October 19, 2012

Handmade Marathon - Day #19 (Colleen Attara Studio)

Editor's Note:

Welcome to DAY NINETEEN of the Handmade Marathon. 

Colleen's work is truely unique and one-of-a-kind. I absolutely LOVE the idea of using her recycled "words" as gift toppers - so unique and special!  I find that the more I learn about Colleen's story and process, the more interested I become in her products.  When I saw the photo of Colleen's flowers cheering up brownstones in Brooklyn, it just made me smile inside.  Colleen is making the world a more beautiful place - think about how you can do the same!

About Colleen Attara Studio:

I am an eco-artist and use reclaimed materials to make joyful art. I am also a treasure hunter.  I can often be found in salvage yards searching for vintage frames and windows to paint or collaborating with local businesses to reuse signage.  I paint with mistake paint purchased from home improvement stores that customers return.   I love color and rejected paint is so much brighter. 

My favorite material to reuse is discarded plastic business signage. These signs are taken down because a business closed or redesigned their logo.  I turn each one of them into something unique and hopeful. They become recycled window box flowers that never need water. No waiting for seeds to sprout, just vibrant, colorful blooms! What I love best about these flowers is each one was once part of a sign telling a message about a local business.  Each bloom has its own unique history and instead of being in a landfill, each is bringing beauty to gardens and windows boxes. They are vibrant, printed in UV resistant ink and so eco-friendly.

These signs also become positive words scripted in my own handwriting.  These words can be hung on a wall, left on a table to tell someone you love them or to give as a gift.  Each word is an eco-friendly way to uniquely say how you feel.  Reusing materials in my art is the only way I have ever wanted to create.  The materials seem to find me. When I spot something in a salvage yard I see both what it is and what it can become. I live my life on the lookout for possibility and add in bright colors at every turn.
I create in my studio in a stone cottage dating back to the early 1800’s on 237-acres.  An art center is my neighbor and farmers work the fields beside me. “Happy” gushes from a place deep within me and comes out in all of my art.  I plant gardens filled with recycled plastic flowers and I want to plant one in every city.

You can explore more Colleen Attara Studio here:

p.s. like something? don't forget to grab your free printable wish list, created by Geri of The Languid Lion to jot down all of your fave items from the Handmade Marathon.


  1. Go Colleen! Great to see you get the recognition you deserve since you're an inspiration to everyone you come across!

  2. Hooray for the Handmade Marathon! I am delighted to discover some fabulous new shops and continue to support my insanely talented and creative friends like Ms. Colleen Attara and you too Alison!

  3. I super duper love Colleen's work. She's fun, passionate, and works in what looks like a dreamy cottage studio. Colleen - thank you for being truly unique and creative and putting your whole self out there, we can all learn so much from you!

    And thanks again, Alison, for introducing your readers to so many fabulous aritsans!

  4. This is so cool! love to discover this amazing work, congratulation!

  5. Wow! These are fab! I am planning my wedding and will def keep these in mind!

  6. Thank you all...so sweet to see your kind comments and affirmations.

  7. What wonderful work - I love the words!