Vintage collage: A Funny Way of Seeing Love

These days I have so many balls in the air that I am about to weep. You know how it gets. You want to do Everything. One thing that has made me very happy amidst this ridiculous (self-imposed) buzz is cutting ephemera found at estate sales into little itty bitty pieces and then reassembling them into all-vintage collages. Well, I got one done. I made this piece for my mom Fran for Mother’s Day. My mom said she likes it, and has it right where she can see it every day. Since we live so far apart, this thought makes me very happy. The collage went into a pretty, vintage 70s frame, the kind where bamboo-like wood pieces are really magnets that hold the picture down. (See the complete piece here on my flickr stream.)  Mom pointed out that this would make it very easy to change out the collage by season. Yes! I already am working on another collage for her. Another idea I picked up from the collage class that I’m currently taking Friday mornings (see? I’ve totally overloaded myself):  When you go to an estate sale, especially if you don’t *need* anything, look for small items that you can buy to make a collage — a collage about that house. Even put the original address on it. I like that idea a lot, too. A lot a lot. Kind of a like, a tribute… a give-back… to the homes that make all of this possible.

  1. Danielle Hanley says:

    My cousin used vintage sheet music to wallpaper one wall in their bathroom. So cool!!

    1. pam kueber says:

      Yes, Danielle — this whole idea remains largely untapped — and brilliant for those willing to take the chance! Would love to see a photo of your cousin’s bathroom wall, if you ever get the chance… Thanks!

  2. Annie B. says:

    Great job, Renaissance Woman! I love a collage, and yours has great balance and interest. What did you use as the “backing”, for lack of a better term?

    1. pam kueber says:

      Annie, the substrate (a word I learned in collage class) is from a vintage book that was in the room where I take my collage class. I forget exactly what the book was… We were experimenting with making our own papers, in this case, adding paint to paper to get other effects. So I was rollering an dabbing the yellow, black (and other, I think) paint on the vintage page. I liked the way it turned out, so I used it as the substrate for the collage. 🙂 Thank you for your nice words!

      1. Annie B. says:

        “Substrate”; got it! Thanks, Pam, for the edification. Just one more query….does this mean that your collage is 8.5 x 11 or did you glue vintage pages together? In more concise terms, what size is your collage? I’m really loving this idea, can you tell??

        1. pam kueber says:

          Annie, my collage was not 8.5 x 11. It was probably half that size. I generally start with one piece of paper on the bottom, then layer things on the top. I tend to make smaller collages (when I make them) so’s I can get them done! Here is my flickr set with 4 images: I’ve made “inchies”, ATCs and the one most recently. There’s another few I’ll try to find and add to the flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/retrorenovation/sets/72157617428261776/ Also, now you have me all geeked up to Log off and Glue on!

          1. Annie B. says:

            Wow, Pam! Thanks for the inspiration. You’ve created a Collage Monster. This weekend, I discovered a flea market vendor with ’50’s and ’60’s editions of “Life” magazine for $1.00 each from which great collage clips could be obtained. Naturally, I feel that it’s sacrilege to destroy anything genuinely vintage; however, the vendor did have many issues from the same date. Thank you for all the great ideas!

            1. pam kueber says:

              Congratulations, Annie B. It’s so much fun, isn’t it! The more I do this the more I don’t feel bad about ripping up and re-using: Hey, we’re getting these images out of the dark and into the light!

              1. Annie B. says:

                A brilliant philosophical twist, Pam! You are so right: we are recycling, preserving history in the form of art, creating PR for MCM…….let’s see what else I can say to assuage my conscience! I’ll be at the flea market at dark thirty next Saturday morning scooping up vintage issues of anything I can find. Thanks for all the info and the encouragement.

                1. pam kueber says:

                  Sounds good, Annie, and remember: not just magazines. Anything. Books (non valuable), vintage wallpaper fragments, but also “ephemera” (stuff that was never intended to endure, like brochures, containers… and also anything not to expensive that can make the pieces more 3-D and multimedia pins, letters, what else?????… and as you are rustling around, how about vintage things to collage these ONTO – frames, yes, but also shadow boxes, letterpress boxes, what else????? Once you get going with this you start seeing everything as potential for collage… little bits of “daily art” everywhere. Oh and P.S. remember to check ebay prices on ephemera you collect before you start cutting it up… you don’t want to cut up something that’s a true treasure.

                  1. Annie B. says:

                    Oh, Pam! Thanks so much. I nearly lost an entire evening’s sleep last night assembling collages in my mind’s eye after retiring to bed.

                    I’d wondered if that were an actual vintage pin on your “Funny Way…” collage. It gives a super 3-D spin. I envisioned all kinds of collage materials last night in semi-sleep state: I had everything from Formica Aqua Boomerang sample chips to sand to cinnamon going onto substrate. I think I fell asleep not long after hatching the idea of lipstick on tissues a la Peggy Olsen’s “Basket of Kisses”.

                    See what you’ve done?

  3. RetroSandie says:

    Very nice Pam! I laughed at the “Giraffe” bit too! Even though you are strung out, releasing your inner creativity is so good for your soul!! Creativity is life!! Be sure to let us see what else you make! 🙂

  4. Susan says:

    Fun stuff! I want to see the “Giraffe with dandruff walking by open window” (look for it, folks!). That phrase alone should give you enough absurdist joy to get you through your busy schedule!

    Also, please don’t burn out. Repost some old nuggets now and then to give yourself a little breathing room. You are the fire in this retro reno engine; you have to be tended to, stirred and stoked. My fire metaphors are getting a little muddled and maudlin here, but, Pam, we care about you! Take a well deserved break!

  5. denise says:

    Hey! isn’t that great! what a nice gift…and, of course, I love the BIG hint she gave you. Glad you’re getting some creative time in there.

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