Today I’m featuring the wonderfully talented Peggy Jaeger talking about her hobby Decoupage.
Using my creativity in a different way…
As a writer, I tell stories with words. Descriptive words, words that evoke emotion, and thought provoking words. Words are the essence of good storytelling.
But there are ways to tell a story other than just using words. Music, for instance, tells a story; art tells a story; any visual medium should tell a story.
I chose to tell certain stories through a process known as decoupage. Almost everyone knows what decoupage is. Most of us, at one time or another had to decoupage something for an art class project. At it’s purest, it’s the art or craft of decorating objects with paper cut-outs.
But what you might not know is what decoupage can represent.
I started to decoupage quite by accident. My daughter was renting a house where the previous tenants had left several objects behind, forgotten and not wanted. One of those objects was an old travel trunk. Leathered, weathered and in sad disrepair, the trunk was functional, just horrendous looking. My daughter needed extra storage for her plethora of things so I told her I might know of a way to cleanup the trunk and make it not only usable, but pretty, too.
She told me to have at it.
Since the trunk would be for her, I wanted it to be personal to her, so I decided to tell the story of her life. I used individual photographs of my daughter, friends and family, in addition to magazine photographs that followed a young girl theme. For a month I went through every magazine I had in the house and ripped out pictures and phrases that appealed to me. I also searched old family photo albums and made copies of pictures I loved. Then I set about gluing them to the trunk in a haphazard pattern of beautiful chaos. The final step was polyurethaning the entire trunk to make sure the pictures stayed in place (despite the glue) and to give the entire project a shiny, new finish. This is how it turned out:
Not too bad.
There are dozens of pictures of my daughter while she was growing up, some of her friends and family, and a variety of magazine photos all mixed together. She now uses the trunk as a showpiece in her room and to store blankets and such.
My next project I inherited. My in-laws were down sizing their house and they had an old cedar chest in excellent condition they didn’t want anymore. This is what it looked like when I brought it home:
You can see, it’s plain white, but the inside is a gorgeous cedar wood – fresh smelling even after 40 years – and I knew it would be perfect in my guest bedroom.
With this project, I opted for a different theme than with my daughter’s. This project was going to depict strong, successful, sexy women from the 20th and 21st centuries, along with self-actualization and motivational phrases. Since I’d just retired from my job to devote myself to writing full time, I wanted this trunk to showcase independent and productive women. Women who were and are trailblazers. Women who strive for and achieve excellence in all walks of life.
It was a little more difficult to gather the materials I wanted for this project. It took me about three months of research. At the same time my first romance novel was being released, with the second coming out 2 months later, so I printed copies of the covers and added them to the plethora of pictures I’d found.
Here us the result of my labor of love:
In this photo you can see ElizabethTaylor and Marilyn Monroe, two 20th century icons and personal favorites of mine.
You’ll notice to the right of the Judy Garland OZ picture is a little pix that has THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME on it – my second book released May 6. My favorite movie is the Wizard of Oz, so I try to incorporate something from the book in every novel I write. You can also see another style icon, Grace Kelly, draped across a couch.
And here’s the top of the cedar chest.
The story I told with the trunk is one I am proud of, because I was able to include myself in the overall theme of strong and successful women.
The tagline for my website, PeggyJaeger.com is Writing is my Oxygen, and this is true. I look at my need to write as I do to my need of breathing: I couldn’t live without either of them. But I do have other outlets for my creativity, as do many writers. Decoupage is just another way for me to tell a story from my heart. The pictures are my words.
You can decoupage almost anything. The materials needed aren’t expensive, nor are they hard to find. Any craft store will have the best glue, called MOD PODGE to use. You’ll need some foam paint brushes, the pictures or photos you want to use, and a clean area. One recommendation with the paper products is to find pieces that have a little heft to them. Think card stock weight paper instead of something like loose leaf paper. The glue will tend to ripple and crease thinner papers. When I have photographs, I also make copies of them using heavy weight copy paper.
For beginners, there are a plethora of website and you-tube videos to get you started. Here are a few:
Story telling is what I love to do more than anything else in life. Whether I tell that story with words, pictures, sights or sounds, it’s all good. To me, a creative mind is a happy mind, and having more than just one creative outlet is a gift.
