Monday, 16 May 2011

Recycled Storage + The calling of Wabi Sabi

I've forsaken online craft challenges this past week for the first time in a long while. I've freed myself temporarily to just craft solely for myself. The reason being is that I want to improve/modify how I store my crafting bits and bobs. At the moment, they are all sorted by colour into CD storage boxes. Which is all well and dandy but the trouble is, once the lid goes on, I forget the contents within.

I also didn't want to go out and spend a small fortune on more storage solutions. Instead I decided to go with the "make do and mend" zeitgeist. I have an abundance of stash and I live in a household that's hot on recycling. Surely, I mused, I could decorate the many containers which already pass through my dainty hands.

For starters, I have a guilty pleasure in drinking diet coke, though I do try to guzzle no more than one small bottle a week, as a treat. But it does mean, I have a growing collection in the plastics bin. The same goes for soup pots. I know I should make my own batches of soup but some days, it's so much easier to buy ready-made.

Therefore, this weekend, I grabbed a stanley knife and carefully cut through the tops of my plastic coke bottles, using an indented line in the bottle's shape as a guide. I then cut a 5cm x 23cm strip of paper and glued it around the top with pva. I punched out a decorative border strip. Folder it in half and bent it around the top of the bottle. To tidy up the inside, I cut another strip of paper, slightly thinner at 4cms wide and glued that to the inside of the bottle. The longest part, time wise, was in making three co-ordinating flowers per bottle. Once made, I glued them on and attached a length of seam binding by tying into a rough bow.

I've made four so far and I'll probably need to make a few more. For now, these make great containers for my vast horde of buttons.

The soup pots were much simpler. I removed an outer label, stuck it on a plain piece of paper and cut around the shape to make a template. I used the template to create another which was thinner. I used this to cut out patterned paper which I glued around the outside of the pot. I created a label on the computer, printed/punched it out and stuck it on. The only area to think about was how to cover the lumpy top part of the pots. My first attempt was to cut them off with a knife. The result was too jagged. I then thought about fabric or ribbon but then, as I was rummaging, I came across this wonderful blue elastic lace. Very simply, I cut a 30cm length and sewed the two ends together, so it looked like a garter. This, I then snapped snugly around the top. Again, I've still to make a few more when I have the time.

Finally, in this longer-than-average post, I must tell you about a page that caught my eye in a recently purchased book, French Home by Josephine Ryan. If you click on the link for the book in Amazon and go the the 'Look Inside' option, you can see the page for yourself. It's ostensibly a short passage about how to create the French look for your home. But it caused a lightbulb to go off in my brain and I had a creative "eureka" moment. I've heard of Wabi Sabi before but maybe it hasn't ever been the time for me to truly hear it's message.

It's only now, as I've been toying with vintage design and skirting along the edges of shabby chic style, that I am ready to truly embrace the philosophy of perfect imperfection. The mere thought of it just gives me goose bumps. I'm loving the inspiring direction of combining the old with the new. I'm seeing it everywhere in all forms of art and design recently. Even in the retail industry. And I want to join in and immerse myself with those who can nonchalantly create confidently and with soul.

So how will this new 'eyes wide open' approach manifest itself? I'm not sure. Only time will tell. But I've already found myself wandering around vintage shops and buying bric-a-brac. I've picked up some beautiful, imperfect bottles (some with the cork stoppers missing) which now share shelf space alongside my contemporary ornaments. The old and new, the perfect and imperfect. It'll be interesting to look back, say in six months time and see if this random passage in a book on interiors that I chanced to stumble upon, has seeped into my consciousness and had an effect.

Have a good week everyone. Paul xx


olive said...

so you did make your storage Paul... they are fab and colourful. Given us food for thought.... see you soon. hugs xxx

Michele said...

These are fab, Paul - what a great idea! Sorry I've been away from the blogs for a few weeks and have missed commenting on all your lovely cards and LO's. Hope to see you at the weekend :) x

Dotpat said...

I love your storage jars Paul, what a great idea

alexa said...

These are super, Paul, and a great re-use of what is there! (And I'm journeying with Wabi-Sabi too, if you search my blog. :))

Neet said...

Telepathy? I have Chas drinking a 4 pinter so I can turn it into storage at the moment.
Hope I get to see this one in real life - looks fab and I am proud of your recycling.

Anne Jagger said...

Love your new storage and the Wabi Sabi is very interesting. x

dizzy said...

love these Paul thanks for sharing hugs jayne xxx

Neet said...

Saw these in real life and they are so elegant. Lovely idea Paul. Just had to comment again.

Ruby said...

Well who would have thought a coke bottle could look so beautiful! What a wonderful way to recycle!

I really enjoyed reading all about Wabi-Sabi. I always LOVE reading your musings, you should write a book!

Sarah Anderson said...

These are gorgeous! Look forward to a pic of them in situ!!!