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Cut and Paste

How-To: Make a Collage With 10 Simple Tips

You’re sitting at home, and A) you don’t have to go to work, B) you don’t have school, C) your friends don’t want to speak to you or D) you’re relatively sick, in which hopefully the first two don’t apply, and unless your friends are really nice, the third doesn’t. Collages are a decent way to fill out time—after all, paper cutting and gluing are things are good distractions from your life (unless you like make collages for a living, in which case I am unbelievably jealous.) If collages don’t seem that great at the moment, Facebook stalking is always a healthy and normal option.

Part 1: Preliminary Steps and Prior Knowledge (no, this is not a seventh grade science lab.)

1. Collages can be spontaneous (you can make up things as you go along and just go with what you think works best), but if you’re planning your collage out and want a certain look or message, make sure you have all the paper and magazine cutouts you need. If you start cutting out and gluing only to find that the picture of Karlie Kloss in Vogue Nippon is nowhere to be found and it’s one of the main parts of your collage, you will be unhappy and have to replace with something less suitable. It’s better to find out what you don’t have before you start (unless you’re going with the flow) to avoid future irritation.

2. Even if you aren’t planning out your collage, make sure you have enough glue and scissors. They’re both necessary parts of collage making and if you don’t have them, you will get angry or sad or start having a mental breakdown, depending on how much collage making means to you.

3. If you don’t want to waste your magazine paper, then going online and printing out pictures from editorials or whatever you need is always a viable option. If money is an issue, using the existing magazines you might already have is probably the best way. I tend to use magazines because their paper is of a higher quality than printing paper but if you’ve seen an image and want it, the internet is always there.

4. Collages can be mood boards, where you have a certain aesthetic, idea, or inspiration (teenage witches, purple, food, anything really) or a message with words. Mood boards don’t tend to have words quite as much because they’re very image based. Still, it really doesn’t matter whether you adhere to the definition of a mood board or a collage if you know what you’re doing.

Part 2: Making the Collage

5. Make sure to clear the area of any drinks or food…if you really give a crap about the collage (or end up giving one) Starbucks latte stains will probably not be the best part of it (unless food stains are intentional).

6. If there’s anything you don’t like about the collage or that suddenly doesn’t make sense to the aesthetic you were trying to convey, don’t be afraid to cut something else out to put over it or even start over if time allows you to. It can be interesting to see what works and what doesn’t.

7. Sometimes music can be much inspiration in regards to collage making. In can help you become more excited and as a result, more interested in the art you’re created. If complete silence is more inspirational, then just ignore everything I said before this.

Part 3: The After Math

                8. Dry your collage in a safe space where it can’t get eaten or messed up, because if it does, you will probably become angry and pissed off. If your room mates or family members are the types who just love screwing with any sort of happiness you may have developed, keep it in a place where you know they won’t be able to find it.

9. If you really want to have your collage ready to show to others or just to hang up somewhere, using a hair dryer to dry the glue works well.

10. You can use that collage as inspiration to make a series of collages based on the aesthetic of the prior one. If the collage you just did was inspired by purple, do another one inspired by another secondary color. Collages can also be used as part of shrines to people (hopefully to celebrities and not your friends.)

All images via my tumblr, except the last which is a collage that inspired Girl Gang on Rookie by Tavi. First one=author unknown, the second is Tess, Olivia Bee, Flower and another unknown

I wish I could have put some of my own up here! I’ve sent a couple to Alicia, but I don’t have any of my own to put up. I just like the idea of collages and mood boards in general. They’re so fun to make and you can always be really creative!


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Another Rookie submission!

Please excuse my horrible use of semi colons, I wrote this a while ago before we covered them in English class.

Braces left me, Teasing never did.

I have a theory about seventh grade; if you enjoyed it, then you’re probably a crack addict living on an inner city street.

I knew seventh grade was going to be different; after all, I’d just left the safety of my small and tight knit elementary school to join a middle school three times larger. At first sight, it all felt very foreign and almost exciting. The teachers, the campus, the food (candy was allowed and we finally got curly fries!); but it was weird that after a month, what seemed so exciting would become troublesome. My new friends were not exempt from this.

I made friends with a large group of people, consisting of Katherine*, Julia*, Rachel*, Ella*, Millie*, Ingrid*, and Jacquelyn.* I only knew one person from our whole group of friends from school, and that was Katherine. She and I were still friends, but just not so close as we once were. I knew Julia from day camp, and I was happy to see her at school every day. I didn’t know anybody else.

It soon became clear that Ingrid was whom I was closest to at first. I met her and her sister on a bus ride back home. We made fun of an SUV that pulled into the parking lot with flame stickers on it and laughed at Youtube videos. I felt happy when I was with Ingrid and I suppose she felt the same about me. That is, until Jacquelyn came into the picture less than two weeks later.

