Thursday, April 22, 2010

earth day inspired picture

"We usually cherish things that are unique. Why not the Earth?" this quote by astronaut and first Canadian woman in space, Roberta Bondar, was in the newspaper today and I felt very inspired by it.

Lately I have been working on little cards that I make using scraps of fabric, antique buttons and recycled silk flowers ... and in honour of today being the 40th international Earth Day I decided to made a little picture with some of the recycled flowers and one of the brown kraft bags that I saved from my trip to New York last week. I also wanted to work the word "cherish" from the quote into the project ... so I cut out some letters from a discarded children's book that I bought from the library.

 
Here's my list of recycled supplies ... kraft paper shopping bag, buttons, silk flowers, scraps of green fabric and an old book. I knew that I wanted to frame this so I grabbed a frame that I bought at IKEA a while ago and used it to determine what size I would have to make the picture. 

The flowers are easy to make ... I take apart old silk flowers in different colours and then recreated new flowers by layering two or three petals together. When I am happy with the size and colours I add an antique button and sew everything together with a needle and embroidery floss.

 
My IKEA frame had a matte so I used it as a template to cut out the kraft paper bag. Then I placed the matte on top of the paper bag to determine where I would place the up-cycled flowers. With a light pencil I drew out where the stems of the flowers would be. I cut small "leaves" from the green fabric scraps and placed them on either side of the stems. The word "cherish" was cut out of the book in pieces ... and I played around with the word placement until I was happy with the overall design.

Once the final placement was worked out ... I took everything off the paper and sewed the "stems" onto the paper with my sewing machine. I simply followed the pencil lines with green thread. To finish, I used a needle to pull all of the loose threads on the front of the paper to the back ... then hand knotted and cut off the extra thread. If there are any pencil lines showing it is easy to remove them with an eraser ... just be gentle.

I hand stitched the flowers to the tops of each stem using embroidery floss that matched the button colour. Gel medium was used to attach the leaves and letters to the kraft paper. Once everything was dry I added the matte and frame. This was a super easy project and it would make the perfect little gift for any tree-hugger you know!

Happy Earth Day!

... and here are a couple of pictures of the flowers I took this morning when I was out and about ...