The creative and spiritual journey of a (textile) recycler. . .

I have thought about starting a blog for a long time now. I just couldn’t seem to get started. I thought. . what would I say, what would I do and really . . . . . who would care.

Last year I had the great fortune to witness a ‘happening’. As a spouse at a reunion (I know, groan) I was both an observer and participant. This reunion was attended by some of the most creative and talented people on the face of the planet. Really, no exaggeration! But many were holding onto life long insecurities. They didn’t think they were talented enough and embarrassed to perform in front of each other for fear of . . who knows . . . finger pointing, whispers, laughter, ridicule of some sort for sure. Once it was revealed that many shared the same feelings, the healing began. And I was the lucky one. I got to witness it all and benefit as well.

So, the message is that we all think we are not good enough compared to someone else, but we are. Don’t let your fears and insecurities stop you. We can’t measure our own success by someone else’s talents.

This revelation and the kindness / support of strangers has propelled my creative journey to a place I had given up ever getting to. Tho I thought my creative juices were dried up forever, they have merely been reawakened. Many thanks to all involved in my process, including in-part . . Victoria B, Mrs. W., Charles Mc., Claudia H, Mary B, Cindy G, Sandy B, Traci B., Kat C, and my IAA family. So, thank you. I dedicate this blog to all of you!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Naysayer No More!

One of the things that I do to stay as healthy as possible is to make chicken broth and have at least one cup per day. I've been making broth the old fashion way for decades; toss the chicken bones in a big stock pot and stand over the pot to skim the foam (or scum as some call it). If you dont do that, the foam goes back into your soup and adds a really unpleasant taste.

Well, three years ago I stumbled across the Instant Pot (IP). I had heard that it made great broth without skimming anything. I was such a naysayer. I thought it impossible. After almost one full year of research on the Instant Pot, I kept seeing the same info over and over again, so, I decided to give a try for myself.

Broth was of course one of the first things I made in my new Instant Pot. Everyone was right. Broth from the Instant Pot is every bit as flavorful and healthy as the stove top method, with one giant perk. No standing over the pot and skimming. Yeah!

Now I bet you want to know where I get the bones from. I save every bone and bit of fat from chicken, whether its from store bought rotisserie chicken or home cooked. I save the bones and carcasses in a zip lock bag that is kept in the freezer until I need to make broth. (recycling is in my blood. What can I say!) It doesn't take much.

My super easy IP chicken broth recipe:
  • Place your liner pot inside the Instant Pot
  • Use approximately one carcass worth of bones. Bones should fill to about 1/4 - 1/3 of the liner. Put liner pot inside the pot.
  • Fill the liner pot with water to just below the max line on the inside of the liner.
  • Set timer to Soup Button, 120 min. (or 240 on the newer pots)
  • Turn the black knob away from you to sealing. (it says it on the knob)
  • Make absolutely sure that your sealing ring has been completely inserted into the channel of the underside of the pot lid.
  • Then go do something else for 3-6 hours (it will take time to come to pressure and to release pressure, plus cooking time)
  • Let the pot release pressure before opening. (really, it will not let you open it until all pressure is released. Don't try to force it)

When its done, taste it. As an option, you can continue cooking for another 120 min. if your pot only goes to 120 min. I often do 240 min for my broth.

Then remove the bones, strain it.
You will have a lot of broth. I always ladle broth into freezer containers of various sizes for future use and save enough for my daily cup.

Note: I often do not add anything to flavor my broth because I use it in cooking as well as drinking. You can add veggie scraps, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper if you like. Just note that anything you add with the bones will need to be tossed out.

For more Instant Pot information or to purchase, please click on the Instant Pot image to the right of the post.

I hope to get back to sewing soon, but in the meantime, I have to eat, so I'll be cooking and posting. You can also follow me on Instagram at: #textilerecycler

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A new journey

So clearly I've not been posting to this blog in a while. I've been on a real health and life journey... but all the while recycling. I guess I'm a true recycler of all things, not just textiles.

So you will see posts not only related to textiles, but always recycling something or other, from food to music to whatever crosses my path.

Let's take this journey together. Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

"Post 3 Pieces of Art a Day" Challenge - Day 3

The lovely Caryn Smith, artist extraordinaire, nominated me to take part in the "Post 3 pieces of art a day" for 5 days. Today is day three.

Since my moniker is Textile Recycler,
here are few small portrait quilts made from
recycled fabric, scraps & paint with freemotion to enhance the images.

So there you go. I did it!
It's day 3 and nothing bad has happened to me yet.

