Thrift shops, estate sales & garage sales are just like art stores for artists. One estate sale had a torn & worn pillow made of 1950s vintage fabric yo-yos for just $2. A thrift shop had a clump of old crocheted flower doilies for $1. I buy these treasures and take them home never knowing what I may be inspired to do with these acquisitions. All I know is they hold some sort of possibility for an art project, which I just can’t pass up.
What to do with a box of yo-yo fabric circles & flower doilies? I think that sometimes re-purposing something is better than the item being discarded. First, I (gasp) cut them all apart & I put them in a fancy Chinese silk box while I wait for these to speak to me & inspire me.
Suddenly I know what I will do. I will make myself some fancy paper clips, which I will use in my art journals as a bookmark to tell me what page I’m up to in photographing my art journal. I painstakingly hand-stitch each yo-yo and doily flower to pastel metallic-colored paper clips. I also stitch tiny seed beads to some of the yo-yo’s. I want to give some of these as a gift to an artist friend so I decide to “plant” my paper clip flowers in a basket.
I paint watercolor baskets, cut slits in the paper & insert the paper clips.
& Voila a basket of flowers! Almost too pretty to take apart & use them, but thankfully I made enough that I can give some baskets away & still have lots for myself.
I made these Shamrock Clover Pins quite a long time ago after seeing the instructions for them in Martha Stewart Living magazine. The instructions were to: coat fabric with liquid starch, let it dry, iron the fabric flat, cut out the shamrocks and then to add stems with floral wire. It sounded harder than it was and even years later, the fabric clover leafs are still crisp and hold their shape. I liked that I could use and assortment of tiny green fabric prints. I’m still pleased with the simplicity of this little bunch of Shamrocks to pin to a garment!
VALENTINE HEART PINS – The heart motif is universal. I always think of the Beatles song “All You Need is Love”. The tune is running through my head right now with the echoing chorus. I used to sing this song a lot. I collected fabric swatches from a fancy fabric store that sold fabrics to decorators. Little pieces of swatches would be attached by a safety pin and I would “pick” through the to find the swatch with the bit of design that I really liked. One year I started making these fabric heart pins. I kind of got carried away with embellishing them with tiny seed beads and ribbon roses. That year most of my friends received one as a gift because why should Valentines Day just be for lovers? These are the heart pins I have kept for myself. Happy Valentines Day to me & to you, too!