My Art: Mixed Media Assemblage

A few weekends ago, my sister hosted a going away dinner for our sons before they headed to college, and these are pieces I created for my son and my nephew.

This leather topped chair is a recent gift from my younger newly licensed son who rescued it curbside. I love it not just because of its age and texture, but because my son knew it was perfect for me.

These mixed media on canvas pieces are ‘meditative collages,’ and each layer holds meaning.

The golden windmill-y embellishments are vintage earrings I altered. Both of the boys excel at English, and these are a nod to Shakespeare, literature, and all things academic.

A simple muslin bag was attached to the canvas with velcro and contains three treasures.

A vintage sterling band to save as a family heirloom, a vintage ring, and a heart stone. This is the family bond layer.

The last layer is a spiritual one. A meditational thought (varied for each) layered on leather.

The leather was taken from a jacket of a beloved friend who was a grandpa to both of these college boys.

In his younger years, he sang with the group Rufus (before Chaka Khan). We lost him in October, and because he was extremely fashionable and an artist, he left miles of wardrobe.

Several art pieces were created for family incorporating bits of this coat (there are many more coats!).

Seeing, touching, and sharing the soft leather that warmed our grandfather-friend helps us heal a little.

I am missing my son already. It’s his second year of college, but this house is just not home without him…parting gifts are my least favorite creations to make.

I know you understand. So thanks for listening.

Peace to you right where you are.




  1. August 25, 2011 / 4:17 am

    a totem for your sons… powerful and beautiful gifts


  2. August 25, 2011 / 1:27 pm

    Such a wonderful and thoughtful gift for your son. Always so hard to let them go, but every stage is so fun and exciting. He has so many wonderful adventures ahead!!

  3. August 25, 2011 / 2:17 pm

    Tears running down my face and filling my eyes…. I can so relate on so many levels!
    This is such a lovely post, lovely gifts and heartfelt sentiments.
    WHERE did you get the quote about being young and only finding happiness through God and one's faith?
    I must find that and print it out.
    Gorgeous friend, just like you.

  4. August 25, 2011 / 4:02 pm

    So beautiful! I'm sure it is so hard to send them off to college, but you must be so proud of them too! What a wonderful gift.

  5. August 25, 2011 / 9:26 pm

    Oh, the years have gone by, but the feelings stay. Those specially chosen, yet heartrending gifts for our sons and daughters as they leave us for college. Whether it's the first year or the fourth, the emptiness felt upon their leaving feels like the hollowing of our very selves.
    Beautiful gifts, Mother.

  6. August 25, 2011 / 9:30 pm

    So touching. Loving Rufus too.

  7. August 26, 2011 / 2:04 am

    sooo bittersweet. i am proud of him; just not very proud of how i am still grieving!


  8. August 26, 2011 / 12:01 pm

    Beautiful and
    meaningful pieces
    from YOUR beautiful
    heart. I can so
    relate to the grieving.
    My heart already
    hurts just thinking
    about fall of 2013….
    Love that your new
    driver rescued a chair
    that "looks like" you,
    xx Suzanne

  9. August 26, 2011 / 1:19 pm

    These are beautiful Michele and so sweet to send off a bit of you with them, always keeping them close at heart.
    I hope that the school year goes well for them and that they call their momma often. 🙂

  10. August 27, 2011 / 8:08 pm

    You created such a wonderful gift your son. It's bittersweet seeing them grow up. your son sounds like an amazing young man. thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. i appreciate your comment.

  11. August 29, 2011 / 1:25 am

    Hey lovely lady! Could you send me your address again, I am such a dork and can't find it. 🙂 My goal this week is to send you the boat! 🙂 Yeah!!!!! I hope you enjoyed your weekend!!!

  12. August 30, 2011 / 4:29 am

    It really fills my eyes with tears… I remember my parting gift from mum, little things of childhood put together in a wonderful album. I still stay far away from home and I can so relate to it…what it means to you when you are far away from people you love, from a time you'll go back to. Thanks to all those wonderful mums who make our lives worth living and worth reflecting back to.

  13. October 10, 2011 / 5:23 pm

    I can't imagine sending one off to college! Those are beautiful gifts! Thanks so much for linking with us at Show & Share!


  14. March 5, 2012 / 10:11 am

    I love your family heirlooms…you are very clever…and your son is so thoughtful to find that chair. I know how you feel, missing your son…I'm about to leave Oz for England on Thursday, leaving my son and daughter behind…back to reality and cold U.K. Robx

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