Saturday, 16 October 2021

2021 Topic 12 : Sustainable Crafting with Hot Picks {by Keren Baker}

   2021 Topic 12: Sustainable Crafting


Hi everyone, it's Keren Baker with you today, and I'm here to share with you a little upcycling and an attempt to waste less.

I had several products I wanted to make better use of, and was determined not to buy anything new so headed off to my local charity (or thrift) stores. I'd already bought a vintage tape measure and an old botanical style flower book so wanted something to use them together.
 
Creating it had more twists and turns than the average 'who dunnit' ! First it was going to be just a crackle glazed box, then a shrunken sized ATC holder. It wasn't coming together so then I decided upon a piano (right shape) that didn't work and then after painting it in Snowflake (& looking a little like a casket) I wanted to make a miniature Museum style display case.

So, how did I begin- with a little games box I picked up in a charity shop for £2.


Most of the painting was just using Snowflake Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic but later I painted some flowers with lots of rainbow colours, so here's all the paints I used.



I had 3 issues I wanted to solve; 2 were about not wasting products. Part of being sustainable is reducing wastage. I was at the end of a post of Grunge Paste and the remainder was quite stiff (due to me not putting the top back on in good time!). I wondered if I could create some flowers with it using an old silicone mould. I knew that there needed to be a little flex so wondered about adding in some PVA glue. 



I allowed them to dry overnight (as it was a much thicker layer of Grunge Paste) and I was amazed after gingerly removing them from the moulds that they'd actually worked. The surface was quite rough but they looked natural and perfect for the inside.

The second issue was I don't like wasting the leftover paint- and it's nearly impossible to get some of it back into the bottle. I knew that Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic paint creates little skins so thought I'd swirl the leftover paint from a project and leave overnight (on the PaperArtsy craft mat) and see if I could cut out leaves and stems from the 'skin'.


It was a perfect solution and trimming out paint skin is lovely- it's sooo smooth to cut! But what about the main project - what did it all mean?

I created a museum display cabinet as we are becoming increasingly aware that if our situation (and us personally) don't change, then our museum cabinets may hold much more of our past than we ever want them to.
Being personally responsible for how I live, consume AND craft is important. I can't moan about governments and corporations if I don't take steps to reduce unnecessary waste, purchase more ethically and consume more considerately. I try to avoid fast fashion where I can, and buying products from charity shops is a good alternative. We'll always need consumables (like adhesives, paints etc.) and buying specifically for projects seems to be a better fit for me rather than just because..(although I'll always enjoy a little crafty retail therapy).

So I created the 'glass' from acetate, using a heavyweight acetate so it wouldn't bow in the middle. I scoured all of my Hot Picks sets, because I was looking for small stamps that might fit in with the theme.

You can see stamps like the labels from HP1109. Granted, I needed more than just 2 numbered labels,


..plus the keys from HP2101. There are lots of keys to improving the way we life and choose. Being thoughtful about this topic is definitely one of them.


There is an official document and 'Paris' in the end of the cabinet. Paris, because of the international treaty on climate change (adopted by 196 parties in Paris in 2015).


...from HP1301.


The ledger style handwriting from HP1302 reminds me to keep recording those things that are important to me; holding myself to the standards and principles I've agreed on. Remembering the important stuff.



There is definitely a sense of urgency about this whole mission which I tried to reflect in the legs of the unit which were mini wooden reels, painted and stamped. You can see the lovely vintage metal measuring tape here too.


They're reels, moving and shifting with the movie of our past mistakes. Using HP1503.


My third challenge was how to use the book pages. I wanted to add them to fabric so I could create pockets in the lid- but traditional image transfer techniques often involve photocopies or photos and these are colour book pages. So- how about an experiment?!
I got some white fabric, some Gel Medium, PaperArtsy Gloss glaze and ordinary PVA glue. Grab your piece of book page, coat in a layer of chosen product and a thinner layer on the fabric and press onto the fabric. Burnish from the other side of the fabric with a bone folder or similar.


Leave to dry overnight and remove the paper, removing any leftover with some water and gentle rubbing to remove excess. Remember that it will be the mirror image so don't be too dependent on readable text. The winner (which did surprise me as I was sure it would be the gel medium) was...


The inside of the box was important to decorate for my treasures.



I couldn't use the flowers on the top of the box as they'd get knocked, so I created a simple tag.


Truthfully though, I did think there was a better use for this box - a hiding place for crafting sustenance ;-)



I hope you enjoyed my quirky mini museum piece. It certainly was a challenge to create (and photography) but I loved experimenting and can't wait to find ways to incorporate paint skins again. I think I enjoy art that encourages reflection more than any other type and I've loved experimenting and being more thoughtful about my crafting habits.

Thanks for being with me today,
Keren x

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3 comments:

Verna Angerhofer said...

Wonderful project and I like your shopping at thrift stores idea. I used to do that a lot but now that I am disabled I don't get there anymore. But I have all sorts of things on hand I can make use of in my crafting so no problem.

butterfly said...

Absolutely amazing, Keren - your inventiveness has turned this unlikely collection of thrift store finds and paint leftovers into a magical museum piece full of imagination and delight... brilliant!
Alison x

Hazel Agnew said...

Some great ideas Keren and you really grabbed my attention with the chocolate. Xx 😀

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