I had no intention of sharing this project.
I never signed my work.
I kept track with a list in the back of my day planner.
I photographed most of them.
I had a friend hold me accountable.
But during this resolution time,
this season of reflection,
I need to share what I found…
Created mostly with trash
Without making trash
Must be an out-of-the-blue gift without a birthday or special holiday in sight
I love them.
They love them.
I gained more.
I found the magic cure
For fighting back that black cloud.
Each time I saw it coming this year
I ran and dove into this project.
The cloud still came
And sometimes it even rained
But it passed more quickly than before.
Most surprise averaged an hour of time a week.
Usually took a little detective work
Finding a friend of a friend to get a mailing address
Included a dance up the post office steps
It brought into focus hints of other people’s struggles
It made me fully realize other’s hurt
It taught me to be a better listener
During my grouchest days,
just thinking and planning the surprise fought back that cloud.
Darlings, I know this can work for you too.
Start making surprises.
See what happens.
Cheers to surprises; l love them so much.
Cheers to 2017; a year full of more ups than downs.
Cheers to 2018; let us take what we know to be true and make it better.
We are super excited about giving a little boy his birthday gift today! The jars once held peanut butter and the toys on the top were saved…I mean…bought from a thrift shop. The paint was leftover from a house project.
Cheers to our trashy gift!
With help from my uncle, I transformed my mom’s old yellow countertops into four Aggravation game boards. Some day it will be trash, but that day is not today!
She hated those countertops.
She thinks that nasty yellow is gone forever.
Oh but I can’t wait to see her face Christmas morning!!
Who am I fooling?
I can’t wait that long.
Happy Labor Day Mom!
Happy Back to School!
…Mom, Happy July 15th!
I guess we will see how long I can keep this a secret.
Monthly Trash Totals, The Challenge to Create 30 Toys in 30 Days, The No-Trash Project, Tiny House, Trash-Free Little Ones
One of my favorite 3 foot friends came knocking on my door early in January, with a detailed description of a dinosaur he needed as a nighttime snuggly toy. I know, how cute?!
How lucky am I?!
I quickly realized my knowledge of all things dinosaurs needed a refresher.
Thank you Internet!
I had him draw his idea out on paper while I set up the sewing machine and dug into a tub of fabric that was donated to me from a friend down the road.
We then set out to make the perfect little dinosaur, one limb at a time. Adjustments to the design were made.
…and actually, I was informed, a whole new dinosaur was created. Thankfully, he was okay with the new guy and erased parts of his drawing and redrew what I had made.
But then I was left with my first piece of trash for 2016; the plastic spool that held yards of thread.
It sat on the counter for a couple of days staring at me.
I stared back.
Then it hit me.
You see, I work at two elementary schools so I have access to a lot of trash cans.
A lot of trash cans with really cool stuff being thrown away.
I found this wooden thingy and brought it home. I set it on top of the plastic spool and before you know it a little person was formed. The hair is made from the wool strings found in the inside of a baseball that was going to be thrown away. The scarf and bow was created from an old tshirt that was found in my tub of scrap fabric.
I know I can find wooden spools of thread with cotton instead of a petroleum based materials, but I have not found them yet.
I know they are out there.
Until then, I am using up my stash of thread. This year my goal is to let my trash guide my art making. I could not be more excited for this fresh new year!
Cheers to toy making.
Cheers to zero trash.
Cheers to little kids and the joy they bring to life.
The Challenge to Create 30 Toys in 30 Days, The No-Trash Project, Trash-Free Holidays, Trash-Free Little Ones, Upcycled Clothing
I will not say the only reason I wanted children was to have a good excuse to make dress up clothes, but I would be lying if I did not admit it was one of the motivations for starting a little family.
I absolutely love making toys for little ones and I have not meet a kid, boy or girl, who does not like to dress up and living is a world of make believe on any given afternoon. So, when I over heard a friend of mine saying her son needed a Darth Vader cape, I was instantly all over it!
It just so happened that a bag of clothing was donated by my aunt for my up-cycling projects last week too. Oh, I love a donation of goodies that welcome a creative, little twist. With so many articles of forgotten clothing jammed in the back of closets and stuffed in attics, I wonder why the heck do people still buy fabric by the yard. I found exactly what I needed when I pulled out a black dress. A few snips here and a few snips there. Sewing up edges and reworking the collar to provide a fastener; a Vader cape was born.
The Challenge to Create 30 Toys in 30 Days, The No-Trash Project, Tiny House, Trash-Free Holidays, Trash-Free Little Ones
A little bed for a little girl.
And lacy stuff
I found the bed for a dollar at a garage sale. I spent a weekend gluing and clamping the pieces together. Then I painted the frame and started sewing together the mattress and pillows. The fabric is left overs from the drapes my mom rescued from the dumpster and of course it is stuffed with fabric scraps. The little bits of lace were rescued somehow, somewhere and have been stored in my mom’s sewing room, way to long. I think it adds just the right amount of charm.
Well it is way past 30 days. I mean it is way, way past the 30 day goal of having 30 toys created. That is okay, I made the rule so I have all the power to break the rule. So far I have not witness anyone’s life falling apart because I made a crazy deadline for myself. It is not like I have been sitting around twitting my thumbs and eating chocolate. Well…chocolate, maybe.
The jammies came first.
I took apart one of my old Tshirt that I have slept in forever and added bits of it onto a large man’s shirt that I cut down and essentially remade, minus the neck.
I left the neck the way I found it.
A little gather here, and there, and BHAM! I have some comfy jammies that are not to embarrassing if I am wearing them late in the morning or early in the evening. I wore it a few times with leggings out and about, and no one seemed to notice.
Of course I did not throw the scraps from my original night shirt away. They proved their worth this week when I refashioned them into this little fox using a pattern my sister found online. What was left, plus a few other scraps were tucked inside this little fellow.
I was having a rough day.
I needed to make something.
When I asked Cubby what I should make, she matter a factly said, “Well, how about an unicorn.”
Apparently it is not finished because I was just informed she is missing her wings. How could I have over looked that important detail!? Some day I’ll see if I can sneak it from her arms when she is sleeping, add the wings and slip it back under her arm.
There are a lot of reasons I love my little cub. Her imagination is out of this world. I would have to say her obsession over bats as been one of my favorites. Every night we can watch bats from our tiny window, of our tiny house. It started with just one making laps around the perimeter but recently we have counted up to 5 little guys swooping around. Obviously our little plot of land is prim bat party zone. That or we have a lot of insects that need to be eaten.
She herself, has picked up several bat characteristics. One day she would only hold my hand with her thumbs. She also spends most of her time upside down in a tree and she can run as fast as a bat can fly. And not only has she convinced herself she has nocturnal sight, but she has also successfully convinced her cousin that she possesses this super power. Being 5 years old is pretty darn awesome.
One day as she was waking up from a nap, she let me know that she was in dire need of some bat wings.
So we made some.
Before I could even finish one set, her cousin came over to play and he convinced me that he needed a pair too. The two of them were breathing down my neck, encouraging me to sew faster before the lighting bugs came out. Apparently bats love juicy lighting bugs.
The black outside of the bat wings is made from several scrap pieces of shinny black fabric that I used in high schools to make a dress for a dance. The blue inside is scraps from a bridesmaid dress and the pink is scraps from a costume my mom made for Cubby last year.