Monday, February 20, 2012


Last year I had the incredible opportunity to go on a writer's retreat for teachers sponsored by AROOM. The retreat was held at one of the most peaceful places I've ever been - Pendle Hill in Swarthmore, PA.   At the retreat center there was an art studio that I wish I could somehow replicate.  Imagine a large light filled room with huge windows overlooking a garden.  Shelving lined the walls floor to ceiling and each shelf was filled with papers, pens, and all sorts of wonderful embellishments to add to your work. A few friends and I snuck away for the day and had so much fun creating!  We made these wonderful layered books where layers of different torn papers were glued together and folded in upon each other.  Words or poems could be written on each 'page.'  Talk about connecting to your inner child it was playful and fun -  like kindergarten for moms! 
I was looking for new inspiration for my book this week but after a quick look online, came up with nothing.  This link is about layered fabric, and is very inspiring, but it's not quite the same.  I'll share a bit of my old layered book, so you can get the idea:

First, get yourself a hardbound book with blank pages inside.  There are all kinds available with cute covers and decorative patterns, but the plainer the better for me.

This is what I did last year.  Each piece of paper is attached on one edge, so that it can open like a book.  You can use two pages on either side and have double doors.  Then underneath the little flap, you can tear a shape or write a poem, or phrase. 

It all starts with scraps of paper, which you can find anywhere, even a fancy envelope that comes in the mail can inspire.  Or pretty wrapping paper.  Another great source of inspiration is children's books, like Ezra Jack Keats, The Snowy Day, or Eric Carle, who paints his own papers first, then begins to tear.  Imagine how much fun it would be to do with kids too.    But for me, this is going to be mommy-time.  All I need now is to find a little play time for mommy and some creative juice!  Almost as good as retreat.

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