Please see some of our reviews, below
Serendipity may best describe my discovery of ecollage® as it was a kind of a happy accident. My expectations for a full recovery from a work-related solvent exposure were very high, but became more of a nightmare. The school where I taught Montessori was replacing windows in its classrooms and conducting renovation during school hours. After recovering from the chemical pneumonia it caused, I thought all would be well. What I later learned was that I had been sensitized to aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, and after which I developed a number of disabilities. One in particular as hard to manage as it is to pronounce: toxic encephalopathy. To give the reader an idea of what this means: Hydrocarbons, produced by all petroleum derivatives such as plastic, pesticides, fragrance or combustion emissions like car exhaust and smoke (to name a few) will exacerbate it. A person with this disability reacts adversely to extremely low levels of these chemicals present in the environment, [in the parts per billion (ppb) range] and avoidance can be as daunting as it is necessary. It became imperative to judiciously avoid as much exposure as one can (it's ubiquitous in the modern world) in order to regain a mere semblance of my former good health. This is often the case history of a chemical injury like mine. Not every individual develops toxic encephalopathy, but most will develop a cluster of health challenges similar to individuals exposed to Agent Orange. Most have heard of Gulf War Syndrome. It can be somewhat confusing, but pretty much all of us that have had a chemical injury are all about in the exact same boat. Some refer to it as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Little did I know at the time it would forever change my life. Though not solely, it predominantly affects my respiratory, immune and nervous system.
What it meant for me was adopting a more solitary lifestyle, which also led to my discovery of collage. Confined to a more carefully controlled environment, I was no longer able to work a conventional job, but found a way to be productive again through my art. I’ve spent only a part of my life with a disability but have always been regarded as different. What may seem unusual is that I never felt being different was anything but good. In the last half a dozen or so years, however I had the most difficult setback yet when I lost a very special companion, a dog who acted for me much like a Service Dog would. I relied very heavily on her, and was not well equipped when her sudden departure came. This dog quite literally saved my life. Since Mica left, I have donated ALL of the proceeds from ecollage® Art to Mica's Fund, in hopes of finding a cure for IMHA. This disease is a killer, and to say it is like the roller coaster ride through Hell is not even coming close.
Mica was keenly instrumental in helping me discover a way to cope with my disability. It was her loss that motivated me to use what I do to help others.
In this way I feel I honor her memory.
Ecollage® art is best described by others, as I am not a writer. I do 'papier colle' (collage) most often but drawing, photography & digital art are also employed in the design & creation of OOAK (one-of-a-kind) collages, greeting & postcards, miniature boxes, bookmarks, bookplates and picture books. Framed and unframed prints are available as well. I use as much recycled and post-consumer paper as I can find and tolerate. An example is my "Cupid" series. I was once asked to submit work to a recycled paper company's catalog. The day my rejection arrived, so came their new catalog. Knowing I would never order from them again, I created the first in the dragonfly series solely from the recycled rags odd numbered pages. To this day they make more people happy than just about any collage I have ever done. I liked finding a completely different use for the paper they promoted. Their rejection stated that the elements used were not any that the company would consider ever using. I found it hilarious yet odd, which is why I chose only paper from their odd publication. Even they did not recognize their own work. It is what I do when I hear the word No. Guess I just don't know the meaning of it. Anyway, Commissions are also welcomed. I now have a line of wearable art in natural fibers (knitting). Due to my health challenges I only work with organic materials.
Ecollage® art benefits Mica's IMHA Research Fund, and will continue to. At present a minimum of 10% of all proceeds will be assigned to fund veterinary research according to Mica's IMHA Research Fund Mission Statement. OOAK art pieces, or specialty hand-knit items, such as sweaters may earmark a larger donation to Mica's Charity, from 25-50%, or more.
Attached are a few examples of my work, that number upwards of thousands in total. Soon we will add the fiber arts as well, with thanks to those who have asked for us to include them here. Presently a few items may be seen in our Etsy Shop.
