"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." --Vincent van Gogh

Monday, April 18, 2011

This That and The Other

I finally came to the realization that I needed to take a break from blogging and focus on some other things. No excuses! But I'm back and ready to bring my blog back to being a regular feature. My goal this year is to diversify my offerings, while keeping within the reuse theme. I have a festival coming up on April 30th in Southern Pines, NC, and I do believe I am ready! I have also spent some time working on my etsy shop. My hand dyed shoelaces have been a very popular item! They really are so much more fun than anything you can buy in the stores. Here are some of my new items, just to catch you up ... This is one of my favorite computer chip necklaces. It is decorated with a scrap from the painted paper bags I made a while back. After adding a high gloss glaze, the piece is really dramatic. The blues remind me of the deep sapphire of the open ocean, and the light sapphire closer to shore. I love how the metallic gold accents the piece. Time to paint more brown paper bags? Perhaps!
We've had some glorious spring weather, and I could not resist breaking out the dyes. In addition to dozens of shoe laces, I've dyed a few silk and cotton scarves. I just love them.
This is one of my latest adventures. I call them Scrappy Cabana Badge Holders. I raided my scrap basket and hand made each piece. The badge holder is retractable, and they have a clip on the back to attach to a pocket. This is one of those things that I could make a hundred of and not get bored.
I've had even more fun making pony tail holders our of ready-to-cover buttons and soda and candy wrappers. It's a bit of an effort to attach the hair tie, but the results are certainly worth it! My kids are under the impression that this means they will get to eat and drink more junk - unfortunately for them, I seem to be able to scrounge up enough material as it is.
I've been wanting to work with Scrabble tiles for a while, but wanted also to do something a little different from the pendants I have seen. Once I got over my fear of drilling holes in the tiles, these bracelets came together. I love this one. It says "IRISH" and I stained the tiles green (because they should be green, right?) On the flip side in a Guinness label. I have made others as well, with words such as "DANCE", "FLIRT", and "PEACE".
I had the great fortune to come across a selection of high quality suede remnants that were salvaged from upholstery sample books. They are not that big, but they were just big enough to make these wristlet keyrings. I kept one for myself and I have to say I love it. It's great to toss my keys on my wrist and be hands-free, and the buttery soft suede feels oh-so-nice.
And probably my most favorite project of all ...

I picked up these belts at a thrift shop. I admired them briefly, and then almost passed them by. I decided they were just to cool to pass up, and am I ever glad that I bought them! They have been turned into fun cuff bracelets. Each one is unique. Some are a New York City theme, and others are Hawaii. I have sold a few already. I am now officially on the lookout for interesting belts that can be repurposed as cuff bracelets.

So there is a sampling of the many things I've been up to while I've taken a break from blogland. Many of these things are available for purchase in my etsy shop, and if you see something you'd like that isn't there, please feel free to contact me. I've set up several hyperlinks throughout this post to help you find your way. I am also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/artagain and on Twitter (@artagain). I am a proud new member of Team Upcyclers on etsy. You can follow the whole team on facebook as well!

Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to. Next up are two custom order t-shirt quilts, and some donation quilts for the Alzheimers Art Quilt Innitiative. The quilts will be made in part from a vintage patchwork skirt. The skirt was made by my grandmother-in-law. She passed away a number of years ago, and suffered from Alzheimers, so I feel it is fitting that her skirt help fun research for a cure.

One last thing ... those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that I am a huge fan of animals. I have decided to donate 10% of my sales income this year to support animal rescue and no-kill shelters. My first quarter donation was made to our local private non-profit SPCA. Second quarter donation has been pledged to Undercats4Life. This group works tirelessly to save cats and kittens from a high kill shelter in South Florida. I am so impressed with the work that they do. I do believe that we can take a stand, and together, we can make a difference.



Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

Great stuff! It's always fun to see what you are up to.

Anonymous said...

Very nice Michelle so wonderful to see what you've been up to lately :)