Friday, September 13, 2013

My Bluebird of Happiness Re-creation

I love the concept of recycling items in artwork.  I could act all hoity-toity and lecture folks on saving Mother Earth by keeping our excess waste out of landfills....and that IS a  verygood thing.  We all should all strive to keep our planet clean  -- but to be honest, recycling, upcycling or whatever you the concept of call adding to your arts and crafts what others might discard is not just a good "green" practice, it can save money in the long run, expands crafting options and is often quite fun!

So let this be an introduction to my obsession with the idea.   I've been known to work with various items like rusty bottle caps, plastic bottles, paper towel rolls and what are called "found objects" (read: other people's trash, waiting for transformation)

The idea for today's objet d'art came about while sitting at my dad's computer impatiently waiting  while I downloaded and installed a new anti-virus program for him.   And even though there was a ever so slight temptation to recycle his old, slow computer into a paperweight, it was the large container sitting to my left that caught my eye.  The contents were mostly black and white with a few flecks of color and as I dipped my hands into it I became intrigued, ideas running through my head....  My dad chose that moment to re-appear to check installation progress and quizzically inquired why I was rummaging through the trash in his shredder bin.   Art! Was my reply...there must be some way I can use this to make art.  He shrugged at me skeptically.  If only it had more color.....I asked him if he would shred some colored paper scraps for me if I brought them over and he agreed...but after a second he suggested we shred a couple of the cartons from Coke cans.  The resulting addition would be red on one side and brown on the other.  Perfect!  I flattened the boxes and he shredded while I finished the computer tasks.  Soon I was mixing the newly-shredded  cardboard with the rest of the paper and I stuffing a few generous handfuls into a grocery bag as happy as I can be!

This is what I brought home:

I thought it looked pretty cool.  And a bird's nest seemed to be just the thing to make from the shreds!

First, I tried to glue it all together with spray glue but all that taught me was spray-adhesive and plastic grocery bags don't play well together. (The plastic bag shrivels and shrinks...) After prying the shreds from the bag, I placed the sticky shreds in another bag and drizzled them liberally with plain white "school" glue.  I then placed the bag o' gluey-shreds into a bowl and smashed another bowl of the same size over the top.  I left it sit that way for two days.  (Okay, okay, so I peeked after 1 day and it was still damp and sticky.)

When the glue was dry, I removed the bowls and then peeled off the plastic grocery bag.  The result was very "nest-like" but not quite where I wanted it to be.  Thankfully it was still pliable enough to mold with my hands and I formed it into a more pleasing shape. Then I attacked it with splotches of paint and dabbed it here and there with various glitters.

Until it looked this way:

Now all it needed was a bird!   I kinda cheated by buying one of those little flocked birds from the craft store.   But it didn't quite "work" with the glittery nest.

So I stripped it down to the plastic form, repainted and glittered it up pretty good....then added back the embellished tail feathers.

 Purrty birdie.  :)

I placed the "bluebird of happiness" into his nest and my shredder shreds were now transformed!

Not bad for digging in my parent's shredded junk mail! LOL 

The nest is a good example of how looking at everything around you with a different or open-minded point of view can allow you to uncover some wonderful surprises!


No comments:

Post a Comment