Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Keep those wrappers coming!!

As I was sitting in the airport, waiting to board the plane, a second time, to Iowa, I was fiddling with my luggage tag. I think the DH & I got the idea at the same time. Luggage tags!! I could make luggage tags from my chip/soda/coffee wrappers.

I've never been very thrilled about the luggage tags that are on the market & what a GREAT way to distinguish your bag from the others at baggage claim (& have a really cool luggage tag too)!!

These are my first efforts & I have to say that I'm very happy with them!!

The tags are approximately 3" by 4" & have hand dyed coordinating bamboo poplin on the back. They were then covered front & back with a clear vinyl.

I think the Dr Pepper tag might be my favorite (it's my favorite soda). I had a lot of fun making these & have plans to make more for my shop!!

I was really excited about trying to use aluminum soda cans for my "material" & after my first completed tag, I was sad to discover that it wasn't going to work out as well. My sewing machine sewed right through the aluminum like butter, but it was the holes that were left by the sewing needle & the non-flatness of the aluminum that made me decide that this was not going to work for these. But that's ok, I have many more ideas using many other materials. Now let's just hope other people like them enough to want their very own!! :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ok, sometimes it pays to be a packrat.......

God love 'em, but at least 4 generations of the women in my family have been packrats & we're talking serious packratitus. Where upstairs bedrooms are so full of things that "you might need someday" that all you can do is walk into the room & walk back out backwards in your same foot steps. Hallways crammed with filled boxes of outdated fabrics & patterns. Closets of extra serving dishes & platters. My grandpa, bless his soul, also had this "problem" (don't want to call it a disease, since I question if it was something brought about from living during the Depression Era). He would go to estate sales & bring home boxes of "things".

Growing up with this, it seemed "normal". I never questioned the clutter. Once I moved away I realized, "oh my God, these people are packrats!" I vowed from that day on, that I would break that chain in my family.

I did pretty well until I started creating art again. It's a lot easier creating when you already have the paper you need for a journal signature or the right color of thread to finish a quilt. I spoke with other artist friends on how to "cope" with this disease & if it was acceptable or shunned & I was reassured it would be ok, but that I had to be careful, that it could easily get out of control. So, I keep it "in check" by organizing. All of my paints are in 2 clear rubber maid totes, my rubber stamps in another, fusible webs, etc AND they are kept in my studio either in the closet or underneath my work table. I cannot store extra rubber maid totes visibly in my studio, so this is a way of me controlling how much I can "hoard".

I generally give my grandma a hard time about all the things she keeps & shouldn't, but this time, I'm glad she did. When we went back to see her last week, she gave me a grocery bag full of the postcards that you see here. There had to be over 150 of these postcards & in fabulous shape for being over 97 years old!! They're all correspondence between my great grandmother & a friend of her's, most of them still have the 1 cent stamp that was needed to mail them on it still.
I feel like these postcards are a small part of my family past so I won't be cutting them up to use in my art. Instead, I have plans to scan them into my computer & then use them possibly in my work & as for the actual postcards, I think they'll be put into an archival binder where one can easily enjoy them any time!!