Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Plastic bag wreath & 1st zero waste week

Yesterday I made the basic form of a plastic bag wreath. I used over 90 white, grocery store sized plastic bags. You take a wire wreath frame, I bought mine for under $3 from a craft store, and you tie plastic bags around it. Cut off the handles and bottom seam of the bags, then just tie them in a knot all the way around the frame. The more bags, the denser it is, the fuller it will look. When you are done tying the knots, fluff the bags. Then you can add embellishments. I am going to add a nice bow and then hot glue some red and green plastic bottle caps to it. A twist tie in the back makes it ready to hang. You can see a video how to on my youtube channel: Crafting with plastic bags episode 1.1.

I also just completed 1 week of zero waste. Yes there is trash at my curbside today. It contains diapers from the diaper genie. However I did not empty my kitchen trash. One week of trash is mainly plastic from food. I have had to trash dive to retrieve items that my family threw away without thinking. I've used my compost bin a lot more. I would say that we threw away 10% to 30% of what we normally do. As far as the diapers go, my 2 year old is doing really well with his potty training. He wears underwear when we are at home. I'm still going to put him in diapers for nap time and bed time. However I am going to try and put him in the washable pull ups for outings. He does not like wearing them. My husband threw away a few cds this week. It looks like I might be making cd clocks for Christmas this year.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bottle Cap Pumpkin & Zero Waste

I having been saving my plastic bottle caps for at least a year now in the hopes of making some cool projects with them. I have done a few things with them so far. See last year's plastic bag wreath and this year's Halloween wreath. I wanted to see if my small hole punch would work on the bottle caps. It did! Oh the possibilities! I punched 4 holes in all of my small orange bottle caps last night. Then using all purpose thread and a tapestry needle, I strung them together to form a circle. I then punched a few holes in 3 green (Sprite) bottle caps for the stem of the bottle cap pumpkin. Now what to do with it? Do I glue it to felt and make a trivet? Do I glue it to something else and make a wall hanging? I'm not sure. However the hole punch opens up a whole world of ideas for ornaments for Christmas this year.

In 7 days I have made 7 knitted items using 4 whole skeins of yarn and a third of 2 other skeins of yarn. Six dishcloths and 1 hot pad. Not bad for single skein September. Also not bad for making gifts for Christmas. There are also 4 birthdays coming up that I need to make and / or buy for.

I started participating in zero waste week last Wednesday. I follow Julia on Easy Eco To Go. She has completed 3 weeks without filling up a whole trash bag! You can follow here journey called Bash The Trash on her blog. One of my biggest obstacles is my family. Why do I keep finding banana peels in the trash can? Zero waste does not mean that you don't throw anything in the trash. It means throwing as little away as possible. Can you recycle the item via your town, a store (like recycling ink cartridges or cell phones), or in your own home by crafting with it? Can it be composted? When shopping, think about the packaging of what you are buying. How much of the packaging can be recycled? How much of it will go in the trash? Also think about buying reusable items vs disposable. Handkerchiefs vs tissues, cloth napkins vs paper napkins, dishcloths and dish towels vs paper towels and sponges, items like the Diva Cup vs tampons, etc. So far so good. Today is day 7 and I don't have any trash to throw out tomorrow (trash day). I made a few flannel hankies just in time for a cold to hit my house. My husband said he wasn't going to use them until he found out that they get softer after every wash.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dishcloth, Hot Pad, & Gift Wrap

I finished knitting the dishcloth last night. I also started making a new one. It's a great way to stash bust my single skeins of Lily's sugar'n Cream cotton yarn. Plus it fits in perfectly with single skein September.

I also finished making the hot pad using Clover's Wonder Knitter. I used 3 left over skeins of Lily's Sugar'n Cream cotton yarn (from making dishcloths). I love how it turned out. I used a needle and regular blue thread to stitch the eye cord together in the spiral pattern. A rug would look really nice made the same way. I did start making a rug the same way a year ago. I stopped because it wasn't enjoyable to make. I was using a regular spool knitter for it. I want to switch it to the wonder knitter. It is easy and enjoyable to use.

