Monday, April 20, 2015

T Stands for tiny cup

I showed this plastic egg configuration on Day 1, when I presented my diatribe about plastic.  If you have a few of these eggs, I'll show you how you can turn them into a cute accompaniment to any child's tea party or use them as party favors at your own next tea party. 

Originally, I planned to cover the egg with a napkin,

but changed my mind due to time constraints.  Instead, I thoroughly cleaned the egg and dried it, then spent more time than I cared to admit getting the egg apart.  You want the half that sits on the outside, not the one with the lip.

Next, I found a button I wanted to use and slathered a bit of E6000 on top.

I also spent a lot of time looking for a prop, something that would hold the egg in place as it dried.  Imagine my surprise when it stayed in place without any help while the adhesive dried.

Once set, you can remove the excess adhesive and enjoy your new tea cup.  Perhaps you prefer it be a cocktail glass.  Regardless, it's a way to recycle a plastic egg the young ones will have fun with.

Now it's time to invite the fairies, the kids, or young neighbors to enjoy a cup of imaginary tea.  Or use them as party favors the next time you throw your own tea party.

What's on your agenda today?  Are you reading a new book about a drink, making art in your journal or altered book, whether it's digital, hybrid, or traditional, or are you taking photos as you are out and about?  Whatever the case, as long as your post includes something relating to a drink, please share in the link below, and Bleubeard, Squiggles (but not his doppelganger), the T Stands For Tuesday crowd, and I will be around to join you.

This is Day 21 of 22, and I recycled a plastic egg and a reclaimed button from my stash so the fairies and I could join you for T this week.

The hook

I can't believe I decided to bend these keys to turn them into hooks.  I thought bending the spoons was difficult.  Bending those keys was even worse.  Add to that the fact I broke three of them before they ever bent past the first bend.

But bend them I did.  I plan to put them on a piece of wood and use them for hooks in my basement studio.
Another reason I wanted to play with them was to see how difficult it would be to stamp words or letters on them.  After all, I'm not really skilled at that sort of thing.  And it's easier stamping on keys than spoons with rounded and oval bowls.

You can see I did a lousy job on the first one.  I can barely make out the word "be."

I needed to give both my hands and my attitude a rest, so I took a walk through my flower bed.  The irises have begun to bloom

just as the last of the tulips are dying out.  Can you see the one red tulip that is barely clinging to life?  At first, I thought it was a leaf.

Of course, I had more irises that were in various stages of bloom, so they will be around for quite some time, I hope.  And because they are extremely "juicy," they don't press well, but they pound well.  I hope to find time to pound a few of them after my 22 days of recycling are over.

But now it was time to get back to work.  And work it was, too.  My second key was marginally better.  At least you can read the "OK."

Two more of these keys and I was ready to call them finished.  And I could finally read the words "FUN" and "JOY."

So it's time to be OK,

have fun, and experience joy.
For the final key, I decided it looked better with no words on it other than the ones it came with.

For Day 20 of 22, I bent 8 keys, but three broke, leaving 5 I turned into hooks.  Of those, I used my metal stamps and wrote fun, inspirational words on 4.  Thank you for joining me, because your comments and visits have meant the world to me.

I'll be back later today with my T Stands For Tuesday post, which will count as Day 21.  Gosh, I'm nearly another year wiser!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fabric Collage 2

Many of you saw this photo I showed on Day 17, before I cut these into hearts in preparation of the embellishment for a scrappy visual journal.  So today, I created a second embellishment.

Instead of photographing step-outs, I decided to create a sub-assembly, then scan it.

Here is the completed assembly which I will add to the front of a scrappy journal.  I can't believe this took me all day (over six hours) to make this small assembly from start to finish.  This is made from bits and pieces of the gelatin plate circles Kathy created, a piece of yellow felt, a Sharpie, and a background of leaves and ferns I colored using various dyes, in addition to my shimmering mists.

