Creative re-use: the Art Elements theme reveal

Welcome! This month Lesley tasked us with something a little different – she challenged us to reuse, recycle, and reinvent. While that wasn’t a new idea for some of us – it was a really fun challenge to try something new, to make new from old. It was perfect timing with Earth Day falling in the month to make use of exiting materials, in an effort to reduce waste and consumerism.

My first piece came to me filled with delicious British chocolates. Jenny Wren to be exact. They arrived perfectly intact from my Secret Santa Caroline – that tiny wren flying thousands of miles with the assistance of the Royal Mail. We ate the chocolates carefully, savoring the treat over a few days, and yes – I did share with my husband.

The box fascinated me. I loved the engineering, and the size. The colors aren’t my personal palette – so for this month’s challenge I decided to give it a make over. ( Sadly no process pix. Oops) I based my palette on paste paper I had made with my Book Arts group a while back. It was my favorite aqua greens, but with gold and burgundy. I covered the hot pink, but let the yellow peek out at the edges. I wrapped each drawer, and lined the inside. I knew I had to use thin paper, and leave certain areas alone – to as not bulk up the form and impede movement.

I am really happy with the box – it may live on my bead table, holding artist beads that are too pretty to put away, or that are in my line of vision as I contemplate what their future holds.

My second re-use project uses old wool sweaters. Unlike many of my team mates here at AE, I cannot sew. Nothing functional that it. I can embellish and embroider, but no patterns or machines for me. Old wool sweaters from the thrift store shrink and felt into lovely fabric – one simply needs to wash and dry on hot! These felted pieces I have used as the basis for tapestries, for pouches… This month I tried a goddess art doll of sorts. There are some issues – but I liked embroidering while watching tv – having something to do with my hands. The goddess shape I drew onto the felt, and did lose some definition of shape when I turned its and stuffed it – due to the thickness of the fabric. I think I will play with this idea more.

Ok – this is the big reveal. This is a thing I actually found in an antique store in Maine last October! When I saw it – I had a plan!

It is an antique mens travel grooming case, in great condition. I clean it up, threw put the brushes… and refilled it!

While it isn’t the most streamlined travel art studio – its unique and makes me happy! The soap and toiletries boxes have all been reimagined:

There are travel scissor, brushes… I need to find a plastic travel bottle that fits in one of the open loops, and I have a watercolor tray that may fit in as well. I went to find a sketchbook to fit inside – but they were all too thick. So I made a folio – to hold loose paper. It will serve as the work surface as well. It is covered in Tyvek painted with alcohol inks – so it won’t be harmed by the occasional splatter.

Before I go – a few process pix. The watercolor pans are all in place with magnets. Magnetic tape not eh bottom of the box, and a round magnet on each pan. Easy to remove, rearrange, refill. And the Tyvek? It was simply a USPS mailer envelope cut open, and painted on the clean white inside. ( Free and durable)

Thanks for stopping in – I am off to dabble with my watercolors for the #100 day project. But please – take a look at what creative re-use solution are going on on the other blogs!

Guests 

Tammy

Alysen

Evie & Beth

Karin

Hope

Divya

Anita

Sarajo

Kathy

Rebecca

Martha

AE Team

Niky

Laney

Cathy

 Caroline

Jen

Jenny  ( you are here)

Sue

Claire

Lesley

Reclaim. Reincarnate. Recycle.

Britannica 1

Britannica 2

When we were growing up we had an Encyclopedia Britannica. It wasn’t always the best reference then – as it was from 1949! Some things were accurate, others not – but it was a starting point for my siblings and I as we researched our term papers… taking notes longhand, in the old fashioned days before the Internets arrived. (We did not however, have to walk two miles to school, uphill both ways. We aren’t that old.) The set had been my mother’s, and came to us from her. It is a classic – leather bound spines, the delightful thin paper that whispers as you turn the pages… Fantastic diagrams and illustrations, in black and white – naturally!

Britannica 3

Britannica 4

The entire set had been languishing in my parent’s  garage. Not the best environment for books – but many people would have let go of the set by now – some thirty years after it was last used. Not us – we are a family of keepers. You never know when you might need that ________later! And I have now decided I need that set of encyclopedias. ( If you are squeamish at the talk of dissection and destruction of books, don’t read on…) This set – it is a treasure trove. I can select pages and diagrams to use in collage for their content. I have volumes of pages to use as text alone; when the subject matter is not inspirational or pertinent to the piece. 

Britannica 5

I keep finding flowers I pressed years and years ago. Was this special? Or simply the budding artist inspired by the natural world surrounding her? ( Pun intended.)

Britannica 6

That little boy cracked me up. Featured on the “Art Education” page of all ironies. Is he concentrating or just plain grumpy? 

I have torn the first pages out. I am working on a fundraiser for my town of Newark. More to come soon. On other topics – the first session of clay camp has ended. Much teacher work to do to finish up from session one and prepare for session two. Thats on next week’s agenda. For now – it is off to St. Peters Art Show in Lewes DE. Will I see you there? Regardless – have a great holiday weekend!