Thursday, 19 February 2009

Look what I found today ...


Thinking of the post in which someone said 'use a find in a visual journal or collage' - or words to that effect - look what I found today! Some vintage chinoiserie-style wallpaper in, of all places, a gigantic woodpile at a local recycling site. We were collecting firewood emanating from building spoil; old houses that were being re-furbished. Amongst the joists and beams I spotted a bit of fluttering paper, colour amongst the drab planks. The colours glowed; what a collage find I thought, as I squirreled it away into the car. (Raymond was not amused!). As I pulled at the pile, more wallpaper was revealed. It peeled away easily and then I found a whole stash. It was not nearly as old as I thought, probably from a renovation of a renovation in the 50s or 60s, pasted onto hardboard panels and not paper at all but a sort of plasticised material.

Of course! Paper could not have survived the snow and wet of the last few weeks (the spoil from this particular building renovation was not there the last time we sourced firewood, three weeks ago. I peeled it all away and tore away a loose bit on our return home, washed it (fragile as it was, it did not fall apart) and set it to dry between the folds of a bath-towel.

The colours had brightened; it was in fact a little blatant, but I loved the panels of birds and the delicate sprays of flowers. I envisaged using parts of these panels in journals and collages, but first, I must trial the washed pieces. They look almost like paper, but clearly are not. First to check adhesive that will fix them to a substrate; then subdue the somewhat plastic finish with a) gel medium and b) white napkin tissue; perhaps c) with clear gesso. What will 'take'? This will be a case of real experiment - a page at the back of my new collage book. I will post the page as soon as the experiments and 'what if?' are complete.

And then 'use the find' - do not add it to the stash of other finds whose purpose I now cannot recall. What did I save this for ??? I find this so immeasurably sad, to look again upon a 'thing' still beautiful, but the occasion has past and I cannot remember the 'what' or the 'why'.

You can read the story of  the woodpile in my other blog: today's posting.

13 comments:

  1. Haven't been over here for a while Ann and I find a visual delight - will have to come back and spend some more time - meantime what a very lucky find! Look forward to seeing what you do with it!!

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  2. I love it!!! I'd have grabbed it too.
    Yes, your string suggestion did make sense and I'll be sure to give that one a try.

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  3. How gorgeous...and the way that you "saved" it is wonderful. I can't wait to see what you do with this terrific find.
    Peace & Love,
    ~Barb~

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  4. Isn't it like finding the pot of gold, you feel it was there for you to find, so exciting.
    I do not have the same feeling about what did I save this for? I often use it in a completely different way later on but don't feel sad about it, it was the "discovery" that was the best bit.

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  5. It's exciting to find a discarded item which you can breath new life into.
    This is such a decorative paper and will I'm sure, become treasured again.

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  6. I think its a grat find and can't wait to see what you do with it. I am also glad to learn about taking away the shine on papers using gel medium. I never thought of that.

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  7. My, my, my! What a great find. Whatever this "paper" is made from I am sure you will find a way to bring out its best. I love birds! And the blues and pinks are perfect. Also admire your experimental page. Keep at it. I'll be back to see what happens. - Jeanne

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  8. That'a great find!

    You could try brushing some Fine Pumice Gel made by Golden...I mentioned in one of my posts over at the amanobooks blog. That would enable you to write on top of it.

    or even maybe sanding it down with fine sandpaper- adding a little rough texture? hmmmm.

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  9. How pretty! I can't resist saving things like that.

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  10. These are wonderful finds! I hope you can use them somehow. I am anxious to see how you incorporate them into your journal. I know what you mean about stashing something away and then forgetting about it. Use it now!

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  11. HOW awesome is that...one just NEVER knows what treasures you will find --thanks for such a Joyful BLOG!

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  12. what a lovely piece of wallpaper and so wonderful to include in your journals... I do relate to your admonition to yourself to use it and not add it to the stash of things you wonder why you saved. Delorse

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  13. Been looking through and reading your posts and this was a great find for you. I am enjoying your blog. Thanks for visiting mine. I have been at a wedding so will be updating mine soon. At least we are getting rain now and hopefully the drought is over. Woohoo!

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