Thanks for joining me as we begin to wind down on these rework, recycle, repurpose, reduce, reeducate, and reward posts leading up to Earth Day.  This is Day 19 of 22, and I am incredibly grateful for your continued support of my projects.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Journal 52, Week 16: Collage Crazy! meets Art Journal Journey

For Week 16, I'm playing along with Chelle at Journal 52, where the prompt is Collage Crazy!

Chelle informed us:
If you can use a pair of scissors and a glue stick you are good to go!
She also said:
You can collage words and phrases, pictures, patterns, photographs, your own artwork, homemade papers and paper scraps – anything you’d like!
Since I also love collage, and often find scraps in magazines, this is the perfect prompt for recycling some of those images and such I have been collecting over the years.

From various magazines and old calendars, I give you "This is how reality."  Now for a few step-out scans.

Don't tell anyone, but the secret to reality is love.

If you read between the lines, you will see how reality became reality.

One reality is, April showers bring beautiful and colorful flowers.

Another reality is when it's April in Paris,

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."  That reality (quote) was by Victor Borge.

Of course, all this reality took place on a used recycled file folder, with the help of magazine images, very old calendar images, words from a magazine, white gel pen, green watercolor pen, a gifted stamped image, and a bit of imagination on my part.

Since there is a quote in this collage, 
and since it's a journal page, approximately 8.5 X 11 inches in size, I'm also entering it in Art Journal Journey.

I hope you like my take on both reality AND collage this week, which has 16 number 16s around the outside of the journal page.  This is Day 18 of 22, leading up to bEARTHday, and I gathered various old magazine and calendar images that I added to my used file folder to make a crazy collage.

Thanks for looking and thanks for being here for me.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Gifted me by my friend Kathy, and a Friday smile

I had hoped to have pictures from Kathy's and my day together ready to show, but I have not had time to do that.  So sharing her birthday bash will have to wait a few days.  Right now, I'm taking care of two households, and time is not on my side.

Instead, I'll show you some things Kathy left me, and how I changed them into the front cover for one of my scrappy visual journals.

Several years ago, I joined Kathy for a gelatin printing session.  She had seen a technique on the cover of her Quilting Arts magazine that used round gelatin images that were sewn together in an artsy fashion.  After reading the article, she got it in her head she wanted to make the quilt.  So, she set out to make a gel plate that was round.  This was before Gelliarts came out with one of their own, of course.  She got as far as printing the images, then the circles sat for several years until she cleaned out her stash.  She forgot these the last time she came to see me, so I got them on Tuesday.

Since I'm still not quite ready to decorate my spoon jewelry, I decided to sew a bit.  I took six of the pieces she left me

and cut six hearts.

I cut six squares using my scissors, because I didn't want a precise square.

Next, I sewed the hearts to the squares and auditioned locations I wanted on my background fabric (which started life years ago as a pair of shorts I've deconstructed). Please be aware, I have no way to drop feed dogs on my sewing machine, so everything I do is hand guided.

I sewed the squares to the background, then tore the background to size.  My goal is to make several of these before the end of the month, in order to have them when I make and assemble several of my scrappy visual journals.

On my way to the office to upload my photos, I found this guy in the kitchen.  He looked almost scared and so old through the camera lens.  Of course, when I tried to center him in the viewfinder,

I realized there could never be any do-overs where Squiggles was concerned.  And since Squiggles always makes me smile, I'm sharing this with

This is Day 17 of 22, and I created a front for a scrappy visual journal from gifted fabric provided me by my friend Kathy.  I also got two photos of Squiggles that made me smile.

Thanks as always for visiting.  If I don't make it around for a few days, it's because I'm watching my friend Sally's house, and feeding her two cats, while doing the same at mine.  I've already had one catastrophe, where I found water leaking from her vanity.  I placed a bucket under the leak, because I couldn't find where it was leaking.  So much for being a good neighbor!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spoon with me

I decided to try making a bit of jewelry after all.  I was hoping I could cut and bend these spoons.

