Sunday 12 June 2022

2020 Topic 09: Leftovers - Topic introduction

Hi everyone, Keren here with you today to talk about leftovers. Mention scraps and we might not give them a second thought. Talk about small treasures, squirreled away remnants or begin saying "my Preciousss' in a Gollum styled accent and we're getting closer to the nub of this topic.

We all have things that remain- whether found items, offcuts from a loved project or inherited treasures that we've put away for a rainy day or when inspiration strikes. In a world both obsessed with saving and not wasting yet at the same time trying to promote minimalist living, the irony is not lost on us. Yet, for many of us artistic souls, the hanging on to little pieces of potential is important. We surround ourselves with things that bring us joy and inspire us. 

Can the rifling through our chosen artefacts be part of the process that sparks inspiration? Let's take a look at different sorts of leftovers. How do we use them and how do we store them?

Tracy Scott used some leftovers from a previous project to create this vibrant piece.

Nikki Acton used her cat food packaging to create this dinky miniature album.

Etsuko used this leftover cardboard box to create the perfect receptacles for trinkets and more.

Let's downsize a little. I know we've shared this previously, but it's worth reminding us again particularly when we're talking leftovers. I'm sure all of us can find tiny scraps around our homes just waiting to be created with.

We've concentrated mostly on paper so far. What about fabric?

Take leftovers that you had no plan to use and formulate a plan with them. Mona Pendleton used some remaining bits of fabric as the background for this wonderfully creative tag.

There are some amazing techniques using interfacing and tiny pieces of fabric, twine or fibres.

Firstly, fusible interfacing as a backing that acts as a glue. You could easily do this with tiny fragments of paper too.

Remains of other projects can also save us having to purchase or cut into full pieces of another substrate. This piece has tiny elements that add shade, light and texture, all artistically sewn together.

Perhaps we should view our waste as having potential. These remaining paint skins look wonderful and I can imagine them on a tag or journal page.

Birgit goes one step further and uses all paint scrapings into her journals and art, adhering them to pages with Matte Medium.

If you're into die-cutting, this is a cool idea to use up odd letters.

One of the issues with leftovers is how we store them so they're accessible and also how do we know what we actually have? Do you store by colour, size, type? 
Storing by colour makes sense, whether we're curating paper, fabric or buttons. Here's two simple ideas.

We've looked at leftover packaging but what about the things that become waste in our everyday lives? Many of us are fans of a cup of tea, so can you use the tea bag to make something beautiful?
This artist painted on a tea bag every day for one year. Do check out some real beauties in this link.

You might have some pieces in store, but how do you incorporate them into new projects? One idea might be to dye them so all pieces match more closely in colour. Jennie Atkinson is well known for her love of vintage, but also for her ability to gather together lots of elements in a seamless way. Look for the tea-dyed ribbon, coffee filter, old envelopes and book pages.

You might be a multi media artist, who uses lots of different substrates. This technique can be used in different ways to create something much larger, and more random (should the fancy overtake you). Start with leftover bits (in this case, clay). Combine them together, trim them down and reattach them.

Try it with fabric.. known as crumb, trim, and sew pieces back together.

Then also paper... do you make leftovers useful and ready to inspire your next project? Megan added lots of leftover pieces into small squares and then they're ready to create something larger from them.

Collaging is a useful technique when you have lots of leftovers. If you're a gel plate fan, you often have lots of remaining pulls. So how might you use them up? Try paper piecing..

But what is the inspiration? Do you start with the scraps and a project is birthed from there, or do you have a piece of art forming in your brain and you look for elements to add to it? Here's an inspiring junk journal - which came first, the leftovers or the concept?!
I'm hoping to grab some time and my bulging bags of assorted remains. I'd like to order them more beautifully and actually create with them too. What about you?

Does this topic push your creative buttons? We would LOVE you to share what you get up to with us! A great place is tagging us on Instagram @paperartsy or why not join us and post in the PaperArtsy People Group on Facebook. We love to see what you make!  


Etsuko said...

Fabulous Topics Keren! And great samples. I'm looking forward to seeing what wonderful projects. xx

Ellie Knol said...

Gorgeous post Keren... the Leandra beads make me want to do them... so inspirational!

Jennie Atkinson said...

Fabulous post Keren and so many wonderful ideas for using scraps. I have this pinned to come back to for inspiration. And thank you for including me !! xxx

Jennie Atkinson said...

Fabulous post Keren and so many wonderful ideas for using scraps. I have this pinned to come back to for inspiration. And thank you for including me !! xxx