diva, Rosa Murillo & Shaving Kit. Thank you!

Who Knew Paper Could Be This Exciting?

Well, actually, I knew...& I'm not the only one out there with a serious paper fetish. I've kind of lost count, but we're up to over 50 participants in The Paper Chase now (from 7 different countries), with over 10 people already having shipped their packages. I'm excited! Melissa from Crab Apple Designs kindly emailed me a photo of the wonderful package she's sending, so now of course, I'm extra excited! Thanks Melissa, I can't wait to receive your amazing parcel of paper joy - I hope I can do it justice & make you a collage you'll be happy with!

Paper Chase Continued...

EDIT: The Paper Chase Project has now closed.Wow!!! The Paper Chase Project has exceeded my wildest expectations - not that I actually had any expectations really, it was kind of a spur of the moment thing.

So far, I have 44 people (from 5 different countries) who've expressed an interest in participating, & 8 people I know of have already posted their packages off! That's potentially a lot of collages I'm going to be making, but please don't be discouraged by that if you were thinking of taking part - I'm expecting the arrival of the packages will be spread out over a manageable time period, & I'm up for the challenge! I'm really amazed by how many people are eager to join in, & how incredibly kind & generous they've been. This is shaping up to be a lot of fun!

If you'd like to participate in the Paper Chase, you can find out all about it from my previous post, where I've given all the details, my postal address, etc. I'm asking people to enclose with the packages their online details (along with their return address of course), as I intend to post regular updates on my blog & link to everyone who takes part. There'll be photos of the packages as they arrive & I'm also posting pics of the finished collages. Yay!

A big thanks to mega-talented artist Gemma Jones for mentioning the Paper Chase on her blog, & hi to all my blog visitors from Argentina who've found me via Diseño Club, who've made me the Feature Link of the Week!

The Great Paper Chase

EDIT:  The Paper Chase Project has now closed. I've been busying myself making new small-format originals for a mega-update of my Etsy shop & thought I'd list the first four pieces yesterday & then post about them here in my blog this morning - & guess what? They all sold overnight! Hooray!!

So, I thought I'd show you what I've been working on anyway...  I'm really interested in making these collaged geometric patterns from vintage paper lately - I'm quite happy with how they're working out. It's so satisfying to take a piece of dusty, forgotten paper, deconstruct it, & give it new life.

What interests me is how once you take a printed image out of the context of its completeness by cropping it into tiny details, you're prompted to look at it with a new objectivity - each little piece of paper becomes quite enigmatic & beautiful. Then to integrate it into this pattern that has so much depth & detail...it's really satisfying!

I love the mellow colours & textures & the way the patterns emerge. I try not to be too rigid with dictating what goes where, but I do like to try to create a sense of balance & harmony.

I have a few different designs in the pipeline, but the size & complexity of each one is limited by the brittleness of some of the paper & the fact that I hand-cut them all - in large quantities. It's tempting to get a digital diecutter to extend the scope of what I can do, but there's something nice about them being a bit wibbly & flawed. Sitting there snipping away has given me something to do in those moments where you just want to zone out & watch trash TV or engage in some chit-chat or something.

And now, to this...

THE PAPER CHASE

Finding new sources of interesting paper is not easy - so I've devised a little plan. If you have any found paper laying around that you don't mind parting with & posting to me, I will in return, make you a collage with some of the paper you send & ship it back to you, keeping the rest of the paper for my own projects. You get a little artwork, I get some paper joy!

The types of paper I'm interested in are not necessarily rare or valuable ephemera. I'm looking for mainly pre-1970 paper (although I do use more recent, & brand new paper sometimes too, so a little of that is fine) such as the following...

  • receipts & invoices
  • advertisements from magazines, comics, etc. (I love the little ads in the back pages)
  • pages from books, magazines, comics, ledgers & notebooks
  • patterned end papers from books would be great
  • labels & packaging
  • envelopes, letters, stamps & postcards
  • anything with handwriting on it, particularly old-fashioned pen & ink
  • anything without writing on it such as notepaper, graph paper, etc.
  • brown paper bags
  • paper that is aged, yellow, spotty, stained, even torn is fine
  • greeting cards & gift wrap
  • wallpaper
  • sheet music
  • maps
  • flyers, forms, theatre programs, etc.

Extra great would be ephemera from different cultures - China, Japan, India, Mexico, etc. Colourful, decorated paper is nice, but not essential - some of my favourite pieces are regular white paper that has aged to varying shades of yellow & brown.

If you're interested in participating in the Magic Jelly Paper Chase, just send your little bundle of found paper to me with your return address. What you send me will naturally influence what I make for you (what a great challenge!) but I might also use some paper from my own collection, including some of my own test prints & illustrations. I don't expect you to send a massive bundle, but of course, it needs to be a fair exchange, so a nice little collection of bits & pieces would be good! The resulting artwork I make for you will be small-format, around 4x4" to 6x6" or thereabouts. Depending on where I need to ship it, turn around time will be 2-4 weeks.

