Upcycling to Relax

DSCN9678It’s probably the most relaxing activity I can think of – playing in the shed. Without purpose. Playing with new ideas, having the time to pursue and trial, un-do, re-do, add, change. There were a number of things I have been keen to DO (as opposed to just ‘toying with the idea’), these being

  • much more upcylcling, recycling, re-using to make new objects, finding a purpose even for the tiniest scrap, button…
  • finding a useful everyday object to decorate and to turn it into ‘special’ – and hey, I am always short of notebooks!
  • less measuring, more approximating and going with the flow (I guess this is trying to move away from my roots as a tailor, where every 1/8 or even 1/16 inch counts)
  • trying out button making
  • creating a bit of a pattern/ instruction for the classes
  • being more open minded about changing decorative patterns

I started with the button, ages ago I had saved a tutorial on pinterest. That took ages!DSCN9674

There is a shank at the back – sorry for the blurry photo…DSCN9673

Then I cut out a foundation fabric (some sturdy cotton) and chose some nice fabrics for the notebook cover.DSCN9648

I decided to put some decorative hand stitches on the plain fabric. First I marked some diagonal lines with fabric marker (those will evaporate soon!). Then I started stitching. When I got bored with the intricate pattern and just added plain diagonal stitches. It looked a bit plain… so I cut out some pretty shapes and machined them on the empty space. DSCN9676

And then I put it on the notebook! I had to peel the top and bottom at the spiral back, just as you do when you cover school books. I just top-stitched the folded bit down.

Finally, I secured the four folded sides to the wholes in the cardboard of the notebook, so they would stay in place nicely. DSCN9677

And then I put the button and the button loop on! Bingo!!!DSCN9675

An Old – but finished Item

Hey, look at this – a button necklace (or necklace made from buttons…?) – it has a nice story! I made it about 3 years ago for my friend Ruth, for her birthday. She expected a certain gentleman to only give her ‘boring chocolates’. So I packed the necklace into tissue paper and placed it into an old chocolate box. When she got the packet, she smiled politely and said, “Oh yeah, more chocolates” and she wouldn’t even open the box! So I said I really wanted to try some – I insisted. And when she opened the box, she loved the necklace! A year ago Ruth packed up her house, sold it and went traveling and teaching maths for an ngo in Malawi! In the process of consolidating her possessions, I fortunately ended up with this wonderful treasure. Lucky me!

We have not heard from Mr Fox… but the pirates are back on the piano, I told you they wouldn’t get far, didn’t I?