Tag Archives: upcycling

Scrap Happy Box

machine embroidery on crazy patchwork

I made this piece of crazy patchwork in 2013 and although I have photographed it and have tote bags and cushions made from the ensuing fabric, I have never made anything with the fabric itself.

Another little fabric box seemed just the right project for it.

Still using canvas left over from my needlepoint days, I cut the sides 3″ by 2.5″ and the base a 3″ squarebox structure

making a fabric box

I lined the box with an old T-shirt, the hem at the top.

recycling an old T-shirt

Here are all the layers, ready to be stitched together.

pieces ready for assemblong, fabric box

The base is T-shirt fabric on both sides.

After stitching the layers together with some runnig stitches across the pieces, I blanket stitched the edges

fabric box

Then sewed the pieces all together to form the box

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Using some 2ply crochet cotton left over from a dreamcatcher, and a 2.5mm hook, I did a chain stitch all round the top into the blanket stitches, to make a simple shell stitch edging.

fabric box with crochet edging

Lots of Scrap Happiness to join in with Kate and her merry band of Scrappers on Scrap Happy Day, which is on the 15th of every month.

If you want to see how some scraps of rusty barbed wire can be used to create art, have a look at my previous post.

Pop across to see what others have been doing with their scraps:

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

Always inspiring!

Scrap Happy February

I am having a serious sort out of all my yarny WIPs and UFOs.

In 2016 I made a blanket to send to Syria for refugees, inspired by Mrs Snail’s method of joining oddments of yarn with a knot and leaving the knots as texture in the work – with no ends to sew in!

My daughter, asked for another to throw over an armchair for her farmer husband to sit in when he came in during the day covered in all manner of mess and muck. In the box where all the UFOs are stored I found these

usig up oddments

I can’t remember what they were for – maybe I was going to make cushion covers, anyway, I decided to unravel them and make another blanket for myself. I have been unravelling lots and lots of abandoned bits – it was such a relief to come to this decision.scrap blanket

The yarns are a mixture of cotton, wool, and acrylic. some is from my Mum’s stash, but mostly it is from old abandoned projects of mine. Plus oddments left over from finished projects.

All are tied together with reef knots (left over right, right over left).

What a haul ….

upcycled

and there’s plenty more to come!

I’m using a 5mm hook and started with a few rows of chunky weight turquoisescraps pf yarn

I have been keeping my bits and pieces, left over from sewing in ends a bag in a drawer

but when we met in West Bay for our Sweet Pea Gathering, one of our group told us she is storing her ends in a glass jar and then posted a photo on FB – oh they did look pretty – so now ….

yarn ends

I’m sorting my ends into colour jars – it makes sewing in ends much more fun!

A friend I met on the Collage Workshop in November, says she uses ends like these when she makes paper out of fabric off cuts. I’m not sure what I will do with mine yet – but for now I’m enjoying them brightening up the windowsil.

Joining in with Kate and her happy band of scrappers in her regular Scrap Happy post.

Arch

My entry for our One-a-Week Photo Challenge

Golden Rock, Nevis, Caribbean

We were told that this was the best place to eat on Nevis – what a place.

Gorgeous gardens

fabulous cocktails

Lunch:

sumptuous burger with obligatory Rum Punch for my friend L

and a Conch Chowder for me, (with pink and orange napkins) Yumsk!

Then masses of arty stuff, which was right up my street

side tables made of plastic rubbish set in a solid foam  – now … could I do this with some of my beach finds I wonder???? Hmmmm … must find out more.

I want that green chair!

I want to make that lampshadeHad to go for a sit down – I was getting over excited!

An Antillean Bullfinch came to see if we had any crumbs to spare.

So romantic …….

Textile Wall Hanging

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“Nothing Between Me and the Sea”

Just a few days into my stay in the treehouse, the old worn sofa was to be replaced.

The sofa had been draped in a throw to cover its age, so when the throw was removed I saw the fabric – Yikes! I could not let that wonderful vintage fabric be thrown in the skip! dsc_0234

I asked if I could have the fabric – and as an aside said – “but this sofa is so comfortable is it really going to be thrown away!”

A bit cheeky of me – sometimes the recycler/environmentalist/hoarder in me just will not be silenced!

Elizabeth said I could have the fabric and I was as happy as a pig in straw for the next few days, tearing, cutting, washing, drying and sorting the sofa cover.

The design was intriguing – a strange mix of sea and land flora and fauna: butterflies, birds, coral, shells and all sorts of strange plants. I started to play ….dsc_0049-1

….. making small fabric collages, stitching each piece on a background with a simple running stitch. At home I would have used my machine, but there was something very soothing about sitting curled up on the new sofa looking out at the sunrise or sunset and slowly stitching.

The weather was beautiful and most days were sunny.  I was often on the beaches between sunrise and sunset, collecting shells and beach cleaning. The photo below was taken on Christmas Day

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After bracing walks on the beaches or coast paths, what better than to go back to the cosiness of the treehouse for some gentle stitching.

The idea of a wall hanging was simmering away and I wanted to incorporate one of my own quotes

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“whatever the question, creativity is the answer”

After the sofa-moving, Elizabeth and I had a lovely chat and I heard the story of how she and her husband had found this place to live, over 25 years ago. The story had an air of magic about it.  It became clear to me that this hanging was for Elizabeth and needed to be finished for Christmas Day.

Some twigs cut from the ash tree were perfect to hang the piece from,

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with tassels of torn strips of fabric and shells from the beach sewn to the bottom edge.

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Whilst Elizabeth was looking for a house all those years ago, she had a dream about a house with nothing between her and the sea and ……… well the rest is her story to tell, but there is nothing but fields between the treehouse and the sea and the phrase stuck in my mind, and it needed to be on that hanging.

