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Posted on April 4, 2016


When I started gathering bits and pieces for this theme, I wasn’t sure which direction I would go in, but I soon found a route-map through the ‘URBAN’ landscape.

Collage Club: URBAN“You are HERE.”

Having recently returned from a trip to New York, I know first hand just how manic, busy and fast-paced urban environments can be.

Colours and lights and skyscrapers and buildings and people and buzz and rushing around to meet deadlines and communicate through time zones.

Time is precious and seems always to be in short supply in the urban landscape.

The edges can become frayed between reality and fantasy, and when I read about Skignz, it reiterated to me how technology and the invisible ‘noise’ of data connections are infiltrating every area of life, augmenting our own personal reality and the visual space around us, a la Minority Report.

Collage Club: URBAN“Is everyone ‘GONE’?”

The image above conjures the idea of ‘all the world being a stage’, of places and spaces having a voice, of desertion and diaspora.

I love the empty windows that appear derelict, the statues and horses posed in stone, almost caught mid-sentence yet preserved forever, through art and as art.

Cities and urban environments are places where information and knowledge is stored.

They are financial centres of the world.

They become the hearts that send pulses of knowledge rippling out to other hearts, other centres.

They are LOUD with the voices and accents of a thousand languages, and yet the universal language of the world can be navigated through recognisable brands like Coca Cola.

Collage Club: URBAN‘COOL GEOMETRY’ was a fashion trend I designed a collection around at college, circa 2001. Read more

Posted on January 20, 2016

Scrapbooking: Fractals & Fireworks

Once the snow began to fall at the weekend, I knew I’d be staying in to catch up on some scrapbooking.

I’m part of the Get Messy Art Journal group which I love, with ‘seasons’ of inspiration and new prompts to work to each week. The last season finished at Christmas and was centred around Magic. I loved that season so much, but didn’t manage to create pages each week because, well, Christmas.

Sometimes it’s cool to go ‘off-piste’ though, and so I found myself starting the year with an abundance of gathered images and bits and bobs that I haven’t yet had a chance to use.

Many of these ‘gatherings’ are ripped from local exhibition and art centre programmes, flyers or just the funky clothing labels that brands use to sell their wares.

These are the things that I collect to use in my scrapbook. These are the things that I struggle to discard. These are the things that I preserve.

I also think the terms ‘scrapbook‘ and ‘art journal‘ are pretty interchangeable, but with the exception of one page, I don’t tend to write over/on my scrapbook pages.

Some of them more closely resemble collage, but for me my scrapbook is a place where anything goes and I don’t work to themes.


Scrapbook pages, January 2016

I love the cacophony of colour, angles and pattern here. There’s a train ticket and maybe a foreign metro ticket and a dry cleaning stub here. It all jigsaws happily together.

(It wasn’t meant to be, but is that green stripe a subconscious nod to the imitable Bowie?)

Scrapbook pages, January 2016

You can’t read my hand-written addition in this image, but it says:

Vacant empty void filled to the brim with nothing anyone can see.”

The image of dereliction that I’ve used shows the artful decay of a small island near Venice – Poveglia.

Its story intrigued me, especially the idea of teenagers using the island as an escape from the watchful eye of parental control; a modern-day, urban, Italian, ‘Lord of the Flies’ experience, with latent creative influences. I hope it can be turned into something good for the community. Read more

Posted on November 13, 2015

COLLAGE CLUB: Junk Mail ‘Circles of Debris’

It’s been a while since I had time to COLLAGE, but this month’s theme of ‘Junk Mail’ had me raiding my paper-recycling box and it started to flow from there.

Junk Mail Collage

I’ve used the sturdy packaging of an Amazon envelope, complete with tracking stickers and barcodes. I love the tracking stickers and barcodes.

The dragonfly is from the exhibition programme for The Lighthouse in Glasgow, and I’ve got Standard Life to thank for the pretty pattern on the inside of this envelope.

