Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Where will you be for Día de los Muertos?

Day of the Dead or “Día de los Muertos” is a holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico during the chilly days of November 1st  & 2nd. Even though this coincides with the Catholic holiday called All Soul’s & All Saint’s Day, the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones.

They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.

Angela from Mexican Sugar Skull.com says it best 
“It is a wonderful way to celebrate the memories of our loved ones who are now gone… through art, cooking, music, building ofrendas, doing activities with our children, we can recount family stories, fun times and lessons learned… not how the person died, but how they lived.”

There is nothing as beautiful and unusual as a sugar skull!

While there are many traditions that are practiced during Day of The Dead, one of our most favorites is the art of making sugar skulls!

Sugar skulls date back to the Colonial period in Mexico where they represented a departed soul. Skulls were personalized with names written in icing by the market salesperson. Skulls adorn home altars and cemetery tombs and are a festive icon of the holiday! Boiled sugar that is molded in clay skull molds are the norm but the few that decorate in fine detail take center stage. Sugar skulls are to be kept as folk art - not to be eaten.

Sugar skull making is a tradition that passed on from generation to generation. These boiled sugar confections are considered true folk art, made by artisans in fewer and fewer places each year. 

If kept dry, they look beautiful for years!

We here at collage want to do what we can to keep this amazing tradition going! 

So, right here in our supply shops you will be able to purchase sugar skull molds to create your own celebrations!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

It's collage's FAVORITE time of year! but WATCH OUT for Stingy Jack!!

We at collage just LOVE Halloween! 
Every year we work hard to gather and curate creepy items to give our customers a truly unique and spooky shopping experience!
Scroll down for some pictures of some of 
our new arrivals and 
historical info about how Halloween began... 

Check out some of our most favorite offerings to the spirits as they crossover! 
These items and more are available now in all three of our supply shops, and stock varies by location!! 
Stop in and make sure you are prepared for when those irritated ghosts come knocking!! 

Halloween History
The Celts thought that at the end of the Summer the layer between their world and the spirit world was thinnest otherwise known as “Samhain”. 
It was believed that at during this time spirits and unworldly creatures could break through and wander the Earth.
Dance of Death courtesy of  author and researcher Author and Researcher Jon Kaneko-James
Folklorist John Santino explained that “Halloween gave people a safe way to play with the concept of death, engage in supernatural activities, and dress up in ways that were not socially acceptable the rest of the year.”

Did you know that the practice of carving a Jack-O-Lantern began with turnips instead of pumpkins? The story that was passed down was about a man name Stingy Jack who repeatedly trapped the Devil and only let him go on the condition that Jack would never go to Hell. When he died, however, Jack learned that Heaven didn’t really want his soul either, so he was condemned to Earth as a ghost for all eternity. He carved a turnip and put a lump of burning coal inside to light his way as he wandered the Earth in a very bad mood!
Image copyright granted by Timothy Zulewski http://www.cricketbow.com
Then eventually, locals began carving frightening faces into their own gourds to scare off evil spirits.

The idea of wearing costumes was due to the fact that since Stingy Jack and all these other unfriendly spirits were walking around, the Celts got creative and began wearing costumes to “blend in” and avoid being terrorized!
Bats are believed to have become associated with Halloween because during Samhain, large bonfires were ignited, which attracted bugs and in turn bats!
Black cats got a bad rap that actually dates all the way back to the Middle Ages, when these sweet felines were considered a symbol of the Devil. It made it even harder to shake off that reputation when centuries later, accused witches were often found to have cats and more frequently black ones as companions. So, people started thinking these cats assisted the witches with their dark magic and since then the two have been associated ever since!  

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pen Obsessed? You are not alone!

Even in today’s world of smartphones and tablets people still hold their favorite pens close to their hearts 

Why are people in love (obsessed) with one type of pen over another? Let’s take a closer look!

We should start with the types of pens out there today. Modern types of pens can be categorized by the kind of writing tip or point on the pen here are some examples!

A ballpoint pen 
dispenses an oil-based ink by rolling a small hard sphere
A rollerball pen 
dispenses a water-based liquid or gel ink through a ball tip similar to that of a ballpoint pen.
A fountain pen 
uses water-based liquid ink delivered through a nib. The ink flows from a reservoir through a "feed" to the nib, then through the nib, due to capillary action and gravity.

A Marker pen or felt-tip pen
has a porous tip of fibrous material.
A gel pen 
uses ink in which pigment is suspended in a water-based gel.[19] Because the ink is thick and opaque, it shows up more clearly on dark or slick surfaces than the typical inks used in ballpoint or felt tip pens. 

