Tag Archives: reuse

Folk Art in Sebastopol

Rem and I enjoyed a relaxing few hours in Sebastopol last Sunday revisiting the wonderful folk art sculptures of Patrick Amiot and Brigette Laurent. Our first stop was at Renga Arts which includes both a shop of art and products from reclaimed and recycled objects and a sculpture garden.

There are sculptures around the city of Sebastopol but a visit to Renga Arts and a few blocks of Florence Avenue are where you will find many of them.

From farmers on tractors to firefighters in their firetruck, complete with dalmatian, all the figures are full of quirky character.  Look closely (click on photos for a closer look), to appreciate the clever use of found and reclaimed objects.

A White Rabbit glances nervously at his watch, a waitress runs to deliver fresh coffee, her arms loaded with plates, while a tired milk man drags along delivering milk, watched by three kitties in the background.

a

There are vehicles of every kind from a dog-piloted biplane, and a natty skipper sailing a yacht, to a skeleton on a motorcycle and a shark truck.

Even more run-of-the-mill trucks have sweet characters either driving  or riding in them.  A couple with a dog in the back of their truck look happy as does the dog.  Another truck has a cow in the back and I loved the Three Little Pigs Construction truck; a glance in the back and I noticed sticks and bricks.

It’s not all work either.  A banjo player plays while relaxing in his rocking chair. A baseball player that bears more than a passing resemblance to Babe Ruth is in the middle of a game, and a surfer catches a wave.  Three acrobats stand on each others shoulders while one is juggling, and two old codgers drink beer by the campfire.

There are characters from history, myths and comic books with an Indian astride a wheeled horse , steering with a steering wheel, with three turkeys riding along behind, Batman in full gear and not one, but two mermaids.  My very favorite is the final one here, the beautiful mermaid with her fishy tail covered in metal scales.

The imagination and detail of these figures is really something to see. If you are in the area, consider a visit to Sebastopol and search out these folk art sculptures.  You can also get a calendar with rich, beautiful photos of whimsical folk art by Patrick Amiot.  It is a fundraiser for local school.  The 2012 calendar sold out but you can go to this link to pre-order a Folk Art for School calendar for 2013.

Thanks for the visit.

3 Comments

Filed under Crafts, Life

Day 25: DIY Blue Glass Jars

Image

I’m a Pisces.  I like water and colors of the ocean.

I saw colored or tinted glass jars and put them on my 30 Days of Creativity “To Do” list.  I saw them on Momtastic and also on Homework.

I wanted to make color me some  blue jars.  First step: collect jars.

I saved some at home, took some out of mom’s recycling bin and picked up a few more at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.  I also picked up a fried chicken sandwich and lemonade slushy at Bakesale Betty’s. Oh, my!  If you go to one, don’t miss the other.

Rem, my hero, used some elbow grease, Goo Gone and love to get the labels and glue off the jars today.  What a nice surprise and big time saver.  Thank you.

One the jars are clean and dry, mix up three or so tablespoons of Mod Podge, (I was using the Satin finish), and about a tablespoon of water. Add food coloring: I used a combination of Neon and Regular food color.  In fact, I went to Not Martha‘s post on dying eggs to follow her blue recipe: 6 drops neon blue and one of regular blue.  Just the food color, not the vinegar!

Stir those together in the first jar you want to tint.  I used a chopstick to stir the mixture.

You want a fairly rich, opaque color.  Once it has dried it will be translucent and much lighter .

This is a good time to turn the oven on to 300 degrees.

Tip the jar around to coat the inside of the glass with the colored Mod Podge.  For the best effect, the mixture should be thick enough to coat the inside and be fairly opaque.  I did a few with a thinner mixture but by the time I was done the color on those ones was very sheer.  A pair of gloves would help to protect your fingertips from being dyed blue.  I rarely use gloves which is why my finger tips are stained blue.

Pour the excess Mod Podge into another jar and set the coated one upside down on some newspaper, paper towel or (as I saw suggested) wax paper.  Tip the next jar around in the same manner, coating the inside.  Continue with all the jar you want to color.

I moved the draining jars a few times and wiped off the edge that was face down.

You can see on the two jars in the picture above one had more color and more Mod Podge.  Once it is dry it looks very different.  The one on the right was very subtle when it was done.

Once you’ve finished all the jars, pour any excess Mod Podge down the drain with some water.

