Something new for Freeday instead of Five-Minute-Free-writing this week…

Kel Rolf has been running a whole crazy month of inspiration at Soul Pantry (“29 Days of Seeing New“). One of her dares has been to grab a few pictures from junk mail, magazines, catalogs, what have you; paste them down in an art journal or otherwise on paper, then paint here and there as led, and add words.


Montage or collage I haven’t done much of, so this is kind of a first for me. But it’s pretty amazing what “just-for-fun” can sometimes result in. My first husband, long deceased, was a graphic artist who did other art creations on the side (award plaques, etc), and often said that “fooling around can create good ideas.”

So I took up Kel’s dare, and incorporated another challenge: Instead of just adding my own words, I did the experiment she gave women in one of her local workshops. It was called “Poetry in Prose,” I think. For it, the women were given printouts  of prose passages in which to circle words that “grabbed them,” then darken over the other words. What resulted was surprising poetry, often custom-fitted to the heart of the woman doing the experiment.

I think the prose they used was already world-class stuff. But I just used paragraphs from out of home/garden magazines.

Yet here’s what emerged. (I typed out the “poetry” beneath the collages, because I couldn’t get a clear enough picture for anyone to read right from it, trying to stay steady while hovering above my raised work table. Phew! I could use a tripod!):



Sway in a gentle breeze

Bow to the will of a stiff wind.


Or sunny,

Or hot…

In “real dirt,”



And meticulous,

Yield an Eden.



A gardener takes a clay pot–

Molded sticky red earth,

Fired brittle,

Dusty, bone-dry new…

Ticket to adventure.


These undoubtedly custom-fit my heart, especially this time of year, when the cold and being stuck inside on ice and slush days rev up my eagerness to get out and garden as soon as it warms (please hurry up!) The first collage shows the parallel universes of gardening and art, and the second clearly reveals my fingers’ pre-spring itch.

Stuck inside too much and getting bored yourself? Try this at home. You don’t need paint, either. I used markers instead.

Have some fun reflecting the Creator’s image!


10 thoughts on “Freeday Fun

  1. Love this! I love collage and used it to cover notebooks and folders and sometimes with my counselees. The poetry idea would be great.

    1. The poetry thing is amazing, Laurie. Who would have thought? And though it took me a while to overcome inertia and finally do the first collage, the second followed the very next day, and now I’ve got another one laid out all ready to finish up on Monday. I am really enjoying this. It’s interesting how it can reveal what’s in your heart. And it doesn’t take that long to put one together. I think it might be addictive!

  2. Sylvia-Yay! Fun for you and fun for me to see your harvest from the 29 day challenge…both collages just invite me to sit and contemplate the beauty of creating, creation and our Creator!

    1. Oh, Kel, this IS fun! I never knew how much. Know why? I’m not sure when or where I made collages, but I think the emphasis must have been on the product, the arrangement process, that kind of thing. But your emphasis has been the heart, the soul, and awareness of what things “speak to” them. That makes all the difference, and with such dynamics at work, my mind is just teeming with things I want to collage, already! Thank you much for this “soul dare”!

  3. I love this, Sylvie. My journaling mentor with whom I studied for three years had us do collage. I totally balked, and ultimately, she ended up calling me her collage poster child. I LOVE it now, and of course, I love Kel and all she does. I learned the technique of found poems through Kay, and Kel has done this masterfully. Funny, you would mention it, b/c just yesterday in one of my infamous paper piles, I found the one I had done for Kel, from yes, world-class author Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea. I posted the results on Kel’s blog one time. And just yesterday, I was thinking of using this in a little mini journaling class the pastor wants me to do at church, and I thought: They could even use a magazine article, such as what you have just done! Bingo. Confirmation. I love the depth of your little poems–found yes, but created, yes, too–just by you! Because only the Father could have guided *your* hand to highlight just those words that would bring joy and meaning to your heart….and the images too. A stiff wind blew in St. Louis yesterday. There are blankety-blank sweet-gum balls (can you tell I hate them?!) littering our property. But they needed to come down, and it took a swift wind to accomplish the task. I need a stiff wind to blow away my paper piles and my complacency. I long for spring. I love for growth. I long for life. I long for Eden!…better yet, the new Eden, the new heavens and new earth. It’s not a death wish to get there just now. I have stuff God wants me to do. But I do have to die to this apathy (an oxymoron?) to experience the growth He wants for me in my here and my now.
    Love this, Sylvie. Thank you soooo much for all the inspiration!

    1. Lynni, I can totally identify with the balking, and I don’t think I was ever able to “get” the idea of using collage as a journaling technique–until now, with Kel’s prompts and my just going ahead and doing it! I love words and think it’s wondrous how they can express what we think and feel, but now I have bumped into the truth that collage can both evoke and express some feelings and ideas better than words could. I think I’m probably going to be incorporating more collage-type stuff with my regular journaling (and even blogging) than I ever would have dreamed of. And yes, I also think it’s a way to open up awareness to God’s Spirit nudging in this or that direction, pointing me toward things valuable to explore, and share.

      1. PS to Lynni: Oh, your “infamous paper piles”–you don’t want them to get blown away! Definitely not! “There’s gold in them thar hills!”

  4. Bravo Sylvia! Love this! I am able to participate locally in Kel’s classes which always amaze me. But to witness your art motivates me to to get past the stuckness and let inertia take over. Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Oh, Kelly, you lucky duck! I would love to be able to participate in her workshop classes. Of course the advantage of trying these things without the presence of all those other people who might be peering at my paper is freedom to just let loose and see what happens, in the privacy of my own crafts room. I might have been intimidated by a bunch of strangers. So, well, go for it! No one is going to see it but you and God, and I got the feeling, quite strongly, as I worked (er, played) of a loving Father enjoying my enjoyment and my expression of the self He made me.

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