If you follow me on social media, you've likely seen me posting way too many photos of tiny paper garlands that I have been completely obsessed with making!
I cannot describe how much joy the process of creating these garlands is bringing me. The process is completely intoxicating: I dig through my generous paper stash (remembering all of the past paintings I've made with all of the beautiful papers or what store I bought them at, or who gifted them to me), and I make a big stack of bright papers and old paintings on paper. Once I have all these papers stacked on my work table, I put on a great playlist or podcast and get to work, punching out circles of different sizes, sorting them into boxes as I go. My kids will wander in and punch some circles out with me, commenting on whatever papers catch their eye.
Once I have a great big stack of circles made from Chiyogami (Japanese paper), sheet music, maps, old envelopes, cards, cardstock and pieces of old paintings I've let go of, I lay them out and decide what order to place them in, trying to create as eclectically as possible. Glueing them together on some type of beautiful or rustic string, I watch them get longer and longer.
I spent hours last weekend making these garlands, when my family graciously gave me most of the weekend to play in my studio. And I really reflected on what it was about the process that made me giddy with excitement. First off it was randomly finding the idea in a book I had out from the library and getting to act on the whim of wanting to make them right away before the shiny newness wore off. Secondly, it was the sheer frivolity of it, I wasn't painting for a particular show, working on my business or marketing, the act of creating for the sake of creating was so therapeutic.
My kids really caught on to my enthusiasm and each requested one for their rooms. I can think of a few people I want to gift them to, and I will be offering them for sale (so we don't drown in tiny dots as I keep punching my way through my paper stash). I also have a workshop for art and garland making currently brewing (stay tuned for that).
It is such a beautiful way to honour the bits and pieces of beautiful paper I have squirrelled away and a way to bring a little more brightly coloured joy to whatever space they are hung in.
Let me know if you'd like a garland or would love to make one of your very own.