My son is going to a last minute birthday party for 2 kids today. Thankfully I had 2 juice pouch pencil pouches already made. I stopped buying wrapping paper about 2 years ago. Not everyone recycles their paper, and not every town recycles paper. However I did not have any non-Christmas gift bags to use for the gifts. I did have a very large silver gift bag that was torn on one whole side. I decided to treat that gift bag as if it were wrapping paper. I had more than enough to wrap both gifts, and it is a fun gift wrap for 2 kids. Hopefully the paper will get recycled again. Even if it doesn't, at least it got a 2nd use (if you don't count all the other times I used it for various things in my house). For other gift wrap ideas, check out Danny Seo's book "Simply Green Giving." One of his ideas is to use the silver side, or inside, of a clean potato chip bag for gift wrap. You can then use VHS or cassette tape for the ribbon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Single Skein September

You gotta love all the little made up craft months. September holds single skein September and is national sewing month. Single skein September is a time for people to make quick and easy projects using their left over yarn that is to small for other projects or to use a single skein / ball of yarn to make something. I Googled "book: single skein" and got this result. I own one book called "Single Skein." The Stash N Burn group on ravelry currently has a single skein September thread.

Why am I bringing this up? I have been knitting a dishcloth almost daily this week. I love making dishcloths using Lily's Sugar'n Cream cotton yarn. They hold up really well, and they are wonderful to use. I am currently stash busting and making Christmas gifts at the same time with these dishcloths. You can make one to two dishcloths from a single skein of this yarn. You can also use what is left of the skein to make coasters, hot pads (so that hot dishes don't ruin your table), and a rug. All 3 of these things can be made using the wonder knitter / spool knitter. Then you can stitch it together in a circular pattern.

Halloween decorations

While on Twitter today, I got to thinking about different ways to recycle plastic bottle caps in your own home. Of course I posted some of those ideas.
-Making ghost, skulls, and jack-a-lantern decorations by using white or orange bottle caps and a black sharpie
-Making spiders using gray or black bottle caps and pipe cleaners or twist ties
-Snowman, putting 3 white bottle caps together (stacked vertically) & a black bottle cap hat.
-Snow flakes, drawing them on or arranging a bunch of bottle caps and gluing or wiring them together.
-Punch a hole on 2 sides of a bunch of white bottle caps. String them together to make a
garland for your yard.
-Be creative and make ornaments.
-See my plastic bag wreath. I used red bottle caps as berries on the wreath.

I wanted to put some of these ideas to use. Last year I bought 2 black fake pine Halloween wreaths on sale (after Halloween). I save my plastic bottle caps, and I have them separated by color. I took a black sharpie and colored ghost and skeleton faces on the large white bottle caps. I drew jack-a-lantern faces on the orange bottle caps. I then arranged them how I wanted them, and used a hot glue gun to attach them to the wreath. I also glued a spider ring (from last year's outside web decorations) to a clear / white bottle cap and attached it to the wreath as well. I wanted to add a little extra something, so I wrapped some black and white animal print ribbons around the wreath. The metal skull if from a decoration that had broke. I attached that using a twist tie. I really like how it looks.

On the 2nd wreath I wrapped 2 different shades of orange fuzzy ribbon around the wreath. I am waiting for inspiration before continuing to decorate it further.

You can make your own Halloween wreath using black or gray or orange plastic bags and a wire frame. Please see instructions on my youtube channel (link in the upper right side of my blog) or in a previous blog post (from last winter).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 30 of the Eco Craft Challenge!!!!!!

I am on the last day of the challenge, and I am looking forward to going shopping tomorrow! I have not gone craft shopping in 2 weeks! I am not going to go crazy. I have a shopping list and I am sticking to it. The way I view shopping has changed due to this challenge. Do I need it? Am I going to use it during this pay period? Will something from my stash work instead? I plan on buying some muslin and flannel to make cloth napkins and hankies out of. The hankies are really important to me, since cold season is quickly approaching. Plus having a toddler who needs a tissue due to being super upset at times.