I gathered a few spoons that had no decorations on their handles.

I made one indentation cut on the spoons using my flush cutter pliers, then bent the handle back and forth until each snapped off.  That was much easier than I anticipated.

Using my needle nose pliers, I bent the spoons backward.  That took much more time and effort than I imagined.

I had hoped to have them decorated today, but I could barely move my fingers after I did all that manipulating.  I hope to be able to finish them tomorrow.  I want to use my metal stamps on a couple, make a collage or two on the bowl, and after looking at a couple of them, I think they would make a good bezel for collage embedded resin.

This is Day 16 of 22, and I cut and bent the handles of six spoons with the hope of eventually turning them into necklaces.  I have to admit, the hard part is out of the way and the fun part will be when I decorate them.  Again, I appreciate your kind remarks and how well you have supported me in my recycling efforts this year.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Does a bear

I'm starting today with some staggering facts I found
on a blog called Dust Box Cleaning.  I took a screen capture so you could see the blog address.  From the looks of these stats, I'm as guilty as the next person, because I use the plastic bags I get when I shop to line my trash cans and the boys' litter clean-up container.  Not sure how else to deal with my trash, though, since I wouldn't want to put the waste directly in the trash container.  At least I don't buy plastic trash can liners like some people I know.  Any thoughts on this are greatly appreciated.

But now let's put some of that trash to an artful use.

So far this month, I've made very little collage and mixed media art.  I really miss it, so today I'm making a collage from various repurposed materials.  The background is one I created during my 30 paintings in 30 days, then cut it down for this collage.  I added oil (not baby oil) to the two book pages, as well as the parchment paper to give them a gossamer look.  That only worked until the pages dried and then I lost much of the transparent nature of the oil.  The parchment paper only laughed at me and repelled the oil.

The sheet music is vintage, but it looks white up against the rest of the papers.  The gold circle was part of a see-through bag I was given.  I cut the circle out and threw the rest in the recycle bin.  The flowers and bear are wallpaper cut-outs, and the words were generated on my computer, printed, and colored with a watercolor pen.

Today is Day 15 of 22 and I created a mixed media collage from scraps.   I plan to give this collage to my friend Sally.  Thanks as always for your continued support of this annual 22 day project.  Your thoughts and comments keep me going, even though there are times I wonder if I'll make it through to the end.

Monday, April 13, 2015

T Stands For Welcoming Tulips

My taxes are finished and my friend Kathy and I will be sharing birthday joy together on Tuesday.  Her birthday was the 11th and you all know when mine is (grin).

I got a little carried away today

with my photos of this recycled tea pot filled with tulips from my back yard.

I just loved how they looked through my viewfinder,

and realized that many T visitors get to see the dining portion of my living/dining area,

but seldom get to see the view from this side of the room.  I've picked these tulips to welcome my friend Kathy who, as I previously mentioned, will be joining me for a drink of her choosing, food, shopping, and gift exchanging Tuesday morning in my world.

So, what does your T Tuesday look like this week?  Are you sharing something you've read or seen relating to a favorite drink?  Are you sharing drink related art, whether it's digital, hybrid, or traditional?  Are you sharing a scrapbook layout, or maybe a spread in an altered book?  Did you prefer, as I did this week, to let your photos do the talking?   Or were you out and about, sharing a drink along the way?  Regardless, please join us by linking below.  Bleubeard and I always welcome new, as well as long time visitors, and hope to make you feel at home.  Squiggles has not yet learned the fine art of entertaining, but I'm working on it (grin).

This is Day 14 of 22, and I recycled a broken tea pot and turned it into a welcoming vase of tulips that will greet my friend Kathy when she arrives.  BTW, if you could post early (those of you in the US because it's already Tuesday in other parts of the world), I will be able to visit.  Otherwise, it could be very late Tuesday my time before I'm able to join you for T this week.