Thanks Peggy for sharing your hobby with us. Please tell us about your new book There’s No Place Like Home.
Symphony pianist Moira Cleary comes home after four years of touring, exhausted, sick, and spiritually broken. Emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of someone she trusted has left her gaunt, anxious, and at a crossroads both professionally and personally.
Moira’s best friend, veterinarian Quentin Stapleton, wants nothing more than to help Moira get well. Can his natural healing skills make it possible for her to open her heart again? And can he convince her she’s meant to stay home now with the family that loves her – and with him – forever?
“Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”
Confused, Moira nodded.
Quentin rubbed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. “When the Reverend told Cole ‘you can kiss your bride,’ and he swooped her off the ground, spun her around and kissed her silly? Remember what you said?”
“I think I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen.”
He nodded. “The exact quote was, ‘I hope someone kisses me like that some day.’”
Her grin was quick at the memory. “Pat snorted and said I’d better be satisfied with licks from the horses and Rob Roy because no guy was ever gonna kiss me.”
“He wasn’t known for tact back then.” He rubbed a hand down her back as he held her. “Remember what happened later on behind the barn?”
Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire. When she nodded again, he said, “You wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed like that and since I was your best friend, you thought I should be the one to do it, because you – quote – felt safe with me – unquote.”
“What was I? Eleven?”
“Thirteen. And I was more than willing. Almost broke my heart in two when you said afterward, ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about.’”
“Hush.” He kissed her forehead. “Ever since that day, all I’ve wanted is a second chance. Now,” he pulled her body closer, wrapped both arms around her small waist, his hands resting just above the dent in her spine. “We’re both a little older, a little more mature. Some of us are much more experienced—”
“Experienced,” he said, the laugh in his voice quiet and seductive, “and things can be so much better.”
Peggy Jaeger’s love of writing began in the third grade when she won her first writing contest with a short story titled THE CLOWN. After that, there was no stopping her. Throughout college and after she became a Registered Nurse, she had several Nursing Journal articles published, in addition to many mystery short stories in Literary Magazines. When her daughter was born, Peggy had an article titled THE VOICES OF ANGELS published and reprinted in several parenting magazines, detailing the birth and the accident that almost turned this wonderful event into a tragedy. She had two children’s books published in 1995 titled THE KINDNESS TALES and EMILY AND THE EASTER EGGS, which were illustrated by her artist mother-in-law. While her daughter grew, Peggy would write age appropriate stories for her to read along with, and finally, to read on her own. Her YA stories are mysteries involving smart and funny 12-13 year old girls and an unusual collection of friends and relatives. They all take place in the 1980’s.
She has a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration and had several articles published on Alzheimer’s Disease when she ran an Alzheimer’s In Patient care unit during the 1990’s
In 2005 she was thrilled to have an article on motherhood placed in the CHICKEN SOUP FOR EVERY MOTHER’S SOUL edition. She has won several awards in various Writer’s Digest short story and personal article categories over the years. Recently, she has placed first in the Dixie Kane 2013 Memorial Contest in the Short/Long Contemporary romance Category, and in the Single Title Contemporary Category, and third place in the ICO Romance Contest for 2013, and in 2014 she was a finalist in the Put Your heart in a Book contest.
A life-long and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
Peggy has embraced the techno age and writes for three blogs, all detailing events in her life. One titled, 50 pounds for 50 years is a personal blog about weight loss, one about her life as an EMPTY NESTER and her most recent one MOMENTS FROM MENOPAUSE, a humorous and informative guide through this time in a woman’s life.
She also has her own website http://peggyjaeger.com where she writes about everyday life and how it relates to writing. Twitter is her current obsession, but she is never far from her Facebook pages.
In 2015 she will have her first three contemporary romance novels published by The Wild Rose Press: Skater’s Waltz, book 1 in the MaQuire Women Series, and There’s No Place Like Home, book 2. Book 3 is titled First Impression. Three more are in the works for this series, in addition to her Cooking with Kandy series.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
Buy Links for THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1GmM1Je
Barnes and Noble Nook : http://bit.ly/1JjMUG7