Thursday, April 8, 2010

A cold day in my recycled life

Have I mentioned that Earth Day turns 40 this year? OK, guess I have a few times so far this month, but I only do it to remind you that I'm recycling practically everything this month.

Late Tuesday afternoon I drug my chiminea out of the garage, where it had been living all winter. To prepare it, I added the rocks I cleaned and stored last fall before I put it away. As I was preparing to start a fire, the rain came. Then the HAIL came. Then more rain.

So around 4ish yesterday morning I got up, checked to see what was new on my blogroll and headed outside with hot coffee and no shower. I decided I would shower after I built a fire and "cooked" my projects. I want to point out that my fire starters are quart size washed and dried half and half containers. The waxy surface is perfect for this. The kindling comes from limbs from my yard and the wood in the picture is shingles from when I replaced my roof a couple of years ago. While the fire was taking off,

I went back inside and contemplated joining Julia Dunnit for WOYWW or What's On Your Work-desk Wednesday. Julia was SO sweet when I wrote and talked to her about the weekly collaboration, I was tempted to post what I have going on art wise. My problem is (and I have mentioned this before), my entire house is where I do my art. I have a craft room on the main floor, a studio in the basement, make paper on my patio or in my laundry room, and often stage things going outdoors on my kitchen table. Those of you who know me, know I'm a neat freak, and clean up each step along the way.

So I made a list of things I wanted to do outside and stacked the materials going to the patio on my kitchen table. So, here's what was on my table: cutting mat and cutter, many plastic bags, a piece of copper I wanted to cook, and my potatoes, which I still didn't get planted yesterday.

As I was picking everything up to take to the patio,
my batteries died. Thankfully, I had fresh ones.

Then it was off to cook a few tins and

a piece of copper that I annealed, then dipped into a bucket of cold water.

As I watched the fire dwindle, I started to cut the plastic bags, but the wind picked up so hard, it made it impossible to cut the bags or spray paint some file folders, another thing I had on my list.

Not being able to craft outside, I grabbed the things I cooked and headed inside. It was freezing, although at this point, the sun was shining brightly.

I'm working on a project in my craft room and here it is all set up on my work space. This is a bit of a tease. The finished project will come next week.

I did get to play with my new toy from Evies Tool Emporium. You'll see more of that next week, too.

Another peek into a WIP

and an out of focus completed piece.

By the time I showered and got all the excess tools put away on my craft table, Dana had arrived and I wanted to make PLARN. Dana had never heard of it and kept wanting to call it PLINE because the way I made it, it really looked like TWINE. Isn't she just too funny?

I actually enjoyed making this, because I could cut using both hands and not have to stop to take photos. Here's what I have so far. Smooth out your plastic bag, flatten, and remove all air pockets. Fold in half, then in half again, smoothing as you go. Cut off the handles. If you come up with a way to use them, let me know, please.

Cut strips of the bags about 1" in width. Cut the entire length of the bag. This part went very quickly.

Pick up two circles of plastic bag

and loop them together. When I tried to show the looping step, I couldn't get it. Dana said it was like putting two rubber bands together. Not sure that describes it for me, but I hope it does for you.

Here's a completed knot that Dana took the picture of. She is used to taking one photo and it being good. Well, I see I'm not the only person who can't work this camera. One picture doesn't make it, so I hope you get the picture (better than the picture). To add a bit of interest, I looped three white and one yellow, then three white and one yellow. When Dana and I had done this enough, she rolled the Plarn into a ball. I'll be putting it to use soon.

Then we were off to JoAnn's where it's fabric month, or something like that.

I want to fuse some fabric, a technique I've been salivating over for a couple of weeks, but simply haven't had the time or the materials. Everything on the cutting table is either organza or netting. The gal who cut the material and took my money was so sweet and she laughed all the time Dana and I were checking out.

Dana picked up some edible grass after she read my blog rant on plastic grass. She didn't offer to share, though!

Next it was off to a new Goodwill, but I didn't take any photos, because the temps dipped and I was in summer clothing thinking it was going to be in the 80s like it had been on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the Goodwill. And the sales people were rude, too. The clerk who took our money didn't like that I asked her to wrap a glass framed print.

So we headed off to the Salvation Army,

passing some lovely gated communities along the way. Clothes at the SA were half price, except for yellow tags, which were $0.99. I didn't find any yellow tags, but Dana did. Didn't take any photos, either. Just shopped about half the store. There was so much to see and I only got about 1/3 of what I had on my list.

You won't see what I bought until I get it home on Friday. I just didn't feel like carting it out of Dana's trunk. After we ate, I didn't get home till nearly 7 pm. What a long, cold, but FUN FILLED day where recycling was on the top of my list.

And while we're on the subject of Plarn (or Pline), here is a web site (OK, I just found it, so I am featuring another web site) of a recycling project in India. Basically, workers go around picking up plastic bags that have blown into the streets, then turn them into high fashion accessories. The web site, Conserve India, explains this and further states:

Born of a desire to reduce India's rubbish mountain, improve energy efficiency, and help some of Delhi's poorest out of the city's slums, Conserve India achieves all this by turning plastic bags into high fashion.

By buying a Conserve bag, belt, wallet, shoe, or necklace, you not only get to be a trend setter with a beautiful, funky piece of high fashion - you will also be helping some of India's poorest people and its environment.

I personally think this is a worthwhile project and plan to explore it further. I hope you'll take a look, too. Sorry I wasn't around to visit my blog friends yesterday. I promise to make up for it once I've had a bit of sleep. Have a great Thursday everyone.

11 thoughtful remarks:

Marilyn Rock said...

Elizabeth! You accomplish more in a day than I do in a year! Incredible you are! Wonderful recycling projects! I am in awe of how much you can get done in such little time! Happy day to you! xxoo

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

I'm really impressed with you too! All those projects.....I'm currently on the fence as to whether or not multi tasking my art works for me- I like working on several things at once, but I miss the feeling of accomplishment I get as I finish a piece every few days instead of a lot at once.... You obviously thrive on multi tasking! I can't wait to see the results of all those projects you have in progress!

Healing Woman said...

After I finished reading your post I let out a "Montessori sigh" as though I were the one who had accomplished such a fulfilling, useful day. I have a little outdoor chimney like the one you burn items in but have it filled with dirt and use it as a planter. I may have to rethink and convert it into something more useful.

Thanks for your usual informative post!

Tess said...

You were a very busy lady. So what do you use the plarn for?

Diane said...

Wow, I'm tired just reading all of this--you always make the most of your days--I love that!!

La Dolce Vita said...

wow, what a busy day! arting and thrifting! the weather is so very changeable in spring, we are hoping for some warm weather this weekend... but not as hot as 80!!! wow!

Halle said...

You sure keep busy! Love thrifting...need to go today!

Terri Kahrs said...

Wow! **sigh** What a busy day!!! Hugs, Terri xoxo

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

You do get a lot of fun things accomplished
You've made me itchy to grill some tins...I have a bucket full that I have been collecting and thoughtful friends give to me.
We've had 90+ degree days and I'm so happy that it finally feels like April here again after a big rain last night.
I Love all things India, so must check out your link.
I bought a plarn bag that Misty Mawn's mother crocheted in wonderful mermaid green, it's so fun!

Marlynn said...

What a wonderful day you had - cold or not - you got a lot accomplished! You and Dana are dangerous!

Evie's Tool Emporium said...

Looking forward to next week!