But people’s obsession with pens goes way beyond the type of pen! There are tons of bloggers typing furiously about their love of pens happily reviewing and researching any new pen or feature! 

There is even a podcast called “Penaddict”!  Whose tagline “There are worse addictions right?” we agree with.

One thing we know for certain here at collage is that choosing the right pen is Personal!

collage is known for carefully researching and curating the pens we choose to carry. 
We test, discuss and have our staff give us reviews before we even put a pen on the shelf!

One of our current “WOW!” are these Pentel micro-felt tipped brush pens! They come in a brilliant variety of incredible hues of water soluble ink.

Blogger, Tina Koyama from “The Well Appointed Desk” says,
Remove the cap, however, and the “ultra-fine” part becomes obvious. If you were tasked with the proverbial job of painting the eyelashes of angels, this pen would get the job done. It has the finest brush tip of any brush pen I’ve used.”

If that doesn’t have you excited then double ended Mildliners will! 
These are Bullet Journaling enthusiasts "go-to' pen! 

We have ALL the NEW mildliner colors,in BOTH Styles,
AND we sell them individually and in sets!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Bullet Journal Method: Recording the Past, Organizing the Present and Designing the Future!

Photo courtesy of Zebra Pen

By now, most of you fabulous creatives are either using, or have heard of a Bullet Journal, but did you know that there is a whole methodology behind using a Bullet Journal?

The Bullet Journal System or “BuJo” for short, was created by Ryder Carroll. Ryder was diagnosed with learning disabilities early in life and grew up struggling to stay focused and productive. 

Though his many years of trying different methods and tools to overcome his challenges, it was out of necessity that he developed an alternative way to stay organized. However, he found that his method moved well beyond just a simple planner. Today, Ryder focuses his efforts on helping people learn the method of “Bullet Journaling” and free them from years of struggle.

Ryder explains, "When I was young, I was diagnosed with ADD and there weren't a lot of tools or resources available, so I had to design my own," he explains. "Rather than keep notes like other people, I figured out how to organize and sort information the way that my mind works."

If you search the web for Bullet Journal Method you will find yourself simply overwhelmed with the results! There are so many ways of using the method you might just throw your hands up and say "Forget it!". 

Here is what we would like to tell you. There is no right way or wrong way to do it! It can be neat or messy, minimal or full of pages and pages of graphic spreads. Ryder himself explains the process:

Feel a little overwhelmed? That's OKAY! Allow me to get a little personal. My name is Mary, and not only am I happily employed by your favorite art and craft supply store collage, I myself struggled for years until I was diagnosed as an adult with acute ADD. Even though I was able to understand why my brain works the way it does, I still struggled staying organized and productive. Traditional planners always seemed restrictive and I in turn I always gave up.

Until I stumbled upon Jessica and her fantastic Youtube channel " How to ADHD" and her video on starting a Bullet Journal. Jessica breaks it down for us and has literally changed my life! I highly recommend a Bullet Journal if you or someone you know (both young and old) is challenged by ADHD.

Check it out! 

Ready to try it out? 

collage carries not only the original book " The Bullet Journal Method" by Ryder Carroll

 but also serval blank bullet journals and everything else you might need or want to start your Bullet Journal journey!  

Take a tip from Carroll: "Bullet journaling is always about function over form, right? And to be very clear about that, form can mean sloppy or beautiful. It doesn't matter what your bullet journal looks like. It's about how it makes you feel, and how effective it is in moving you towards the things that matter to you."

Saturday, August 10, 2019


First things first! What is Marbling? Marbling is the art of creating colorful patterns by sprinkling and brushing color pigments on a pan of oily water and then transforming this pattern to paper. This ancient art has come a long way and moved beyond pulp. 

Leslie Camhi wrote in her New York Times article titled “The Ancient Art of Marble Painting Gets a 21st-Century Update
“The origins of marbling, The ancient technique of creating bewitching, swirling patterns of pigment on water and capturing them on paper , remains shrouded in mystery. Japanese aristocrats practiced a related, largely monochromatic technique, called suminagashi (“floating ink”), to enhance calligraphy and haiku, as far back as the 12th century. But it wasn’t until about 1600 that European travelers returned from Turkey and Persia with examples of the marbling we know today: wildly colorful papers that sparked a craze for embellishment among bookbinders, cabinetmakers, stationers and others that lasted well into the 19th century.”


It's that time of the year again! The Alberta Street Fair is upon us and we want you to get to know the fun art of MARBLING! You will be using our favorite supplies from Jacquard to make your own bandana! 

Right under collage's rainbow tent you can purchase and white bandana and marble your way to MADNESS! 
collage on Alberta
1639 NE Alberta St.
Portland, Oregon