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2014-04-22 07.15.44Today is Earth Day so I’m devoting  this blog post to environmentally friendly living and eco friendly recycling and upcycling. I’ve been into recycling all of my life. My parents grew up in the Great Depression so they knew how to pinch pennies. Creative reuse was something they incorporated into our lives.

I think many artists embrace  recycling and creative reuse, myself included. I believe we are entrusted by a higher power to take care of the earth which is on loan to us, so whenever I can I incorporate creative reuse into my work and life, I do.

With the weather being so nice, I’ve been spending more time in my garden and I’ve planted some new plants, once of which is an apple tree. The care instructions suggested putting a protective barrier around the base of the trunk to protect it from animals such as deer. When the copier at work ran out of toner I immediately saw that the sturdy plastic bottle the toner comes in would be the perfect thing to go around the base of my tree. I asked my husband to saw off the bottom and the top to make a cylinder and then to cut a slit up the side. Here is a picture of the result.

2014-04-22 07.14.55We’ve been having a problem with a ground hog who loves to munch on my new plants. I no sooner planted tomato plants, cilantro, and zucchini than I discovered the next day he had munched off most of their leaves.  Groundhogs are cute but they can be destructive. How can I possibly keep that critter away from my plants?  I put tomato cages around them, some I inverted and used recycled stakes made from tree branches because the legs of the tomato cages had become too bent to stand upright. Then, depending on what I had enough of, I used either heavy duty plastic wrap (left over from wrapping furniture when we moved), bubble wrap which I always reuse, or plastic (which I also save) to go around the base of the barriers. I also created a teepee for my zucchini made from tree branches which not only serves as a barrier but also as something for the vine to climb.

2014-04-22 07.15.20For decorative garden purposes I reused a wrought iron light  fixture rescued from my brother. I put a recycled flower pot inside of with ivy to make a planter. I created a small bird bath from a silverplated tray and a candle holder (epoxied together), and I reused a broken marble tabletop (rescued from a furniture store) which I broke even more to mix in with my garden stones to make a terrace wall.

In my own artwork I always try to upcycle.  I’ve used recycled file folders, reycled jewelry, old maps and old magazines to make mixed media art. Recycled glass wine bottles become hanging wine bottle candles and cafe candles.

Broken glass and chipped china is applied to mirrors, or made into jewelry. Even now as I change how I do my pet coasters, I have learned to flip the tiles over if I don’t like the results after firing the tiles in my kiln, and use the other side of the tile for the image, covering the bottom with adhesive cork so there is little or no waste.

I’m including a link to Love 2 Upcyle blog which features even more recycled and earth friendly ideas and creations by Etsy Team Upcyclers.

Readers are invited to leave a comment on Serendipitini sharing some of the ways they go green.

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chipped china mirror

 

 

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Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #15

Show and Sell 250

Happy Easter weekend! I hope your Easter is especially meaningful. Pictured are my two top selections from last week’s Crafty Saturday. We are looking for more participants in these weekly events so be sure to share with your friends AND we are also looking for others who may want to host these Crafty Saturday link exchanges on their blogs. Items you post here will be featured on The Chilly Dog Blog and on Eclectic Technique as well so that’s more exposure for you.

 

 

 
MensBracelet

We don’t often see too many gifts for men  so that’s why I picked the Men’s Leather Bracelet by Carol Made. I love the blend of leather and silver.

 

Barefoot Sandels

I also  thought the barefoot sandals pattern by Lass Crochet were very cute. You can usher spring in with these beachy look designs. What fun!

Now, on to our Show and Sell.

4/19 – Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #15 (Themed Party – April Fresh – Newest item in your shop)

 


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Craft Tutorial: High Heel Shoe Flower Arrangement

shoearrange1

Here’s a creative reuse craft tutorial for making a flower arrangement from an old high heel shoe.
I wanted a red shoe but couldn’t find one so a can of spray paint helped me colorize a faux alligator skin shoe.  You can use this tutorial to make any color floral arrangement. Just change the colors of your shoe and flowers.  Note, it is better to cut the stems of the flowers and the wire taller than you need and resize them than to cut them too short.

Here’s what you will need:

A high heel shoe.
Red spray paint
3 large silk focal flowers (I used poppies)
3-4 slightly smaller accent flowers that compliment your main flower colors
1 stem of small filler flowers
1 small stem of artificial grass or fern (optional)
1/2 block of floral foam (the kind for silk floral arrangements)
Thick, white craft glue
Spanish moss
2014-03-30 11.23.25Coated wire or thick wire
Floral wire cutters
Round nose plyers

1.  Spray your shoe with a light coat of spray paint. Let dry. Add a second coat if you need more coverage

2.  Measure three sections of the thick wire to be approx 12″ high. Spray with paint if the wire isn’t already colored.  Spray the other side of the wire once the first sides are dry.

