Sunday, January 29, 2012

Recycled Art Class at Art Center

I started the day with teaching a class about recycled crafts to a group of children ages 5- 9 and their parents.  We made found paper wallets, the same ones I helped 300 students make this week at Art Week at a local elementary school, and recycled sweater monsters.  It is always so rewarding to work with a group of people who are just as excited as I am about creating with recycled materials.  

I have a couple more children's recycled craft classes scheduled in The Dalles, Oregon in February and March through WonderWorks Children's Museum.

February 21st- Recycled Wallets
March 8th- Lavender Dolls and Recycled Pocket Notebooks

Week Four- Unmentionables

I stumbled across a blog called Belle and Burger  that showed me how to make panties from recycled t-shirts, so I decided to take a stab at it. After making the first pair, I was hooked. Not only are they fairly easy to make, but I can modify them to fit just the way I like them.

 I am now on the hunt for t-shirts or knit clothing to repurpose into this new project. I have already make at least 10 pairs and keep asking if any of my kids want some. So far no takers.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January Challenge- Used Billboards

Each month I am taking on the challenge of finding a waste material to use as my creative medium.  During the month of January, I am creating with used billboards.  Meadow Outdoor Advertising, located in The Dalles, Oregon, is where I was able to find the used billboards.  Once the billboards are taken down, Meadow passes the used billboards along to people who have contacted them to pick one up.  Many farmers use them to cover their crops or hay.  My father-in-law is using one to keep his wood pile dry.

Billboards are one of those products that we think little about.  We see them on the side of the highway advertising what is to be found at the next exit, but how many of you have stopped to think about what they are are made of and what happens when they are taken down.  These large tarps are made from a thick vinyl material, not paper like many of us may assume.  This makes sense since they are exposed to the elements for months at a time.  They need to be hardy enough to endure the changing weather.  When I picked up the three billboards that were saved for me,  I so surprised at how heavy they were.  Once I took them home and spread them out to see their size, I was also blown away by how enormous they were.  I had to unfold them in outside and they took up most of the open space in my backyard. 

The idea for the challenge is to create with this the used billboards during the month of January, and post pictures of what I created at the end of the month.  The Columbia Art Center in Hood River has offered to host the collection of projects that were made during the First Friday Art Walk each month in Hood River.  I am asking friends, artists and my readers to join in this challenge with me each month.  You can submit a project by sending me a picture of what you made or bring it to the Columbia Art Center on February 2nd from noon-1pm where you can also pick up the next month's challenge material, used cassette tapes and VCR tapes.

Art Week

We are right in the middle of  Art Week at one of the local elementary schools and I have been lucky enough to be involved in this wonderful project.  Art Week was the brain child of a fellow Master Recycler, teacher and artist, Peggy.  She wanted to devote an entire week at school to celebrating the arts.  After finding funding for her project, she was able to hire 6 artists to come to the school and do a week long residency so that the entire school would collectively be able to have a focus on art.  Artists from a variety of disciplines were asked to participate in order to expose the children to a number of art forms.  Painting, sculpting, movement, music, recycled arts, cutting, pasting... CREATING!!  

The students go to two art sessions a day.  The have the opportunity to work with one artist for the entire week where they will focus on one project or medium.  During the second session, they rotate through different artist and project each day, one that can be completed in 75 minutes. This way the students have the chance to work on a long-range project and 5 smaller projects. This model was so successful that other area schools have adopted it and are also having Art Week. 

This year I am teaching almost 300 students how to make recycled paper wallets.  I have 75 minutes with a group of 20 students to complete the project and teach them a little about recycling as well.  We are using a variety of found paper to make the wallets such as wrapping paper, wall paper, maps, cards, paint chips, book covers, scrap booking paper, security envelopes.  The wallets are covered with discarded overhead  transparencies that I rescued from local teachers.  There's nothing like creating from materials that I know are headed for the landfill and extending their life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Week Three- Notebooks

I found these great cards at Goodwill that showed the definition of  common slang words and phrases such as "step off", "sick", "D.L." and "off the hook".  

 They make "sick" notebooks, as well as a good conversation piece.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Week 2: Profile Collage

This is an idea I got from a couple of projects I saw on  As usual, I look at Pinterest and get inspired to create using an idea I saw, but making it my own.  

I started by creating a magazine scrap collage that I covered with Mod Podge. 
I just cut up a cereal box to use as the background for my collage.   

I love looking for different colors and patterns in magazine pictures and advertising.  

Then I took a picture of my son in profile.  I traced the outline right off the computer.  Since the screen is illuminated, I can put a piece of white paper right up to the screen and trace right on the monitor.  I know this is probably not the best approach.  I have always been told not to touch my screen, let alone trace on it... but it worked for me.  I never have good luck trying to trace a shadow projected on a wall.

I cut out the profile, placed it on my dried collage and used black paint to  around the cut out pattern of the profile.  Just lift the profile off the paper, and you are done!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monster Making

Yesterday, I got together with a group of Mom's and their 9 and 10 year old daughters to make Monsters from recycled sweaters. They were given very simple instructions and then given full reign of the materials available to make their monsters. They had sweaters, afghans, buttons, funky clothing scraps and embroidery thread. They were all stuffed with my big bag of scraps from projects I had worked on the last couple of months.

Some Mom's made their own, others helped their daughter with her project, but each daughter walked away with a Monster. All of the monsters were unique and showed the personality of the creator.

I will be teaching a recycled arts class at the Columbia Art Center in Hood River during  the Trash to Treasures exhibit this month.  Join us on January 28th from 9am-noon to make a monster and wallet, all from recycled materials.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Week One- Textile Samples

A fellow Master Recycler works at Mt. Hood Meadows. She often seeks me out when she comes across something they are getting rid of that needs a new home. I have been given old USA flags, nylon and vinyl banners and textile samples.

Here are a couple of patchwork pillow covers I made with the textile samples.

I also made a cover for a foot stool that will be posted soon.

New Year's Resolution 2012

(Monsters made by me and my 9 year old daughter using recycled sweaters and blankets)

My crafting goals/resolutions for 2012 are as follows:

1. Create something new each week.
There are so many projects that I have been meaning to make, but have never devoted time to doing. This is the year to see what I am capable of making and try my hand at some new types of crafts.  The plan is to post a new project each week this year.
2. Create using a different repurposed material each month.
I am launching the Repurposing Challenge 2012 to try to find new ways to use materials we generally think of as waste. Each month I will choose a different waste material from local businesses to repurpose and avoid putting in the landfill. 

3. Blog more often.
My goal will be to blog at least once a week, so feel free to help my live up to that expectation by posting comments if you see that I am slacking! I also want to take a class about how to use Blogger, so I can make this blog even better than it is now.