Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Finding Supplies In Our Environment

“ My favorite things often have a story behind them and are usually handmade or discovered at a flea market.” Amy Sedaris (actress)

The uniqueness of handmade gifts is one both the artists and the recipient cherish. As an artist, putting time into creating something with my hands is a process which can be both fulfilling, yet frustrating. Many times you have an idea in your head of what you hope to create. The frustration comes in trying to bring that idea to the physical world. It can be even more frustrating when you are creating not only a finished product but the supplies needed to create the piece also.

Today you can get on the internet and order about anything your imagination can dream of (well almost anything) but it is nice to know when you purchase an item, where the components were created. We have many artists from Handmade in KC who look to their own environment for their own supplies; some from scratch, others by repurposing items that others see as trash.

Growing Herbs
What a better way of ensuring the quality of your own supplies than to grow it in your garden! You may not think of growing basil as creating your own supplies, but growing something from a seed, nurturing it, harvesting it, and creating yummy jellies from the basil is a exactly what Christy from Aunt Christy’s Country Kitchen. Doesn’t her purple basil jelly sound like something worth trying?

Purple Basil Jelly (SEASONAL – June – Sept.)
This sweet herbed jelly has a distinct licorice flavor and is wonderful as a sauce over pork or chicken, or served with cream cheese and crackers.

Handmade Beads
Have you ever thought of making your own beads for a stylish necklace or bracelet? What would you use to make the beads? Glass? Rocks? Metal? How about paper? Amy Beth from Wicked Red has numerous types of handmade beads created using various paper products. Grab some paper and give it a try! Are you a lover of music? A necklace created using beads made from sheet music would be a perfect addition to your wardrobe. Do you love have a friend who loves Comicon but you aren’t sure what to give them? How about beads made from comic books? Check out the comic book beads below!

Baskets are come in all shapes and sizes. The supplies you use to make baskets can vary also. Traditional reed baskets can be dyed or painted various colors to suit your decorating needs.   After making baskets for a couple of years (and having to order supplies on-line since there is not a local source for reed) I wondered if there was anything in my environment I could use to create baskets. After a little bit of exploring I was curious to see if I could use some of the items growing in my own front yard. Our goldfish pond has both yucca and cattails growing around it. I had already made twinning from old fabric to crotchet a rag rug, so I am in the process of creating twinning from the yucca. It is still a work in progress, but I am excited to see what the finish product will become.

What items are in your environment that can be used to create something straight out or your imagination? Do you have an ideas for unique supplies you can use to create your next project?

Thank you to Krjsten from Demeter's Charisma for creating this blog post. 

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