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It was a small but enthusiastic group that gathered in hopes of getting rid of some of our stash paper by using tiny bits brilliantly. We’ve all got it, but what to do with it? Brenda Broadbent, founder and creative force behind Paper and Ink Arts, suggested making cards and jewelry. Brenda admitted it was a sneaky way to teach layout, and had us take a test to determine our shape preferences. Based on Angeles Arrion’s book, Signs of Life, we interpreted the meaning of our attractions to various shapes: square, circle, triangle, spiral and “plus sign.” We then made thumbnail sketches, using combinations of those simple shapes, and a variety of layouts. Next, we were instructed to add a line to each of our sketches, straight or not. Finally, we cut or punched those shapes out of scrap paper and affixed them to cards, using ribbon or threads as the linear material.

Brenda generously provided colored cardstock, envelopes, punches, ribbons, metallic threads, scrap paper, gold paint, and lots of encouragement. She had many calligraphic tools, papers, handmade books, and items for sale at discount prices, as well as some lovely pottery pieces made by her daughter, Jane Broadbent.

There was a colorful display of pins Brenda assembles while watching TV. She punches her favorite shapes, including an asymmetrical heart, out of her scrap stash, and organizes them according to color. Two or three shapes that coordinate color-wise are chosen to be mounted on a two-inch square of black mat board. Ribbon or cording is used to wrap and accent the piece, which is embellished with beads and/or a vintage nib. Glue on a pin-back, and you’ve got a wearable mini-collage. Given all the necessary materials, we got the chance to try our hand at mimicking Brenda’s jewelry.

It was a stress-free play day, and each attendee offered a single word to sum up our time together: challenging, creative, fun, inspiring, joyful, motivating, stimulating, and perhaps most importantly, productive! We were all able to reduce our stash a little bit. Brilliant!

By Patt Miller

February 20, 2016

Photos to come