Please send paper to:

Magic Jelly P O Box 542 Welland. South Australia. 5007 AUSTRALIA

As well as making sure to give me your return address (so I can send your collage!), if you could please enclose a little note with your package letting me know your email address, Etsy username (if you have one), site/blog url - that kind of thing - so I can contact you & mention you in my blog. Thank you!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

I'll be sure to post more about this project in my blog when I start receiving some paper goodies & making the collages to send out. Hooray!

My Passionate Love Affair...

...with paper continues... I've just given myself blisters from cutting hundreds of little paper shapes for a new collage I'm making. Someone needs to invent scissors with fur-lined handles.  Fake fur of course. After cutting (what seemed like) the 40 billionth shape, I started fantasising about buying a digital die-cutter, but for this project at least, part of the fun is in hand-cutting the paper. I really do love paper & ink...I hope my passion for them shows in what I do. The finished collages, which are bases for paintings & prints, are just so tactile & lovely. The blisters are (almost) worth it!

Notice anything different? Take a look at the top of my left sidebar...pretty spiffy, eh? Turns out Julian Lievano (of Heart-o-Matic fame) is not only the Evil Knievel of glass blowing, but the Steve McQueen of coding too. He made this nifty little gallery widget especially for my blog. Thanks Julian, I love it! :)

Anyway, toodle-loo for now! :)

Sneak Peek

Here's a little preview of two new Gocco print designs I'm working on.  Both involve quite a bit of colour & detail, using four screens each, so I'm having lots of fun (make that headaches) working out the colour separations. One of them is going to be a 6.25x9.25" print made on the larger Arts Gocco & the other is a standard 4x6" design. Still a lot of work to do, but I thought you might like to take a li'l look at my progress! I've been lucky enough to appear in four Treasury lists on Etsy's front page recently. The latest was curated by the exceptionally talented Sonia Romero, who along with the equally amazing Marissa Lee has started an Etsy Street Team for printmakers called Printsy. So if you're an Etsy seller who makes original prints, or a printmaking appreciator, go take a look! It was so great to make it to the front page of Etsy in such good company - what beautiful prints.

Recently I've been working on sprucing up my blog, so things will be looking a wee bit different around here quite soon.

Oh! Almost forgot! Fellow Etsian & super-duper artist Andy Mathis let me know I've been included in decor8's list of favourite Australian blogs - how nice is that? I'm honoured! It's brought masses of traffic to my blog & lots of new subscribers!

Super-Duper Mega April Giveaway!

I have been totally remiss when it comes to my "monthly" giveaways...I think I've only had one since I started my blog last October. Today I'm making good on my promise & launching a Super-Duper Mega Giveaway with not one...not two...but FIVE different prizes to make up for the months I've missed. And I promise to keep up with my monthly giveaways in future!

Here is the little swag of prizes I have to giveaway...

Prizes 1 & 2 are packs of Magic Jelly goodies (value approx. $20 each)...they each contain the following...

  • Sunday Morning 3.5" cork-backed drink coaster
  • pack of 5 1.25" button badges (assorted Magic Jelly designs)
  • pack of 5 Jelly tags
  • a little bag of vintage plastic trinkets & ephemera

Prize No. 3 is a 5x7" print on canvas panel called Snap! & a pack of 5 Jelly tags ( value $18). Prize No. 4 is one of my Fox & Flowers limited edition Gocco prints & a pack of 5 Jelly tags(value $15).

To win one of these, all you need to do is subscribe to my mailing list - that's where I'll draw the names of the winners. If you'd like to leave a comment or email me with your preferred prize, I'll keep that in mind if I happen to draw your name. Easy!

The 5th prize is an extra special one...an original Mixed Media piece called (rather unimaginatively) Jack Rabbit. It's an ink drawing on tea-stained Hahnemuhle paper, on a collaged background, mounted to brown kraft card (sheet size 6x6"). This is an original - not a reproduction - & is worth $85 (the winner gets a pack of Jelly tags too).

bunny-collage.jpg

Picking a winner of this one is a little bit different...rather than just drawing a name out of a hat, I'd like you to write a Haiku about a bunny. Either post your little poem in the comments or email it to me & I'll pick my favourite!

I'm announcing the winners in a week's time, so you have until Wednesday the 9th of April to sign up to my mailing list & submit your Haiku if you want a chance to win the bunny! :)

A Collage a Day

In an effort to kick start my creativity for the new year, I'm committing to making a collage a day for at least two weeks. Take a look at my enticing box of papery goodness...old letters, receipts, maps, books, some gocco test prints of mine, & other miscellaneous bits & pieces. I've also cut up a nice little pile of 6x6" card blanks ready for my first collage in the morning. Can't wait to start!

I created a Flickr group that anyone is welcome to join who'd like to get busy with scissors & glue. No need to set strict parameters for yourself if you don't want to - it's all about having fun - so come & play!

I'll post the results in my blog as well as upload them all to the Collage a Day Flickr Group.

Yay!