Saturday, February 9, 2013

Challenged to Become More "Green"

Hello Friends!


I have been inspired by various books I've been reading, to become even more green/eco-friendly.  I feel like I do a pretty decent job of recycling where I can.  Here are a few thing I am currently doing:

  • Recycle whatever food container items we are able to
  • Pull as many items out of recycling (or the garbage) as possible for reuse (example: plastic fruit cups are used to hold water while painting - or to mix paint, cracker and cereal boxes are cut apart for their cardboard to be used in all sorts of ways, shipping and packing materials are saved and reused)
  • Food waste is put either in the yard waste bin or our yard waste pile
  • Shopping at local thrift stores whenever possible
  • Sharing or donating unwanted items with others
  • Turn of lights, power strips, etc whenever not in use
  • Re-use and re-purpose whatever I can

My latest inspiration is to find even more creative ways to save items from the garbage (while keeping my house from becoming a horder's paradise!).   

 SO in honor of that, here are a couple of new ideas to try:

    My new art-journal decoupaged with papers originally used as
    table protectors - then augmented with acrylic paints
  • Put down paper (as a dropcloth/table-protector) underneath your craft projects.  When the projects are complete, look at the paper as a new art medium.  Is it textured with glue or paint? Are there interesting new patterns or colors on it?  Could you cut it up and use it in other ways besides just being a drop cloth?   
 I have large paper sheets that I kept from the last time I moved (the kind that is wrapped around your china to keep it safe while moving).  I often use it as a table-protector.   The last time I did so, I had alcohol ink that bled through my project and ended up making beautiful stains all over the table-protector paper.  From there I added some acrylic paints using a variety of techniques including scraping and splattering, and then I decoupaged the paper to the front of what is becoming my Art Journal (more on that in a later post).  



    Avery is just one brand of labels you can use!
  • Label backings.  Do you use a lot of labels (or do you know someone who does)?  If so, save the slick paper backings.  I remove the little edges of left-over stickers (which could be used as frames in artwork!) and then I am using the slick paper backings as table protectors instead of wax paper!  They work just about as good as wax paper (and actually they seem to work better for me!!).  They are free since most people just throw them out (I got a bunch of mine from work) and now you can save money on wax paper (which I use quite a lot when I'm doing my various craft projects that require glue.  

Permanent Markers (there are lots of brands!)

  •  Old Permanent Ink Pens or Coptic Markers.  Do you have any lying around (they must be permanent to work with rubbing alcohol)?  Try using them to color fabric or paper or both (the drip, spray, or pour rubbing alcohol on top of the ink to make fabulous patterns).  Then you'll have beautiful fabric and paper to work with.  
Also, are the pens usable or are they ready to toss??  If they are ready to toss (or if you find some at a garage sale or thrift shop), consider making your own alcohol ink out of them!  Open the pen up, and pull out the felt insert that holds the ink.  Cut the insert up and let them soak in a small amount of rubbing alcohol.  The rubbing alcohol should pull out whatever color is left in the pen.  You can then use that colored rubbing alcohol to decorate various surfaces.  I highly recommend trying to dye fabric with it!!... then use clear rubbing alcohol to create even more interesting textures and looks (do a search on Youtube if you need more information - there are some great tutorials there!!)                                                                                      
A great calendar for artwork!
                                                                                                          
  •  Old Calendars can be cut up and their artwork added to collages or journal pages.  Or you could use the pages as surface protectors... while they will get sticky, they are pretty tough and can stand up to quite a bit of abuse. 

 These are just a couple of the latest things I'm trying.  I love these ideas!!  And I love that I am reducing my garbage/waste!   What can you think of to do??


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