I've been working on Christmas presents this week. I finished knitting the dishcloth that I started on Sunday. I love it. I want to make a few with this yarn for myself, but this one is for someone else. I also plan on buying some more of this color way tomorrow as well. I want to make a matching set for the gift. I started a new dishcloth as well with some stash yarn. The pattern for these dishcloths is in 2 posts before this one.

I did work on the cloth napkins for a little while today. It is official that Wonderland Dyes and I are going to be exchanging some work. I'll make some 10" squared cloth napkins and send them to her. Then she will dye them and send half back to me. She will keep the other half. I think that this is a nice exchange for the work that each of us will be putting into these napkins. Wonderland Dyes will have a shop open on Etsy soon. When she does, I'll post a link.

It's getting cooler at night now. The jeans that I am wearing today has a hole in one of the knees. So I patched it up with some fun fabric. I wanted some color and design, plus I'm not planning on quilting with this fabric anytime soon. It was from a fat quarter in my stash. A fat quarter is a precut piece of fabric that is about 18" x 20". I sewed it on while I was wearing the jeans. I wanted to make sure that it looked right while my knee was bent. I also started embroidering around the outside of the patch.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blog Carnival

I was on a moment ago and checked in on one of the 2 Eco Craft Challenge threads. One of the people on there (heppiehaaksters) posted a link to her blog where she has been posting about how she is doing with the challenge. Her blog is mainly in another language, but pictures can say it all. It looks like she is on day 11 of the challenge. I love what she is doing. There are a lot of similar projects between us but with different looks. I haven't talked about it on here, but I had also started making the knitty knobby left over skein rug as seen in the book "One Skein." Its nice to how hers is coming along. Keep up the good work:)

Is anyone else blogging about their experience with this challenge?

I also want to tell everyone about Julia from Easy Eco To Go. Julia has taken up the zero waste week challenge. She has been posting pictures of her trash and talking about ways in which she is decreasing her waste. Very inspirational. Right now she is offering to send people a reusable snack bag and a reusable handkerchief if they take up this challenge. Julia is on day 14 of this challenge. That's right, she extended the challenge from 1 week to 2 weeks. I can see this becoming a life long habit. What a difference it would make if we all took this challenge. I am starting this challenge on Wednesday, which is my trash day. I want to begin with a clean slate. You can also become a fan of Easy Eco To Go on facebook, and you can follow her on twitter as well.

Focus Organic always has some interesting information. They also have a regular blog carnival.

My Recycled Bags loves working with plarn. That isn't the only recycled material that she crafts with. Check out her blog.

Jennifer Perkins recently posted some how to videos for Halloween on her blog. She also posts a regular crafty blog carnival (the newest one was posted today).

Plastique Recreations is another amazing eco-crafter. She crafts with plarn and VHS tape. She also sells her creations as well as her spun plarn and VHS tape.

Fat Bottom Bags is another plarn crafter. Christi crochets round bags out of plarn. She sells them for a very good price. She also has a special deal going on. If you send her a certain amount of colored plastic bags, she will send you a mini fat bottom bag for free. You can also become a fan of Fat Bottom Bags on facebook, and you can follow her on twitter as well. Christi goes a step further and helps out marine animals that are in trouble in her area.

I don't know how often I'll post a blog carnival. I really just wanted to share some of the blogs that I follow.

A creative day 28 of the challenge

I learned a valuable lesson last Christmas, don't knit something for someone without their approval. I made a hat for someone who always wears knit hats. That person, when asked for the truth, said that it wasn't their style. I wish that I could have asked for it back so that someone who would wear it could have it. So this year I have checked with a few family members on colors and patterns for possible knit presents.

I was on the phone with a family member the other night. He mentioned not having enough dishcloths and dish towels. I then asked what his favorite color was. It is blue, like me. So today I packed some self striping Lily's Sugar'n Cream cotton yarn and some size us 7 short needles in my craft tote and went to church. I was able to knit half of a dishcloth while there. I love portable projects, esp. when they are for gifts. Here is my pattern for this dishcloth:
-Cast on 3 stitches
-Knit those 3 stitches
-Every row on the increase side is: k1, knit into the front & back of the 2nd st, k to the end
-Do the increase row until it is the size that you want it (hold it square to see)
-Decrease side: k1, k 2 together, k to the end.
-When 3 stitches remain, knit those 3 stitches then cast off.

