Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mixed Media Meltdown

Recycled and Waterproof Flowers for Garden Art?
I'd intended to clean up my beading station but got sidetracked with the first item I laid my hands on. 
My studio overflows with daily discards destined as future recycled art.  This light plastic divider originally separated fresh boxed peaches.  With a bit of ingenuity, and a few hours playing around, I transformed it into several decorative flowers for an undetermined use later.

For the flowers, I randomly scissor-cut the cup sides until the plastic sections laid flat between a parchment paper sandwich.  This is when I discovered how quickly the thin centers melted under heat.  They bubbled first, the thicker sides took a fraction longer.  Don't hold the iron in one place.  It will even melt by just lightly hovering over the paper if the iron is too warm.

If you try this project, I recommend you begin your experimentation with a low iron heat setting, using a light touch  and paying careful attention to your progress because light plastic melts very quickly!

After I melted all the cups, I layered two together per flower and free-motion machine stitched the centers.  After auditioning bottle caps and shiny metal buttons I decided on colorful buttons as flower centers.  I felt they needed more color so I added a single flower petal from a party lei, then hand stitched their final placement.  Most likely my little flowers will be floating around my studio for a month or so before some brainy idea pops up on how to use them.  They are weather proof and I want to create some garden art so...... hmmmm.

Taking the recycling a step further, I melted the scraps between a sandwich of plastic netting, formerly potato and orange bags, making sure parchment paper separated the netting from my iron and the ironing board surface.

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