My parents taught us a very valuable lesson at an early age. Since money was not abundant and we did not own a bunch of stuff, we learned to take good care of our possessions, repair them if need be, and eventually repurpose them or give them away.
However, ingenuity, creativity and skills were abundant. For instance, my mother used scrap fabrics for quilts, and darned or repurposed old pieces of clothing. My father was ahead of his time with composting and collecting rainwater for the gardens. Food was abundant too and what we could not produce ourselves we could buy from farmers surrounding us. A lot of preserves, jams, jellys and much more were home made at the end of every summer and the whole family participated.
I don’t do as much as my parents did but I now choose to live a simplified life and buy only the essential. I don’t buy as much as I used to, preferring for better quality in lieu of quantity. But I still manage to buy too much, but at least I give away what I don’t use or don’t really need. Still learning.
No waste – I was reminded of this very valuable lesson from an art teacher who specializes in collages and who mostly worked with washi paper. She never threw away any scrap fiber or paper, as little as it could be, and made the most delicate and unique artworks.
In this spirit, I intend to pursue this practice as it allows me to experiment and discover something totally unexpected. Every piece of paper can become part of an artwork that you are not able to imagine until that moment.
These 4 abstract collages were made with scrap construction paper