Bracelets for Ecoride

Photo of 2 Bracelets

Next Sunday, the 23 of June, is the forty-first annual EcoRide. It has a couple of different loops for local bicyclists that stop at a variety of eco-conscious area sites. Ann Arbor is rife with ecologically conscious farmers, recycling and re-use places, etc, so the EcoRide only stops at a few, but it is nevertheless a fun day.

This year, I’ll be participating in their new pop-up art gallery event in Riverside Park (the ANN ARBOR one, not the Ypsi one), bringing along my rag rug (and maybe some little things) and sharing my skills as a fiber artist to raise awareness about sustainability. Just like the now slightly tarnished “Live Strong” bracelet, participants will be invited to make their own recycled t-shirt bracelets, titled, reCYCLE bracelets. Hopefully it will not only be fun for the young riders, but will inspire others to share what they know about recycling.


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Here’s a video I made for the Ecology Center so they can promote the EcoRide.

In addition, my mother will be at the Leslie Science Center in the Project Grow Garden there. She makes recycled garden sculptures that can be used as trellises, light trees, or scarecrows as well as looking really cool.

Recycled Planter with pink flowers

Goings On About Town

Big things are in the works. Baby steps!!!

Though my drawing a day project has once again fizzled, I have in fact been making art nearly every day.  When I started the project, my intention was to do all kinds of work, showing progress, drawings, sketches, and finished work as it went on.

But as the project went on, my parameters got more and more narrow.  First, somehow, I decided it had to be a drawing. Then I decided it had to be a drawing on a particular size of paper.  But as an artist, I’m all over the place.  I do several bodies of work in several media all the time.  All those limitations are not how I work, but somehow I talked myself slowly into that consistency and regularity.

Some of the work that I do as an artist is less photographic.  Like the above shot, a photogenic rearrangement of something much less exciting to look at: making the “paints” for my “paintbox.”  Each sheet has to be torn and in order to use them more efficiently be rolled into a ball so when it comes to making the carpet, no detangling is needed.

In any case, I wanted to outline for you some of what I’ve been working on, though each of these things will get more attention as time goes on this summer, perhaps you would like to know the whole list of “what’s up” in Adventurous Art land.

Recycle Ann Arbor had an Earth Day Art Contest, and my “Sun Rug” was selected to be a finalist.  Though the turnout was small, I stuck around for the Public Reception and made some good connections to people in the community.

My small success in that contest persuaded me to shoot higher and I’ve been working on a proposal for a larger series of rag carpets to be displayed in narrative series from Cloud, to Rain, to Rainbow, to Sun.  The first proposal contains some mistakes and omissions, so we will see.  In either case, I’m excited about the project and you will see some progress shots soon.

One person I met through the program was the Outreach and Zero-Waste coordinator for RAA with whom I’m coordinating the translation of some of their materials about how to recycle in Ann Arbor into Spanish.  It’s cool to get to do some translation work, if only as a volunteer.

She also introduced me to someone at the Ecology Center, and I’m volunteering with them to do an interactive recycled art table at the Eco-Ride on June 23 at Riverside Park in Ann Arbor.  Yes, Ann Arbor, not Ypsi.  I’m going to do a whole entry about this since I made them a video and I think you’ll enjoy our project, even if you can’t attend the Eco-Ride.

Another of the people I met through the Recycle Ann Arbor Earth Day Contest was the director of FLY Art Center, an Ypsi organization that does outreach to under-served public school children.  We met up and I’m going to teach some “Studio Skills” classes (one about no-sew upcycled t-shirts, and one about rag rug coasters or placemats), and do some volunteering for them in their outreach and public programs.

