Second Chance Folder

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One day recently, when my work space started closing in on me, I decided it was time to tidy up.  There were dozens of small pieces of torn maps, greeting cards, rice paper, and other bits from various projects.  I took a recycled folder from school that had “adverb packets” on the tab and started gluing on the scraps.  Before I knew it, my work space expanded and the folder took on a new look as well.

Working with mixed media collage on a recycled folder invited a sense of freedom.  Since it didn’t cost any money, like a canvas does, there was no pressure for it to turn out a certain way.  It didn’t need to be “good” in my eyes or anyone else’s.  Worst case scenario, I could toss the whole thing.  As luck would have it, that didn’t happen.

I let the folder sit around unfinished for a few weeks, adding a layer or two here and there.  I’d been experimenting with more sewing in my projects and had some small tabs left over. I started cutting the folder into tag sized pieces and dug up a few don’t worry doll photos.  Things came together and before I knew it, seven lively tags were lined up on my desk, all similar and each unique.  It’s the kind of surprise that art brings, and it’s why I keep showing up to make more of it.  It was a good lesson, too, in staying with something until it feels just right.  I’m glad I gave that old folder a second chance, and know it will eventually bring joy to friends in the form of handmade tags.