Put a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and arrange the jars upside down on the parchment paper. Put jars on baking sheet into the oven.  I had to move a shelf to fit the jars and even then the tallest one had to lie on it’s side.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  I had some excess Mod Podge on the parchment paper and needed to use a scrubby sponge to get it off the rims of the jars. If inside of jars seem wet or even damp, bake for 10 more minutes.  The finished color shouldn’t look white or milky, if so, it needs more time in the oven.

After jars are cool you can take your thumbnail or a damp scrubby sponge and start working on that excess gunk around the edge.  A few also had stuff that stuck on the inside of the jar at the bottom, like this one:

I decided to ignore it.

This project was better suited to an afternoon with more time, but it wasn’t really difficult.  One of the jars has a long drip down the inside and two that that had a thinner, lighter coast of color will probably get a second coat.  Or I’ll saok it and start over. Some day. AFTER 30DoC!

I think they will look even better in the sunlight, but I’m very happy with the results.  The color is very watery and speaks to the fish in me. Now that I’ve done it once I have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.  Tall, narrow jars are kind of tricky.  A small brush helps distribute the Mod Podge on jars with embossed details.

These are decorative and not meant to hold water as the Mod Podge is water soluble.  They look beautiful empty or with a candle inside.

Pickled Carrot Sticks were my project last year on Day 25.  They were delicious.

As always, thank you so much for coming by!

5 Comments

Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Crayon Heart Valentines

Crayon Hearts

When I first saw fat crayon hearts on Pinterest I pinned them to my “I Love This” board.  I love heart-shaped things (if you haven’t noticed yet) and these colorful, chubby hearts got my attention. I finally got around to making them just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Some of you may have broken old  crayons but I had to stock up.  I mentioned my shopping trip to The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in this post and I picked up a whole bunch of crayons there.  I used some of the crayons in this post.

I sliced the paper wrappers and peeled them off the crayons.

Update: Most of the crayons I used were Crayola, but some were other brands.  I’ve noticed that a few of the crayon hearts have places that don’t draw as well – they seem to have less pigment. I suspect it was the other crayons and I recommend sticking with Crayola or other quality crayons.

For awhile I just reveled in this wealth of crayon color.

Then I chopped them up.  I tried breaking them into pieces.  First with my fingers than in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.  But chopping worked out better.

For my molds I used heart-shaped ice cube trays from IKEA.  I sprayed them with non-stick spray.  I’ve seen Joann, Michael’s and Target all mentioned as good places to look for heart-shaped silicone molds.  The ones I used, as I mentioned, were not made for going in the oven, but they worked out fine for me.

Set the oven at 250 degrees.  Fill the molds with the bits of crayon.  I like them sorted by color family.

Set the mold on a baking sheet – I covered it with foil to guard against melted crayon.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until fully melted.  Different colors seemed to melt at different rates.

This was from a different batch…it was almost done but needed another minute or two.

Once they’re done, let them cool completely before popping them out of the molds.  They can be done in different shapes (mini muffin tins, for example) but the hearts are so darn cute!

If you want to give them as gifts they look great in small cellophane bags, tied with a bow.

I am giving them as Valentines so I decided to stick them on paint chips as a background. I used Zots clear adhesive dots (an old package – I think the label is different now), two on the back of each crayon heart, to stick the heart to a paint chip. If your hearts have a nice, flat bottom, you can probably do it with just one.

Here is a tip if you haven’t used adhesive dots before: press the item on to the adhesive dot, then peel it off the backing.  Don’t try and peel the dot off and put it on your item. It will just get gummed up on your fingers and annoy you.

I really liked the idea of the colors in the crayon and the the color names on the paint chips.  I cut the standard paint chip strips into two-color blocks.  I also found some really wide paint chips and cut those into heart shapes.

I used Sharpies to write my greeting: “Wishing you a colorful Valentine’s Day!”  For a few of them I wrote “Valentine – You color my life!

I put the  finished Valentines  into cellophane bags.

Using more paint chips, I punched hearts for tags  and stuck the tags to the to the back of each package with Valentine stickers.

Don’t you love the color names?

I signed the back of the tags since my packaging is clear and each heart tag shows through to the front of the bag.  Choosing different colors for the Valentine and for the tag made each package more colorful.

Front:

Back:

A box left from Christmas was just the right size for holding the Valentines and I had fun decorating it with stickers.

I’ve accumulated quite a bit of heart-shaped embellishments over the years and what better time to use them?

Thanks for the stopping by.

22 Comments

Filed under Crafts