Category Archives: I’m Crafty

Garbage Can

Standard

I do reuse plastic grocery store bags for garbage, but I don’t always want a plastic bag crinkling in the van. Also, a bag holding only a few light items sometimes gets caught by the wind and the contents are dumped on the floor. Even having to pick up a few items–especially if they’re nasty–after they’ve already been disposed of once can get be really annoying. I wanted a trash can, but I didn’t have room for even a small one meant for a bathroom. Something meant for a desktop might have worked, but I didn’t find anything adequately small at any thrift shop.

The Man was eating a lot of oatmeal at the time, so he had to dispose of an empty oatmeal container every couple of weeks. Those containers were sturdy, had a lid, and wouldn’t take up too much space. I thought one would work great for my trash can needs, so I snagged the next one The Man emptied.

Of course, a plain oatmeal container wasn’t good enough for me; I had to decorate it. I grabbed my supplies: my accordion file stocked with images cut from magazines and catalogs and intented for collages, scissors, The Man’s spray adhesive, and peel & stick adhesive laminate.

Since I didn’t want to spend hours on the project, I used big images. I cut the pictures to proper size, then one by one sprayed the adhesive on the back side, then stuck the image to the oatmeal container. I didn’t measure anything, just held pictures up to the container and eyeballed things. I wasn’t very concerned with straight edges either. This project was a quick one. I just wanted to pretty-up something practical; I didn’t need perfection. (I find I need less and less perfection in my life.)

Duck Brand 1115016 Peel N' Stick Laminate Adhesive Shelf Liner, 18-Inch x 24-Feet, Clear
My final step was to cover the container with sticky-on-one-side clear peel & stick adhesive laminate. I brought this product at a fairly small Wal-Mart. I’d used clear Contact brand paper before, and found it would eventually peel off my project. Upon investigation of the products available at the Wal-Mart, I found the Contact brand clear product was labeled “repositionable” which means “non permant.” I found Duck Brand peel & stick laminate; it was labeled “permanent.” That’s what I used for this project, and I haven’t noticed any peeling.

The clear sticky paper could be skipped, but it served two purposes on my project. First, it protects the cardboard the container is made from and the paper clippings glued to the cardboard. Second, the spray adhesive left sticky residue on some of the clippings, so the clear covering keeps the residue from attracting dirt and keeps me from touching stickiness whenever I touch the container.

With about an hour’s time commitment, I used mostly items that would have otherwise gone to the dump to make something attractive and functional to enhance my van life. (The spray adhesive and protective clear film were investments; those supplies will be used for many future projects.) For pennies, I got a pretty little trash can in just the size I needed.

This photo shows the result of my garbage can project.

I took the photos of my supplies and the end result. The photo of the Duck Brand peel & stick laminate is an affiliate link from Amazon. If you click on that link, I get a small advertising fee on anything you buy from Amazon during your shopping experience.

Little Box

Standard

This is the front of the box I decorated with space-related postage stamps.

I’d had the little wooden box for a long time. I think my rock guy gave it to me. I’d planned to decorate it someday, but there always seemed to be a more important project in my life.

I got the stamps from the free pile at the 2017 RTR. Someone dropped off an entire stamp collection, and I scooped it up, primarily to look for uncancelled postage. I found what I was looking for and used those stamps to mail letters. I gave some of the remaining stamps to Coyote Sue. I carried the rest around with me for ten months before I finally sorted through what was left.

While I was sorting, I found a lot of space-related stamps, many from the United States, but some from other countries too.

A good friend of mine is interested in all things space-related, so I thought it would make a nice present for him If I used the space-themed stamps to decorate the little wooden box. Everyone needs a cute little box, right?

I covered the top and the bottom of the box and all the sides. I even opened up the box and glued stamps inside.

This photo shows the back of the box. You can see how I filled in carefully around the hinges.

The biggest challenges of the project were covering the corners neatly and filling in the little spaces around the hinges. I took my time, and I think both areas came out looking just fine.

When my friend received the box, he sent me a message of thanks and said the box was “delightful.” Delight is a feeling I’m glad to envoke with any gift, but especially with one I made myself.

I took the photos in this post.

 

Oh Christmas Tree (New Mexico Style)

Standard

I was is Truth or Consequences, NM the week before the town’s monthly Art Hop. Coyote Sue told me Grapes Gallery (407 Main Street) was sponsoring a second annual Christmas tree decorating contest, so I went to work. I decided that since I was in the Land of Enchantment, I’d create a New Mexico-themed tree. Of course, since I’m a collage artist, I wanted to decorate with a collection of small objects and colorful clippings.

My first stop was the CHF thrift store (421 N Broadway) where I found a green plastic serving tray shaped like a Christmas tree and priced at 50 cents. I decided the tray would be the tree I decorated. I had an old New Mexico road map which I cut down to fit in the plastic tray. Once it was cut to the proper size and shape, I glued it to the tray.