Jacquelyn and Ingrid became tight quickly; I remember the first day they became friends outside of our Latin class, laughing and giggling about things I couldn’t make out, like they’d known each other forever. I sort of felt left in the dust, even though I’d only known Ingrid for two weeks, and soon enough, Jacquelyn began eating lunch with us at our little corner in front of the school library. Ella was still close with both of them too, but nothing could compare to the friendship that Jacquelyn and Ingrid had created; it was almost like they’d built a huge moat around their castle, and anyone who wanted to get in would have to face the soldiers guarding the entrance.

I’m not going to lie here; when I was 12, I had braces, wore Abercrombie shirts and sports bras, and carried a lunch box. I wasn’t a “cool” person, but then again, neither was anyone else. That didn’t stop Ingrid and Jacquelyn; soon after they become friends, I started to notice an eerily constant pattern that I couldn’t seem to shake off. Every time they were together, I felt like I was being attacked by verbal swords. They fed off of each other, and if one person sat with the 2 of them alone, they were non-existent as far as Jacquelyn and Ingrid were considered. It was like being single and you went to the movies with your two best friends who were dating; you felt like a third wheel. They joked together so that it was hard to keep up with what they were talking about and their insulting me was no different.

They’d comment on anything; first it was the way I ate, since I put mustard in my sandwiches and it would get on my fingers. Then it was the way I’d ask for other people’s food, giving me the name “moochie,” courtesy of Ingrid. After that it was because I ate too much junk after school, even though I tried hard to count my calories to stay thinner, giving me the name “pig.” They’d make fun of celebrities I liked and things I would say. My life was a buffet to them; anything they could get their hands on, they did. Ella would often embark on a harassment journey with Jacquelyn and Ingrid. Throughout the first semester of 7th grade, lunch times were more hellish than necessary.

It would have been great if I could have dropped everything and sat somewhere else; but the real question was, where would I even sit? I contemplated this idea often, and I always came back to the same answer, whether I was thinking about it in English class or at night when I was supposed to be asleep. I went to private school. With 80 kids in our entire grade, there weren’t other viable options. I didn’t know the other girls well, and I was sure that with my cussing and sarcasm, I wouldn’t be well liked. Sitting with people who kept insulting you was 20x better than sitting alone with your turkey sandwich, so I just had to brace myself and keep going.

I often wondered why the more passive girls, i.e., Rachel, Katherine, Millie, and Julia wouldn’t help me tell off Jacquelyn, Ingrid, and Ella. Considering their faces when Jacquelyn called me “moochie” or “pig,” I didn’t understand their not doing anything. I never fought for myself, solely because I couldn’t stand the idea of Jacquelyn and Ingrid kicking me out; they were 2, I was 1, and I certainly wasn’t going to risk being rejected in front of everyone else.

One day, while at our usual spot in front of the library, Ingrid and Jacquelyn were doing their usual teasing routine. I couldn’t remember what they said exactly, but I felt so helpless; I tried to fend them off with my usual sarcastic commentary and rolling of eyes, but I couldn’t do it. They kept coming back for more. I told everyone that I had some water in my eyes and immediately went to the bathroom to cry for a little while. I was a cliché, and I knew it, but that didn’t matter after a certain point. At the end of the five minute tear fest, I dried my eyes and came back. After this incident, I knew it was time to take some action.

A couple months later, Jacquelyn stopped being friends with Ingrid and went to join some new friends. Ingrid was completely crushed and would talk shit about Jacquelyn all the time. While I thought that Jacquelyn’s leaving would stop the insults, it didn’t; she was replaced by Ella, who filled the same teasing gap, and one day, I’d had enough.

“Stop it!” I told them, my voice rising. “I’m done with your bullshit! Everybody has their quirks, and you should learn how to respect mine!” I stalked off, feeling satisfied with my outburst. This had been going on for 7 months, and I wasn’t going to let it keep going.

“No, wait!” Ingird and Ella said, coming after me. They tried to tell me that it was okay, that they wouldn’t do it again. And they still continued to, but just not as much. I guess standing up for myself was all I could do; after all, it’s every human’s right to eat mustard without being harassed.

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Riot, Grrrl (part 1)

While I know that Riot Grrrl is obviously part of a huge movement (fashion included) I was just going to talk about how I felt about this article on Rookie today.

