Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Green Holiday

Did you know that a lot of wrapping paper is not recyclable? I read here that on average, over 8000 tons of wrapping paper and almost two billion cards are thrown out throughout the season- which adds up to 300,000 tons of holiday garbage each year. There are a lot of great ideas on how to reuse wrapping paper and cards, but I thought I'd take some preemptive approaches as well.
At Clementine, Lisa, the very creative and talented director, was making flowers by cutting magazines into strips, punching holes in each side, and then putting a pipe cleaner through the holes. I don't know if eggnog has gone to my head, but I just saw gift bows. So I made one. Then another. And now I've decided to make enough for each gift I'm giving. It is great in a few ways- first of all, I'm reusing the magazines (which I get free at the library!), second of all, it's recyclable, and third, if whoever receives it is not able to recycle (ahem, I'm talking to you, K!), it'll break down in the landfills waaaaay faster than the store bought bows. And it looks cool! (*If you would like a more detailed how-to, please leave a comment and I will post one if I get enough requests!*)

I also bought recycled brown craft paper for all of my wrapping paper. It's recycled to begin with, and it's recyclable, and I just like it. I bought a HUGE roll at a paper supply store for about $30. I'm sure there are better deals out there, but I personally hate shopping around. If I get bored of this plain paper I can stamp it up or paint it, or whatever other ideas come to me over the next few years as I whittle down my supply! If someday I'm totally over the craft paper, I can make envelopes for my cards.

Here is my last little bit of inspiration: I collect paint sample cards and had some lying around (it's a compulsion. Whenever I go to the hardware store I'm inexplicably drawn to the paint section where I find myself picking up colors of interest. When I cleaned my studio I found probably 25 of these samples!). I got the idea to use my samples as a colorful way to add tags. I punched a rectangular shape at each end, cut a magazine page into a tiny strip, and used it as a ribbon to lace the tag onto the present. It could be taped on, or you could punch a hole at the top and tie it on as well.

Not only are these ideas more eco-friendly, but it's also economy-friendly too. The only thing I spent money on was the craft paper, and I know that if I bought that amount in wrapping paper I'd have to take out a loan!

Please feel free to use these ideas! And let me know if you have some other eco-wrapping ideas you would like to pass on.

I made a boat!

Ann Wood posted a tutorial on her blog, and it is one I've been wanting for so long! Her boats are amazing. Her birds are amazing. Really, she is amazing. So I made a boat. I still need to fancify the sail, paint the yet-to-be-decided name on the side, and maybe give it some passengers, but it is finished enough (and was finished enough last night at midnight) for me to be happy with it for a little bit. I hung it in front of my light to show off the white embroidery on the sail- made from a tattered recycled pillowcase. I used a pizza box for the boat form so that next time I eat pizza instead of thinking about how unhealthy (and deliciously so) it is I can think about future boats instead!

Here it's hung in front of a painting that I might still add something to. I've always envisioned a boat, but didn't think it would come in 3-D form!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Art

The kids at Clementine have been making some really sweet holiday art that I wanted to share! This christmas tree was made by Julia, age 5. I just love all of the decorations her sassy tree has! 'Santa and his Reindeer', by Ania, age 5. I want to make some of these guys into stamps for my holiday cards next year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Adorable Ornament

zakka life is one of those rare blogs that just leaves me speachless with its ingenuity and creativity. I consider myself a pretty crafty gal, but Jessica blows me away! I couldn't resist trying her tutorial for the christmas felt ornament. It is simple yet elegant. The steps were so easy to follow, this might become a family project tradition.
(I added sequins and beads to my version, and I stitched along all of the edges just to give it a little more flair, and because my felt was a little crinkled. More versions in the making!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Clementine Cards

Did you know that besides ReLove Projects I'm also an art teacher at Clementine Studio? For some time I had the idea that I wanted to separate the different parts of my life: ReLove Projects was one part, family and life was another part, and Clementine was another. Of course there are many many other parts, and they all do overlap a little, but I've been pretty mindful of not getting too into my teaching or my family in my ReLove part. Now, in retrospect, I don't even know why I thought that would be a good idea! So get ready for all sorts of other information that you maybe didn't know about me, my life, my family, and my other work.

Tonight I was put in charge of packaging up beautiful cards featuring creations by Clementine artists (ages 3-6). Each package contains 11 cards with a different masterpiece, 11 envelopes, and a postcard about Clementine Studio. The sales goes directly to Clementine's scholarship fund. I started thinking while I was looking at these, first of all, how great they are. I just love kids' art. Kids have a certain vision, freedom of expression, and creativity that gets lost somewhere along the road to adulthood (don't get me wrong, I love adult art too, it's just different). I was also thinking about how many people would probably LOVE to support Clementine and the little artists that may need some assistance. If you're interested in more information, or would like to purchase a set of these cards, please leave a comment or email me. I really really believe in Clementine, I believe in art for kids, I believe in providing the opportunity to explore art to everybody, and I believe in supporting great things!

(this fabulous piece was made by Evelyn, age 5. She says, "I like making collages because you can choose all sorts of colors-art is fun!")

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wish List

It's December. Christmas is coming, which we've all known since the Halloween decorations were taken down to be quickly replaced by happy santas and reindeer and snow men frolicking about. My organized family is already asking me what I want. I could go on and on about how strange this holiday has become- when did people start giving and expecting presents? Why can't I just tell people I don't want anything (and have them believe me and actually not buy me something)? My sister says, "But I like giving gifts!" and that's fine, but really, it's not necessary. But I guess if I'm absolutely going to be forced to receive something, I'd like to support artists in the process. Here are some ideas off of Etsy:

This Gorgeous Necklace by Doloris Petunia. I just love the colors, the use of older jewelry, and how bold these necklaces are.

Little Ones print set by AshleyG or this or this all by AshleyG

I LOVE this ring by Adorn Jewelry

And just for the record, I'm going to be shopping for my loved ones on etsy too. If anyone would like to put some shameless plugs in about your etsy shop, or if you are also going to commit to supporting artists this season fire away in the comments! Together we can turn this strange gift-giving custom into a holiday that makes poor starving artists into rich & fed!