My plan for this week was to go through my bead collection and use up a lot of those beads that I had just a few of, you know, 10 of this, 6 of that, things that I bought on a whim and never intended to make part of my regular stock. Of course, I was out all day Saturday and then all night Tues, Wednesday, and Thursday, so I didn't bead very much. Nonethless, I was partially successful in my efforts.
The Moss Spirit -- seen above -- not only used a green garnet that I bought "just because," but it allowed me to use up the last of some Czech glass cubes that I used in another necklace, some freshwater pearls that I bought years ago, the olivine crystals from this year's BFAC project, and a number of Czech glass beads.
There were a few bead types that I couldn't quite use all of, so I had leftovers to make earrings! Mulch?!? used the last of the copper-lined firepolish, as well as some paired beads I'd forgotten about, and Presto, Pesto! used the dark olivine firepolished and some random beads from a swap some months back. And while looking for beads to make more earrings, I found some lonely crystals from BFAC 2004, which made their way into Dawn Flowers and On An Angle. Really, earrings are one of my best ways to use "leftovers."
I fully intend to work towards my goal throughout the next few weeks. I have a whole bunch of aqua-capri blue beads which might make a nice strand collage, and there are always pairs and foursomes of beads waiting to become earrings. But in the meantime, I asked around and found how some other artists use their scraps, leftovers, and recycled materials!
Starchild Crafts uses scraps of fabric to make kickin' keyfobs. Meanwhile, Textile Fetish has these awesome patchwork aprons and bags made from scraps. If you enjoy bags made from scrap fabric (and really, who doesn't? They're unique and environmentally conscious!), you should also check out My Diva Shop's recycled jeans purse with its country charm. A more unexpected use of scrap fabic is decorating stationary, which is exactly what Teacups and Tadpoles does!
Dismantled Designs specializes in making clothing out of other clothing. I really recommend browsing through her site, as it's cool to see clothes remade :)
If you'd like to make your own items with scraps and recycled items, you certainly have a lot of options! SixOneSix makes it easy with this box of supplies! Or, you can look for that delicious recycled silk yarn, some chunky recycled glass beads, or the recycled plastic peace beads that I saw at gem show this year. A google search will surely turn up countless supplies. And don't forget that Found Object art is very popular and feasible as well.
With the internet, the world is practically at your fingertips. I hope that this column will inspire you to not only check out the artists and suppliers I've listed, but to search out other sources for recycled and salvaged goods, and ways to use them yourself. And how is this a Fashionable Friday, you might ask? Not only are many of the above items stylish, but in my mind it's always in to keep things out of our landfills!