Our Angel marks her 7th Anniversary with HEAVENLY WINGS on 18 August 2013, and still we have no cure. Mica & Mirra have helped me raise multiple thousands of dollars on behalf of OTHERS who are LITERALLY DYING FUR a CURE. We often are contacted by owners of pets in an IMHA or IMT crisis. We do what we can to hold a paw and help, but what makes what we do most rewarding is to receive word that Mica & Mirra helped to save a life because of our advocacy work. Yet we cannot do it alone, so we ask for your help.
I feel blessed to have Mirra for companionship and to support me like Mica did, but knowing that it is sacrificing time we could have together- because we fight this fight sometimes makes it hard to do. I believe MIca deserved better, as does Mirra. I know other people who share their lives with dogs or cats knows just how much they enrich our lives. If it were possible, I'd even give my own time here on earth if it meant they could have more quality time with us. They deserve so much more than they get. When that time is cut even shorter because of a disease as wretched as IMHA it is just not right.
We have put off our tax exempt status long enough, as pursuing this takes resources and time away from the research itself. It is our next goal, short of a cure or a way to prevent IMHA altogether. Every dime donated or derived from the sale of ecollageArt goes directly to medical research. It is why we volunteer our time and operate Mica's site on a free server. Please become a member of Mica's Team and help us see our dream become a reality.
*** the watermark "©ecollage®" does not appear on final work***
Some of our reviews appear below.
(Thanks for the encouraging words too)
Please visit our shop on Etsy.com
This is an absolutely lovely cap. The colors are rich and beautiful. The shape is very attractive, and it comes down over the ears just the right amount. The wool is soft but sturdy. It is a good thick well-knit hat. I am thrilled with this purchase. I rate it positive +++ !
-T. Lewis, Selah WA
Hi- I just got the box-everything is absolutely beautiful! I don't know how you do it! Thanks thanks thanks!
-Michaelene, Glenview, IL
Fantastic selection! Love the minis-they are perfect as gift cards!
-viszlasrgreat, Seattle, WA
As a fellow Belgian owner, I know how hard it is to capture their expressions sometimes. Not only does Mel *get it* about Belgians, she has a unique ability to also understand her customer. Dragonflies hold a special memory for me. This card is so beautiful I may keep it and frame it for myself. Or just wait until the right moment comes to give it to someone. This is going to make a fantastic Howlllloween card! The quality is amazing.
-Girltruheart, Parsippany, NJ
Great cause and beautiful artwork. Unique and beautiful work. we'll be shopping again. :))))))-M.Hartley and Daisy Mae, Seattle, WA
You must be sky-high after receiving Mel’s note. He’s absolutely right; you work needs--and deserves--to “be seen by appreciative eyes” (what a lovely turn of phrase that is). You should feel energized. The Muse has blessed you, and her blessings are not in vain. She has found an incredibly gifted and passionate vessel into which to pour her inspiration. The sacredness of which is influenced and coloured by the touch of Angel Mica’s wings. I am overcome with joy for you and honestly cannot see to type for happy tears.
-Kymberlee and Angus The Warrior, Seattle, WA
It was like Christmas, the anticipation of beauty to come before opening each one from its envelope and of course I was blown away. I couldn't have been happier. They are so brilliant in color and rich in texture, very nice quality! They are definitely art and should be sold and presented that way.... I have to say, the website is great, but it doesn't do the art the justice they deserve - these are so beautiful and they need to be seen in person to fully appreciate them.... They are definitely too special to stay holed up in those envelopes - they need to be seen by appreciative eyes.
-Mel, San Francisco, CA
Friendly seller and unique artwork. Cards were on good stock with colorful and unusual designs. Also, the little gift cards this seller offers are intricately cut out by hand and quite amazing!
-Anthrocoris, Selah WA
The gift cards are so unique & beautiful. I can't wait to use them. They were obviously made with love and they are truly one of a kind. They arrived shortly after being ordered and in perfect condition. I look forward to shopping with EcollageArt again. Sincerely,
-Teresa H., Rapid City S.D.
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