I couldn’t resist taking the hole punch to the envelope too and using the little ‘circles of debris‘. They haven’t come out so well here (it’s been gloomy all day and I tried to sharpen the image in Photoshop but it didn’t quite work out).

I’m happy with this collage and enjoyed sitting piecing it together. I’m pleased too that I was able to stick to a limited, muted palette (for a change).

The map of my locality is from Yellow Pages, which happily adds a bit of yellow to the collage.

Junk Mail Collage Close Up

Do you upcycle your junk mail?

Sometimes the junk mail is more exciting than the real mail!

I use the back of envelopes for shopping lists and once kept all the envelopes I received for over a year with a plan to make them into a book.

I never did and ended up throwing them all away. I kinda wish I’d kept them because there were some really interesting colours and patterns…

Check out the other amazing artists in The Collage Club and join in with November’s ‘Junk Mail‘ theme.


Posted on August 20, 2015

Collage Club: Bedknobs & Broomsticks & Vintage Ghosts

I think this is a ‘vintage‘ offering for my Collage Club friends, as this theme was posed way back in June.

Collage Club 'Vintage'

I used a background of brown scrapbook paper which provided an ‘aged’ foundation.

I loved the image of the sepia-tinted books and a bed frame that reminded me of ‘Bedknobs & Broomsticks’ (how great is Angela Lansbury?) and the vintage suitcase with the furs – oh the glamour!

My Mum reads The Lady magazine and the black and white images of well-to-do ladeez adds a touch of well-heeled class (first class…)

When I took a step back it seemed they could even be the ‘vintage ghosts‘ of a bygone era, traversing a land of dusty hard-backed books and carrying on conversations that echo of times gone by, wafting back and forth between then and now. I love that idea.

It’s a bit like family stories being passed down through tit-bits of letters and secrets whispered in fits and starts and old tape-recorders found squirreled away in the loft.

Read more

Posted on August 2, 2015

Collage Club: BEAUTIFUL – ‘Polished Girl’

In this second response to The Collage Club theme of ‘BEAUTIFUL’, I couldn’t resist a subliminal commentary on lipstick – make-up in general – being both a tool to empower and also to imprison.

It’s great to wear make-up and feel like a ‘polished’ girl (or woman), yet to some degree it is expected that women will wear make-up to ‘look more beautiful’, and in certain industries – fashion for example – practically unthinkable for a woman to choose not to wear make-up.

In this collage I’ve taken the original image of the ‘polished girl’ and surrounded her with images of lipsticks.

Collage Club: Beautiful - 'Polished Girl' Read more

Posted on July 27, 2015

Collage Club: What is beautiful?

This is my first collage in a while, and it’s rather stark in comparison to my usual jumbled style.

The Collage Club prompt for July is: BEAUTIFUL.

But what is beautiful?

For me this black and white image of the girl in the car (or train, or bus), her hair blowing about just begging to fly free, the landscape spinning by and curious thoughts passing through her mind – just feels so beautiful, unrehearsed and free.

Collage Club - What is beautiful?

It made me think of beauty as a bare face – no make-up, but perfect none-the-less, and encompassing so much more than a ‘pretty face’ (because you don’t need to be ‘beautiful’ to be a beautiful person):

Wispy, dreamy days of adventures, journeys, travel, life unfolding as it should. Tangents weaving their magic, innocence, youth, discovery, the labyrinth of first love, time trickling by filmic and surreal changing into technicolour as the chrysalis exposes the beautiful butterfly.

The quote that I’ve used sums up the scene, the feeling, wonderfully:

The Greeks used to say there is not a short life or a long life. There’s only the life that you have. And the life that you have is the life that you’re given, the life you work with. It has its own shape, describes its own arc, and it’s perfect.

Societal stereotypes of what is perfect and what is beautiful are often shallow and unattainable, so the message to live life to the full, experience it all, be curious. To me, that is beautiful.

Connect with The Collage Club and see how other members have interpreted this theme.

See my collages for the theme of WILD & TEXT & WORDS.

