3.30.2010

Recycled? My Ass!

Besides making the afghan for my niece, I am also working on a new beach bag.  The one I've got is too small to fit all the things we'll need at the beach.  My solution is a beach bag made of Capri Sun bags.  I'm documenting the process and will post on how I made the bag after I finished the sewing.

So what might have my panties in a bunch?

This:


I was in Wal*Mart to kill some time before the bank opened and found this.  It's made by Terracycle.  Since Terracycle supposedly makes these bags from recycled Capri Sun, I checked them out.  They had a sticker on them that said "I could have been this!" with a picture of a Capri Sun, straw in it, ready for consumption.

"Could" is the operative word.

The bag and the totes I found like it were not made from recycled Capri Suns, they were made from Capri Suns that never had juice inside them.  The Capri Sun bags were produced specifically to make the totes and back packs.  The straw holes were not punched and the front lacked the marks of the glue used to adhere the straw to the front of the pouch!

Recycled?  My Ass!

Now the picture above shows the straw holes sewn over.  On the real deal, they aren't, so it's pretty damn easy to tell the bags weren't recycled.



The products shown in the video looked nothing like the product on the shelf.  The bags in the video, even after being sewn, still looked used. The video even makes it sound hard to clean the glue off the front!  (It's called Goo Gone, people.)

Come on, guys!  We aren't stupid!

I take that back.  So many people are going to buy those things thinking that they're saving the planet.

My question is, where does the real deal go?  Where can you purchase the actual, recycled bags?

I'm waiting...

3.24.2010

Art Journaling made easy

I'm a fan of art journaling and I know a lot of people would like to get into it but lack the time or feel they lack the creativity.  Some times the idea of taking on a new project with new materials (that have to be purchased!) is just too much!

I got ya.

So here's a primer on simple art journaling for the time crunched, materials lacking, and creatively brain frozen.

1. Decide what you are actually journaling about.
Very few people journal, let alone art journal, everyday.  Instead, we journal about an interesting thing that happened or we saw that day.  A journal is a record of important, if simple, memories.  So decide what you want your journal to be about.  Picking a single topic will help you gather materials and focus the art you will work on.  Also, pick something you are already interested in.  If you love ghosts and want to journal about them, chances are you already have stamps, stickers, and all sorts of ghostly paraphernalia.

2. Pick a journal.
There's a lot to be said for moleskin with watercolor paper, but some of us are budget crunched.  And some of us are lucky enough to find a journal that has a picture of an owl right on the front when we want to do a journal about birds we see.  But the rest of us aren't that lucky.  So go for a spiral bound, plain cover journal with acid free pages.  You can find them in art stores like Michaels, book stores like Barnes & Noble, and Wally-World.  Whether or not it's lined doesn't really matter unless you really want one or the other.

3. Gather items related to your topic.
Remember the topic you picked?  Let's say you love flowers and picked flowers for your theme.  Go get all the flower stickers, stamps, magazine cuttings, pictures, findings you have related to flowers.

4. Pre-embellish your journal.
Take those awesome stickers and stamps and magazine cuttings, and decorate your journal.  Every few pages, use the stamp randomly.  Put some stickers here and there.  Glue in a few magazine cuttings.  Don't think to hard about it.  Have fun with it.  And fill most, if not all of the book.

5. You're ready to art journal!
You're new journal is ready for some instant art journaling.  Carry your journal on you with a pen, a few colored pencils (I like Crayola True to Life), and some glue or tape.  When every you see something to do with your theme or find something awesome about your theme.  Whip that journal out and play with it.  With your pages pre-fab, you only have to do half the work.

After doing this little experiment, you'll know whether or not art journaling is for you.  If it is, well, I'm not responsible for the amount of money you will spend it.  If it isn't, you still have something cool as a keepsake.

3.18.2010

Mini Tiles

The Park Slope Afghan involves 73 little squares between the octagons.  I am nixing the ones on the outer edge so I will only need the 45 interior squares.  Since they're so small, I can crochet 10 in two hours.

I've scheduled myself to 10 a day and I've got 20 so far with 8 finished for today.  The little guys look pretty cute.  During my next break, I should be able to scratch today's last two. 

3.17.2010

Ashley's Blanket

My niece, Ashley, is graduating from high school this June.  I asked her if she wanted money or a gift and she said she wanted a blanket.  I have a feeling she's snooped around on my Facebook profile to check out the other blankets I've made.

After several false starts, I finally have a design in order: the Park Slope Afghan through Lion Brand Yarn (note that the pattern requires a free account with lion brand). 

Instead of using Vanna's Choice yarn, I'm going with Red Heart in Seagrass and Soft Navy.  The little squares will all be in Seagrass.  The large octagons will have the center and outer rings in Soft Navy.  The rest will be in Seagrass.  I hope that the end result will be a tile effect.  Pictures to come!

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