 

 

051:365 A Tisket a Basket

Handmade Crocheted Scrap Basket

Today I finished a small video and craft project illustrating how to make a colorful basket out of salvaged cloth strips using RipStop Nylon from The Scrap Box, so I just did a small schematic-style sketch of the finished product so I could post my how-to video today:

051:365 A Tisket a Basket

Here’s written instructions:

You will need:

A BIG Crochet Hook
And lots of scraps of fabric. Seen here: recycled Ripstop Nylon from The Scrapbox (scrapbox.org)

1) Tie the strips together with square knots, use a butterfly to wrap the strips and keep them neat. Because this particular version uses ripstop, which is extremely slippery and likely to come untied if you trim the ends, you will either try to tuck in the ends of knots connecting the strips as you go, or do them all at the end. They will create a soft fluff inside that cradles the candy or the egg you put into the basket. With non-slippery materials, you can cut the ends shorter or tuck them into the crochet work as you would with yarn.

2) Start crocheting: Cross the end of the strip over itself, reach through and pull the loop into a chain stitch

3) Use the crochet hook to create a chain of three loops

4) Join the ends of your chain

5) Then crochet into BOTH holes created by the chain-stitch loops the “wrong” side is out because it looks more like basket weave.

6) Once you have 9 stitches for the diameter of your spiral-circle, do a row of double crochet to expand the dish.

7) After the double-crochet row, do a row of single-crochet into EACH loop of the double crochet stitches.

8) Then single crochet into each loop until it gets to be the size you want. Since the irregular size of the yarn makes the gauge hard to determine, it could be anywhere from 6-12 rows before the basket is the right size. Keep checking.

9) When the basket is the size you want, switch crochet directions to put the chain part of the single crochet stitches on the outside. This will create a decorative border.

10) After the border-row is finished, make a chain of about 18 stitches and attach to the opposite side of the basket with two single-crochet stitches.

11) Single crochet back across so that the handle has a more solid shape.

12) Tie off decoratively. With ripstop, it’s slippery, so just make a pretty bow or other knot. With other fabrics, tuck in ends as you would with yarn.

Voila! It’s a basket

And Below, please check out the embedded video!

How to Make a Colorful Basket from Scrap Fabric from allida lily on Vimeo.

025:365 Ways of Being

Ways of Being 025:365

Even though I haven’t finished my first rag rug, I’m planning another. The first one I intend to keep, but the next one I plan on selling.

This drawing represents the idea, using similar colors, that I want to try, using the texture of the threads (rags) to create a forms. This yellow and the pink are the most similar colors I have in oil-pastel, but I’m thinking colors that are even closer. Maybe two or three reds, or just white, cream, and off-white sheets.

Incidentally as the drawing progressed, I liked the way the lines created arrows, directing the view left, right, up and down. These in turn made me think about the icky snowy day today and how many near-misses I saw as people drove in their usual overly assertive ways. I’m pretty good in the snow, now that I remember what I’m doing, and people would zoom around me only to careen and fish-tail ahead of me.

There are so many different ways of living and moving through the world. We leave an impression on the world as we go through it, much like the fibers in the rag-rug or the tracks of cars through the snow.

The slippery bits aren’t the lanes, where people have gone before, creating an easier path. The parts that slide beneath the wheels are the places between the tire treads, where slush builds up between the lines, damp and icy, but impossible to avoid when changing lanes or turning.

We tend to ignore things that are not explicit, the things in our lives that are between the lines, but really, those places we seldom tread, where nobody goes, are the most complex to navigate.

021:365 This Way & That

pen and ink drawing in purple, orange and blue squigglesThis drawing is inspired by a combination of things.

Over time my work has become process oriented, meaning that I draw in an order and with a direction to create something that can be viewed as a series of events as well as an end product. Many of the oil-pastel drawings from the last several years were used to create time-lapse or stop-motion animations of ebb and flow.

Some of that orientation to process comes from my passion for fiber and structures that connect and go together in a logical way. The latest big project that I’m working on (the rag rug) is an example of that tendency. Each ring is executed in its own way with transition to, or contrast with the next one. There are rules that each ring follows that create the overall harmony for the piece.

Stretch! #ragrug progress with #cat for scale #catagram #crochet #craft

Today, instead of using a radial pattern, the sketch uses a variety of directional squiggles to portray how one would use texture to create a visual rhythm.  Complementary colors are used intermittently with analogous colors to add to the tension and flow of the piece.  I’m thinking about using it for another rag-rug when I’m done with my current one.  It is based somewhat on 004:365 Quilt:

Quilt 004:365