Would you like to know more about my hat? It has several recycled elements and I like to share the back story to my creations. Several months ago I was walking past a neighbor’s house and noticed something on the ground next to the trash can. It looked to be in good shape and I wondered why they were throwing away a nearly new hummingbird feeder. I picked it up and brought it home so that I could make up a batch of red sugar water for the local hummingbirds.
Well, upon closer inspection I realized that this item would not feed hummingbirds or any other birds. Because it was a bottle drying rack. Oh. In my defense, there are three explanations:
1) The bottom part of this stand had leaf patterns on it, which suggested that it was an outdoor feeder.
2) The parts that hold wet bottles look exactly like the perches on my hummingbird feeder.
3) It was very early morning when I walked by, so I may not have been 100% awake.
Once I understood that my neighbor was tricking me and this was not a bird feeder, I immediately saw that it could be a hat for a nature-themed costume. The plastic green parts look like flower stems. Problem solved. (And I already have a bird feeder, so really, this was all for the best…)
Most elements of my costume I already had. My dress is made from fabric in my sewing stash, felt, paint and buttons I already had. A neighbor left some silk flowers by the curb so I grabbed them for my costume. I did buy a few things to create this. Total cost of costume: $4 for hot glue sticks and felt.
It’s fun to make things from recycled materials. For this week’s hat most of my materials are recycled. I love how it all turned out!These plastic caps are from shaving cream bottles. I’ve saved them for a year or so because they were such cheery colors and I had a feeling that they wanted to become art someday.
This daffodil started as a tiny take out cup of salsa. I took it home, washed it and sat it down for a heart-to-heart chat about how each small plastic container eventually will become a mature flower.
To make other flowers I used paper baking cups, pipe cleaners, glossy ads, magazine pages, felt, hot glue, cardboard food boxes, bottle caps and broken plastic spoons.
And you know the famous saying: when life hands you broken clothes pins, make them into flowers.
To make this week’s experience authentic, I took a field trip to the flower fields yesterday. (I’ve chaperoned field trips for school that involved museums, theatrical productions, historical tours and visits to the library—no fields involved. I like putting the field back in field trips.) There are more than 50 acres of flowers there—mostly Giant Tecolote Ranunculus in thirteen different colors. They are shipped all over the world.
During my visit I decided to do some plein air painting, which means I painted on site. I want to do this more often--after all, I am an artist. And we have loads of great places in San Diego to paint outdoors. While there I finished one painting on water color paper, and also painted part of my dress. A good Tuesday.
I hope I’ve inspired you to go skip among the blooming flowers. Go! (Right now.) Happy Spring, y’all!