To keep the challenge moving,
I also have to nominate a new artist each day.
Watch out I might be nominating you next!

Or better yet, don't wait.
Challenge yourself to do something outside of your comfort zone.
The benefits maybe be bigger than you can imagine.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Post 3 Pieces of Art a Day" Challenge - Day 2

So again, I've been nominated by Caryn Smith to take part in the "Post 3 pieces of art a day" for 5 days. For me, this was a much bigger challenge than she knew. I'm just not compfortable blasting photos of my work in the internet.... for lots of reasons.

So I held my nose, and jumped into the waters... and here we are, day 2!

Since my moniker is Textile Recycler,
here are few 'recycled' pieces of clothing that I have dyed and painted.

So there you go. I did it! It's day 2 and I'm still alive.
To keep it moving, I also have to nominate a new artist each day.
So watch out artists out there. 
I might be nominating you!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Post 3 Pieces of Art a Day" Challenge - Day 1

I've been nominated by Caryn Smith to take part in the "Post 3 pieces of art a day" for 5 days. Yipes! I haven't really produced anything in quite a while and I'm a bit shy to post what I make anyway. What should I do? Accept, not accept, just freak out.....oh my... the pressure is killing me.

Then again, maybe this nomination is a good thing. Maybe it will force me out of my comfort zone... or maybe it will cause me to retreat more. Only time will tell. That artist insecurity creeps up and those voices start whispering in my ear telling me to run... and fast. But I'm going to ignore them for a change. I know, it's a shock to me too!

Since my moniker is Textile Recycler,
here are few pieces of recycled fabric that I have dyed. 

What my yard can look like on any hot summer dye day.

So there you go. I did it! I took the plunge!
To keep it moving, I also have to nominate a new artist each day.
So watch out artists out there. 
I might be nominating you!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Making Lemonade out of Lemons

So for all of my positivity going into the new year, it sure started crazy. And not so positive.

Within the first 24 hours of the new year, my car is dead. I guess it's been quite a while since I drove it.

The same day, I missed a step in the house and went down to the ground. Hard. Ouch. My foot and ankle were twisted underneath me and oh oh... I went into shock. All I could do was wonder with morbid absurdity which I was going to do first, pass out or throw up. Both were rushing upon me quickly. Meanwhile the foot/ankle area was swelling fast. At least I had the where-with-all to pull myself up on a step, get off my foot, then roll into a ball to try to protect myself from what could have gotten much worse, like fall head first down another staircase.

So, to make a boring story a lot better, I've used my time in bed wisely. Yes, in bed. I've had my foot elevated and been pouring lavender oil on my back, side and hip to minimize the bruises. I can't really put much weight on the foot yet, so I'm doing 'bed' activities.. no not that kind!

I started a little creative project at the end of December. It was thanks to a FB artist friend. She was well aware of my creative insecurity and how my life issues have gotten in the way of doing anything creative. To bring it all home, I made a little video of the project:

This post is dedicated to you Mariette Hebert

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A New Year... thank goodnes.

I realized that I have not blogged in over a year.
I've barely done anything creative in at least 2 years.
2014 certainly sucked..... well, so did 2013 & 2012 for that matter.

Circumstances have changed things in so many ways.

I am optimistic that as the clock strikes midnight tonight, that a chain of positivity will be set in motion and all will be different tomorrow.

But whether is does or doesn't:
  • I am thankful and grateful for the many people that stuck by me in hard times, offered me support, kind words and kept me propped up.
  • I am thankful and grateful for what I've been able to overcome. 
  • I am thankful and grateful that I was able to stay solid for those more in need than I.
  • I am thankful and grateful for what I have today. I don't need any more.
Happy New Year and may all of your hopes, dreams and wishes come true...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bubble Girl stencil test drive

I was honored to be invited by Jessica Sporn to take part in one of her stencil test drives. I love Jessica's spirit, creativity, awesome art work and her fab for me, it was a no brainer .... I was in.

Then began to ponder what I'd do....

 I am not a painter, but having just received some canvas boards from a friend cleaning out her basement, I thought I'd just play and see what I could come up with. I had nothing to lose. I started in one direction...shades of yellows and oranges. Not at all my palette. Something went seriously wrong, so I began to just slap paint here and there just to cover up my disaster. Hmmm.. I kinda liked what I'd done so far, so I kept going, adding the stencil, newsprint and metallic paint. Oh boy.. I just love Bubble Girl.. 

