Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plastic Quilt Project

April has proven to be a busy month for recycled arts.  It could be that Earth Day is right around the corner, so recycled art projects make sense.  I have been working with 10 elementary classes on the Plastic Quilt Project.  After learning about where our garbage goes and decomposition rates, the students were asked to save the single-use plastic that comes into their lives at home and at school for 2 days.  Using the plastic that was saved, they created quilt squares.

The students were surprised at how much single-use plastic is used in our daily lives.  Many came to the realization that most of the single-use plastic comes from the packaging of our food.

Students in grades 2, 3, 4 and 5 participated in the project from Westside and May Street Elementary Schools in Hood River, Oregon.

The quilt squares are on display at the Hood River Library in the basement hallway outside of the Children's Library.  Come check it out!

Monday, April 23, 2012


The March Challenge Material for the Repurosing Project 2012 was used corks from the local wineries.  Here are some of the projects that were created with the corks.


Hair clips

more hair clips


folding chair

Cork/chalkboard mounted on reclaimed cabinet door

free standing initial my daughter made to represent her name

truck made by local kids

Sailboat made by local middle schooler

cork board and pushpins made from reclaimed cabinet door and used corks

birdhouse made by local artist

Friday, April 20, 2012

April Challenge Material- Woven Plastic Malt Bags

Woven Plastic Malt Bag

I know this is a little late in the month, but if you would like to join in the monthly challenge, the material to create with this month is plastic woven malt bags that were collected from local breweries.  The brewing industry is not the only one that has woven plastic bags as a waste product, but since I live in an area where brewing is so prominent, malt bags made sense.  Small breweries can use up to 100 bags of malt during a busy week of brewing.  I asked my brewer friend at Everybody's Brewing in White Salmon, Washington to save me some bags and he was easily able to collect all I needed in just a couple of days.

Create using the plastic malt bags and have your projects ready to turn in by Thursday May 3rd to be on display at Hood River's First Friday on May 4th at the Columbia Art Center.   You can pick up the malt bags at the Columbia Art Center during their business hours.  The challenge material will always be available for you to take in the studio.  Take as much as you need and  I can always get more! Contact me if you have any questions (rethink crafts@gmail.com).   I can't wait to see what is created with this month's challenge material!

After school Art- Celilo Falls

This month I have been teaching an after school art class in two schools as part of a grant for the Confluence Project.  " At seven points along the Columbia River Basin, an unprecedented endeavor continues to unfold. Here, where rivers meet and indigenous people once gathered, the Confluence Project explores the intersection of environment, cultures and a regional history that reaches back many hundreds of years."  I am working with area children to create art while learning about Celilo Falls which was once a gathering place for many native american tribes to fish.  Celilo Falls was flooded over when The Dalles Dam was completed in 1957, silencing and erasing the falls.

The children and I have learned about the importance of fishing at Celilo Falls to many native american tribes and have watched videos and seen pictures of what the Falls looked like before and after the river was flooded.  

 During the four weeks of this class, the students are creating fish.  They started by looking at pictures fish that we find in the Columbia River from brochures donated by the Bonneville Dam. The students learned about layering tissue paper to create different colors and created fish using reclaimed file folders and colored tissue paper, covered with Mod Podge.

The students are now working on abstract fish made from recycled sweaters.    They are learning how to work with recycled fabrics and hand sew.  I will post pictures once the projects are finsihed.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week Thirteen- Vintage Suitcases

I have a bit of an obsession with vintage suitcases.  I look for suitcases at garage sales and thrift stores that are in decent condition on the interior, but I don't mind some dings on the exterior.  All you need to a little Mod Podge and some fabric to give an old suitcase a facelift.  I don't think I paid more than $3 for any one of these suitcases.   What a deal!

Time to celebrate!  This was my 100th post.  The first 5 people to leave a comment for this post win a prize!

Don't forget to follow this blog.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Week Twelve- Cork Mat

March is the month of corks for the Repurposing Project and this is one of the handful of projects I have completed.  I drilled holes in the corks and ran wire through them to make a flexible, yet durable doormat.

Can you believe this was the first time I ever used a drill?  No joke.

I need to give credit to my husband for helping me figure out how to easily put this doormat together.  He reminded me that whenever I start a project, it somehow also becomes his project.  Thanks Jess!