3.  Using a carton knife or X-acto knife, cut your floral block to fit into the toe section of your shore. It should be approximately 3 – 3 1/2 inches high. Don’t worry that it shows and sticks up. You will cover this with Spanish moss later.

4.  Squeeze craft glue into the bottom toe section of your shoe. Add the cut floral block. Cut corners, etc to fit snuggly. Let dry.
shoefloralarrange25.  Cut one of your larger focal flowers (poppies in my case) to approximately 8″ high and the other two approximately 7 1/2″ high. Place the stems in a triangular formation into your floral foam with the tallest being in the back of the floral
block. Bend the floral heads slightly to give them a more natural look.

4.  Cut your three to four slightly smaller accent flowers at varying heights so that they are shorter than the main floral flowers. The one closer to the shoe toe should be the shortest , etc.

5.  Add your three stems of filler flowers so that the one in the back is  two to three inches taller than your largest, tallest focal flower.  The next two filler flowers can be staggered in height and spread out to fill in.

6.  If you are using the artificial fern or grass, use one section in the back of the shoe.

7.  Take your colored wire and curl one end of each into a spiral shape.  Put the tallest wire in the foam at the back of the shoe and the other two wire pieces on each side of the shoe for balance.

8.  Cut and adjust the heights of your flowers to suit your taste.

9.  Squirt some white glue over the top of the floral foam and then spread Spanish moss over it to cover it.

10.  Add more glue around the base of the foam if necessary.

This floral arrangement is for sale in my Serendipitini Indiemade Store.


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4/12 – Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #14

Last Crafty Saturday featured our Spring Cleaning theme. Handmade artists were invited to post items they had had around for a while and wanted to clear out. I’ve selected two of these to feature this week, chosen for their uniqueness.

As always, you are also invited to post your handmade items and share and favorite them with others. Your posted items will appear on two other blogs as well. We are looking for other bloggers to host Crafty Saturdays on their sites too. All you have to do is post the code we send you and promote by inviting other handmade artists to post. The benefits are the links back and exposure to your blog. Email me if you are interested.

Instructions for those who merely want to post their links are below the two featured items. Happy posting!

fryingpan clock

Decoupaged frying pan 

by Creative Funny

 

 

 

 

 

 

CardmakingTexturePlatesCard Making Texture Plates

Sue’s Akorn Shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2014-03-28 09.29.21I made this upcycled vintage cow plate wall decor from a tiny antique ceramic plate I picked up at a thrift store and a recycled picture frame. Though you may not find a cow plate all that desirable, this same principle can apply to any vintage plate of any size.

Pick a plate you like that has an interesting design. Choose a picture frame it will fit nicely into which will leave a little space around the plate.  Choose ribbon that will compliment the colors of your frame and plate.  I chose to make  my frame red and  the  paper behind my plate yellow. I opted for a green polka dot ribbon with some of these colors to tie it all together.

Start by removing the glass from the picture frame. You can discard this or find another use for it.:)

Add a picture hanger onto the back of your picture frame if it doesn’t already have one. You want to do this now so as not to damage your plate later by adding it. If your plate is fairly large, I suggest you use a wire hanger with eye hooks which will hold more weight.

2014-03-28 09.30.10With your frame right side up, paint your picture frame the desired color. You can either spray paint it or brush on craft paint. For a more rustic look, you can sand off some of the edges slightly once the paint is dry.

Once your frame is dry, measure around the window opening of your frame. You’ll need to cut 4 lengths of ribbon. If your frame is square, cut all four pieces the same length. If your frame is rectangular, then two sections will need to be longer and the same length. Extend all four pieces about two and a half inches longer than the inside window side measurement of the frame opening. Before wasting ribbon, I suggest you practice on one length first. You want to slant your ribbon edges so they meet at the corners. Refer to the top picture. You may want to practice with scrap paper cut the size of your ribbon first and then cut your ribbon when you are happy with your lengths.

2014-03-28 09.30.18When you have the length of sections figured out, cut the ribbon. Flip the ribbon over and glue the backs with white school glue. Glue each of these sections onto your frame around the window opening, making sure the slanted ends meet exactly.  Continue to smooth the ribbon so that it adheres to the frame. Allow the ribbon to dry.