The finished piece: Bubbles Brighten a Grey Day

Then I wanted to do something with fabric since I'm a textile recycler. I grabbed an old quilted bedspread that I've had hanging around for just this occasion. I did a crude measure of a spiral notebook and hacked away.

Next I stenciled the image onto the quilted fabric, then did some thread sketching in between the lines. The bubbles are metallic paint and outline stitched in black.

Last I added some text. A light lavender wash was applied to a small piece of fabric for some background to add text to. Then I just wrote the balance directly on the piece. I'm not totally thrilled with the ink coverage of the pen I used for the text, but I still can't wait to start using my new notebook cover!

I had been mulling over from the beginning what I really wanted to do with this stencil. The plan was to use some sheer fabric and do a really cool overlay with some piecing and stitching. But every time I got close to pulling the bits and pieces I needed, something else caught my eye and I was off in another direction. So after switching it up a handful of times, I landed on this vintagey fabric.

I cut some flowers and leaves from another fabric, then added it to the background, traced my pretty little bubble girl onto muslin, painted her, added her to black felt to add dimension. Did the same with the butterflies and bird. Then I fiddled around with various pieces of lace and decided to frame my gal. Last the entire piece was applied to a 12" x 12" canvas for a nice dimensional wall piece.

The finished piece: Leaving the Garden with Butterflies

So there we go... three uses for Bubble Girl;
in a painting, thread sketching and applique.

For a chance to win your very own Bubble Girl stencil, just leave a comment on this blog by October 27 at midnight EST telling me how YOU would use Bubble Girl.

Click the links below to see how each artist blogger
has used her Bubble Girl stencil!
Leave a comment on each of their blogs and you have even
more chances to win your very own Bubble Girl stencil!
 The more times you comment, the more chances you have to win!

And while you're at it, be sure to check out the
fabulous selection of cool stencils at Stencil Girl Products
Thanks for stopping by. Happy stenciling!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Word for the year revisited

For some odd reason I decided to alleviate some stress today by revisiting old blog posts. I found one where other bloggie buddies were selecting a word for the year. I couldn't remember mine and once I got to the end of the post and saw my word I thought, 'oh yah...but what has that meant so far....'

My word for the year is: peaceful.
In reflection I would say that I have found some peace. Still a long way to go. I've had a lot on my plate in the last 10 months and sometimes weaving and other times muddling my way thru it all, has helped get me closer to that peaceful place I was looking for at the end of last year. But then... something else always happens and I feel like I am starting at square one again.

I count on making attempts at being creative and even better, finishing something that has allowed me to use my vast collection of art/sewing supplies and my innate creativity. And when that happens, I do feel peaceful, even if just for a few minutes, or hours. It's worth it.

So I guess my tip for today is, every once in a while recycle or go thru some old blog posts and see where you were then and where you are today. Then decide if you accomplished what you had hoped for or are you still moving toward it. I personally find that it gives me comfort and sometimes a newly defined direction.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Summertime Scavenger Hunt 2013 - Final Photos

Today is the last day of the Photo Scavenger Hunt and I am sad.
What fun this was!
The hunt combined with some unexpected travels this summer 
resulted in some really great and very unexpected photos
that I was happy to share. 

I call myself a 'drive-by photographer'. 
Most of the photos were taken from a moving car and
not one photo was touched up or altered in any way.

Here's the rest of my photos, closing out the hunt for 2013:

Dinosaur #20

Tower #8

Plane #4
City Hall #

Animal #11

Police/Fire Vehicle #15

Bike #

Windmill #16
this was just outside my motel room
in a store!

Sunset #5

My art tool #21
... is my camera! I'm never without it...

Please click on the Photo Scavenger Hunt label
at the bottom of this post to see all of my photos 
and be sure to click here to see what everyone else has posted. 

This year was very challenging for me.
At times, actually most of the time, it was very stressful
and while also dealing with increased depression that became quite severe.
If it wasn't for you Rinda and your scavenger hunt, 
I'm not sure where I'd be right now.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you Rinda! You are a gem.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Summertime Scavenger Hunt 2013 - Benches, chairs & more...

Here's a variety of list items that I found interesting: 

Benches #10
I love the bits and pieces that someone put together for this bench!

Rows of hand painted benches. Who doesn't love that!

A bench in a nice soothing spot by the lake.
This one is just cool!

Open Air Markets #1
Just before the crowds descended.

Outdoor Cafe, Pub #18

Performing Arts Theater #2

Tomorrow is the last day of the challenge. 
Be sure to come back and see the rest of my photos!