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Limitless Collage is an ongoing creativity program hosted by the Haston Public Library in North Brookfield.

For more information see our About page.

Our primary goal is twofold:

to gently nurture everyone’s innate ability to create in a personally meaningful way and to build a community of ongoing participants comprised of curious beginners, seasoned hobbyists/crafters and professional artists/artisans who relish the benefits of carefree self-expression that does not require them to think like a business person.

All are welcome to join us on the last Wednesday of the month from 5:30 to 7:30 in the library’s beautiful craft room.
Our next meeting is on August 30th at 5:30 p.m.

Each session will focus on a new creative project with all materials provided.  There is no cost for this ongoing program.  Please sign up in advance at the library or by phone: 508-867-0208 (main circulation desk)

More program info can be found on the About page.

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Session VII

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This month’s project incorporated paper and fabric collage to transform unfinished wooden boxes into personalized treasure chests.  Participants gamely donned protective gloves to tackle our most ambitious project to date.   As always, individual choices yielded very different looks.  Photos of finished treasure boxes are pending as everyone needed some additional “homework” time to tweak and complete their project.

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ladiesworkingTop:  Florine M. mentally fine tunes her design plan while Betty W. measures twice and cuts once.  Bottom:  Florine M., Paulette A., Ellen S. and Sue P. work steadily and calmly within their individual process styles.

Session VI

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Ellen S. and Sue P. are part of the perfect attendance core group that makes this arts and crafts program so welcoming and enjoyable. 

Shortly before this session was held we learned that a few of our regular participants would not be available.  In hopes that the month of June might be better attended we shifted gears in terms of the project listing’s original order.  Alicia brought along her extended reach stapler and three types of card stock so we could take a fresh look at gluebooks.   The booklets were constructed from black, silver-gray and champagne beige paper that is both sturdy and lovely to touch as individual collages are built piece by piece.  The gray and beige cardstock had just a hint of metallic glimmer that’s both fun and interesting as a background/substrate.   And the long arm stapler made booklet construction a breeze!

With an eye towards devoting most of the session to treasure hunting among the program’s trove of donated magazines, the group worked with a shared theme of Rainbow Collecting.  This theme, and the booklet’s size, allowed a full page spread for every color of the traditional spectrum and a few additional pages to be used for individuals’ favorite colors that might not hold a distinct place in the standard ROY-G-BIV format.

Busy and somewhat over-taxed spirits were soothed and conversation grew quite lively as we collected images to match the colors of the rainbow.

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Red and Green page spreads by Ellen S.  Front & Back Covers and Orange page by Sue P.

Session V

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Sue P.’s tribute to all the truest parts of herself

This session’s project: a “free interpretation” style self portrait.  Participants worked with a variety of fabric and yarn options to create an image of how they see themselves rather than what they look like to outside world.  Self portraiture can be a difficult undertaking for even skilled artists and artisans but this group waded-in fearlessly and produced an array of very different interpretations ranging from literal to abstract self representations.

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Ellen S. Surrounds herself with her love of tennis.

Session IV – Fun with Fabric

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Session Four of the Limited Collage program marked our transition to working with fabric in addition to paper.   Participants were presented with an assortment of high quality bookmarks.  Each person chose a few images that spoke to them.  The colors in these choices helped participants decide on a color scheme.   This decision allowed them to evaluate the possibilities offered by a vast array of 2-inch fabric squares with confidence and a minimum amount of choice-making overwhelm.   Paper and fabric were combined atop an 8inch birch panel.  Once everything was glued into place, the panels were finished with a border of wash tape.

Pictured from top to bottom  –   projects by   Sue P.      Ellen S.     Karen B.    Florine M.   Linda H.  and Betty W.

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Session III

Featured image:  Florine M. and Sue P. are deeply immersed in their process

Our Program’s third gathering slid fairly easily into something of a creative jam session.  Some participants followed a planned design-theory exercise while others found their own way to arrive at a more free-form finished result that pleased them.  Both options allowed plenty of room for self-expression.  Conversation gave way to intense concentration for long minutes at a time.   By the end of the session everyone had decorated a small wooden plaque suitable for display in a casual shelf grouping or perhaps set to focal point advantage in a shadowbox.

This session concluded our Program’s focus on paper-only collage projects.  We’ve worked with a mixture of art and “found” papers and trawled for ideas and images in the Program’s cache of donated magazines and calendars.   Our next three sessions will focus on Fun With Fabric.   The project scheduled for our March 29th session will encourage participants to consider the possibilities in a fresh paper treasure source and, if they so choose, to give their project a bit of mixed media flair by including paper accents.ellen22517

    Ellen S. checks her work for accuracy. 

Beautiful Memory Jars

Featured image courtesy of Karen B.

Beautiful Memory Jars have been popular among internet crafters for the past few years.  Individual decorative cards are used to record small moments of the day when something especially beautiful rises to the surface of life’s ongoing activities.  These memories are “preserved” in trendy canning jars.  The cards and jars are kept as ongoing mindful documentation of the things we notice and hold close simply because we feel and see them as beautiful.

Limitless Collage’s second meeting focused on decorating a canning jar lid and preparing customized documentation cards.  This involved much happy perusal of our donated magazine trove, sifting through scraps of imported decorative paper and choosing just the right ribbon to suit individual taste and mood.   Participants’ creative output and general confidence level were greatly enhanced once we secured use of a Library paper cutter!  The two hours passed easily with conversation and laughter flowing.  We welcomed two new members and missed two gluebookers who were unable to join us.

Once the cards were carefully stored in their new homes, everyone enjoyed the opportunity to admire each others choices of imagery and decorative embellishment.   At our next meeting, on February 22nd, we will make a few further explorations with paper.  Save the date – especially if you love graph paper – and don’t forget that all are welcome!

Image below courtesy of Paulette A.

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Introduction to Gluebooks

Session One of the Limited Collage program focused on discovering combinations of colors and images that expressed each participant’s unique sense of visual happiness.  These choices were assembled into small books that incorporated disguised advertising circulars for covers and inner pages made from rescued photography books and graph paper.  Most participants had never made a book before and a few were skeptical at the outset of the session.   Nonetheless everyone was up for the challenge; trusting their instincts and working diligently to layer and bind their gluebook.

Making the booklets proved quite satisfying for all concerned!  Any trace of uncertainty vanished once the pure playtime began.   Smiles and chatty conversations bloomed effortlessly while participants flipped through stacks of magazines and art-house postcards in search of just the right images and words  Treasure hunt gleanings were added to various book pages with equal measures of care and flare.

Sue P. describes her enjoyable experience and resulting enthusiasm for the Limitless Collage program:

I don’t consider myself to be a “crafty” person or good at tasks using my hands. But, using my imagination and with Alicia’s guidance (and patience!), I was very pleased with my first collage and am eager for our next project. These workshops are a stress-free way to learn something new and socialize with the other participants.

If you’d like a closer look at the pages featured in this post’s mosaic please click on any of the images for a more detailed slide show.

Collage credits:  Happy Feet and Fantastic by Ellen S.  Dancing Gymnasts by Sue P.  Birds & Blooms and Tea & Dragons by Paulette A.