So if you read the article, you’ll realize that an eerie pattern start to occur–people as young as 11 and 12 start getting harassed on the street. People wearing big sweaters and tiny skirts. At night. In the day. In Rhode Island. In Saudi Arabia. It doesn’t matter where you are, who you are, or where you’re going because street harassment is a problem that is fucking everywhere. The amount of people on the staff and in the comments who’d gotten harassed is insane, but expected. Street harassment is easy to get away with–you do it, walk off, and you leave an angry person wanting to scream cuss words. From personal experience, I know that dealing with these things are hard and irritating because you really, really want to say something…but you just can’t find the words. Ten minutes later you think of the wittiest things to say, things that are funny, things that are vulgar, things that are the worst and simultaneously best statements that have ever crossed your mind–but they’re gone and it’s over and now you have the rest of the day or night to dwell on why you feel insecure and shitty.

I dislike the idea that “boys will be boys” because it digs us deeper into the problem. By justifying what boys do (i.e., harass girls and women everywhere,) we are not dealing with the problem and instead feeding deep gender binaries. It’s ludicrous. The fact that this happens to people so young is disgusting. The fact that women and people who aren’t cisgender heterosexual white men have to travel in fear everywhere is atrocious.

Instead of focusing on women and telling them to stop wearing skirts, we should focus on the people who start street harassment and tell them to go to therapy and stay the fuck out of everyone’s way.

Image via Riot Grrrls on tumblr.

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The following is an excerpt of something I may or may not submit to Rookie. In the comments, it would be SO helpful if you could tell me what I’m doing wrong so I can try to edit it for submissions. 

I’m not going to lie: Florence Welch is my queen. There is actually no other way to describe how I feel about her. She isn’t just “my favorite singer,” “my best friend who doesn’t know I exist”; she’s Florence Welch and because of this, I worship her and adore her to death. Marina can have her diamonds and Gaga can have her monsters, but Florence will always have me because family may come and go, friends may come and go, but as long as I’m alive, she’ll be here to stay. She doesn’t emulate your cool big sister or your best friend; she’s that weird aunt who listens to great music or that girl in the back of your physics class who writes poetry. I have no shame in my love for her.

Florence’s first album with her band, Florence and the Machine (don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten them), is called Lungs. The first time I listened to it, it was like hearing a new language. Her songs were mystical but not so much so that they were distant; I couldn’t relate to all of it because I was too young, but it didn’t matter. I’d listen to it every day of the summer and I remember dancing around to it in my room. I’d get up early just because I was excited to listen to it and I’d finish off every day hearing the sound of her voice. Ever new album I heard from every other artist that summer seemed inadequate and every song I heard on the radio was even worse. It still is that way, to an extent.

One of the first things that’s so great about Florence is her hair: it’s fiery red, and always had been. While other singers constantly change their color, she keeps it the same, which I find refreshing. Maybe I’m biased because I just love red hair, but I couldn’t see her with any other color, solely because she has such a great stage presence.

And that’s another thing: when you see images of Florence singing, she isn’t just standing there, mouth open, eyes dead—her eyes are closed, her arms are out, and she looks as though she’s in a trance. Her eyes are intense and she moves around in almost an unreal way. Her hands make intricate patterns in the air and it’s almost like she’s a witch casting spells, except that they’re in the form of song lyrics. Every time I see videos of performances of her, she’s always the one who catches my attention. Her voice isn’t airy and drafty like other people’s voices when they make pop music; it’s big and intense, and every time I hear it, it’s like I’m in the middle of an intoxicating rain storm with gospel songs.

Florence also has great style. She always talks about how much she loves Stevie Nicks and wants to dress like her. I don’t know about you, but anyone who wants to be like Stevie Nicks earns 10 cool points. She also performed in one of Chanel’s shows, as picked by Karl Lagerfeld. Her clothes are always long and flowing and as I mentioned before, with her hands making these weird shapes and her eyes closed and her hair this fiery red, she looks like a creature from another world, sort of like one of those girls Anne of Green Gables made up.

Florence’s next album (after Lungs) was Ceremonials, released in 2011. It’s probably one of the most surreal and intense things you’ll ever listen to . It’s very different from Lungs and it took some getting used to, but I could still hear Florence’s voice and I started listening to it as obsessively as her first album. It has so many tracks on it, but here’s one of my favorites:

I don’t know, guys. There’s something about her that’s just amazing–when I first knew she even existed, not that she was a singer, but that someone with these ideas and thoughts even EXISTED, I freaked out. It’s like she’s a little off, she’s here but she can transport herself into another world and it’s so beautiful to me that she’s willing to share that with all of us and not keep it to herself.

She talks often about how she was a child, sort of scared of fantastical things, like ghosts and vampires in this interview, which is one of my favorites of her (even though it’s really old):


Florence and the Machine VEVO, Stuff, idolator, 2206 Natalie, Carina4, darklordbunnykins.

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