Trash or treasure?

Today is all TALK!!  As I've explained to a few people who've asked, it's hard to create NEW recycled, repurposed, reused, reclaimed, or upcycled art every day for 22 days after I've been doing it for several years.  The particular type of art using recycled or recyclable materials I see on the internet can, for the most part, be placed in two distinct categories: high end and kids crafts.

Neither child craft nor high end, this mixed media piece I made one year shows how I recycled a can lid I burned in my chiminea.  For the background and owl, I used magazine images.  Over the body, I placed a found metal spacer and two found bird feathers that reminded me of an owl's feathers. For the legs and feet, I used calligraphy pen nibs. The bottom color is a bit distorted due to my previous scanner.

It's easy to find kids crafts on the internet.  The problem is, as I've said before, when it's made, it looks like a six year old made it.  Some artists have made a living at it, though.  Take for instance, a blog I found yesterday while doing an internet search for recycled art called Glue and Glitter.

This looks like something I could make with my limited skills.  But I think my friend Halle would do a better job with this than I.

There's an old Chinese saying, "The onion you are eating is someone else's water lily!"  What it means is, someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure.  If we manage to look beyond the current purpose of a product and see its next life, we turn trash into treasure.  Sometimes that new life is obvious, but sometimes it's hidden for years until another person finds a similar use for it.

Another idea from Glue and Glitter shows having a great graphic on a tin-can can work in your favor.

I've been told there's a universe out there with millions of ways of turning trash to treasure.  I've also been told there are forums where you can find instructions to create something really sophisticated. The conversion from trash to treasure doesn't need to look homemade or like a Kindergarten school project.  I personally haven't found any of those forums, but I've not been much of a forum person since grad school, when forums were the only internet option and DOS was the operating system of choice.

Also from Glue and Glitter, this planter, made from a mesh produce bag looks like something I could make.   I read on someone's blog (sorry, I didn't save the link) that turning trash to treasure and creative recycling is all about learning new skills. Although I don't need a new skill to make the above planter, I would need new skills to make

these metal craft pieces found on RecylArt,

or this dinosaur

or wolf made by Andrew Chase.

Recycled materials should be your first choice, but if you don't have what you need, look for eco-friendly craft materials. Very often eco-friendly materials are actually the result of creative recycling since they often consist of post-consumer waste.

Paper is a great example. Why not make your own handmade paper like I do (yes, this is my craft room before I started watermarking my photos) using recycled paper and junk mail, or cards from old brochures, security envelopes, book pages, or colorful magazine images.  Sew or glue envelopes together made from magazine and craft book images.

One thing that's always bothered me is, you can often find tutorials for how to make gorgeous art using one recycled product, along with several that are not recycled, but brand new.  This chalkboard, also from Glue and Glitter cost the artist $25.00 (USD) to turn her old picture and frame into a chalkboard.  To me, that may be recycling, but I can't believe all the new materials she had to buy in order to recycle that frame.  Maybe I'm wrong and looking at the world of recycling the wrong way, but that simply doesn't make sense to me.

I would love your input on this timely issue, as we work our way to Earth Day (or bEARTHday in my world).  Many of you are followers who lurk and I appreciate that.  It's never bothered me that I get about six or more times more visitors per day than comments.  But today is the day I ask you to come out of the dark and be heard.  Today I need your input.

This is Day 13 and I'm asking for your input on Trash to Treasure.  Does a project have to cost more than it saves in order to be called beautiful?  Does it take mad skills and loads of expensive equipment to make?  Can a project be inexpensive as well as recyclable without looking like a child made it?   All comments are really, really gratefully appreciated, because it will help guide me in my quest to find truly unique ways to recycle junk I have been given over the years.

I'll be back later today with my T Stands For Tuesday post, which will count as Day 14.  Now I'm off to finish my taxes.   I admit there's nothing like waiting till the last minute.