What did I decide to do?
I decided to have a 20th Wedding Anniversary Party. The theme for the party decorations was roses. We were married at a rose garden, specifically the Lady Norwood Rose Garden at the Wellington Botanic Gardens.
I wanted to have pictures of me and my husband over the years as part of the decorations. I wasn’t sure how these could tie it into the rose theme. Rachel suggested that we make a collage of photographs and overlay this with rose silhouettes made of card. The pictures would then be set amongst the roses.
Rachel agreed to make the silhouettes as it was really her idea and I can be a little clumsy.
What planning did we do?
Rachel and I talked about it over dinner one Tuesday evening when my husband was a choir practice.
Some time in the spring (Southern Hemisphere) we decided it was time to start working on the collage and planned a Sunday Brunch, followed by a trip to the art supply store and some some work.
What did we buy / use?
- The largest available sheet of mounting card, maybe 1.5m by 1.2m.
- A3 sheets of light card in black and gold (we only bought a few sheets of gold, I think we may have got up to 10 sheets of black which is why there was left over card for my author memorial postcard collages the following year.
- Drawing tools including a bendy ruler and
- Proedge Pro #1 Precision Duty Knife and Pro #2 Medium Duty Knife
- Double sided sticky tape
- A4 and postcard size photo paper
- Printer ink
- A3 cork message board (this was lying around the house)
- Rachel’s DVD of the ’90s UK crime thriller Messiah
What did I do?
I searched through all my photo albums, including my twentieth century hard copies looking for photos of me and my husband together . There weren’t that many so I broadened the search to photo wallets with pictures that had been rejected from the hard copy albums. I scanned everything I could find even the ones which I would normally not show to people. I made an album of the photos and edited them to black and white. On the day before Rachel and I went to buy the supplies for the project I printed them and laid them out on a coffee table.
There definitely weren’t enough photos of us as a couple over the 20 years to cover the size of card we had bought in this postcard size. The photos would have to be re-printed in A4.
In the interim, Rachel had begun to make test rose silhouettes, making paper templates and tracing them on the card before cutting them out. There are lots of images of silhouette roses on the internet, some were tattoos, Rachel used these as a guide drawing her own template freehand.
We put Rachel’s first test black rose over the black and white photos I’d printed out. It didn’t look how we’d imagined. The silhouette didn’t read clearly against the black and white and the photos didn’t pop (I didn’t take a picture of how this looked but trust me, it didn’t work).
So the photos had to be in colour. To give more variety, so that I could still use mostly postcard size photos I decided I would use photos of me and John separately rather than just us together as a couple.
Rachel also asked me to sort the photos by colour.
Rachel need several weekends to finish the silhouettes. I felt a bit useless as there wasn’t much I could do to help except cut out double sided tape to stick things together.
I decided to make a second collage with the black and white photographs I had already printed out. As the rose silhouettes hadn’t worked I decide to make paper roses instead, using some of the black and white photos.
There are lots of different templates available. I chose one with strip that you rolled up at the centre and outside petals as it suited the stiff photographic paper that I was using. I gave the flowers gold leaves to make them pop. I mounted the black and white collage onto an A3 cork board which I had lying around. This was a good solution for mounting the photo roses onto the collage as I could use pins to hold them out.