Author: Colleen Attara

Handmade Holiday Shop: Colleen Attara Studio


I am Colleen Attara of Colleen Attara Studio and I am a treasure hunter/eco-artist.  I love to use salvaged materials that others see no value in and create something full of hope and color.

Click through the pictures below to visit the shop and find a treasure of your own:

believe snow/colleen Attara

I  hand-script words from salvaged plastic that make sweet gifts all year long.  This “believe” above looks right at home on the branches of a Christmas tree or on a holiday table.

A few months ago, I felt a pull to listen to the writer within me and a whole line of new work was born. It has been like treasure hunting deep inside myself.

I have been writing all my life, sometimes just a sentence and at other times, chapters. I am using all of these words that I have saved pressed between pages in books, plus new ones that come effortlessly out of me.

I sew special photos together and change colors and composition by layers and thread.  I add in pieces of fabric, vintage stamps, postcards, painted paper and all the bits and pieces that fall to the side of my studio desk or on the floor as I am working (I cannot help it. I love the pieces that are left behind most. I always have.). My stitches are bold and the hanging threads become part of the artwork.

In “heart light” my feet are on a porch in New Hampshire walking towards a New Jersey shore sky:

This print below is inspired from three different studio photos.  You can see a “yippee” written out in chalk. And  I do wish I was more mature.  But I’m just not. I wrote this thought in my cell phone and here it is in full color. Do you feel like this?

ColleenAttara/ mature

These prints (and 16 more) are now in my shop (a big thank you to Matt and Darice!) and each 8 x 10 print ($30) is stitched so that when it is framed, thread can wander a bit.  I never like to stay in the lines.


Each print and word is packaged sweetly with washi tape and string, I always add a little note. Right now there is a free shipping option in my shop at checkout.

mailer & print/colleenattara

I wish you all a very merry holiday season…one that is less of a push and so much more of a dance. xo.

Connect with Colleen on her: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER 

This is post #7 in our Holiday Pop Up Shop series, learn more + visit all the shops right here.

Postcard from a mission trip to Grand Bahama


This summer, my daughter and I went on a youth mission trip to Freeport, Grand Bahama through my friend’s church.  As my dear friend (pictured to the right of me above) explained, “it is like going to an island and passing through a really poor area on the way to the resort, only this is where the bus stops and we get out.”

I thought it would be so very good for my daughter.  And it was. Her face got more beautiful everyday as she took care of the children in the village.  She did work in some houses but it was the children she was drawn too.  She held them, played with them and above all, listened to them.

But I needed this trip too, more than I knew.   I needed to completely disconnect from my life in order to reconnect to everything that mattered to me.  There was no cell, no internet, no TV and  no social media.  That week I reconnected with the quiet.  Each morning I woke up early with a cup of coffee and walked down to the beach, where I ran, wrote and sometimes just sat.

I helped build houses.  And in doing so built bridges.  I learned to depend on people I did not know.  And I learned that my heart has more space than I imagined.  I am so grateful.

ps.  We went as part of Karazim Ministries in Freeport, Grand Bahama, who are doing amazing work serving people in need.

Letters from camp

OMHGCAttaraboxLet’s pretend we are all away at camp together. The air is crisp and a cool lake breeze blew gently through our cabin’s while we slept.  After the very deepest sleep, we awake feeling so rested. The joy is sinking in.  We are away. We are on holiday.  This feels so good.

We brush our teeth, splash some water on our faces and make our way toward coffee. We are all perfectly beautiful just the way we are here.  No makeup needed.


After breakfast we walk together toward a white tent that has scraps of colorful fabric tied all around the sides.  We belong here.

And then I show each of you where the magic truly is.

I ask you to reach into the bags that you brought to camp. You know the bags I am talking about. They are with you always. They are filled with bits and pieces…books you plan to read, mail you didn’t throw out and tiny notebooks with thoughts you want to remember.

These bags are filled with you.  And there are little pieces of string, fabric and buttons on the bottom.  I know this.

We would reach in and pull out all these little pieces and use them to create our letters and tags from camp.  And they would be amazing.  They would be enough. They would be us.

Colleen Attara, letters from camp, Camp OMHG

This is how I create the little tags that go on each package that I mail out with orders.

I look over my desk and use all the little pieces that are left over; pieces of paper touched with paint. A bit of string.  A stamp from a letter. These go out with orders.  These go out to friends.  And they go out to say thank you.

Colleen Attara, letters from camp, Camp OMHG

“Thank you for that lovely comment you left me on Etsy.”

“Thank you for supporting my business.”

“Thank you for your friendship.”

“Thank you for showing up here.”

I keep a pile of bits and pieces in a small box on my desk.  I go there to create.  This is where the story is.

Colleen Attara, letters from camp, Camp OMHG

It is in the pieces that are left over. Your story is in the pieces that fall to the bottom of your bag or lay on the side of your desk.  Sew them on a letter.  Glue them on the tag that you saved from a new dress.  Send out these magical letters from camp.

 Stay with me here.  Reach into your bags. Pick them up and turn them over.  Use all the scraps.  Play a bit. Write a letter. Add some string. Share it here. We will be at camp together in real time, but till then show me your magic here.