Sunday, December 22, 2013

Recycled Christmas

Any one who knows me, or has read this blog, likely knows how concerned I am with environmental issues.  As a result of my enviromentalism, I have learned to look at "trash" with a different lens.  I try to minimize our trash by refusing, reducing, recycling, upcycling, mending and repurposing.  My OneMoreUse line of products and etsy store was born out of my desire to reduce my household trash footprint (specifically single use plastics).  So whenever any product is past it's intended use in my household, I give creative thought as to how I might repurpose, recycle or upcycle each item. 

For January 2014, my guild's (PCAGOE) challenge theme is Recycled, which is a theme that speaks to both my sensible environmentalist self and also my artistic creative ideas.  I wanted to do something really unique for this challenge.  The solution for something different presented itself when my very organized hubby threatened to reorganize our silverware drawer.  He is the type of person who needs to be able to see and easily access whatever item he needs from a drawer, closet, cabinet, etc.  While I certainly like things neatly sorted too, because I have a pretty good memory of where items are located even when hidden, I am guilty of cramming as much as I can into any available space... so if that means I have to lift up a few spatulas to get to the ice cream scoop, I'm okay with that; this method drives the hubby crazy.  Every so often he threatens to organize something, which essentially means tossing some items, which he deems unworthy of the space they occupy, into a bag for a thrift store donation.   When he does threaten, I make sure to get the job done before he has a chance, that way I can be sure not to lose my favorite tools.

So, when I tackled the silverware drawer, I came across these hand mixer beaters that I had kept although both hand mixers that we've had in the last couple years have died and were irrepairable.  Removing these 4 beaters gave me enough room to organize my drawer to the hubby's standard; Perfect!  Normally I would send these to the local thrift, but I've seen a container full of such beaters sitting at said thrift store, so I don't think they have much of a market once the mechanicals of the mixer actually dies.  So I decided that THIS would be my item to use for my recycled project! 

I envisioned the beater becoming a stylized Christmas tree.  I made a red base for it, with green polka dots.  I secured the beater into the base and then coated the beater with many layers of Kato green colored liquid polymer that I added gold mica to create a custom color.  The scrolled filigree tree design is meant to mimic the look of quilled paper (as I explored in a previous piece here), and the design on each of the 4 paddles is the same.  I added some red dots to carry over the same design as on the base and add some contrast interest in the tree.  In the following photo of the tree with two paddles turned forward, you can more easily see the scroll pattern and you can see the areas of the metal batter more easily. 

While this was my first attempt at this idea, and it's far from perfect, I was very pleased with how it turned out, considering how difficult it actually was to complete.  I do have new ideas on how I will improve upon the execution of this type design in the future.  I just need to make time to revisit the idea before forging into something new, which is always a problem with me!  My favorite part of the creative process is the idea stage, and I always have way too many ideas waiting to be brought to life!  Here's a detail photo of the scroll work:

And finally a top-down view:

Voting for this challenge will open on January 1st and will run through January 7th.  I will try to remember to post a voting reminder here when the voting opens.  Last month, I was again honored to be chosen in the top 3 entries of both the public and the member vote for my penguin snowglobe piece.  Many thanks to everyone who took a moment to vote!  Comments are always welcome, so let me know what you think about this piece in the comments!  And a Very Merry Christmas to those who celebrate this holiday.  For everyone I wish you a happy holiday for whatever you celebrate... and a Happy, Healthy 2014 to all!!