Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Oh, Those Big Collages! Two Easy DIYs for Dull Winter Days

When you wake up to Icemageddon, you pretty much know it's going to be an indoor day, possibly even an indoor week....

As I've stated before, winter here in South Carolina is not the lovely, softly snowing, cross-country skiing and sledding bliss my Northern friends enjoy. (Of course it is also not 6 months of sunless skies and continuous snow shoveling, so there are huge pluses!) It is a non-season, really, with alternating sunny 70 degree days and 30 degree grey days, often 24 hours apart. However, occasionally Old Man Winter decides to remind us somewhat spoiled Southern dwellers that he is a force to be reckoned with. This happened Monday night, and lead to us waking up in an ice-covered realm.

While winter scenery such as this can be breathtakingly beautiful, this particular storm has caused severe power outages affecting our entire region and closing schools and many businesses for a second day, with a lot of indoor time for families, due to the near constant danger of falling limbs, trees, and power lines. It's good to have a fun activity that everyone can be involved in (verses endless hours in front of television and/or technology). 

So here is a tutorial for you on making a vision board! Or, more simply put, a collage that features all the things you are hoping for in the coming year! 

I'm often asked about the very big collages that hang throughout our home, which were created during 2011's Snowmageddon during the week we spent inside. It was great fun and no special materials were required. Though I used old canvases - hence the large size of our collages - cardboard works just as well, or any flat surface you can apply glue and paper to! Our large collages were actually vision boards that were created with a specific purpose. Because as an artist collage is not a medium I work in, I was not aiming for creative composition or a showpiece. My son and I were simply having fun perusing old magazines and looking for inspiring images of what we wanted to attract our way in the coming year/years.

In January of this year, I had a vision board party with several friends, where we watched The Secret and made small vision boards. The supply list was simple - pre-cut pieces of cardboard, Elmer's glue, scissors, paintbrushes and magazines. Nothing fancy at all! 

Simply find the image you want, cut it out, brush a little glue onto the board, lay down the image, then brush a bit of glue over it to flatten it. I also brushed glue over the entire finished piece to add a layer of shine. You can also use Modge-Podge instead of glue, though in my experience, plain old Elmer's works just as well.

Listening to everyone discuss what they hoped to attract to their lives in abundance in the coming year was so inspiring! And the good thing is, no previous experience in collage is required to make a vision board - just knowledge of what one truly, authentically desires to have in their life.

Throughout the evening, there were many jokes and quips made as many images and words passed on to others in jest. Comfortable placed alongside Marriage and/or Career were  tossed about until we all agreed they sounded too settled and dull to be situations we'd want to aspire to. Joy. Adventure. Healthy. Travel. Off The Beaten Path. Presence. Fun Marriage. Exciting Career. Being Here Now - these were far more popular terms!

My son, who participated as well (most children love collage and older children can easily understand the concept of a vision board) knows well my love of shoes and added a humorous contribution to my board while making his own.

The party was great fun, and if  you are snowbound/icebound these next few days (or weeks) then making vision boards can be an easy and creative activity for the entire family! Have fun with it! We certainly did! Our two smaller boards adorn the older one on our den wall so that we can look at them and reflect at some point each day.

 The Law of Attraction - the basis of the movie The Secret, which I recommend watching - can be a bit scary of a concept if it is new to you, but I do believe what we direct our energy towards, especially in our thoughts, is what we attract to ourselves. I can see too much evidence of this in my own life to dispute it!

And here's another fun activity - polka dots are becoming all the rage here, but in the midst of The February Challenge, I can not run out and indulge myself in the dottiness, which is maddening because polka dots are about as me as fashion can get. I can, however, use fabric paint I already have and a old pair of too-plain tennies and suddenly I am rocking the latest fashion, without a dime having been spent!

I've got my eye on a pair of jeans in need of a transformation, too, and just enough paint - and thanks to the ice-storm, time - to make it happen!

How are you creatively spending these dull winter days? I hope the vision board tutorial inspires you! 

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