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Rather than start a new hanging I covered my words with another piece of fabric, so that Elizabeth could have both

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On Christmas Day circumstances conspired to mean that Elizabeth and I came together for a cuppa in front of her fire, I gave her the hanging, we had such a lovely long and gentle chat sharing life stories, and a friendship was born. The stay in the treehouse took on an even more rich and magical quality.

And hurray! my comment about the sofa meant that Elizabeth realised that all it needed was a new cover and that it really was comfortable – now it sits happily in her house for all to enjoy.

 

Paint Party Friday

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Making some art with my Thames foreshore findings, gathered on 23.Oct.16. If you would like to see more about that fabulous treasure hunt click here and  here

I spent ages playing around with bits and pieces before I arrived at this arrangement.dsc_0001-1 dsc_0005-1 dsc_0007-1 dsc_0014-1 I’d love to know what you think.

The pieces down lefthand side are the broken stems of clay pipes, the rest is pottery found on that day.

I am going to experiment with a new found toy – Sugru. (Introduced to me by Mrs Snail – she teaches us all so much!) I’m hoping to fix the pieces on to the canvas with this substance that turns to rubber, but no time left today as I’m off to pick up Big Bro and Little Bro from school in a minute. A Granny’s work is never done!

Joining in with Paint Party Friday

All pieces of art made on the Beach Clean theme are going towards and exhibition I will be doing with Miss E in Dorset Arts Weeks 2018. However we are beginning to talk about a smaller event next year – I’ll be sure to let you know  all about it.

Upcycling for a 6 year old

It is Big Bro’s sixth birthday. I struggle with presents. Ethical thinking makes it a bit of a difficult road to navigate with young boys who love plastic and flashing lights and all things Star Wars or Superman.

The Village hall was having a clear out and these metal document cases1 were about to go in the skip – aaaaaaaarghhhh!!!!! NO! not more land fill. Surely I could put them to good use.

So with a bit of a clean and some trusty Duck Tape, I decorated some folders

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hung them in the box

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and after a good clean, added a bit of decoration on the outside.

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I added a pen I bought for Big Bro from the Turner Gallery in Margate (thus supporting the arts)

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which is also a screwdriver, spirit level and ruler.

Now that should be fine for a 6 year old boy shouldn’t it?!

I’m keeping the other metal document case for Little Bro’s 4th birthday in a couple of month’s time, because, if it is a success, I am guessing he will want one as well.

Red

Red Henry: He has tales to tell and the scars to prove it.

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I have had Henry with me for about 30 years, a lot has happened in those 3 decades. He finally needs to go into retirement and be replaced with a younger model. I just could not bring myself to take him to the dump – he holds memories – how ridiculous to have a sentimental attachment to a gadget, but he’s seen me through some tough times.

I asked Miss E (8) to think about what we could do with Henry, and she came up with the idea that he could be used to hold toys for Little Miss M (3), “because she would love to push them around” – and I do believe she would!

So after a bit a a clean he has taken up his new post as a toy carriage.DSC_0061

And if that doesn’t please Little Miss M as much as we think it will – he can be used as a moveable plant pot holder for the heavy blue ceramic pot holding a custard apple plant that I have grown from seed.

One of Henry’s Tales:

Cue wobbly camera effect as we go back to circa 1989……..The day was fraught with my 11 year old middle child (!) being very annoying. He was pretty cross with me for leaving his Dad, and I was pretty cross with him for being bolshie. We were all struggling to adjust to the new situation. We lived in a town at that time and were planning to go shopping, he was refusing to come with us. In the end he persuaded me to leave him at home – we only planned to be about 45 mins so rightly or wrongly (wrongly as it turned out!) I decided I could really do with a break from the arguments and took the other two with me.

The three of us were wandering peacefully along in the pedestrian shopping street when a bike came up beside us very fast and screeched to a halt! It was middle child looking terrified – he garbled, without drawing breath “I wanted to be helpful, so I thought I’d lay the fire but it caught alight and I tried to put it out but it made a mess so I vacuumed it up and now the vacuum cleaner’s on fire!!!”

“Ok,”I said, “we will all go home” (I could be very calm in a crisis in those days) and he took off on his bike. We hurried back to the car park and drove home.

When we arrived, I was relieved to see no flames licking the roof, only an ashen faced boy holding on tightly to his bike standing at the gate waiting for us.

Opening the door I was greeted by a hideous smell, a mixture of burnt plastic and human hair (a lot of hair seems to be vacuumed up in our house) have you ever burnt hair – it smells DISGUSTING.

But no smoke and no fire! Phew!

Luckily the smouldering pieces once inside Henry’s belly had seemingly run out of oxygen and although they had burnt through the dust bag and a made a small hole in the canvas dust bag cover, DSC_0043and some scorch marks on the inside, no further harm was done and Henry still worked perfectly well, and soldiered on reliably until just a few weeks ago.

On the plus side – middle child was quite subdued and beautifully behaved for the rest of the week, returning to his more natural good humour and playfulness.

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cantankerous child

with charm and a certain look

he redeems himself

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and a 3/5/3

cheeky boy

with a charming look

puts things right

~

Which do you like best?

These are definitely Haibun this week: story summed up with a haiku

And the new Henry seems to be settling in nicelyDSC_0043 (1)

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Joining in with Ronovan’s ever expanding band of Haiku Challengers. Prompt words: CHARM and LOOK

and

Bluedaisyz 52 week Photo Challenge: RED

Bluedaisyz Challenge is coming to an end. 😦

A few of us have enjoyed it so much we have been chatting behind the scenes and hopefully there will be some exciting developments to tell you about next week. 😀

I’m very excited!

The photo prompt for next week is:

MAGIC!