I was such a beautiful day out, that we hung out in the back yard for a while. I saw a few pine cones and thought that they would be good for Christmas decorations. I started collecting them in a small paper bag. Soon that bag and one other was filled, and I wasn't done yet. I put them in a large empty plant pot and filled them up a few more times. There is sap all over the pine cones. I need to find out a good way to remove it. If I can't, I'll use it to my advantage and roll them in glitter. No glue necessary since the glitter will stick to the sap.

We also saw this grasshopper hanging out by our back door. Its good that I had a camera on me.

Then I finished sewing one stage of the cloth napkins. I was able to turn most of them right side out before my toddler was finished painting.

My toddler loved painting so much the last time that I worked on the cloth napkins. So I did the same set up for him again. I currently have only 3 colors of tempera paint: red, black, and white. However that is perfect for a monochromatic color scheme. I have learned to limit what colors I give my youngest to paint with. I don't want to hang up a painting that looks like mud, because he mixed every single color together.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Punk Zebra

I did it. I made the Punk Zebra sock creature from "Stray Sock Sewing: Making One-of-a-Kind Creatures from Socks" by Daniel. I put my own twist on the design. I have a small sock stash. For a while whenever I would see some interesting socks for one dollar, I would buy them. I made a few sock monkeys last year, and thus was always on the look out for more sock creature material. In February I must have bought these pink striped socks. Well.... Like i said in another post, there was a hole in one of my Halloween skull socks. I made the zebra out of the pink socks. Then I cut the skull sock above the heal and made it the zebra's t-shirt. Also instead of making a mohawk, I used eyelash yarn and gave her long multicolored hair. The nostrils are buttons off of one of my grandpa's shirts. He died when I was young. So now there is a sentimental touch to the zebra. The eye buttons came from my tiny button stash. One is a vampire bat. I bought some cute Halloween buttons on sale last year with no project in mind for them. I like that the eyes are different. The bat one makes her look like she might be winking. I think she looks a little punk. I could punk her up a bit more. Maybe give her a cool belt. But for now, she is perfect.

My oldest son said that she looks like a Fraggle. I love that!!! My youngest son just loves carrying her around and tossing her in the air. I was so tempted to go out and buy the buttons. I'm glad that I didn't.

Socks & Up Coming Challenges

I haven't made anything creative in 2 days! So weird. However I have had creative designs swirling in my head. I need to come up with a raffle quilt design that is an easy group project. I am the head of the raffle quilt comity in my quilt guild for 2011 or 2012. The raffle takes place every 2 years.

I have these fun Halloween socks that are orange & black with a white skull on them. One has a hole in the toe. I am not opposed to wear mixed matched socks; so, keeping one and crafting with the other is fine by me. I looked through "Stray Sock Sewing: Making one-of-a-kind creatures from socks" by Daniel. This book is a great alternative to making the standard sock monkey. I am thinking about making the Punk Zebra with my pink striped socks. Then cutting out the skull on the other sock to make a funky punk shirt for the zebra.

My weekend plans:
-Finish taking the VHS tape out of the videos that were given to me to recycle.
-Spin Vhs tape & pli it with plarn.
-Finish sewing the cloth napkins.
-Make a dress mannequin using a t-shirt, duct tape, and stuffing (the plastic bag handles and seams would be good). Put on a t-shirt. Have someone duct tape over the t-shirt while you are in it. Cut open the back of the shirt so that you can take it off. Wear an extra shirt if you don't want to be topless in front of the other person. Then tape that cut opening closed. Tape the bottom closed, stuff it, and tape the top closed. Now you have a cheap and custom made dress mannequin that is just right for you.

Does anyone have any ideas for future eco-craft challenges? Here are 2 of my thoughts.

The week after the 30 day challenge is your vacation, so to speak. You can go crazy with spending. However try to only buy tools and items that you need. Don't buy something that is going to just sit on the shelf and not get any use for a while. The holidays are coming up, and I plan on making things for Halloween and for Christmas. This is the week to buy for those projects. Then for the 2 weeks after that, don't spend any money!

