A random memory last week took me back to the early 1970s and my mother’s obsession with decoupage.
Most notably, she found a poem about decoupage and glued it to a plaque that hung in our kitchen. There wasn’t an author listed, to my memory, but the little ditty went like this: “The sink is full of dishes and the beds are yet unmade. Forgotten are the wishes of my family, I’m afraid. But at my workbench I am busy and happy as a king. For I am decoupaging, and I have to do my thing.” And do her thing she did.
I swear that part of what is wrong with me today can be attributed to my nearly constant exposure to Mod Podge in my formative years. As it was a major component of the decoupage fad, my mom bought that stuff by the quart because that was the biggest container she could get. She wasn’t alone in her obsession with paper and glue. There was a small store in Brownsburg at the time that sold wood and plaster plaques along with various paper items. Think scrapbooking store, but less tidy.
It wasn’t all glue sniffing and neglect, though. During the decoupage years, I learned how to burn the edges of paper without burning down the house. You wouldn’t think this particular skill would come in handy, ever, but it did. When Eldest was in intermediate school, she had to make a treasure map out of a brown paper bag. After she crumpled it up to make it appear old, she still wasn’t satisfied, so I showed her how to burn the edges. Not only did my tiny pyromaniac enjoy the heck out of that activity, her map turned out really well. As an added bonus, I was cool for a minute. She later used the same technique on a piece she submitted for admission to art school.
See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.