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10 June 2011

Vintage Collage

I have just finished my first ever gluebook,
a series of vintage collages using just paper, scissors & a gluestick.

I registered for Mary Green's Your Vintage Gluebook online course last week
& today completed the final lesson.

Mary has a love of vintage & in these classes
she shares her method of creating beautiful vintage paper collages.

She talks through colour, patterns, size, visual weight & position,
setting a series of exercises for us to put into practice all the things we have learnt.

Mary makes a point in her lessons that we should find our own style
& make our gluebooks personal.

I wanted to veer away from using the images which Mary
had so generously supplied for us to use in her classes.

This class has been available online for over a year
so I didn't want to just replicate work that other students had already done.

I had a good rummage through my craft supplies
& gathered together everything that had a vintage feel,
either in subject or in colour tone.

Together with copies of old family photographs,
I have made a very personal gluebook. Apart from the cover image,
I have only used two of Mary's images, both postal stamps
(yes, I can hear Mary laughing too!).

I love the hands on aspect of papercrafting,
so I wanted to work on flat individual pages,
making it easier to sand the edges etc.

I used watercolour paper (300gsm) cut to 4¾ x 3½ inches (approx 12 x 9 cm)
to create my pages, to be bound together when completed.

The covers were made from the thick sturdy backing card from the back of the paper pad
& are slightly larger than the pages.

So with scissors, printed images, gluestick, emery board & corner rounder, I began.

Here are a few pictures of the pages I have made.

To the first page, entry to my gluebook, grab a ticket & come on in.

This page was made to illustrate the muted colours of the vintage style
with a background with two additional pieces;
one main focal point with another to lead the eye around the page.

For my first page I fell into the welcoming arms of Tim Holtz,
using his paper for the background & tickets cut from one of his printed cardstock pages.

The moth is from The Graphics Fairy,
already printed for a previous project that never got off the ground.

This next page was made for the exercise to divide a photograph/image across a two page spread.
It contains a image of my Great Grandparents (on the right)
with their friend alone on the left.

When creating a two page spread, each page should be able to stand alone.

The background paper & green strip is by Scissor Sisters,
the bird image is from The Graphics Fairy,
along with the moth (from my leftover printed images pile).
I added an off-cut of a ticket from the previous page & one of Mary's stamps.

The page below was made in response to the lesson on choosing a background.
The paper is again by Scissor Sisters.

The image on the left is of my Great Grandparents,
with their three handsome sons on the right.
My Grandfather is the one indicated by the moth's tail.
I used up more scraps of coordinating paper & two Doodads from Tim Holtz.

This page was made for the lesson on matching papers
& looking for pieces to use in our collages.
It uses a wonderful image of a young man ready to fight.

The photograph is from our family archives,
but we are unsure who he actually is.

I went with a B theme, B for Boxer, bird & bees.
The background paper is by Scissor Sisters,
the ruler is from one of Tim Holtz's papers,
together with his toy block cardstock.

The bee image is from The Graphics Fairy,
with the colour tweaked before printing out in different sizes.
The music paper vellum I have had for ages & never used.

This next page was fun.

It was made for the exercise to use an incomplete image in such a way
that it is not obvious that there is a part missing.

The gentleman is my Great Grandfather in his army uniform.
He cuts a stern figure.
I placed him on images of book covers,
How to Speak Correctly, Spelling Book, Music Book & Atlas all from Tim Holtz.

As class instructor, he would take no stick!

I'm sure he had many secrets,
so I gave him a lockable journal to keep them in.

The Lock & Key from another of Tim's papers.
Just one tiny stamp from Mary to finish.

The biggest challenge was the exercise to create a collage using only original papers
with no copies allowed.

Here is what I used.

* Text background page from a Pitman Business Typewriting course book from an evening class
I enrolled in over 25 years ago - I only went to the first class!

* The main image is of Lucinda Frances, Sir George Bernard Shaw's sister,
which was an unused page from my altered art journal book dating from 1949.

* The blue butterfly was from a recent magazine,
which has been on my desk for a few months, waiting to be used.
One part of the wing had writing one, so I needed to place it out of view.

* Sheet music from a Recorder book,
which I must have had since my primary school days.

* Black & white illustrations from an old National Trust handbook.

I thoroughly enjoyed working through Mary's lessons
& I hope you have enjoyed your wander through my work.

I have a few blank pages left to fill before I bind the book together ...


  1. Wow - what wonderful pages, they are gorgeous, personal and elegant. You must be so pleased with them!

  2. What a wonderful project! Looks really nice, it must have been a pleasure to make :)

  3. Thank you Mary & Milla. It was a very enjoyable project. I always enjoy working with images from my family archives.

  4. Wow, these pages are all gorgeous! If I could choose a favourite it would be the 'B' page - I really like the colours. But they are all superb. It's a fun class, isn't it?!