Category Archives: recycling

Scrap Happy Stitchbook

This month’s Goody Pack from The Stitchbook Collective, is all about dyeing and staining.

beach finds

It probably comes as no surprise that I have a Rust Collection. These are all pieces I have gathered over the last 5 or 6 years whilst beachcombing.

I have been waiting to use them for dyeing fabric, but every time I looked online for instructions, I came across confusing information, so didn’t have a go …. until now!

Helen Birmingham’s written instructions are clear and run alongside a helpful video tutorial. This gave me the perfect kickstart. You can still buy the kit in her online shop.

I relished getting each rusty piece out and arranging them.

flat lay

enjoying the texture and colours.rusty nails

Then the happy task of wrapping them in white-vinegar-soaked fabric.

fabric dyeing with rust

Leaving them overnight was a challenge – I’m SO impatient

Some were stacked on a trivet above my cooling wood-burning stove to speed up the process

rust dyeing stack

I also stained a few bits of paper for collage at the same time.

oven rust

The larger pieces were put on top of vinegar-soaked fabric and put it in the oven.dyeing with rust

I put the oven on the lowest temperature for just five minutes and left for a while, repeating this several times, sprinkling with white vinegar to keep it moist.

rust stain

The grid effect came from a disposable barbeque mesh, that had been left on the beach.

rust dyeing

Fun!nails in calico and curtain lining

Nails wrapped in strips of an old calico curtain and the lining were my favourite little experiments

IMG_6857

My intention was to dye strips of fabric and embroidery thread to use in textile artIMG_6874

– but I loved the look of the wrapped nails so much I have kept some of them wrapped

wrapped and rusted

and will use them as they are.

To preserve them, I have painted them with some old acrylic varnish found in the garage, left by the previous owner – it must be at least 15 years old, but it did the trick.

varnish

So exciting.

This is a little stitched sampler that will go in my Stitchbook.

textile art for The Stitchbook Collective

I am enjoying this so much!

Joining Kate for her monthly Scrap Happy get together.

There are lots more Happy Scrappers to check out as well.

Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
MoiraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

Have you been creative with things destined for the scrap heap? If so, leave a link in the comments of Kate’s post and join in the fun.

Wordless Wednesday: Wabi Sabi

wabi sabi, art course

wabi sabi art course

wabi sabi art course with Helen Turner

charcoal, wabi sabi, art course

On a fabulous art course with Helen Turner this week.

The Stitchbook Collective: Texture 2

The Stitchbook Collective

As you might remember, I have joined The Stitchbook Collective: a year long adventure in stitch with monthly Workshops created by Helen Birmingham.

In September’s Texture Pack we were sent a small pack of factory waste threads to play with. Helen provides some very helpful video tutorials and explained the process of glueing these threads together to make them into a piece of fabric that can be used in a fabric and stitch collage..

I separated the threads out into colour groups and used mainly purples for this piece

embroidery

Although it works as an example of the technique, I’m not thrilled with the design and prefer the more abstract look of the backreverse embroidery

especially when I flip the photo

the back

I can see this in paint on canvas ……..  each excercise sparks new ideas.

With the next groups of threads I kept the threads in a rectangular shape, hoping to be able to create a better design.

gluing threads together

I cut the lower piece into 4 and laid it on some waste sari silk which I got from the company YarnYarn.

textile

textures

At Helen’s suggestion (in her video tutorial) I added some netting provided in the pack

embroidery

and then stitched into it with Rice Stitch, Running Stitch and Cross Stitch.

I am happier with this one.

Here are the two pieces as they will appear on the page of the Stitchbook.page of samples, embroidery, Stitchbook Collective

I am really enjoying the workshops and the stitching, but I don’t feel I am in the creative flow of it yet. I am waiting for that magic ah-ha moment, when the creative penny drops and, well  ……. hmmm ……..  I’ll know it when I feel it.

The best bit is to be part of a like-minded supportive group, sharing what we are making and talking all things textiles – I’m really loving the sense of community that is building up.

The packs and tutorials are so well put together. It is very soothing to sit sewing whilst listening to Helen describing the process and her joy of stitching. There are a limited number of packs still for sale in Helen’s online shop, one pound from the sale of each pack goes to the mental health charity MIND.

To date £749 has been raised.

Scrap Happy Edge

Scrap Happy in August: I finished the Scrappy Blanket that was started in February and I gave it a rather magnificently over-the-top edge.

crochet scraps blanket

I made up the pattern for the edge as I went along, using Helen Shrimpton’s Sunbursts from her Cosmic Cal pattern as a guide.

Some of you might wince at this. Lynn and Jane, I’m thinking of you. 😉 Look away now!

