Friday, October 18, 2013

plastic free update-and getting ready for special fundraiser

a few months ago, i did a post about plastic free living after a presentation i attended with 
BETH TERRY.  she inspired and informed and definitely brought awareness so that i decided to make the difference i could make too.  as with most things, i jumped in full speed ahead to change my ways in regards to plastic.  i made some serious changes, tried new plastic free products, and really did reduce my plastic use by a lot.  BUT, there are some things i just haven't been able to give up just yet....and i've learned that it's more about awareness and commitment to make some changes than trying to be completely plastic free and crazy about it!  i have teenagers.  we are spontaneous.  i am not always prepared with my bags and my jars and my list of plastic free items.  some things we do on a whim, and that includes buying things with plastic.
i really have a passionate dislike for plastic.  and i don't love it when i end up with it in my house!
here are some things i do to cut down on my footprint and to do the best i can with using less plastic.

i LOVE sending packages and letters.  i ALWAYS re-use envelopes or boxes.
here is a re-purposed box that i have collaged and am sending to a friend.
i use what i already have (including plastic tape), but try not to buy things with plastic.

the lid on the paint is plastic.  (i have to have paint, i'm an artist!)
the pen is plastic....but again, i have my collection of what i use to make art and that's one of those things that i keep on using!)

re-purposed phone case....
upcycling plastic phone cases is one way i feel that i can make a difference.
phone cases get thrown out all the time.....i would love to start a recycle your phone case site...
where i take old phone cases and turn them in to new art phone cases!

this is where the guilt comes in.  
it is really hard to find paint in glass containers!!
i'm not there yet where i can make my own paints and dyes...
i keep the containers and add more paints and mediums from the tubes of paints, but it's so much more economical for me to get the larger plastic ones....
of course i will recycle them after many uses.

i buy old enamel wear to use as trays for art and jewelry.
(and lots of things in the kitchen too.)
there are so many plastic containers on the isles of michaels for your art supplies and 
collage etc....
try using something you already have or buy from thrift shops.
these trays are actually just as cost effective or more than buying new.

my pantry....
it looks much better than before my plastic free ah ha moment.
i use glass jars for bulk items and try real hard to remember to take 
them when i go shopping!
sometimes i forget and i end up with a plastic jar of peanut butter....
but most of the time, i wait until next time and plan better.

this is my favorite lavender body lotion, made by natures way farm and seafood.
i take my re-usable container and drop it off at the farmers market for bill to 
fill up and bring to me the following week.  he also does this with goat cheese. (yum)!
(not as convenient as buying it on the spot, but worth it to me to keep from buying the plastic 
container)'s just a week!

i NEVER put my fruits and veggies in plastic bags at the grocery store.
and i don't buy apples and other fruits in plastic bags.  i buy them loose and just toss them in
my re usable cloth bags.  when i forget my bags, i always ask for paper, then i re use the bags for art, packaging or storage.
i've tried shampoo bars and go back and forth between bottled and bars. 
i like baking soda for deodorant. 
i try really hard to always remember my glass water jar.
and i buy way less plastic wrapped items than i ever did before.

SO, the update in a nutshell:
i'm doing my best.
i'm much more aware.
i'm getting to the beach at least once a week to pick up trash.
and i'm trying to make a little difference and spread the word so you can too.

coming up in december is the annual HOPE FROM HELEN fundraiser at wrightsville beach.
to raise awareness AND raise money at the auction, i have asked different people to donate plastic free items.  so far, i have a basket coming together with donations from:
any ideas? 
leave a comment and i will pursue it!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

there are many reasons to celebrate and be thankful many things to celebrate and be thankful for.
i keep a running list in my head and am overwhelmed when it comes to all the blessings i have been given.  friends. family. my husband. art. horses. dogs. cats. girls. homeschool. painting.....making jewelry....crafting. my home. the ocean...the beach. the marsh and birds.  being on the water. trails. mountains. travel.....workshops.  new friendships.  new creations.  the outlet that art provides. lessons.  many life lessons.
memories.  lots and lots of memories.  
and gotta have dreams ...

