Creating a series of collages

Daily practice, 365 spontaneous compositions! This daily practice is easiest to maintain if you have a dedicated space, or at least a dedicated box with easy access. The reason for this is then there will be NO EXCUSES!


15 minutes maximum, and if you find yourself being too literal or anal then shorten the time


This is a personal practice and you will, with experience find rules or guidelines that work best for you, and then vary them for greater experience

Workstation with a variety of book formats

  • Jette Clover uses a pack of A6/postcard in size
  • Barbara Mortenson used library cards, because she was a librarian
  • Leslie Morgan changes when she is comfortable with the proportions of that size to experience another layout format 
  • Alice Fox at the moment is using recycled envelopes because the patterns you get on the inside of many envelopes


Square, rectangles, landscape, portrait, long and thin, triangles? Choose one format for a set period of time... I use a book format and stop when the book is done and choose a new one

Tools and Materials

Standard tools will include; glue, double sided tape, stapler, blotting cloth and a cutting mat, scissors and Craft knife.

Special tools

Every new session change your tools and materials to vary your rhythms. Available on your workstation should be only two extra tools. Week one start with any of your favourite fabric tools, think… 

Pick a tool... any tool

Pick a tool... any tool

  • Sponges, brushes, distressed brushes, tooth brushes, a twig, tippex!
  • Craft knife, ruler, needle and thread
  • Hand cut stamps, rubbing textures,
  • Cotton reels, mono-printing plate, 
  • Pens of various sizes and thicknesses, crayons


Week one also pile of random bits, which can be from a choice of… Fabric, threads, laces, envelopes, stamps, packaging, newspaper, old magazines, pages from books, photographs, tea bags, old posters, tissue paper, buttons, raffia, cords, thread, masking tape etc Think laterally and follow your curiosity

Action and Change

Daily Practice

  • Make a series of six cards, one each day, 
  • Do not look at it again until the 7th day
  • Date it on the back and or write an affirmation or a title! Do not stop to think or plan, take no more than 10-15 minutes each day
  • MAKE MISTAKES!, be spontaneous, be curious and find surprises! 
  • Do not relate them to your work… you will find the new to add to your voice, or compositional choices

Day 7 – Options

  • Look at the six cards and review them, and decide which one appeals most. Why? Use the design on that card to make a more considered one and allow more time… this could also be larger.
  • After 7 – 14 days of daily collage Clear away the pile of random materials to give yourself a fresh start and clear up the chaos and change out the tools
  • Make 4 sets of cards, per month making new rules each week
  •  On the 7th day you could mark make “backgrounds” for the following week.
  • You could decide to make one more thing on each card, the same thing or something individually responding to each composition. Sarah Welsby did one book with a raffle ticket on each page!

If you are excited send me in your daily active’s so I can share them!

These are my books to share with you!

My First Book

I am a story teller through my work, so the break though for me in studying with Dorothy Caldwell was to have a format that told a story so... a book and this one for me needed to be read like it was a story unfolding ( every pun intended!) as you "read" through it. It used my past images and content, and surprised me with new ways of telling the story.

I studied with Dorothy at the Masseria de la Zingara in Puglia Italy... amazing practice changing experience and I cannot recommended her course Human Marks more. Studying at the Masseria is also an amazing experience.

My Second Book

This book was the start of my daily practice books. A number of my students went on the course with Jetta Clover  There thought provoking discussion on how each person took different thing from the course, and gave me a certain amount of "retreat envy" So I started my second book by revisiting my past and collaging ideas. Jean Draper once said... 

If you draw the way you stitch and stitch the way you draw it will be easier to make the transition from sketchbook to fabric.
— Jean Draper

so... as a quilt maker using piecing and appliqué collage was an important tool in the beginning for me.