I try to keep it upbeat here at the Salad–offering suggestions for positive changes and new ways to imagine raw materials for arts and crafts. Then I come across something that just has to be shared, something I find scary and shaming. Photographer and artist Chris Jordan’s work “Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait” is a series of pieces depicting what we use and buy. Like this photo of the 2 million plastic beverage bottles we use every 5 minutes in this country. Every 5 minutes. It depicts a sea of plastic–a sea that is re-created 12 times every hour.
Or this piece that shows the 1.14 million brown paper bags we use every hour.
Here’s what Chris Jordan, the artist, told The Global Intelligencer: “My underlying desire is to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.”
All I can think is, “Why do we do this and how can we stop?”
The sun is shining on a glorious spring day here in Ohio…truly a spectacular day to honor the earth. But all is not tulips and daffodils: I’m torn between hope that small actions (like making a quilt from scraps or re-purposing outgrown clothing) can make a difference and the overwhelming fear that the collective damage to our fragile planet is beyond our ability to repair.
Choosing hope seems to me the only path. Hope that our small actions will spark change. Hope that small actions will bring healing. Hope that small actions will inspire others.
Happy Earth Day to our one and only.
From Pinterest to Etsy, people are loving the burlap these days. Today’s Cloth Paper Scissors daily newsletter offers some ideas for upcycling burlap coffee bags. An added bonus is a link to the book The Found Object, now on sale for around $10.
It’s National Quilting Day! I’m thinking of some of the special quilts I’m happy to have in my life: The two quilts my sister made for my kids, the quilted wall-hangings that add color to my walls and this one: A quilt a friend commissioned. I made it out of her little girls’ outgrown baby clothes.
Isn’t this a wonderful hobby we all share? Something that creates beauty and meaning, and is a whole lot of creative fun in the process. What do you like most about quilting?
Just a few days ago, I received another warning of incoming fabric. When a friend’s mom decided it was time to clean out her fabric stash, my name apparently came up. So the bags appeared on my porch. (This happens with some frequency.)
It’s all good, though, there’s some very cool almost-vintage pieces in these bags. Thanks, Nancy!
In the mix are classic ginghams in a variety of colors. Does gingham make anyone else think of spring? Maybe I should try this sweet project with my kids. All we would need are these instructions from I Can Teach My Child, fabric squares, white glue and a balloon.
Eleanor Grosch is a green-powered designer with a new line of organic cotton prints from Cloud 9. Her Mixteca collection features the fan-favorite owls as well as a range of geometric prints. Eleanor walks the green walk: According to her web site, she composts, uses wind power, bikes instead of driving and gets her veggies from a local CSA.
Like other folks of the green persuasion, I buy recycled paper products whenever possible…paper towels, copy paper, toilet paper and the like. And, yes, the brilliant (!) thought crossed my mind, “I use cloth napkins, why aren’t there cloth tissues?” This brilliant (!) thought was followed by a classic duh moment. “Cloth tissues? They’re called handkerchiefs, and they’ve been around forever.” Oh, right.
But then, I saw these cloth tissues on Etsy, made by JuniperseedMerc from organic bamboo. Brilliant (!)
These wipers are wonderful and they reminded me how much I love vintage handkerchiefs. I’m old enough to remember my mom and aunts always having a floral or embroidered hankie in their purses. One of my favorite quilt shows is fast approaching in Lebanon, Ohio. The show leans toward traditional and vintage wares. Every year I find a few handkerchiefs that have to come home with me. So what have I made with them? Um…, nothing yet, but I have created a board on Pinterest (brilliant!) to inspire me when the time comes. Enjoy!
I know, it seems like everyone is making them, but Secret Lentil takes the cuff over the top. Check out her line of cool cuffs from linen scraps. Helen Carter makes this gorgeous arm candy–and incredible, sculptural garments from repurposed fabric. And, she has a sewing machine tattoo. My hero.
Sometimes a trip down the rabbit hole of the Interwebs turns up crazy beautiful things. Following a post on Selvedge Magazine’s Facebook page, I came across British textile artist Mister Finch, who transforms aged fabrics into magical beings. This Textile Butterfly is just one of the winged beauties in his online portfolio. Does this make you look at antique textiles with a new eye?
Easter is early this year…just a few weeks away, actually. I’m a sucker for all the sweet charm of chicks and fresh spring colors. Wouldn’t it be fun to dig through the scrap bin and whip up a few spring peepers? Find instructions for these delightful feathered friends at Selvedge magazine.