(which is to say, if you think what you have isn't "perfect," just keep moving and working and adding layers)
(if you missed the "before" pictures & process, they are here) Almost done.... My difficulty with collaging is that I tend to go one step too far, or make it one step too full. I still have other things that I think I might add, we'll see what actually happens. I do know for sure that I want to add more melted crayon wax for color. I think that helps smooth out the sharp edge of the paper. I am very happy with the way that it looks as it is though. I think it has a fair amount of complexity from the layers of wax and paper and acrylic paint and don't quite want to get into adding more imagery. Text on the other hand.... well, I brainstormed an entire list of words and phrase and haven't come nearly close to using them all. Some were repetive so I crossed them off the list, but I keep thinking of others. This entire piece has been a fun exercise - I'm still trying to figure out a way to make this a workshop; I think it would be interesting to guide other people through the process.
A friend used the word "intentions," which I think might be a better description. I was using the word, "rules" as a leftover from the family rules on etsy that started this whole thing. But I don't really like that word. And I've been using the word, "resolutions," simply because it is that time of year, but I've never been much on those. Oh, I could just keep thinking about nuances of words ad infinitum, which perhaps gets to the root of the problem as far as whether this collage is finished or not. I had thought I could type out some phrases in non-outline text and just have thinner words (not add any more painted text since I do think there is enough of that). But I do really like my painted background so I don't want to cover that up completely. I suppose if I had thought about this more, I could have written some text before I started the waxing. Once you put the wax down, you restrict your options - not a lot sticks to wax.
The beauty of the whole melted wax approach is that if I change my mind about a phrase or want to make other changes, I just melt off the old piece and change it for something new.
Here it is almost in its entirety, there's about an inch at the bottom that didn't make it into the picture. 30 inches is a very tall collage but it will work well on my front door. Seeing it like this, hmm... perhaps it is done.
These are some close-ups, showing the acrylic paint below, the melted wax on top, even a little trace of sparkle from the twinkling watercolors I used to fill in the text. The text was printed out on the computer in various fonts, all in outline format. I stretched them out to the same width and also made all the letters the same height. I think that creates a more interesting visual component to the text. I like the way the melted wax fogs things up a bit, as well as the way it makes the paper more translucent. I'm so glad that I went with this approach instead of a simple black and white graphic design on the computer.
Subtext (or is that context?): This is the list of the different phrases that are included right now. I started with the list of phrases from the family rules poster that I saw on etsy, added in some of the resolutions and themes that emerged from my Christmas letter, as well as some feng shui themes that I've been wanting to emphasize, and all sorts of other random thoughts that have come to me over the last week.
dance in the livingroom: Well, not just in the livingroom. This means dancing, moving, not sitting on the couch. Not just exercise, but reminding me of happy ballroom dancing days. Oh, and also means having a livingroom floor clear enough to dance in.
live your dream: Being true to myself and creating the life that I want. Even on the days when I'm feeling stressed out about audits and paperwork or tired of being nice to strangers, this is a reminder of the deliberate choices I made to be where I am.
share wealth: Not hoard it or fritter it away. Being mindful of the wealth in my life and the shortage in other people's lives. Practicing generosity with money, but also of spirit and time and talent.
laugh often: (this is less of a resolution and more of a statement of what is. Someone once told me, "I met someone who laughs almost as much as you do.") Life is pretty silly most of the time. Find the joy and the humor that's all around.
try new things: Be open to possibilities.
do something creative everyday: All right, that's from Paper Source. But I love that as a motto and don't think it is fair for them not to share.
write letters: Keep in touch, remember, connect.
slay dragons: Fight for justice and other good things in the world. Don't let the powers of terror and darkness win.
eat more veg: Isn't that something that Jamie Oliver would say? Not just broccoli, but being more mindful and healthy about what I eat.
go to the beach: Stop, take a break, Breathe. Rest your eyes and bring ease to the days.
take it personally & not: My former boss used to say this to me all the time: "Don't take it personally." It used to drive me CRAZY! I would think, "but I AM a person! How can I not take it personally?!" I think we do a disservice to other people when we get so wrapped up in our own motivations and plans that we ignore the person on the other side. Plus we can distance ourselves too much if we complete remove the personal aspect. That said, I'm starting to see the wisdom of my boss' words. When someone does something that hurts you, it is easy to suspect that it is directed at you personally (and maliciously) but I think that many times, it really isn't personal. Not to you specifically. It is personal because that PERSON is focusing on their own issues and goals and business plans and lists of things to do. But it is not personal because it really has very little to do with the person you are. Does that make any sense?
be brave: Step outside your comfort zone and take some risks. There are great rewards in store.
make a million: I'm particularly happy that this one is in wax because once it is surpassed, I can change it to "make millions." I don't consider it lofty to set goals that you are alreay halfway to, and I don't think that keeping your goals secret makes them more successful.
pay attention: There are surprising and beautiful and interesting and inspiring things all around.
bubble wrap: v. to apply bubble wrap to a delicate item. (Are you one of those people who hates the way nouns are turned into verbs? If so, I apologize). This is in reference to a children's sermon I delivered a few months ago. Mostly it is a reminder about the fragility that exists in the world, mostly in regards to people. You can't exactly tip toe around everyone's hurts or just leave things up on the shelf, but you can send them out into the world and be mindful of their fragility, give them a metaphorical layer of bubble wrap. But also acknowledge that to act in the world is to bump into, and even pop, some bubbles.
collect mindfully: Don't get wrapped up in stuff for the sake of stuff. Choose the things that are meaninful to you and release the rest. Someone else might love it. Don't waste time and energy and emotion on things that are not your passion.
glitter the hell out of it: Thanks to K! This is a recent addition to the list. It speaks to me not just of my love of all things glittered but also the power of glitter to turn things around. Whatever "it" is, if there is some aspect that is hellish, glitter might take that out.
shop small: Yes, I borrowed this from the new AmEx campaign (which I find highly ironic. If you really want to shop small, pay with cash, not the highest rate credit card you can find). This truly is a resolution of mine - to be more mindful of where I spend my money and support businesses like my own comprised of a few people working their butts off for way less money per hour than they should/could be earning.
treasure childhood: So so very fleeting! I ran into another former babysittee a few days ago and am still reeling. I have lived through about four lifetimes of seeing "my" children grow up from the age of two. It happens so darn fast, even the annoying moments will be gone and missed soon enough. Not to mention that sense of wonder and energy, and the new perspective gained from a shorter height and fewer years.
cross oceans: Well, for one thing, there's an art workshop in Bali that I have my eye on. But there are many other wonderful places to travel to!
take care: Of other people, of yourself - mind and body, spirit.
play play play: Mom used to say this about me all the time. It's still true today. It also reminds me of Dad who used to think his job was more play and less work and instilled in me the desire to have a similar approach to my own career.
earn positive reinforcement and instant gratification: And give it as much as it is received. Spend more time rewarding good deeds and less attention on behavior I don't condone. I am heartily sick of all the attention that is paid to over-the-top behavior and extreme points of view. I resolve to spend my time and attention on the many ways that good work is being done in the world.
read more books: Spend more time at the library and less time in front of the tv.
say please: I am a firm believer in manners and in doing unto others as you'd have done to you. I think we could all use a little more consideration.
give thanks: "if the only prayer you say in your entire life is thank you, that will be enough," or something like that - Meister Eckhart
don't forget your sword and your ticket: All right, I don't know exactly what this means. Lily always says it when you are on your way out the door. But the sword goes along with slaying dragons, and the ticket? Ticket to what, I wonder?