Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Yesterday History" - Collage for my Mom's 80th Birthday

I finished my Mom's collage in time for her birthday party last Saturday. This is the final version after working on it for a few weeks or so. I used a flat 14" x 18" canvas panel, torn scrapbook paper, small scraps of material, lace, beaded trim and acrylic paints of her favorite color: blue and contrasted with browns and tans of her old photographs.

I titled it "Yesterday History" and wrote the poem of the same title because it's about mom, as a child and about her family of her childhood - "her beginning."

The top left corner has pictures of her Dad, Mom, and sister surrounded by the "fanning light" because they are no longer here with her, they're "unbound souls, safely home." Their picture is sewn between scraps of material and lace with beaded trim (from my poem: their "threaded voices" all around her can still be heard in her memories/heart). The picture of her mom and her have a paper flower and antique flower button above them (from my poem: "flower faces" still kiss her in her memories/heart). I placed a paper anchor near my poem to represent several things: her family going through & surviving storms, her promise & hope of seeing them and being with them again someday -- all secure, fixed memories hold her.

In the other three-fourths of the collage, I stamped a clock representing "time" and that she is still here in this life of time, space, and matter. I put the picture of her brother (who is 91 years old this month and still alive here with her) and her down at the bottom in this area. I included some of her favorite things in this part too: Petunias, flowers/seeds, crochet pattern, her favorite Psalm from the Bible, one of her favorite hymns Amazing Grace, and her favorite brownie recipe card.

The little "My Beginning" house shaped book is from one of her photographs of the side door/porch of the house she lived in as a child. It was just the right shape of a house so it worked for the pattern and background for her house shaped book. I enlarged the photograph and printed out 14 to 20 or so, cut them to shape a house, then glued on different photos from the collage.

I stood her collage on a small eisel and placed it on the table by her cake, balloons and other presents. It's larger than my scanner so I don't have any scans of it on my computer. These are photographs Daisy took with her camera. I'm using these until mom can bring her collage back over to me so I can scan it to my computer in portions.

Mom loves to talk about her family and childhood, the difficult and joyful times so I wanted it to remind her of that time being together with them. I also wanted it to remind her that they are always with her in her memories and heart AND that she has the promise and comfort of knowing someday they will all be together again. My mom has been through a lot in her life and I love her so much. I hope this portrays to her just how beautiful and wonderful a person she is, how dear her family is to her, and how loved and dear she is to me.

My oldest daughter, Daisy, took some photos and my brother took lots of photos but we don't have any of his yet. Orangeblossom's (my youngest daughter) cake she made for Grandma:


  1. Oh! What a lovely gift!! It touches my heart just to see how much detail you put to it, and so I imagine that your mom was just overwhelmed with joy to see it and soak it all up. It seems like it was a beautiful time together. Congratulations, but more than anything, praise the Lord for HIS faithfulness!!! "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." Blessings to you and your family!!!

  2. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and especially for your kind words about my collage. It's so nice to "meet" you.

    Yes, God has been so faithful in His presence with my family and in His promises to my family in spite of our unfaithfulness and weakness. He is merciful and continually upholding us.

    Thank you again!

  3. It's beautiful! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. Hi Deb, I"m new to the Christian paper artists group and that's how I found you. What a marvelous dedication to your mother's life. I'm sure she was touched and gratified by your expression of love. I'm following you now. Would love it if you followed on my blog too. We are missionaries in Ukraine, but we are from Oklahoma. Blessings, Coleen

  5. Linda,

    Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by.

  6. Coleen,

    I'm sorry I missed your new membership to the CPA group. The past year or so has been rough so I haven't had as much time for art and the group. Welcome to the CPA group!

    Thank you for visiting my blog and for your thoughts about my mom's collage. It's nice to meet you and I look forward to getting to know you and seeing your art. I will check out your blog and exchange the "follow".


  7. The collage you made for your mother is breath-taking!!
    I'd love to do something like this for my Mom! She's into family history and genealogy, I should get some of the old pics she's dug up and make her something! Thanks for the inspiration, now to find time to get it done!
    Hugs, Ashlyn

  8. Hi Ashlyn,

    Thank you for stopping by and also for your kind words. It's nice to meet you. I hope to get back into participating more at the Christian Paper Artists group and get to know you better. :-)


  9. Great work! I especially like the little house book! Patsy from

  10. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice note, it led me to your blog.
    It's so nice to "meet" you and I'm looking forward to getting to know you!

    The collage you made for your mom is fantastic. Love your color choices!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Thank you also for following!

    Cheers, Gaby

  11. DeeJae, Thanks so much for dropping by my blog, so great to connect with such talented artists. I absolutely love this piece for your mother's bday. Such detail, great colors, and so meaningful too. Keep up the wonderful creations!

  12. Hi Deb, stopping by from CPA. Following here now too. Would love it if you followed on my blog as well. We are missionaries in Ukraine. This was such a great way to "honor your mother" and it gives me ideas about my dad who is soon to be 88.
    God bless, Coleen

  13. Patsy, Gaby, and Sunny Sky

    Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. It's good to meet new artists and I love viewing all your wonderful art as well. It inspires me to keep at it even though I don't have as much time right now.

    Coleen, I think we met earlier in July here at this post and we're following each other already. I appreciate it. Thanks so much for stopping by again! :-)



Thank you for visiting my blog. Your thoughts are really appreciated and do make my day! :-)

"I had always felt life first as a story and if there is a story there is a storyteller."
~G. K. Chesterton~

"The heart, like the mind, has a memory. And in it are kept the most precious keepsakes."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~