My 2nd thought was for the New Year. If you are like me, then you like to make things for the holidays. Therefore this challenge isn't good for the last few months of the year. Instead the next big challenge will start on January 1st. For 3 months (that's right, 3 months), you will have a budget of $15 a month. That budget should only be used for odds and ends and for tools. This is a true stash busting, think out of the box, UFO (unfinished object), lets get creative craft challenge! Why 3 months? I was on the phone with someone yesterday talking about the current challenge. He said "It isn't really a challenge unless it is for 3 to 6 months." I thought about making a $10 budget, but maybe that is too cruel.

It takes 21 days to make a new habit. This challenge has helped to reprogram my brain when comes to crafting, esp. with shopping. Do I really need this item? Will I really use this item within the next week or two? Or will it just sit on my shelf for a long time? Is there something at home that would work instead? Where are my UFOs and why am I not working on those? Maybe I should clean my space so that I can find items instead of buying multiples (I need to find things in my garage). Can I borrow a tool from someone instead? Can I exchange skills or supplies with someone else? That's right, you can get rid of some of your stash in exchange for things you might want or need. No money is exchanged, you are helping each other out, and its a win win situation.

Now I said exchange skills with someone else... After making the cloth napkins, someone made a proposition to me. If I mail her some of those napkins, she will dye them, and then she will send half of them back to me. Yes I can dye my own napkins. However her dying technique might be different from mine. She keeps some of the napkins in exchange for her work, and she dyes some for me in exchange for my work. I also look at it as cross promoting. Her dying skills and my cloth napkin.

Photography: Yes, I took that picture of the dragonfly. If you have a digital camera, it will cost you nothing to go out and take some beautiful pictures. This one is my desk top picture on my computer. I take my camera with me everywhere, just in case. For very little money, you can print it out. Decorate your home, make art books, journal, make nice gifts, etc. with your pictures.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Easy Being Green: Episode 5: Reusable bags

Melinda Goodick from my quilt guild came on the show to show us how she makes reusable shopping bags from fabric. You need some basic sewing skills for this project, but a beginner can make these bags. Melinda showed how to make these bags at the 2009 Chelmsford Earth Day Fair. She also attends the recycling comity meetings. Thank you Melinda for coming on the show! You inspired me to make my own set of 4 reusable bags.

Here are the links to the show on my youtube channel. Youtube only allows 10 minute video clips, so the show is broken down into 3 videos.

The bags that I made were done slightly different but still using the same principles. There is no lining on the inside of the bags. The fabric was woven on a twill (like blue jeans - diagonal). I sewed the seams on the inside of the bag instead of the outside like Melinda. It's a personal preference.

I am on day 26 of the eco craft challenge. Yesterday was so crazy that I think it was the 1st day during this challenge that I didn't work on anything creative. I did read my plushie and sock creature books at soccer practice. Some of my festive socks have holes in the toes. I want to turn them into something other than a sock monkey. I made a lot sock monkeys last year, and I want to try something new.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Video on how to make simple cloth napkins

If you are stamping them, iron them afterwards to heat set the ink before washing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Decreasing my waste

Day 23 of the Eco Craft Challenge

I've been following Julia from Easy Eco To Go on her zero waste journey. She has inspired me to really think about those disposable items that I've taken for granted just using and tossing. I have stopped using paper napkins and paper towels for 2 to 3 weeks now. I love knitting dishcloths, and I have a few dish towels. Those have taken the place of the paper towels. I only had a few cloth napkins, which have been used pretty quickly. I needed more cloth napkins, so I sewed 15 today.

I had some muslin in my fabric stash. Muslin can cost as little as $1 a yard. I cut it into 10" x 5" pieces. I don't see the point of having large cloth napkins other than for looks. Thats why they are only 5" wide. I placed two of the cut pieces together and stitched around 3 of the sides. I turned it right side out, then folded in the unsewn side. I then stitched around all 4 sides using a quarter of an inch seam. The thread matches the fabric, however it would look nice with a contrasting thread. These would also look nice embroidered or stamped using fabric ink / paint.