this is my latest painting and is now available in my etsy shop.  it's a mixed media painting using golden acrylics , inks, charcoal, stabilo, shiva oil sticks, caran de ache watercolor crayons, golden gel medium on a 30 x 40 inch gallery wrapped canvas.  the painting is titled "take me to italy".  and is inspired by my dream of going to italy with my sweet mama's ashes, so that she will have her italy trip after all.

more studio play time......

hand painted post cards...because i LOVE to send snail mail....
and love to make it a little more meaningful by sending something hand made.

and my new (old) phone case~
one of a kind 
collaged and painted!
my case was starting to get a bit after trying to clean it and not getting the results i wanted, i decided to upcycle instead of buying a new one.

the beautiful marsh behind figure eight island.....white cranes searching for a meal....
i love it here.

the last boat ride before getting the boat out of water before a storm.
my favorite time of year to be out on the water....the colors!
and the birds....
we have to take great care of this....the waters, the ocean, the nature we were blessed with.
it's a gift.

happy fall.
and don't forget to sign up for nina bagley's workshop HERE in november!
it is filling up, so get on it :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Nina Bagley teaching at heART space!

nina bagley will be here in wilmington november 9th and 10th teaching her wrap bracelet workshop in MY studio!!  i am beyond excited and wanted to share it with you.  please take a look at her blog for all the details and the beautiful photos of the wrap bracelet we will be making.  anyone who knows nina knows that her pieces are filled with heart and soul.  this is your chance to make your very own version of her jewelry under her instruction.  it's also the perfect opportunity to spend time with such a talented artist in a small, intimate setting.  much different than a large workshop or retreat, we will have time to really get to know nina as she teaches and shares her accumulated knowledge with us.  i am looking forward to this special event and hope that you will join us!  space is limited so sign up early.  {HERE}
once you are signed up, you will receive and email from me with accommodation information.
(update: oct. 16.  this class is full.
if you want to put your name on a waiting list, leave a comment on nina's blog.)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"floating on memories"

"Floating on Memories"
a bookmaking workshop with me in Wilmington NC
in my heARTspace studio.

workshop coming in November!

a handmade book to decorate with collage and journaling techniques,
fill with photos and enjoy as a keepsake or gift for someone special.

left page: my mom (right) and her friend pretending to smoke a pipe and cigar)....
right:  my dad by a "no swimming" sign at the beach.

my dad holding me and our dog "aunt jemima"

my mom (second) and friends at an azalea gardens party.

my mom (left)...
i'm not sure what she dressed up for but i love that you can see the 
shadow of the photographer in the photo.

me....Easter Sunday, in a dress that my mom made.

this is the back of the book.

and the front, tied with an antique doily
and ribbon.

Join me in creating a book of memories filled with collage and
art techniques, treasured photos and heart filled quotes. 
In this class we will make the “blizzard” book that was created by Hedi Kyle when she was stuck inside during a blizzard.  I will show you step by step how to fold and fill the book with blank pages, then demo several collage and journaling techniques for you to add to your pages as you wish. Pages slip in and out with the finished product, but can easily be sewn or glued in if you want them finished that way.  We will talk about different ways to finish the book depending on preference!  The end result is the perfect gift for someone special, or for you to keep as your very own handmade photo keepsake.  Space is limited.  Please call to reserve a spot.

Saturday, November 16

Includes paper for book, photo tabs, vintage fabrics and ribbon and a few pieces for collage.
You will need:
Photos, collage bits and ephemera, paints and brushes, golden gel medium, stencils and stamps.
Once you sign up for the class a detailed e mail will be sent to you with more specifics
 on materials and directions.
Call or email me to register
Kim Beller (Big strong girl designs) @ 910-231-5576

the "blizzard book" was first introduced to me by Misty Mawn in one of her online classes.
this book was created by hedi kyle when she was stuck inside her house during a blizzard.

 the name "floating on memories" is from Judy Wise.  
After our time together last September, she said she was "floating on memories"......
(we both were).
with her permission i use this name for the class:)