I am at my most peaceful when I am creating something with my hands. Whether it be looping yarn over needles to cocoon my babies against the chills, washing watercolours over paper alongside my honey girl or humming along on my sewing machine. I relish peppering our home with my creations and gift giving has always felt more personal when I have enhanced it with a little something made by hand.
Where I once turned to craft book for patterns and "how to's" to fuel my incessant need to create, now I'm finding inspiration within. Initially it was finances (or lack thereof) that led me away from intoxicating yarn and fabric stores to peruse the shelves of a shop much closer to home; that of my craft cupboard. Re purposing the snips of this and that from thrifting adventures and making seemingly useless items bend to my will has ignited a creativity in me that was once too shy to come out. Materials costing small change seem to bolster one's confidence too and I now view most discarded items with an artist's eye.
What started as a means to an end has slowly percolated into my very philosophy of being. A thinking out of the box, a making it work, a changing of perception kind of ideology has evolved. Make do and mend has become re-evaluate and create.
Do you like to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?
I made some flower presses to give as gifts using pieces of discarded "snap together" timber flooring samples from Reverse Garbage. A simple dandelion was painted onto the rough side (the lacquered side was hidden within) using black acrylic paint and a fine brush. These were not much more than a dot, some lines radiating out from the centre and some little horseshoe shapes at the end of the lines. A few pieces of thick cardboard were retrieved from the recycling bin and cut to size and a hole was drilled in each corner of both pieces of timber. A long wing nut for each hole keeps it all together. Most any piece of discarded timber would work beautifully.
Many thanks to beautiful Pia Jane Bijkerk for the last two images...they are exquisite.