If the frame doesn’t have a sturdy removable back insert you may need to cut one from thin plywood. If it already has a sturdy removable back, then use it. Cover the this insert with paper that compliments your plate and frame. It can be anything from wrapping paper to a page from a book.  (Just trace around the insert onto your paper.) I used yellow water color to color my primer page slightly. Allow this to dry completely.

Once it is dry, glue this paper onto the cardboard or wood insert of your frame. You can use Mod Podge or thinned down white school glue. Allow to dry.

Reinsert it into the picture frame so that the good side shows through the frame.

Flip your plate over and glue the bottom of your plate with E6000 craft glue. Flip the plate so it is right side up and center the bottom with the glue into the picture frame insert.  Press firmly and allow to dry.

That’s it

You can purchase this cow plate wall art decor through my Serendipitini store  


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wineglasscharmsBefore we get started with Crafty Saturday, I wanted to remind folks that Serendipitini is having a giveaway. You can win a set of six genuine turquoise handmade wine glass charms. There are multiple entry opportunities. Here’s the link with instructions.

 

 

 

 

Pictured below are two of my top picks from last Crafty Saturday’s Show and Sell. This week’s crafty Saturday has a spring cleaning theme. As always, be sure to follow the simple directions and share the love back.

turquoisedritwoodTriangular Pendant of Driftwood by ReJoyce Jems

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

headband
Sophisticated and Bubbly Headband and Wardrobe Set

by Jolie Femme



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Creative Reuse: Recycled Baby Gate Organizers

2014-03-29 14.37.302014-03-29 14.38.07As an artist I am big on creative reuse and being environmentally friendly.  A while back a neighbor was tossing out a broken wooden baby gate. I immediately saw its potential as a hanging display rack. It was in two halves. I thought it needed a touch of class  so I sprayed the grid and woodwork black. For a while we had it in our coffee shop for hanging some of the wine bottle candles I make  and some handmade creations of other artists. This weekend, as I was organizing my studio, I found two new ways to use it.

I put one half of it behind the large sink in  my studio and used if to organize my scrub brushes. I wired on the sides to a pipe and a bookshelf. I made “s” hooks from sturdy wire and used it to hang the utensils.

I suspended the other rack from sturdy cup hooks screwed into the wooden rafters in the ceiling of my basement studio and then screwed one screw on each side of the rack at the top back. Then I used picture wiree and wired it around the screws and then onto the hooks. I used these racks to organize and display my recycled glass suncatchers and window art I have listed online.  To hang them on the rack I used more homemade “S” hooks.

You can check out some of these recycled glass art listings here in my Serendipitini Etsy shop.  

 

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Wine Glass Charm Giveaway

wineglasscharmsWin a set of six genuine turquoise handmade wine glass charms from Serendipitini. Each wine glass charm features a different color seed bead and is set on a sterling silver plated hoop.

There are multiple ways to enter:

1) Leave a comment below (2 points).

2) For extra chances to win, share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and leave an additional comment stating where you shared. (2 points for each social media method)

Extra chance to win. If you don’t already subscribe to the Serendipitini Ezine, subscribe and get one additional chance to win. (5 points for signing up)

The drawing will be held on April 11.

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Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #12

Show and Sell 250 Pictured are two selections from last week’s Crafty Saturday. Crafters are invited to share you handmade items. Just follow the directions below and be sure to share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

clownfish

Red Clown Fish Animal Carrier by Jolie Femme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eyeglassCrocheted Eye Glass Cozy from Soft to Touch

 

An InLinkz Link-up

 

 

 

 

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Guest Artist Spotlight: Linn Warme

deerwallpaperLynnWarmeI love to spotlight guest artists. Today I’m featuring Linn Warme. Linn is a textile designer and artist from Sweden who received her bachelors degree in Textile and Art  in 2013.
Where do you get your inspiration from when creating your work?
My biggest inspiration is our Scandinavian nature, with vast wild forests and all the little furry creatures living there! And how much the nature changes with all the seasons, it may sound boring and corny, but its really quite dramatic.

What is your favorite thing about running your own handmade business?
The favorite thing is that i get too spend every day working with something that I feel is meaningful and love to do. Of course it’s hard work to survive on a small business, but It’s So worth it!

What is your favorite medium to work with?
Simple pen and paper has always been my favorite!
Whatever my work turns in to it starts with drawing, whether its jewelery, pattern design or anything else.I’s so convenient if you’re restless like me and cannot even watch a move without craving something to work with!

 

foxbrooch

You’ll find Lynn’s Warme’s Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/linnwarme

and her wallpaper designs at rebelwalls.com  

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