Posts Tagged ‘easy recycling’


It’s fall here in Brazil, we’re getting colder at night and still I just can’t accept it.  With Easter just a week or so ago I can’t seem to reconcile myself to this side of the Equator.  So in my home it’s spring and we’re making little pastel houses and decorating eggs with vintage trim.

The little houses are upcycled cardboard with vintage lace.  I’m still at work on the birds who will live in these sweet little homes.

paper houses


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recycled wool sweater monster

recycled wool sweater monster

I loved that song when I was a child at Halloween, we had a old cassette tape of songs and I was thinking of what my plans were going to be for Halloween this year. I’ve got some ideas for my girls and a few funny ideas for my husband and I, funny how he never seems to go for my ideas… hee! hee!

Anyway, I was working on some items for my shop for Halloween and came up with this little guy, sure he looks shy and retiring, but you should see the size of his teeth when he opens his mouth.

This little guy was made from a the sleeve of a wool sweater, be sure to shrink and felt the sweater and then cut about 6 inches of the sleeve. Cut a short split up the middle of the front and back, stitch closed into legs. Close up the feet and then stuff and close up the head. Horns were made from triangles of a wool suit, use suit buttons or what ever cute little eyes you can.

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Magic chunkies art swap

Magic chunkies art swap

I’ve finally started to feel settled a bit, and I’ve returned to one of my life-lines from our days in Bogota, joining an Art Swap. I joined an ATC group after the first year away from the states as a way to feel connected to other artists, especially english-speaking artists. I wish my language skills were sufficient to find artsy friends in the wonderful places we’ve lived but life seems to find a way of getting between me and language classes.

I like thinking about the theme and then trying new things out to get my swap submissions ready to go. With the mail situation, I’ve also learned that waiting til the last minute is a sure-fire way to loose potential friends. I love getting things in the mail and I am excited for weeks waiting to see my trades… Overall I’ve always been surprised and very rarely disappointed.

I’ve done doll swaps and ATCs and now I’ve added chunkies to my list. I try not to overcommit, but sign up for one or two a month, then I check in to the forums to see if others have posted pics of their finished work. I love when a swap has a lot of lively interaction, it’s great to see the instant commraderie…

So, with a little work this weekend, and the use of a few magazines, cereal boxes and the scraps from my last forray into purse making… here is a few pics of the chunkie trades.

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Our mail has finally found us, and unfortunately there was a little confusion with one of my subscriptions, I ended up with one of my mom’s magazines. Well, to send it back to here I decided to recycle the envelope with some of her favorite people, my little girls of course.

We went home to my parents house just long enough to get them hooked on the girls and now we’ve gone 5,200 miles away… so things are a little strange, and anyway I got a little exuberant about mailing my mom’s magazine back to her.

Next time you forward mail, I hope you are recycling the envelope, or use a cereal box. Frankly the most fun I’ve had mailing recycled packaging was when I mailed some of my jewelry to a boutique using a lego box… it’s probably the first time I’ve had fun in line at the Post office.

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I picked up a great little magazine at the stand the other day. I’ve found that there are a lot of little indy magazines I am totally in love with here in Brasilia. My new favorite is a work by Benê Paulo: Garrafas Pet.

It’s a magazine about making plants from a little paint and a few 2 liter bottles. He uses scissors, a few staples, wire, and a lighter to shape the blossoms and stems of some really fun little plants. I’m gonna be able to keep these guys alive – wink –

I’m so very impressed!! Check out the web page for the magazine here: Garrafas Pet

For a step-by-step of how he created the Violets from the image start here and follow the directions, which are in portuguese, but the photos are pretty easy to follow.

Please reply with photos of your plastic flowers, I’d love to post them!

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recycled purse

When I’m working on something new I sit at my sewing machine snickering to myself, which causes my little family no small amount of concern.  I snicker because many of the little projects I try out are a pretty funny joke to me.   When I first started this blog I began with a couple of rugs made from t-shirts and jeans, it was a funny little play on the typical mommy nag of picking clothing up off the floor.  I thought it was pretty funny to spread these rugs out on the floor, besides being economical and much needed warmth in our Bogota apartment.

Well I’ve gone back to the shirt and jeans idea again – this time I’ve taken a man’s flannel shirt and a couple of dark pairs of jean fabric and made them into a girly purse.  I also tacked on some pretty blue satin scraps from making my daughter’s Christmas/Easter dress.  Story Break:  it was supposed to be for Christmas Sunday and since we spent the whole holiday sick then we didn’t go to church then she didn’t wear it.  Well we got her in it this past Sunday and so it is a Christmas/Easter dress.

I had a lot of fun making my first recycled clothing purse, I used the plackards from a flannel shirt as the purse straps and made the body of the purse from one of the sleeves, I inserted a secret pocket into the wrist opening on the other side.  I pulled the lace here off some bloomers and tea stained them – they have a great terra cotta color which goes really well with the purse.

The part that made me snicker –  is a little story in my head as I was putting the purse together – what if you had something of your husbands or boyfriends that you didn’t like or that he left lying around too often, and then well… what if you cut it up and made it into your new purse?  I’m still snickering.

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Painted Children’s Recycled Shoes

This is a little project I did with a pair of Children’s Sunday Shoes. It’s simple and sweet way to add a little life to a pair of recycled shoes.

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