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Entries in recycled plastic (94)


Busch Gardens tree unveiled & alcohol ink addiction...


I forgot to post a photo of the completed tree at Busch Gardens where we celebrated an unveiling. Many of the teachers involved attended and were excited to see the name of their schools listed on the tree's base, along with a little write up about the project.  It is so gratifying to hear how much the students enjoyed working with the plastic. Many of the schools are using the techniques for other projects.  Below is a tree topper I mailed as a final touch. I was tickled to think of adding clear unpainted bottles for some sparkle. I built it on an old lampshade topped with a light-up acrylic ball. I love using stuff up that I have around the house!








My latest obsession, another adventure in  color :alcohol inks! They behave very much like liquid watercolor, but  can be applied to all different kinds of surfaces. Here are some ornaments I made along with a ceramic jar I found on clearance at the craft store.  I think the colors will be  enhanced once I apply the sealant. It's like getting to make my own granite! I wish I could have a counter top in these colors



Happy earth day...

I've updated my home page to incorporate more of what I do. Maybe I should just have stolen an image from Ringling Brothers! I've left out my direct sales ventures which I find addicting ,completely embarrassing, and unbecoming of an artist. But I love my Miche bags and my Jamberry Nails, so what's a color obsessed woman to do? (Not to mention it helps pay the bills and maintains my already healthy sense of self-loathing.)  My Miche summer collection is on the FedEx truck as I write. I often say that they should have their own brand of paper bags for me to breathe into.

I am working on a jewelry exhibit, pairing my glass jewelry with Susan Steele Meyer's amazing paintings. We will be at a gallery on the beach the weekend before Mother's Day. Tomorrow, we go to get a feel for the place and work on the display, unless the migraines I have been suffering loom too large.

I continue to tweak a little slide show I put together to document my 10 years in recycled plastic bottles. It's been a fun ride and I am amazed where this project has taken John and I. I'm looking forward to more adventures to come.

I'll attach the slide show of the plastic and a photo of my dad when I gave him his birthday poodle. On the back-burner is a book "Never give a poodle to a sculptor," my proclamation when my mother told me he kept trimming her. He was so funny, when her first trimmed her feet, he told me with gleeful eyes that she had such 'dainty little toes.' In the slide show I mention that he showed me how he cut 2 liter bottles and warmed plastic to make little armatures for manta rays he was making. That sent me on a train of thought that led me to  making sculptures out of the bottles themselves. I think of it as part of his legacy to me, a sort of inheritance.



Funny papers, Turkish lanterns, Pharell Williams and big dreams...

I was dizzy for a week, even after medication, so my doctor took a cautious road and had me go to the hospital. So far, all that has turned up is my EKG not being up to snuff. I told my nurse all about my projects when she came to collect my water bottle, so as soon as I got home I was dying to try out some new ideas. Thankfully, I had a rogue bag of bottles in the garage left from one of the dozens of 'good fairies' that collect them for me. I often come home to a sack of recycled bottles on my doorstep.

Today, I played around with Sargent Art's glitter glaze and peal medium with the comics or 'funny papers' as my mother calls them. They took on a mosaic glass look, especially the crossword puzzle!

I also filed my nails because my Jamberry nail kit comes tomorrow. In my enthusiasm for color and OCD over having all the colors in the crayon box, I signed up to represent another company that offers the opportunity to pop a surprise of color in my outfits. Prepare for Miche/ Jamberry pairings in my wardrobe though I resisted the beanie I found on eBay even though it is very fashion forward as I discovered this morning when I watch a lovely interview with Pharrel Williams. The best part was when he was asked how he feels about being the 'happy' music guy. "I feel blessed" was his reply and in the course of the interview continued to attribute his success to all of the people in his life that supported his dreams. I've got a lot of those folks too, and some big dreams brewing so hold onto your hats friends.

Small dream: Make 2 liter bottles look like this...

a bridge over water that looks like this :                                                          or this:

And someday, somewhere, a fair trade workshop that looks like this:


My artistic process: Dizzy decaf delirium... 

I used to tell my kids that boredom is a gift because it drives you to find something interesting to do. I've been holed up not feeling well all week and coming down with an acute case of cabin fever, so I delved into some ideas for my recycled work that I've had percolating for quite some time.

I want to do a landscape using the recycled plastic bottles and  to experiment with texture, so, taking the paints and leftover bottles I had on hand, I started 'quilting' a landscape. I am  loosely following a Van Gogh study I painted years ago that hangs over our fireplace. I probably wouldn't have chosen this particular painting, but was too tired, lazy, and/or caffeine deprived to hunt down something else. I know it is going to evolve into something completely different . (That is really a disclaimer since the panel of bottles doesn't look even remotely similar to my painting. )

Above is a photo of bottles done in different cuts that I am hoping will yield interesting texture. I'm envisioning something along the lines of a weaving done with different types of yarns and materials. (Note: I don't like Lipton tea but I've been dizzy so don't want to drive to the store to get my P&G Tips. We are also out of coffee which could explain the dizziness and my use of the word 'percolate' in my first paragraph.)

Here's my painting on the mantel I was too lazy to clear off before snapping this photo, so you get a glimpse of my daughter and son-in-law at their wedding and Danielle's screen print bebop of color she gave me for Christmas. 

This is the beginning of my plastic interpretation which I will manipulate further with a heat gun. I am contemplating making a large branch across the view using bottles wrapped in newspaper before they are cut.

Also on the back burner: cloudy white gallon jugs and texture made by soldering iron holes, but it's all over if I run out of Lipton.


Cherry blossom season and the meaning of spring...

One of the best things about my work in recycled plastic is hearing from people all over the world who are using my tutorials. My favorite thing is to receive pictures, but I always get side-tracked and forget to share them here. The latest is from a woman who visited me at AnnMarie Garden in Maryland. She gave me permission to share her photos. Her hanging baskets reminds me that it is cherry blossom season in DC, not too far from where she lives.

It makes me smile to think of all of the thousands of bottles that now happily litter the landscape across the planet,  not as refuse, but as art. Does it get any better than that? Psalm 103  describes God removing our transgressions as far from us as the east is from the west, and the measure of his mercy and loving-kindness is as high above the earth as is the sky. I think that might be the same distance as that of trash to treasure.