Plastic-not-so-fantastic!

A resourceful artist like me often collects all sorts of bits and bobs.  For a few years this obsession has increased due to thought-provoking awareness of how dangerous our plastic rubbish is for the planet and all who live on it.

Over a period of time, I have managed to create a number of practical items using unwanted packaging and have created some interesting pieces of art too.

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Various techniques complimented with fabric scraps and broken jewellery.

My husband and I are home-educators so these items are also very useful and help us raise planet-loving awareness through our children’s eyes. They are keen to clean-up our planet and prevent damage to the land, oceans and air above. The greatest part of their education for the way we care for our world was when being approached by a film crew whilst playing in a park on Weston-super-Mare seafront. The crew were filming for the Marine Conservation Society’s “We are the Marine Conservation Society” Campaign. This was a fantastic start to their Home-Ed journey.  (Follow the link below to watch them, they are running on Weston beach at the very end of the film)  As little creatives, I believe they will grow up to be as resourceful as myself, which will be an incredible blessing.

Now for the exciting news…

Where is this leading to?” I hear you ask … Well, I have been asked to help facilitate an Earth Day Art Project for Weston Museum in our home town of Weston-super-Mare, I feel humbled and of course, rather excited.  I then discovered that the project was for the local Home-Education community and so my excitement grows further more and very much feels like the cherry on the cake.  A perfect opportunity to encourage young children to be creative and to inspire them to explore creative art and colour in many forms.

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BE CREATIVE WITH PLASTIC NOT WASTEFUL

Emptying my boxed collection of plastic bottle tops onto the kitchen table felt very satisfying, weird I know! But knowing they are finally going to be used for a very special art installation for our home town and for the Home Ed community means everything to me.

A blank page in my sketchbook soon became filled with lots of ideasand designs. I’ve also started a colourful A2 sketch of what a bunch of colourful circles can look like.  This will be a great tool for the children and will hopefully help them to visualize what the mural is going to look like.

 

 

The plastic installation will be revealed during Easter Weekend in the middle of April and of course in time for Earth Day which is the 4th April (Easter Monday). The children’s project booklets will be on display and available to browse too. Proud moments for the children and their parents and carers. It seems like a long time away but it’s actually only 11 weeks! So, preparation and good organisation skills are required to meet this deadline.

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PLEASE RECYCLE ME! LET’S HELP SAVE OUR PLANET!

So far, I have demonstrated how to prepare for the project and the children have tried out the techniques required. They are also collecting plastic bottle caps and plastic packaging to help with the demand of what will be needed to create this amazing piece of art.

The Museum will be open to the public during Easter Weekend (check website for opening times) and I will be hosting Recycled Art Workshops on Saturday, 21st April where I will be demonstrating, using step-by-step instruction to make Birdhouse feeders and Insect Houses using plastic bottles, straws and a pinch of imagination and creativity.  These sessions will be £5 per person. Please contact the Museum to book your workshop time.

My latest Animal Portrait prints on Cards, Coasters and mini boxed Art are now available to buy in the Museum shop.

If you have any questions or wish to let me know if you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Helpful Websites & Links

http://www.earthday.org

http://www.westonmuseum.org

https://www.livescience.com/50556-earth-day-facts-history.html

https://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/pft/2018/5/3/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-plastic-pollution-cartoons-books-and-activities-to-involve-the-whole-family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Off the Shelf?!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … every where you go!

Recycled ribbon collection

I love a good browse in dressed-up shops and their new decoration designs. I also say ‘ooo’ and ‘aww’ whilst picking up cute tree decorations. But, these last few years I’ve noticed that I don’t quite feel the excitement as I used to. I now leave the shops feeling deflated. Why? Because trying to earn a living from the gift of creativity, I simply cannot compete with the pricing structure of conveyor belt stock.

I spend hours carefully creating the most unique craft items. Every item made has recycled materials which I’ve often had to source from bags of donatations. This takes up most of my time and can be daunting, especially when time is precious and I only have my own pair of hands to organise and make.

I then spend a chunk of time preparing a handful of items, if I’m lucky enough to have enough materials to do a repeat design. Yes, I do buy new papers, fabrics and supplies like glue, tapes and blank cards but these are the canvas to my business. Without them I wouldn’t be able to do what I enjoy. I’m a womble who loves to collect beautiful things, even if they are broken or in need of repair.

Broken Christmas decorations

With time restraints of home, family and business, I’m lucky if I can make 3 cards a day, let alone the 25+ required for each outlet or event.

There are easier ways to earn money I’m certain; however, if you’re a creative like me, you know what I’m about to say. It’s what I do. It’s my life. Its my soul.

I’m comforted and contented that I bring old, unwanted things to my studio and uplift their worth into something that will hopefully be cherished again for another lifetime.

Christmas time in the studio

And more importantly, I’ve done my bit by helping to prevent them going to landfill.

So, my message is this … When you pick up those cute decorations, cards and gifts whilst doing your Christmas shopping – think about whether or not you’d like an item you’ll fall out of love with day after day, year after year or whether you’d prefer that special something that will last your lifetime. A precious something that sparkles your heart every time you see it.

Buy handmade. Support small business.

Where is your Paradise?

With the chaos of life, I often sit down and wonder what if we could find the pause button of life and transport ourselves to our very own special paradise.

Mixed media collage art by Fina

This piece of mixed media collage art is my interpretation of what I believe my paradise to be. It depicts a sanctuary of calm and peace. Of course, in a warm, sunny place – filled with all the beauty that Mother Earth created herself.

Paradise sold during North Somerset Arts Week 2017. This event gave me the opportunity to showcase my mixed media collage art a new collection inspired by my travels to Western Australia and numerous artisan pieces.

Paradise now has pride of place in a new home. A gift for a very special Birthday and I’m sure she will aid in the transportation to Paradise whenever there is a need to escape this crazy life we live. ☺