I then made 4 hankies that are 10" squared. I cut the muslin and did a decorative stitch around the 4 sides. The thread is left as is. The decorative stitch should hopefully keep the hankie from unraveling in the wash. I followed Easy Eco To Go's directions for making these. Someone posted on Julia's site about how muslin won't feel good on your nose, esp. during a cold. She suggested using flannel instead. I'll have to look in my stash to see if I have any flannel that I'd be willing to make hankies out of. I like to buy flannel for the back of my winter quilts. It makes them warm and cozy.

Last Christmas or for my mom's birthday, I don't really remember, I knitted her a hat using Lionbrand's Homespun. She asked me to make her a yellow one. I then started making her a scarf, but I couldn't finish it in time to give with the hat. I stopped knitting it in March. Today I began knitting it again while at my oldest son's soccer practice. I would like to have it finished for Christmas. It should be easy. It's knit in garter stitch on size US 9 needles.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 22 of the Eco Craft Challenge

A friend of mine came over on Friday and loaned me one of her spinning wheels. I've been spinning everyday since. My large ball of white plarn is now broken down into several smaller, but still large, spun balls. I have also plied some of them with VHS tape. I really love how it looks.

I also brought my 12 harness table loom into my craft studio today. I want to start weaving again. Simple weaving. I say simple, because I love ikat weaving. That is what my senior thesis was on. The picture above is at my senior gallery show. The 4 piece 1 foot x 7 foot weaving of water was sold that week to a surgeon in Little Rock, AR. That paid for my loom and warping board. Ikat weaving is when you dye the threads in a pattern before you put them on the loom. It took me 2 to 3 weeks of pure concentration and work to produce a single ikat weaving. Since having kids, I don't have time for that anymore. I hope to go back to it one day. However why not still use my loom for more basic weavings? It would make gifting scarfs so much easier and much more unique. I want to weave my new plied plarn and VHS tape. I'm nervous since its been a few years since I've used it.

I have 8 days left of the craft challenge. I am not going to go spending crazy. I'll hold off on buying the Navajo spindle since I am borrowing the spinning wheel. I might purchase a ball winder. I will definitely be purchasing size US11 double pointed needles to make some Mary Jane Slippers. However I have really been feeling the hurt of the economy this past week. I bought nothing for myself, but still struggled with money. Is it just me or are things more expensive?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Reusable bags

Day 19 of Eco Craft Challenge

Yesterday I made 4 reusable bags out of 2 yards of stash fabric. The fabric was woven using a twill weave, so it is not something that I plan on quilting with. I cut each bag slightly different. One bag has a shoulder strap. I've gotten some nice compliments on them. Now I am seriously thinking about making some for sale. Each time making a set of 4. I also want to make some for Christmas gifts.

Tomorrow, Saturday September 12th is the first International Plastic Free Day. Please use your reusable bags when shopping.

I am also thinking about making a blog carnival soon. There are so many great blogs that I follow, and I would like to share some of their great ideas with everyone. Unlike other blog carnivals, this will not be a weekly thing. It might be a bi-monthly or a monthly thing.

A friend of mine came over today and taught me how to use a spinning wheel. She is letting me borrow one of her spinning wheels. It looks so easy, but it does take practice. I am now spinning my very large ball of plarn on it. I need to spin as much as possible tonight and tomorrow. On Sunday I will be at the Billerica, MA recycling table for the Yankee Doodle Fair. I'll be demoing how to make plarn, tarn, plastic bag wreaths, juice pouch items, etc. The large ball of plarn is a crowd favorite.

I am also looking forward to the eco craft challenge being over, because I have a nice little wish list right now. I want to buy some double pointed needles (in a size I don't have) to make some Mary Jane Slippers. My studio is in the basement, and my feet have been getting cold down there. Also I want to purchase a Navajo spindle and maybe a ball winder. That will set me back a little (the combo of the 2). However I will feel good about these purchases, because they are tools and will not be adding to my stash. In fact these tools will be helping me dig into my stash. I am also thinking about a craft challenge part 2. This time for a shorter amount of time, but a more extreme budget.

