I’ve got a new favorite ladies’ night activity: collaging.
My friend Corinne—an artist with a degree in social work—came to visit last month. She conducts collage workshops in her studio in St. Louis, and was generous enough to run one for her East Coast pals.
Not being a crafty girl, I was a bit intimidated when I got the invitation. My typical strategy when I’m invited to a craft event is to chat, fetch supplies and, if I’m lucky, have somebody else complete my project (I have a lovely French memo board I “made” that way). But I wanted to spend time with Corinne, so I signed on. Six of us gathered our friend Stacey’s kitchen, where Corinne had laid out thousands of images, patterns and designs of varying sizes and textures. She instructed us to walk around the room, look at the selection and choose items intrigued us. Most important, she added, we were not to censor or judge our choices—we were to pick on instinct.
Once we’d chosen our visuals, we settled around the table with our boards and tiny, sharp scissors. Corinne, a very serene and patient facilitator, explained that this was our time to experiment; we could cut, layer, add to and rearrange the images to our hearts’ content. She watched the clock and let us know when it was time to commit to a design and start gluing.
At the end of an hour, we’d produced six unique and beautiful pieces. We opted to go around the table and share our work. One woman, newly divorced, filled her collage with images of change and renewal. Another friend’s project was a travelogue of all the places she’d been and still hoped to visit with her family. Mine was a hodgepodge of books, letters and chalkboards, interspersed with cheery scenes of house and home—mirroring my identities as writer, spouse and mom.
Although we made them for ourselves, these collages started some great conversations. Our little group—some of whom were merely acquaintances prior to the workshop—came to know one another much better by sharing our ideas and inspirations. It was a lovely way to spend an evening.
Repurpose magazines, flyers, greeting cards catalogs and even old fabric to start your own collection of collage materials. Your local craft store can supply you with pretty papers, boards and acid-free decoupage glue. And, when you finish your masterpieces, you can keep the party going with tasty tidbits to pass around the table. These Apricot Cherry Popcorn Squares are a delicious treat that are sure to inspire!
Apricot Cherry Popcorn Squares
Yield: 12 servings
- 10 cups air-popped popcorn
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. water
- 1/2 cup sugar-free apricot preserves
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Combine popcorn and cherries in large bowl.
- Combine sugar, water, preserves, corn syrup, and lemon juice in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.
- Cook until mixture forms thick, “ropy” threads that drip from the spoon.
- Pour slowly over popped popcorn and mix thoroughly.
- Spray 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Press mixture into baking dish and cool completely before serving.