The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman

I’m often asked to review books on my blog, but recently when asked to review one particular book, I replied to the publisher with the request to receive and review a book that I really wanted to get my hands on- The Collage Workbook: How to Get Started and Stay Inspired by Randel Plowman.

Smart move. I have really enjoyed this book. So much so that I brought it to share at my recent collage component workshop at Art Is You!

I would best describe Randel Plowman’s bold artistic style as cold war propaganda posters meet sweet vintage schoolhouse readers. 1950s women’s magazine ads meet Audubon Society pocket guides. Civil engineer union meets Junior League Garden Club. Ad man meets socialite. Cool meets delightful. Every piece attaining an intriguing and beautiful balance.

This well organized book takes the unnecessary confusion and anxiety out of collage art by walking the reader through the very basics beginning with a suggested basic tool kit of essentials for crafting collages and how to use each.

Sometimes just getting started with a creative project is the biggest hurdle, especially if it’s an unfamiliar style of art or crafting. Randel helps the reader tackle all obsticles with multiple ideas for gathering imagery, giving great resources and inspiration.

The chapter on the Creative Process explores the Elements and Principles of Design as well as Basic Composition and Layering. It’s not as complicated as it may sound, as this is a very image-heavy source book with lots of great examples of each. The Explore chapter gives concise instruction on various techniques such as printing on tracing paper and building a home press.

Then come the 50 Creative Exercises! An exciting compilation of collage challenges to get your crafty blood pumping. An added bonus to The Collage Workbook is the Image Library- pages and pages of free images to copy/scan and print to get you started.This book is now a valuable part of my collage reference library. For even more unique inspiration, check out  The Collage Workbook blog, and Randel Plowman’s blog, A Collage A Day.

Enter to win a copy of The Collage Workbook by leaving a nice comment on this post. Deadline to enter is noon, Friday, October 5, 2012 (PDT). One winner will by chosen and notified shortly thereafter and mentioned here.

Thanks for all the great entries and kind words! The giveaway winner is commenter #185 Wendy Gilberd! Congratulations Wendy!

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Art Is you Collage Component Cabinet Workshop Recap

Last Friday began the the long awaited West Coast Art Is You Art Retreat weekend here in our awesome town of Petaluma. I don’t think enough can be said about the event coordinators, the amazing work they did, the amount of details they considered and the way they made everyone who attended feel special. The event was held at the Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma Hotel along the beautiful Petaluma River where my workshop classroom looked out onto the marina. I have to add that this hotel’s staff was so professional, friendly and accommodating on all levels. And Friday’s meal (Tortilla soup and Southwestern Salad) was the best lunch I’ve had in a very long time!Every single instructor and attendee at Art Is You received an adorable hand-crafted name badge. It was a kick to see how many resembled their recipients and how some altered theirs. I love mine, but I think it looks more like my sister Jennifer! (I love that.)

I met the most amazing women instructors and attendees at Art Is You and was in awe of so many of them. I shopped ’til I dropped at Naval Jelly Studio’s on-site store and with many other vendors at the AIY Trunk Show!

I have to say…my class rocked. SUCH a great group of very creative and warm women. I had the best time sharing my project, sponsored materials, all the many things I’d been gathering for the attendees for months, and my studio tools. You can see all the photos I took of our day, including the workshop set-up on Flickr.

There was a point during the day when I grew a bit concerned as our room was so quiet! But I realized that everyone was in their own creative mode decorating and embellishing their cabinets and crafting their collage components.

We were so fortunate to have an impressive list of hand-picked workshop sponsors to make our day & projects complete. Please visit the links below to see why I am so enthusiastic about their products.

Ornamentea.com Decopatch papers, brushes, and varnish, lots of collage components, Terrifically Tacky Tape, rubber stamps, Cavallini posters (awesome classroom giveaway!)

Sterling Publishing/Lark Books Classroom books: Scraps by Elsebeth Gynther & Christine Clemmensen

Whisker Graphics Divine Twine Sweet Dozen and Little Bitty Bags

WorldLabel.com Assortment of die-cut label stock including full-sheet Kraft label sheets

Rose Mille German Glass Glitter

Simplicity.com Travel Sewing Kits

Jenni Bowlin/JBS Mercantile Papers, Embellishments, Stickers, Vintage lace trim, Paper punches

Charlotte Lyons/Blend Walnut Hill Farm fabric collection

Plaid Mod Podge

Bonnie’s Best Genesis Paper Trimmer and Japanese Book Drill

Sensible Foods Delicious and healthy, gluten free, dried fruit & Vegetable snacks

Divine Twine Station!

Local food company, Sensible Foods supplied heaps of delicious Crunch Dried® Snacks for our day of crafting. Love this stuff!!

I’ve already signed up to teach next year, not sure what just yet, but it will be cool, I promise!  A huge Thank You to all who attended this year. I was the most fun to spend the day with you and watch your beautiful cabinets come together.

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Collecting: Vintage Printed Pots

I used to collect vintage Dundee marmalade pots until that moment of very poor judgement when I sold them in an antique collective years ago. What I love about vintage printed pots are the use of beautiful typography and design elements, how the ink settles and flows into the pottery’s surface, the creamy white pottery itself and the crazing and crackling of the timeworn vessel. Not to mention how practical these beauties are for attractively holding everything from pencils to pocket change and keys.

The above images are from the website Antique Bottles which has an incredible collection on display along with a bit of history about the different pots and contents.

These images, below, are of beautiful examples of printed pots for sale on Willow & Stone.Last weekend, I was the guest speaker at Goat Hill Fair in Los Gatos, California. It was such a wonderful experience and I don’t think I’ve ever been treated more special by the organizers, vendors and the really wonderful audience of shoppers. The venue was incredible and the fabulous goods a-plenty! My favorite find while shopping the fair were tiny potted meat pots, fresh from the seller’s European travels.Darling, right? Then maybe you’ll understand why I had to by the entire collection of six.This last shot is for size reference. See how sweet and little they are?!These will go into my craft studio and hold -well, I don’t quite know yet- but something perfect will find it’s way into them, I’m sure of it.

So, tell me, do you have a collection of multiples? I’d love to know it’s not just me.

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