I am also posting some pictures of my studio space through out this post. I cleaned it yesterday. I still need to work on it, but I made a big dent. My basement is not finished, so it does look kind of raw. I need to figure out a heating solution soon, because winter will make it to cold to work in.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

VHS tape & podcast

Day 18 of the eco craft challenge.

Yesterday I spent a few hours cleaning my studio space (in my basement). Of course my toddler gets his own table in there. I really made a big dent in the clutter. Now I can think easier while in there.

While cleaning I listened to several podcasts. One of them was the newest Stash N Burn podcast with Nicole and Jenny. Around 10:40 and 13:50 on the counter (time in min:sec) they talked about me! Wow! I've been listening to their podcast ever since I got my 1st ipod. I am KristyRecycles on ravelry, and I follow their forum on there. I posted the eco craft challenge in their forum when I first started it. I thought that it would match up with what they talk about, using your yarn stash. I couldn't believe that they mentioned the challenge as well as some of the things that I make. It made my day.

I can't get over how much yardage is in one VHS cassette tape! Its crazy! It really seems like a waste to just throw this much in the trash. If you or someone you know are getting rid of VHS tape via the trash, please take out the tape (unscrew the case to do this). If you don't knit, crochet, or work with yarn in one form or another then maybe someone you know does. Here is Cindy's blog where there are some free VHS patterns. Cindy also has tested her VHS tape bags with credit cards. They do not demagnetize the cards. Thank you Cindy for doing that test! Also check out how to use cassette tape for gift wrapping in Jennifer Perkin's blog. Also one of Danny Seo's books shows how VHS tape makes nice ribbon when gift wrapping. I donated all of my VHS tapes to Goodwill 3 to 5 years ago. This supply came from someone who attends the recycling comity meetings in my town. Since my town does not recycle them, the person was more than happy to let me have them. I've been spinning them like crazy. One ball I plied with spun white plarn. I have a few ideas of what to make with this material. It's exciting.

I also dug into my fabric stash and found some fabric that I don't want to use in a quilt. I began making a reusable bag out of it. I have enough of the fabric that I can make a matching set.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 16 of Craft Challenge

Yesterday I broke open a VHS tape and took out the tape. I then spun it. I had some white plarn that I had already spun. I then plyed the 2 together. I think I want to crochet a granny square style purse out of it.

The VHS tape is not stretchy like the plarn, so I don't want to make a tote bag out of it.

I need to make some more plarn out of the newspaper bags. This is as far as I got with the spun plyed plarn crochet bag.

I finished 1 side of the purse that I am crocheting out of the pink and black plarn. Time to make and spin some black plarn. Then ply it with the ball of pink spun plarn that I have.

I have also been cleaning a juice pouch art project that I started earlier this year. Cleaning = sticky straw part. Yes I did say art project. I have always wanted to be a gallery artist. It's time to start trying for that.

I am thinking about making a video on how to crochet soda tab flowers. I think that it is to detailed to do on my tv show. It might be better to use my webcam to film it so that I get really close up, and I can take my time making it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Organizing my juice pouch stash

Yesterday I went through my massive amount of juice pouches and organized them by type and "flavor."

I also cleaned a few (sticky straw part) for an ufo (unfinished object) art project.

All of these juice pouches have been cleaned, they just need the sticky straw part removed.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Plyed Plyarn Projects

I am on day 14 of the eco craft challenge. As of Friday, I spent all of my budget for the challenge ($20). The remaining $10 was spent on supplies that I needed to tape an episode of "Its Easy Being Green." It was for episode 6, back to school supplies made from juice pouches. I have decided to post the show on youtube after it airs on the local channel here. I am currently uploading episode 4 onto youtube as I type this. Each episode airs every 2 weeks here.

I had posted pictures of my spun & plyed blue newspaper bag plyarn before. Here are pictures of the bag that I am crocheting from it. The base of the bag is pretty large. I'm crocheting it in the round. I just ran out of the spun plyed plyarn today. I'll have to make some more.

Last night I started spinning a ball of pink plyarn and a ball of black plyarn. I then plyed the 2 balls together. I am crocheting a different kind of bag in the round. I think that I want to make 2 circles and join them to make a purse. I'll probably line it with black fabric. It reminds me of the movie Grease (the jackets that the girls wore).