It felt very freeing not to worry whether the sunbursts were always on a corner or not.

crochet edge

It looked particularly at home on the bench made of recycled pallets

bench made of pallets

and next to the repurposed empty blue agricultural detergent container, which is now a waterbutt. The blanket has gone to live as a throw over an armchair in my daughter’s grey, white and sunshine yellow kitchen, so I made myself another smaller one!

recycled yarn

and thought this bench perfect for the photo shoot.

crochet, recycling

The bench is in the children’s play park where much of my scrap happy crochet is done, I sit and crochet whilst the children play – what better way to spend a few happy hours of Granny hooking time.

All the yarn is either left over from projects, unravelled old projects or from my Mum’s vast stash, gathered when we cleared out her house. Nearly every strand holds a memory, adding to the joy of making each blanket – and there is lots more to go!

I tie each piece together with a reef knot and leave the ends on show for texture. If I feel I want a change of colour, I just cut the yarn and add in a colour I want.

These blankets are made with a mixture of yarns – cotton, acrylic, mixes and a small amount of 100% wool. They wash well in the machine at 30C.

Pop along over to Kate’s place and see links to lots of other inspiring Scrap Happy projects. Scrap Happy day is on the 15th of each month.

Scrap Happy

Joining Kate at Talesfromchiconia for her Scrap Happy gathering on the 15th of every month.

A friend’s birthday was approaching and I knew she would appreciate the recyle/reuse ethos behind this meme, so I went to my vast collection of bits of crochet I have made as experiments with either pattern or colour. crochet experiments

I have a similar collection of art experiments with acrylic paint on paper, so I chose one of these for the basis of the card

Folding the card into 3, I tried out a couple of ideas

DSC_0484

I decided to use the flower which is the centre of the Amanzi block, I lined up all the ends and marked the positions of the holes I wanted to make in the card

DSC_0486

sitting it atop a ball of yarn to pierce the needle through

DSC_0485

Then I sewed the threads through and tied them at the back

Ta dah!bday card

The present was some handmade soap I had bought in St Davids, Pembrokeshire, from the force of nature that is Julia Horton-Mansfield who owns the Really Wild Soap Company.DSC_0491

I first met Julia on one of her guided wild food foraging walks

The soaps and card were wrapped up in a page from an old magazine

present

Pop along over to Kate’s to find others who can inspire you to usefully use up bits and pieces of this and that.

Happy Scrapping

Scrap Happy in the Garden

There I was thinking that I did not have any projects to share this month when along came another supremely inspiring post by Mrs Snail, (and Mr Snail)

Pallets

  1. Farmers always seem to have old pallets lying around and I have a rather grand bug hotel which was installed in March 2012

The top pallets had been cut in half. This is how it looks nowbug hotel made of pallets

sitting happily under the amalanchier. I’d love to take it apart to see what it houses, but obviously I won’t!

2. Garden Benches

A friend of a friend is helping to run The Bus Shelter, a wonderful project for the Homeless. There is an old double-decker bus which sits in the corner of a car park just outside Weymouth and welcomes homeless people who need shelter or access to services. One of the guys who spends time at the Bus has been making garden benches from old pallets for the shelter to use. pallet benchesAren’t they brilliant!!!

They advertised one for sale and I said YES PLEASE!!! I also asked if a garden workbench/potting bench could be made and sent a photo I had found on Pinterest

Hey Presto!

workbench from old pallets

I’m so thrilled with this. I will put some chicken wire round the back three sides underneath and hopefully this will make a great outside potting bench in the garden.

I’m tempted to order another seat and a table – but transport is the issue. Now to work out how to get them to me.

Join Kate 

and her happy band of Scrappers on the 15th of each month

Gun, TittiHeléne, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
MoiraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

 

Yarn Along with Ginny

scrappy throw

The Scrap Happy Throw is coming along. If you remember I started this as an easy project I could take with me whilst travelling to Egypt. Great to make on the plane and anytime I did not want to have to think about what I was doing.

It is a great project for using up all sorts of scraps of yarn of all different weights – all tied together with a Reef Knot. I will be leaving the ends on show.

I am making it as a throw to protect a kitchen armchair (not this one) in my daughter’s new house. Perfect for her farmer husband to sit in when he comes in for lunch covered in farm grime.

It needs about 10 more rows before adding a one coloured edge.

I have also just completed a little 6″x6″ cotton doily as a housewarming present for a friend.

#1 Favorire

Made with a 2mm hook in Scheepjes Sugar Rush crochet cotton, Capri Blue.

This is the second time I have made this pattern – it is not the easiest to follow, I probably won’t make it again.

#1 Favorire on Ravelry.

I’m joining in with Ginny and other Yarny Crafters in Ginny’s Yarn Along.

I’m not reading any books but I am listening to The Horn Section on Radio 4 Extra .