Thursday, April 12, 2018

Second Thursday tutorial: So you have no art supplies


We all wish we could own the most recent art supplies, but unless we are on a design team that provides the latest supplies, or we are creating art for artists who supply us with their products, we can't possibly afford every new and great product or tool that comes out.

It is in that vein that today I thought I would create a mixed media spread using only items that were destined for the trash or recycle bin.  These are items others would throw away, but frugal me often goes through my friends' recycle bin or trash can looking for ways to keep something alive. It also shows what you can create if you have absolutely no art supplies.

Materials might possibly include:
Old book to alter (see my right sidebar for how to choose a book to alter and other free lessons)
Old book pages
Bandages
Eye shadow
Eyeliner pencils
Tickets
Tea
Tea bags
Tea bag tags
Crayons (mine would have gone in the trash, only I saved them and threw their containers away after the basement flood)
Light bulb container
Old packaging
Postage stamps
Clothing tags
Clothing labels
Thread
Tape (various, but not washi)
Bubble wrap
Corrugated cardboard 
Toilet paper holder
Punchinella
Newspaper pages
Telephone directory pages
Strips off old daisy wheel printer paper
Calendar pages
Orphaned puzzle pieces
Orphaned playing cards

I don't guarantee I will use all these supplies, but they are certainly possibilities for you to consider.

Now that you have an alterable book, let's begin.

Paper, paper, paper, including wallpaper samples.

A word about glue is in order.  Now I have lots of glue, but decided to use the cheapest possible white PVA (polyvinyl) glue you can buy.  This came from a store called "Dollar Tree" in the U.S.  You get two of these for $1.00.  I'm sure the pound stores in the UK and similar stores in other countries have the same deals.

Right off the bat, I boxed myself into a corner by covering the words on the right side with a sheet of wallpaper.  Not only that, the wallpaper was vinyl and glue definitely didn't want to stick.  For the left side, I placed strips of various papers lengthwise, to break up the words on the page.

The right side sports part of a map (the same one I used before this month) and a portion of vintage sheet music.

The left side has bits torn from dictionary pages, a telephone book, a German book, and a novel.

I decided it was time for a bit of color, so I brewed some hibiscus tea.

While the tea was brewing, I got out a few goodies for the next layer.

Two types of masking tape, one of which is low tack, surgical tape, and a stapler sit on the right side.

Various goodies that will add a bit of color to the pages sit on the left side.

I'm in the process of stapling a tea bag tag to the right side of the page.

I also added bits of tape to the right side, along with three tickets and a music flash card.  I outlined the flash card with masking tape, as I did the sheet music and map.  It held them better since the wallpaper didn't want to cooperate.



For the left side, I added two teabag tags, three tickets, a lobster from an ad, part of a chopstick holder, and part of a paint chip sample.

Next, it was time for a bit more color and shading.  These are all eyeliner pencils I was given by my foodie friend Sally.  Yes, I really DO use these tampons to distribute color.

Eyeshadow and blush will hopefully bring out all the color I'm looking for.  Again, my friend was throwing them away because they were out of date.

While I was at it, I have several spools of thread I never use.  The white/pink at the top is too thick for my machine and I have to hand wind it onto a bobbin only.  The metallic copper breaks as soon as I start sewing with it.  I hope they will also add a bit of color to the pages.

I was wanting color and I certainly got it. 

I liked how different elements picked up the eye shadows and blushes differently.  I want to make it clear, that these are NOT creamy like lipstick, which I will NOT use in my art.  Only powders were used.

Even though I used the same eye shadow around the edge of this page,

I felt it wasn't dark enough for my taste.

That's when I remembered I still had my hibiscus tea.  By now, it had brewed quite well.

Oh goodness, this is a disaster.  Not at all what I had planned.

I quickly grabbed a piece of old bed sheet and mopped up the worst of the mess.

That's when I got sidetracked and decided to die more fabric and a bit of lace.

Once I got the lace and fabric in that small disposable cup,

it was time to bring out more goodies.  Yes, these are Crayola brand and I love them.  They are truly the best crayons in the entire world.

I hate it when the PO marks through postage stamps, but somehow this seemed a bit appropriate for this spread.

I was now much happier with the final pages.

I thought the lobster stuck out too much, so I tried to soften it with a bit of color.

I also added a bit of color

along the outside of the left side.

The sentiment?  Yours.  Truly.  was held together with two copper staples.

I am so grateful you stuck with me through this very long tutorial.  Because the only items I used were those that most people would consider trash or recyclable, I am also joining Alison/Craftytrog, our host this month at Art Journal Journey with her recycle and collage theme, as well as my friends at Try it on Tuesday where their theme this fortnight is Recycle Something.  Thank you again for joining me for this Second Thursday tutorial, and hope to see you at Art Journal Journey and Try it on Tuesday.   Once this goes live, you will be able to access it anytime on my Tutorials page.

