Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Up-cycling Milk Bottle Plastic Into Beautiful Necklaces

What does going "green" really mean? (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it:))

I'm no expert, but in my house it means that we look a little closer at how we dispose of our everyday garbage. For me personally it started in 2010. My sister and her hubby were parents at a children's home at the time, and I was helping them come up with ideas for Christmas decorations for their house. All the houses at the children's home had to be decorated on the outside for the Holiday Season as part of a fundraising effort where in the public was being permitted onto the grounds of the children's home during the whole month of December to view the Christmas lights. It was the responsibility of the parents of every house to find sponsors for or make decorations themselves to decorate the houses with.

My sister and I make a great team when it comes to these kinds of things, but we were stuck. We didn't have a lot of time to prepare for it or to find great sponsors, and personally, money was tight.
So, what do you do in a situation like that? You pray and enquire of God. I heard a whisper on the inside of me saying: What do you have in your hands? (This is the wonderful way God works.) Looking around, what we could see there was a lot of at that house (a house where up to 20 girls at a time were being taken care of)...was garbage. A lot of food donations means a lot of plastic containers, cardboard boxes, egg cartons, etc. The garbage bins were overflowing. But we didn't really know were to begin. Next step...GOOGLE to the rescue!

My eyes were literally opened to a whole new world where words like 'recycle', 'up-cycle', 're-use', 're-purpose', etc. meant seeing the potential for beauty & purpose in things we usually discard and reject. The saying: 'One man's trash is another man's treasure'
came to mind every time I found another great way to turn some seemingly useless piece of junk into something lovely & beautiful. The bonus of it all was that, by doing our part and recycling and up-cycling, we were helping to clean up the earth.

Recycling, up-cycling, re-using and re-purposing has become a way of life for our family. For me it has breathed new life into my art and craft making. More and more I'm doing
'out of the box'-thinking...(or is it 'out of the bin'-thinking?)

To illustrate this...enter my range of
'Milk Bottle Plastic Floral Necklaces'...

Here's hoping I get a lot more customers for these "green" beauties:)


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Crochet Cutie Necklaces

So…it has been two months since I last posted anything (I just can’t believe it!). The rest of February and then March just vanished in a blur of activity and here we are…already well into April with the Easter holidays just over.

I’ve been a very busy little bee during the past months. Making and then exhibiting my handmade jewellery at a ladies creativity morning, came first. Then I received a last minute invitation to exhibit at a new arts and craft market, which caused me to immediately start producing for that so that I would have a full table of goodies to show. There really wasn’t enough time to do and make all that I would have wanted to for the market, because in the middle of everything, I left for a week away at the coast (a holiday invitation received from friends weeks before when there was nothing on my calendar yet). Between making more jewellery, some new paintings and pretty lanterns AND preparing for and going on my holiday…there simply wasn’t any time to blog. But I do intend on making up for it. A lot of picture-taking happened during this time to document all of my activities, so I now have many lovely & beautiful things to post about. Not only that, last week I received another invitation to exhibit at a market that forms part of a festival in May. It means, that in between having to catch up on blogging, filing away the growing heap of papers on my desk, some graphic design projects that is due and preparing for the next market…phew, I’m going to be a very busy lady during April as well. Here’s hoping everything on my To Do List gets done!

Ok…all the blah blah blah about why I haven’t been around is over. Now for the good stuff...

I found out that I like to crochet. Then I found out that you could crochet jewellery, and I like to make jewellery. The next natural step was to download a few free patterns and try them out with left over yarn. Results...ta-da!
When I received the invitation to exhibit at the arts and craft market, 'mass producing' a few of these cuties was at the top of my list. I went to a yarn store and bought what I deem to be shabby chic coloured yarns in 100 % cotton and 100 % bamboo. Bamboo yarn is such a revelation to me...SO soft everybody. Silky soft compared to the cotton yarn. It was just so much fun to make these necklaces and so satisfying seeing the end result.
The pattern for the big flower necklace above, can be found here: http://becreativewithamy.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/wicked-crochet-flower/

The pattern for these budding beauties came from: http://creativeyarn.blogspot.com/2008/08/white-flower-necklace.html

We're in the thick of Autumn here in South Africa...the weather is changing quickly and Winter will be here before we're really prepared for it. Wearing something as pretty as one of these dainty crochet necklaces, will brighten and warm up the coldest and most grey of days.