In case you don't live in one of more than 192 countries that celebrate Earth Day, here is a reminder of what Earth Day is all about.
Back in 1969, while America was in the throes of the Vietnam War, which some may remember, a group of anti-war movement students got together, and decided, with the help of then Senator Gaylord Nelson (June 4, 1916 – July 3, 2005), to have an environmental teach-in. Before the event, the name was changed to Earth Day and was first held on April 22, 1970. It was decided at that time to hold the event every year on April 22.
The time seemed right to Nelson, because of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and the deterioration of the environment in general. After all, many groups had already been fighting against oil spills, toxic waste and sewage, polluting power plants and factories, pesticides, a growing ozone, air pollution, timber cuts beyond control, and a shrinking wilderness. It was time to bring all those groups together, since there always seems to be safety in numbers. And the numbers were there, too, since many sites claim over 20 million people in the United States celebrated the first Earth Day.
After that, it didn't take Congress (US) long to pass the Clean Air act, Clean Water act, Safe Drinking Water act, and several laws to protect wilderness areas. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), was created within three years after Nelson’s April 22, 1970 Earth Day celebration.
Fast forward to 2013, and you no longer see beaches strewn with garbage, smoke billowing from factories, or raw sewage headed for rivers and streams. What you also don't see is the same environmental awareness that brought about these environmental laws and changes in Congress in the 1970s. Today we are told by people like Newt Gingrich that the EPA should be replaced, while Mitt Romney, when running for President, wanted the head of the EPA fired.
Today is a good time to reflect on my own love of, and respect for, the environment. I've been known to stand up for my parks, the two rivers that define my neighborhood, and the fact that I try to use what I buy, rather than tossing it in the trash or recycle bin. The fact that I was born on this great day we celebrate our Earth, and that people call me "Dr. E, Queen of Free," adds to my resolve.
colored last month using food coloring for dye. I copied a picture of North America and colored it using my Fabric crayons seen in this post when I worked on another project. I dyed some gauze and sewed it over printed words I colored. It's too bad you can't see I sewed the words with variegated green thread before I sewed the gauze in place.
This has been a difficult 22 days. You see, I wanted to include a few things any mixed media artist might use in my quest for recycled projects. What I learned while trying to get ideas from the internet was that most "green" art is designed for children, and is meant to be made by children with a bit of adult supervision.
For example, I drink a TON of half and half in my coffee. I save my (paper) cartons because they make excellent fire starters for my chiminea. Covered with wax, these cartons burn slowly, thus providing an excellent chance for small sticks to quickly light on fire. However, there are only so many fires I can start each season, so finding a good alternative for these cartons uses in mixed media can be hard. I could have made a bird feeder or even a bird house, but those seemed a bit childish and not exactly what I would call mixed media. There are many examples on the internet and YouTube if you are interested in making one or both.
Lilla did for her Advent Calendar.
Maya*Made. This is one I might actually be willing to reproduce.
One thing you won't catch me making is anything like this piece made by Dieter Roth.
Roth's Wikipedia biography page. It shows how dark mixed media can be, yet how ingenious it is when you have no idea what the piece consists of.
Of course there is always the occasional fun find
Dollar Store Crafts.
And then there's The Crafty Crow, who has collected a plethora of crafts made with plastic lids.
Plum Pudding includes both plastic and metal lids. It sort of looks like a birthday cake, don't you think?
Then there are a few things I've made, including
The above piece is made from a KFC dinner lid covered with dress pattern tissue, then layered with painted corrugated cardboard, cheesecloth, an image, sheet music, and the definition of birthday. To complete the piece and hide the protrusion at the top, I added two gold covered ornaments Kathy gave me. She'll get a kick out of the fact I used them in her gift! It's an Earth Day special.Later, I used some rub-n-buff to create a patina and knock the shine off those two ornaments at the top of the piece.
Please don't forget to sign up for my giveaway that ends at midnight Central Daylight Time (CDT), April 24. See my right sidebar for Wichita time which is CDT. You need to leave nothing more than a comment on THIS POST (takes you to a new screen) for a chance to win the book "Layered, Tattered, and Stitched" by Ruth Rae. It's another way I can give back to this wonderful blogging community.
I hope you enjoyed this Earth Day bEARTHday wrap-up on Day 22. I'm off doing something good for the earth today, or sharing a meal with friends, whichever comes first (grin). I'll share bEARTHday photos with you tomorrow during Tea Tuesday, then return Wednesday with the beginning of another recycled project.