 This is Day 12 of 22 and I recycled numerous items one would normally throw in the trash or recycle bin and showed you how to create an altered book spread for very little cash.


22 thoughtful remarks:

Helen said...

Great way you have used your salvaged and destined for the trash items. I've not used makeup in my art before although seen various people do, as I wonder how permanent it would be. the hibiscus tea has added some great colour too.

Valerie-Jael said...

Great way of using trash. Thanks for sharing and thanks for joining us yet again at TIOT. Valerie

Rike said...

I really really love this tutorial! It is exactly my direction - to use simple things for making art! So you created an exciting page in your altered book for very little cash but for big result and great fun! It is sooo inspiring - I want to go now and try such work too!
Wish you a happy day! Rike xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

As I continued through this post I became more and more enthralled with the way you put this spread together and was hoping that it would be for TIOT......and it is hurray and Thank you for joining us once again! Thats a great list of possible recyclables too! Hugs,Chrisx

Incipient Wings said...

wow, love how this looks..thank you for the all the photos and instructions.
the finished product is awesome..I bet the pages are all crackly and thick..lovely!! that's my favorite thing about altered books!

froebelsternchen said...

ONE WORD Elizabeth!
G*E*N*I*U*S

Happy day your Majesty the Queen of Recycling!


Hugs, Susi

My name is Erika. said...

This is an interesting post. I love the idea of using old makeup and tea dyeing. And you created a great page. Youdo give us a fun recycling month for sure! Hugs-Erika

CJ Kennedy said...

I really enjoyed watching your process as you worked taking trash to treasure.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

These pages really came out so beautifully! What an interesting tutorial. Thanks. I'm also eyeing your keys in the post below this one. They look great. I'll have to go visit that post.

Nancy said...

Such a wonderful assortment of found items to use. And I really liked the page before you added color. Sometimes I'll like something and not want to keep it going- which I might have done with yours. But, oh, then the color. Some of those elements look like they float and the results are really nice. I'm glad you kept it going! By the way, the ice-dyed pieces shown on my blog are whole-cloth for the most part. My understanding is that many of her pieces take time because she over-dyes them, enhances with stitching, etc. Kay's blog is Quilts + Color if you want to see more of her work and methods. Ocala didn't have the horses until early 2000's, so were not here on your visit.

Sandra Cox said...

Great job of using what's at hand and coming up with a super product. I must admit I blinked a couple of times at your 'color distributor'. Ha Ha.
You know after reading this, what popped into my mind was the way you find a use for everything, I bet you could build homes and shelters for folks for just about nothing.

da tabbies o trout towne said...

Elizabeth; thanx for sharing !! I enjoyed reading this post and seeing the final art piece; you did a great job :) ☺☺♥♥

Jeanie said...

I love this post to pieces and it's so spot on and such fun. I love the piece you did, too. You maxed out your materials and beautifully! This is a wonderful value lesson for everyone.

Thanks for your visit -- that's annoying about your tree trimming. Don't you hate it when people don't reply when you call. I'm glad they responded quickly to me but we'll see how they follow through. You also asked about Lizzie's neckwear -- it's a small silk bandanna (actually a dharma trading handkerchief blank) that I had painted. She has quite a wardrobe! This one is in spring yellows and greens! And glad you liked the slippers. They are from a company called "Snoozies" and very comfy!

craftytrog said...

A great recycled spread Elizabeth, and I appreciated all the ideas and tips! I think the hibiscus tea looks fab!
Alison xx

Divers and Sundry said...

Thank you so much for this! I don't want to make an altered book, but I'm fascinated when I see them and am interested in how they are constructed. I love that you didn't have to buy anything to get this great result. You are the recycling art queen :)

Meggymay said...

Wow, this is AWESOME recycling. You have shown us super photos creating these pages. I love the detail of the items and will for sure have to use some old make up that is sitting in one of my cupboards as I've never used it since I left work.
Thank you for another great contribution to our Try it on Tuesdays theme.
Yvonne xx

Rita said...

Yes, it's amazing what you can find around the house for recycling or upcycling into art or craft projects. Nice! :)

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, it's amazing to think that these pages are 100% recycled! I love all the papers that you used in the background and the cotton thread adds such lovely texture too 😁. Thanks so much for joining us at Try it on Tuesday and wishing you a Happy Friday and Weekend! J 😊 x

Cindy McMath said...

A wonderful spread Elizabeth. The sewing adds that special something. Great composition here too. Lovely to see so many recycled items.

Lowcarb team member said...

Wow! Your post was so colourful. Great to see.
I've not tried hibiscus tea, maybe I will!

All the best Jan

Lorraine said...

Great photos. It's fun to see the step-by-step process. And I love that you've used so much "stuff" most people would toss away. There sure is enough of it out there, don't you think!

Rosie said...

Just wonderful

Thank you for joining us at TRY IT ON TUESDAY