Late night sewing and eco labels

Its been a busy week and the onset of summer here in the north has definitely given me more energy! Apart from crafty creations I have replanted all the plants in the house, -so now they are very happy, and the girls room got a little make over and am just about to complete an eco-outfit for my youngest.

Some time ago I sourced these beautiful vintage woven tea towels which I am now transforming to summer dresses. However as I have two curious creatures in the house it is much safer (and easier) to get the sewing machine out at night…(hence the industrial spotlight).  I used old invoices to make some quick pattern pieces in order to re-use existing materials, and the best invention was the eco labels! For that I made a mixture of very strong coffee and salt which I then applied to cotton bands by using rubber stamps and hey! -I got some garment labels! you know; coffee stains the fibres and salt acts as a fixative and together they make an ecological ink!  So these are the first samples:

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well, I still did not get the iron out and got to complete the neck and hemline however today I tried it on to check the fit and yes it looks like it will work! (will get some photos with my little model once its 100% completed)

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so now I have to make one for big sis too, -equal rights are an important factor in a democratic home! that’s why I made two eco labels straight away, I know what I have in front of me and I better get on with it A.S.A.P.  Anyhow; – here you can see the printing process: to make an ink pad I just cut off a small piece of cleaning cloth and gently soaked it with the coffee & salt mixture, and I would recommend that you test print on a scrap piece of paper before you apply it to the real item.

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So there we are; front and back view with an eco label, and yes; will get on with the second one now, -see you soon!

 

 

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Back to packaging

Following a previous post about packaging a great deal of comments and new findings has made it very clear that a lot of people are concerned with this issue.  Last week a friend of mine brought my attention to a new shop in Germany called Unverpackt, a supermarket without packaging where you simply bring your own containers and refill them -like in the old days! Looking further in to this I found that ZeroWasteEurope has a great round up article about different shops in Europe that follows this concept, and it made me wish that everyone could have access to one! -would it not be great if we all could go shopping without buying all the scrappy plastic!? With all this in mind and fuelled by a comment from Angelique (who now lives in Germany and buys at farmers markets) I started thinking about shopping bags!  Despite bringing our own containers we would still need to carry our groceries home right!?! So to stay in tune with the whole ecological design idea I came up with these tea-towel grocery bags which have recycled leather belt handles; -which are strong and sturdy with a minimal impact on the environment,  as all the materials already exists.  So could they be something we could use?

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recycle material to make something new…

With all the bits of fabric, cardboard and unwanted garments we have at home I feel its time to clear out and make something new, -rather then just putting it in the bin (japp, I know, that is the easy option) but hey its so much more rewarding when you have actually made something and it could be a nice gift for yourself or someone around you. In my case and in this instance, this creation is for my little girls,  you know they just happen to be the people I love the most, so making things for them comes quite naturally…so here we have some recycled artwork.

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circle of friends

                             So what materials were used for creating this image?
well to start with I got a bit of cardboard as backing (the cardboard came in a delivery that I received the other day) and then I cut out the owl’s body from some fabric that was laying around the house and glued that to the cardboard. Then the wing was created with a bit of lace which came from a skirt and the eyes and beak were made out of a paper bill (glad I could use that for something more fun…) and green yarn were added around the eyes as a contour line. To complete the image I painted some stripes and dots with ecological paint and framed it, -so here you go! 

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The other day my friend posted an article about a guy that does recycled art on a much larger scale which I found very interesting, so click on this link for some humane inspiration and architecture on a whole different level!

Plastic toy reincarnation

Thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest, I got this idea of up-cycling some of my daughters plastic toys (yes, are going through a phase of domestic plastic-dieting by trying to eliminate the use of plastic at home). So with the approval of my 5 year old we got the kitchen knife and cut one of her little dolls in half! Then we cleaned up some used glass pots and got to work and glued 1/2 doll to the lid, applying glitter to the glass pot (of course, -working with a 5 year old) and then painted lid+object in a uniform colour, voilà!

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Here you got some photos of the process, and it was all fairly straight forward, however creating the zigzag pattern on the jar was probably the most tricky and if you want to have a go I would recommend using a masking tape to seal off the area where you want to apply the glitter. -So what will we now use them for? well I was thinking they could be good for storing smaller objects in the kids room, maybe some hair-bands or crayons, I mean the good thing is that you can see what’s inside.

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