I knew early on what I wanted for the top of my tree. I had a pair of cowboy boots made of metal, a trinket that came in a $10 bag of costume jewelry I’d picked up in Bisbee, AZ in the spring. I found an image of a star I’d cut out and glued the star to cardstock to give it some heft. After cutting the cardstock just slightly bigger than the star, I glued the boots over the star to make a tree topper suitable for a New Mexico Christmas.

Ball chain from broken necklaces became my tinsel. I used copper rose paint on some of the chain, but didn’t wait for it to dry before I glued it to the tree. Oops! I made a bit of a mess, but overcame the setback by gluing other small chains over the smeared paint. I love successfully disguising a mistake!

I decorated the tree with images cut from old catalogs and magazines. I’d been saving images related to New Mexico for quite a while, but I found several useful sources of images for free while in T or C. Decorating the tree was the part of this project I enjoyed the most.

Once the decorating was done, I had to mount the tree on a base. I’d also bought a baket at the CHF thrift store for 50 cents for just that purpose. I flipped the baket over, cut a hole in it, then covered what was now the top with red felt I’d been carrying around for three years! (Sometimes being a packrat comes in handy.) Once I shoved the trunk of the tree into the hole in the base, it was challenging to get everything to stay in place, but I managed to make it work using more felt and rubber bands. (The package of rubber bands was the only thing I bought new for the project. I still have lots of rubber bands for future projects.)

When the tree was securely standing in the base, I took a long look at the project and realized what was missing: presents! A Christmas tree without presents is no fun at all!

I knew I’d seen some decorations made to look like shiny girt wrapped presents at one of the thrift stores in town, so I went out on a search. There was nothing I could use at the thrift store at the Senior Center, so I found myself at the CHF shop again. The shiny gift decorations were gone, but I dug around in boxes and bins and found some little boxes and a grab bag with some odd decorative items.

I took my tree and my glue and my new thrift store finds to Coyote Sue’s place, Sun Gallery (407-1/2 N Broadway) where we sat at the work table and chatted while I arranged and attached the finishing touches to the tree. Coyote Sue went behind the counter and found some small toys she offered up to my project. I took the plastic wagon and the ceramic teddy bear.

The bear was wearing a cardiagan and holding an apple. This bear needs a sombrero, I mused aloud. Coyote Sue disappeared behind the counter again and came back holding a tiny straw hat. I placed the hat on the bear’s head. It looked better, but not quite right. It could use a serape too, I observed. This time Coyote Sue went all the way back into the stockroom. When she returned, she presented me with a fabric remnant I was able to cut into a passable serape. I was pleased with the New Mexian bear dressed to pay homage to its roots.

When all the presents were piled under the tree, I walked it over to Grapes Gallery.

The next night was Art Hop, and voting for the tree contest was open from 6pm until 8:30. When I arrived at Grapes Gallery, I found there were only four entries in the contest. I knew a small turnout would increase my chances of winning.

Coyote Sue and Coyote Steve were with me when the winners were announced. I won 3rd place. Yippie! My prize was a $25 gift certificate from Vic’s Broadwaynewmexico (409 N Broadway Street). Before I left town the next day, I got to go on a shopping spree, which was a lot of fun.

Also fun was putting together a Christmas tree honoring the state that I love.

My New Mexico Christmas Tree is for sale. Contact me if you’d like to buy it so you can aslo celebrate New Mexico every year during the winter holiday season.

I took the photos in this post.

 

Four New Hats Just in Time for Winter

Standard

I made four new warm winter hats in the last few days. Each is extra large. Each has a rolled edge. Each is bright and colorful and available for purchase for only $15, and that includes shipping!

Buy a hat now for yourself and keep your head warm all winter. Buy a hat for a friend and give it as a gift in celebration of the winter holiday of your choice.

Message me to make a purchase.

Another Batch of New Collages

Standard

I’ve created another batch of new collages. They are all for sale, just in time for the winter holidays. (Prices are given in the captions under the photos.)

I decided to spend a week dedicated to making new collages. In addition to the postcard size ones I usually make, I decided I wanted to go bigger too. The collages in this post are the result of my week of cutting out then gluing down little bits of paper.

Every bit of every one of these collages was cut from an old magazine or catalog or acquired from a thrift store or junk shop. I didn’t buy any new materials for these pieces of art! How’s that for Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle?

The first one I made was a large (14″ x 11″) mixed media piece about my feelings surrounding money. Called The Root of all Worry, it took me at least six hours to complete. My favorite part of it is the little treasure chest full of coins in the bottom left corner..

This piece is called The Root of All Worry, and it’s big. It’s approximately 14″ x 11″ and is one of the biggest collages I’ve ever done. WOW! It costs, $100, including shipping.

My next collage is called Follow Your Heart. This one is mixed media too. I really enjoyed working with more than paper.