Posted on June 8, 2015


The Collage Club theme for May was all about WILD.

And when I thought about how to interpret WILD, the first images that popped into my head were of the catwalk: WILD fashions, sets, shows and extravagance.

Patterns and prints and shoes that are almost too high to walk in. WILD hair and party make-up and trends that go viral and fights in the ‘FROW’.


I was in the fashion world once, having studied it for 4 years. I can’t say that those years were particularly WILD, but like any student, there were definitely some wilder times. So many influences to absorb, so much colour, and the chance to experiment. Going WILD.

In terms of concepts and materials, whatever you could lay your hands on went into the mix. And I specialised in printed textiles so the textile-lover in me got a chance to go WILD.

Feathers and foam and printing on lace and drawings for electronic dresses with keyboard parts in them long before jewellery and craft sellers were using keyboard numbers and scrabble tiles to make things. Staying up late to write print reports. Staying up late to party. Sleeping in late for exams. WILD times!

So here’s my WILD designs; a triptych: Read more

Posted on April 30, 2015

Kate Cuthbert: Cat-loving Collage Artist

I ‘met’ the lovely Kate Cuthbert last year via The Collage Club group on Facebook (for all lovers of collage and paper-crafting!), and since then I’ve been in awe of her talents as a collage artist but also how prolific she is in creating her eclectic, thoughtful and visually stunning designs.

So far there have been collections featuring Space Cat-dets and Fash(ion)Cats and Big Cats of War and Kate’s current series features women emerging from flowers. Wow.


When Kate first launched as Satin+Tat Collage on Instagram, I was delighted to repost her competition image and spread the word about her collage art.

In response, Kate so thoughtfully made an original collage design just for me, posting it all the way from Satin+Tat Collage HQ in Adelaide, Australia to Scotland. That’s exciting snail-mail! Read more

Posted on April 13, 2015

Collage Club: Little & Big

This month’s theme for The Collage Club is ‘Little & Big‘ which is straightforward and inspiring all at once.

I’m finding there’s a real cross-pollination of inspiration, technique and creativity between my collage and art journaling work just now, but I wasn’t sure what to do for this at first.

Then I found this fashion image of a woman – a femme fatale? – all minxy and peering down as if on lesser mortals.

And so it came into being; the faces glancing up at her from below, far beneath her in the hierarchy – of life and perhaps also of beauty.

Some of the girls look confused, panicked, fearful, while others are rising to the challenge. She herself is all sweeping eyebrows, oozing a mischievous malice that contrasts perfectly with the frothy confection of ruffles and feather-fronds that spill from the page.

Oversized ego. Oversized hair. Exaggerated shoulders.

Little & big. Angles & curves. Hard & soft. Light & dark.

So this month’s image is surreal in pastel blue, and I felt the urge to draw on it too (the art journal influence).

Collage Club - Little & Big

View last month’s response to the theme of ‘TEXT/WORDS‘.

Join in with the group on Facebook.


Posted on March 30, 2015


It’s been a while since I’ve done a collage, as I’ve been so immersed by the joy of art journaling.

But The Collage Club group theme for March is a very tantalising ‘TEXT/WORDS’. And I do love words and text and typography.

It got me thinking about type and fonts in magazines and in adverts and on billboards, and how branding is such a big aspect of choosing a product with the emotional connections we make to certain colours, words, fonts, shapes. It’s something I studied intensively for my university dissertation on ‘ambient advertising’.

There is so much you can do with words and text!

For that reason it took me a while to get started, but once I did, I managed to create not just one, but FOUR collage designs for this theme, featuring a pared down, more simple aesthetic than has been my previous style. And I like it.

(Check out ‘New Landscapes’ for layers of detail…)

So here they are. What do you think?

'How was it for you?' TEXT collage 'Fight for Love' TEXT Collage 'First Love Bite' TEXT Collage 'Wild Lies' TEXT collage

Check out The Collage Club on Facebook.


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