Sunday, 24 March 2013

An idea for recycling rubbish

It's a little bit brighter today, but still very windy and freezing cold. There's still some snow about but it isn't shifting because it's frozen solid, so I am staying indoors and getting on with the new artyfarty piece. I have started work on the smaller body panel, which is the same size as the yellow one. My ideas seem to change as I am progressing, I'm constantly thinking of ways to make it look better. Anyway, it's in the early stages, anything could happen.
First I want flowers, lots of them, so how to make them from scrap materials to keep to the idea of not spending any money on it. Using up what I already have. I have twelve flowers so far, I will leave it at this for now, I can always make more later if I haven't enough.


I thought I would do this mini tutorial in case you want to have a go and make some for yourself. They are very versatile and can be used to decorate lots of things. I have got short stalks on mine, but you could put long stalks on them, and make a fun flower arrangement in a vase.
You will need coloured drinks cans. Take the top and bottom off them with a pair of nail scissors. Stab the can close to the edge, and cut around the perimeter. You are left with a tube, cut it along the side close to the writing and bar code on the back, to save the most colourful parts for the flower. You can use all parts of it as I have done in the pic above, but put the coloured petals on top.
Then you need to draw your design on a piece of greaseproof or tracing paper. Make it thick and black. Flatten the can, you can roll it inside out so it isn't so curly but try not to crease it. I just hold it flat on the board while I transfer the petal design onto it with a pencil. Put some pressure on it while tracing round the petals so you can see a slight indentation when you come to cut the petals out. You will find the pencil lead easily comes off while you are working on it.
The other bits you will need are beads, and pieces of wire. You don't want the wire to be too thick because it has to go through the bead, and you don't want it to be too thin because your flower will be too floppy. I am using some plastic covered wire which I took out of a redundant video tape player. If you take old electricals apart, always look inside to see if there is anything which will be usefull for crafting work, before you take it to the dump.   
So, you want two sets of petals, I have made a leaf as well, one bead, and a piece of wire, (about six inches long). First thread the wire through the bead until it is dead centre. Bend the wire so the bead doesn't move. Put one of the petals on top of the other, flat on the board, and pierce two holes in the centre with the scissors, about the width of the bead. Make the holes the exact size for the wire you are using so it is a tight fit. Thread the petals onto the wire, and pull tight. If you add a leaf, make two holes in that and thread it on under the petals. I have given the wire a twist underneath to hold it in place, but I am going to pull my stalks all the way through the plastic car body panel and fasten them to the underside so they won't be seen.
Lastly, pinch the top petals with your thumb and first finger, pull and bend slightly upwards. Careful don't cut yourself the edges are sharp.
If you want longer stalks on them you can put the bead more towards one end of the wire, and twist the shorter piece around the longer stalk, just below the flower so it is hidden. You might need to experiment with different thicknesses of wire, to see which is best to support the flower. You could do as I have done and make both pieces of wire the same length and bind them together to make them more rigid.
Anyway, that's the basics, enjoy your playing around, and if you already have the bits and bobs, it won't cost you anything. Free entertainment. can't be bad.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Toodle pip.

18 comments:

  1. This is looking like a interesting project, can't wait until it's finished.
    Stay warm.

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    1. Patience Virginia. Can't rush these things, ha ha.

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  2. Aww, they look really good. I'm a bit clumsy so would almost certainly sever an artery if I tried to make them though! Where will you put your flowers?

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    1. Hi Bry. They are going on the next car body panel.

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  3. Any news on an exhibit, Ilona?
    Jane x

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    1. Hi Jane. I want to build up a bigger collection before I look for a gallery to exhibit. These things take a while because galleries work a year in advance, due to getting the publicity sorted.

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    2. This isn't a criticism of your work but a gentle word of advice Ilona, don't build your hopes up too much about having an exhibiition. My partner owns a gallery, we get people coming in who would like to exhibit but unfortunately the gallery is a business and has to make a profit to keep going. Unless we forsee sufficient sales to give enough commission we have to say no. Thankfully my partner is experienced enough to know what will sell and the business keeps going, not only providing a living for us but also enabling us to be able to provide employment for our staff.

      I've shown your pictures of your work to my partner but I'm afraid it isn't something that we would expect to sell as it's rather a unique subject.

      However I hope you have success with your venture.

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    3. Thank you for your comment Lisa. I understand that a gallery run as a business needs to choose their exhibitors very carefully, as you say, they have to earn a living. I would be looking to exhibit in a not for profit gallery. My own gallery here in town is owned and run by the council, They do not sell the exhibits. I don't want to sell my work, so I would be looking for somewhere who would just put them on display. I am more interested in the environmental issues which my work demonstrates, the re use of materials otherwise destined for landfill. If I can inspire others to think about what they are throwing away, and to explore their own artistic leanings, then I will be happy.

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  4. Another masterpiece on its way, I would be sure to slice a finger or three if I tried that but I do have a stack of bright coloured material and some heavy duty iron on interfacing. no time to play today but tomorrow is looking good. Thanks for the inspiration. Pam

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    1. Pam, You could cut your petal shapes from fabric and seal the edges with clear nail varnish. Or paint the back with ordinary varnish or PVC glue, to stiffen them.

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  5. How to amuse yourself and make something cool, without spending a penny. Top marks again Ilona!

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  6. Nice. I bought a pair of earrings that are something like this, smaller of course.Ha. They were part of a Christmas for a very "GREEN" friend. The artist who made them uses only found objects for her jewelry and art. I bought them at the Hospice coffee shop so 1.gave to Hospice 2.supported local artist 3.recycled and 4. got a present for a friend. All in all I was happy with my purchase.

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  7. Over here we return our soft drinks cans. We pay a deposit on them of 10cents when we buy them. Return them at the recycle bank and get the 10cents back. That's why you see so little litter in the ways of cans and bottles in Canada. Dog walkers pick them on when out on the daily stroll. The homeless collect them and cash them in for $ to meet some of their basic needs. Scouts and other grousp will collect them from you house as part of their fund raisers.

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    1. Hi 50. I wish we had a system like that over here.

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  8. Our library has a large glass cabinet and they display various crafts and collections. I always stop and have a look, this month is was buttons and button art, last month a beautiful doll house. There are also juried art competitions at various community centres, fun to enter those. Art from recyled materials is quite big here in the States, lots of books written about it. Third world countries produce some amazing work - I own a set of bowls made from scrap telephone wire - exquisite - and in other parts of Africa they make art from old shoes washed up on the beach.

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  9. Cute project; when I first saw them, I imagined you were putting together reflectors for a string of lights ... an idea that appeals to my senses! Looking forward to seeing your completed project(s).

    Sharon in Alabama (USA)

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  10. I love, love, love the flowers. My aunt made clocks out of larger tin cans. I had mine for years and years until many moves later it just wore out. I always was going to make one - never got around to it. For those that are afraid of getting injured working with metal, there are some lovely nitrile gloves you can get that don't allow metal to penetrate and as for after making the flowers etc. just run a couple of layers of either clear nail polish or varnish around and it will seal the flowers. Some types of paint may also work.

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