book: scraps

by kath_red on 18/01/2010

in Books, Features

Scraps: An Inspirational Field Guide to Collage

Lovers of collage will adore this inspirational guide – less of an instructional how and more of a collection of ideas – this book is full of ways to use photos and ephemera in creative ways. If you already love to create collaged pieces of memorabilia or are an avid scrapbooker wanting to expand your repertoire or a beginner collager with a call to create looking for inspiration, then this darling book is for you (in fact for everyone).

There is a ‘getting started’ section, including sources of ephemera and bit to use as well as collecting up your ideas; I particularly like the section on what approach to collage you will use – there are several – and making these decisions is also discussed. There are different types of paper, fastenings, arrangement styles, whether or not to add ink, stamps, frames – lots of practical advice for those not quite sure where to start.

But this book really sings with the imagery of original collages by the two authors – check out their blogs for deliciousness: Elsebeth Gynther and Christine Clemmensen.


Mixed-Media Collage Jewelry: New Directions in Memory Jewelry by Janette Schuster, published by Lark Books (March 3, 2009).

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word Collage I think of paper, scissors, glue, fabric, and flattish artworks. Janette Schuster’s book brings together tools such as anvils, mallets, findings, metals, files, drills, rivets, solder, glass, patinas, photographs and found objects to create truly amazing jewelry.

Schuster very clearly describes and illustrates the techniques that she uses for making her items, and each project is very well photographed, making this a fascinating book to pore over, even if you are not working on one of the projects. Not only are the techniques described in great detail, but the author includes a section for each project on the inspirations that she used to create her items, and the process that you could use to make the project your own.

There are a number of gallery pages in this book, showcasing the jewelry art of a number of artists, and describing the influences, creative process and inspiration of the artists. If combining hardware, found objects, photographs and jewelry is your thing, or sounds as though it could become your thing, then definitely check out this book.

About the reviewer: Kate is a busy mother of four and has far too many craft projects on the go at any one time. These could include, but are not limited to, crochet, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She also has a very very patient and tolerant husband.


The Artful Storybook: Mixed-Media Artists Create Handmade Tales by Terry Taylor, published by Lark Books (July 1, 2008).

There are some lovely projects in this book all based on collage and altered books techniques. There are some stunning examples – with the cover project being my favourite ‘the queen of tarts’. Using a chipboard mannequin form and various papers and muslin and decorative stencils. I also really enjoyed the ‘Field journal – birds of prey’ which utilises an old grid-ruled composition book, various ephemera and notepapers and images.

On the downside, the instructions that go with the projects are not particularly clear instead there is a working process which the artists used to create their books – in order to not give too much away? Also there are quite a few quite hideous projects included as well – but like anything – taste is relative! All over though I think there is much to appreciate and inspire in this book.

Bent, Bound And Stitched: Collage, Cards And Jewelry With A Twist by Giuseppina Cirincione, published by North Light Books (May 21, 2008).

A wonderful book, full of techniques and how-to’s for the collage and mixed media fans. The projects all centre around creating interesting cards and jewelry, using a variety of techniques such as stamping, sewing, wire work and stenciling etc and adding various layers of texture using ephemera, found objects, vintage buttons and cards, punching holes and lots more. All the techniques are explained very clearly with good photos of the process steps.

An example of the some of the projects include photo cards – using a reproduction of an old photo and making a mini wire coat hanger. The photo is stitched, glued and enhanced with various papers and trims, then attached to the mini wire hanger which is in turn attached to a back drop of vintage papers. There are bent wire jewelry and photo stands, a miniature photo frame using a copper sheet and a really neat pendant photo frame using an altered domino block.

There are many many great projects in this book – most of which involve wire twisting of some sort – this is the main techique that joins all these projects together – so if you are interested in getting your hands around some pliers and have a stash of vintage ephemera to use up – this is the book for you.


Transfer images to transparent tape for ATC, collage and altered art. Very nifty!