Arlene screenprinting at the workshop.  She's bringing print-sexy back.  :-D
Arlene screenprinting at the workshop. She’s bringing print-sexy back. 😀

Arlene is Resurrection Furniture‘s resident decoupage and collage queen.  She’s also 1/2 of the folks behind Artefact–the lovely vintage collage notebooks and postcards and stationery items (I snagged some of their freight tags with vintage fabric strips during one of the 10A Alabama Fairs).  Arlene has a distinct aesthetic that blends vintage and an inquiring perspective to composition and intention that makes her collages unique.  She’s also got a decoupage workshop session coming up this weekend!  Folks get to embellish a wooden key rack with their own collages!  Perfect for a personalized item for your home.  Wanna join the session this Saturday?  Details are on our workshop page.  Ready to go? Sign up here.

 

How long have you been crafting? What got you started?

I’ve been crafting since I was about 7 years old. An aunt of mine was into macrame in the 70’s. She would give me her scrap cords and I’d braid them into bookmarks.

What’s your favorite medium? Why?

I love working with paper because it’s so versatile.

 

Arlene's collages.
Arlene’s collages.

Tell us about your favorite projects.

Last year, I decoupaged and hand painted a vintage paminggalan for Resurrection Furniture. I really loved that piece and though I was happy that many people liked it, I was bit sad to see it go. My favorite projects at the moment are the small accessories that I decoupaged for Resurrection Furniture.

This piece was decoupaged for Resurrection Furniture.  So much you can do with with decoupaging home furniture and decor!
This piece was decoupaged for Resurrection Furniture. So much you can do with with decoupaging home furniture and decor!

What’s the one crafting skill you’ve always wanted to master/learn?

Letterpress printing (is that a craft?) Sometimes, it’s an art.  Hehe.

What are you currently working on?

I’m basically a collage artist so I’m currently working on a collage with lots of eyes.

A decoupaged mirror.

What’s your dream project? What have you done to make it happen so far?

My dream project is to decoupage the switch plates in my house.

Aside from crafting what else do you do?

Aside from crafting, I also make collages and try to design small pieces of furniture and home accessories. I also love to read.

Details of one of Arlene's collages.
Details of one of Arlene’s collages.

How does creativity influence the other areas in your life?

I’m not sure if this is good or not, but I try not to settle, well, most of the time at least, for anything less than unique, original and with character.

Any advice for other aspiring crafters?

Educate yourselves (by reading, looking at art,etc) and allow yourself to be inspired by good design. Learn a new craft even if you don’t think you’ll ever seriously go into it.

What do you to beat a ‘creative block’?

I go to a museum, look at great and even crappy art to inspire me. But sometimes, it really helps to do something totally unrelated to crafting/creating to get one back on track.

A little decoupage brings a second life to old furniture.
A little decoupage brings a second life to old furniture.

Give us 3 crafting essentials you must have in your toolbox at all times.

Especially if you’re working with paper, you’d need a utility knife, a glue stick and a cutting mat.

Why should people get their hands busy (and start crafting)?

I think everyone has a creative gene and crafting helps unleash it. So go ahead and join one of Craft MNL’s workshops hehe. Making something with your hands is both relaxing and stimulating. Once you start making something, another bright idea pops into your head and so it’s a creative cycle.

Where can we find your work?

You can find my work at Resurrection Furniture at 10A Alabama, at arlenebarbaza.com and at Artefact Handmade.