This piece is called Follow Your Heart and is approximately 8″ x 7.” It’s made with more than just paper. There’s a key in there and a red die, a metal heart, a plastic heart, and a really big rhinestone. The wooden heart in the middle projects from the base. The piece costs, $35, including shipping.

On the day I made Follow Your Heart, I also made Be Kind. I was pretty excited to create two collages in one day. Be Kind is also a mixed media piece. I told you I was really digging mixed media.

This collage is called Be Kind. I like that the little card with the words on it is distressed. Sometimes being kind is hard! We should do it anyway! It’s approximately 4″ x 6″ and is for sale for $15, including shipping.

On the third day of my collage week, I had to travel, so I only got one done. It’s called Great Day.

This collage is called Great Day. It’s about 4″ x 6″ (actually a smidge bigger) and is made from paper and metal on cardboard. It costs $15, including shipping.

On the fourth day of collage week, I worked on a big one. It’s called Who’s the Queen?

Who Is the Queen? YOU are the queen!
This mixed media piece is approxiamtely 12 and 3/4″ x 9 and 7/8″ and costs $65, including shipping.
( The oval in the middle below the large queen is an actual mirror! )

Just in time for the holidays…a reminder to Look on the Bright Side

This piece is called Look on the Bright Side and is made from cardboard and clippings from old magazines and catalogs. It’s a smidge over 4″ x 6″ and it’s prices at $15 includes shipping. (The piece does include glitter. )

 What will today bring? Find out by giving the arrow a spin and seeing where it lands. Road trip? Tell it like it is? Misuse of time? Quit your job? Be prepared?

This collage, called What Will Today Bring? was made from a game piece rescued from the trash and clippings from old magazines and catalogs. It costs $65, including shipping. It’s approximately 7″ x 8 1/2.”

Bee Kind…to bugs and plants, the earth and each other. This collage was handmade from a post card saved from the recycling bin, a wooden ladybug from the bottom of the thrift store barrel, metal accents scavenged from old jewelry, and clippings from old magazines and catalogs. It’s a great gift for the nature lover/reuse enthusiast on your holiday shopping list.

This piece, called Bee Kind is 4″ x 6″ and is available for $15, including shipping.

Go ahead. Start Your Transformation Today. This collage can help by reminding you of your goals every time you look at it.

This collage is called Start Your Transformation Today. It was made from a postcard about to go into the recycling bin and clippings from old magazines and catalogs. It’s approximately 4″ x 6″ and costs only $10, including shipping!

The last collage I made in my on my seventh day of collaging is called You are Capable of Amazing Things.

This collage is called You Are Capable of Amazing Things. It is approximately 4″ x 6″ and costs, $15, including shipping.

Winter Is Coming (But Your Head Doesn’t Have to Be Cold)

Standard

Each of these three pink and purple cuties is extra large and has a rolled edge. They cost $15 each, including shipping.

I’ve been on a hat-making kick. I love to see the way colors come together and working with colorful yarn allows me to have such an experience. I like to keep my hands busy when I listen to a podcast or do a Spanish lesson, and making hats is good for that too.

Both of these hats are extra large and have a rolled edge. Either can be yours for only $15, including shipping.

At the end of last winter, I’d said I was out of the hat business. Rolls of yarn seemed too bulky to store in the van, and I had so many hats already in stock. I don’t really get a good financial payoff from selling hats either; because it takes me over an hour to make a hat, I barely make minimum wage on my labor when I sell a hat for 10 or even 15 bucks. Making more hats barely seemed worth it to me.

These three greenies will take you through to St. Patrick’s Day! Each is extra large with a rolled edge. Each will keep your head warm and save you from being pinched for only $15, including shipping.

Then, in the spring, a sweet New Mexico friend cleaned out her craft larder and offered me all the yarn she decided she wouldn’t use after all. I couldn’t turn down her kindness, and I was back in the hat business.

This hat is brown and yellow and pale blue. It’s extra large for a comfy fit for the big of head or hair and has a rolled edge. It can grace your head for only $15, including shipping.

I noticed the last few times I set up my sales table, the extra-large hats were getting all the attention. Very interesting. Most people, it seems, want a loose hat. Personally, I like a snug hat I can keep pulled down over my ears, but as my dad used to say, if everyone liked the same thing, there wouldn’t be enough to go around. Because more people seem to be interested in extra-large hats, lately I’ve concentrated my efforts on making extra-large hats. I’m asking a couple dollars more for the bigger hats because making them requires more of my time and materials.

Red and grey and brightly colored, both of these hats pop! Each is extra large with a rolled edge. Each will cost you only $15, including shipping.

Most of the hats you’ll see in the this post are new, handmade by me in the last few weeks. Each is extra-large and has a rolled edge. Each costs $15, including shipping. (As always, if you buy more and I can consolidate your items into one package going to one address, I’ll give you a break on shipping.)

The money job was slow one day, so I made a purple and blue hat while I was stuck there. It’s extra large, with a rolled edge and was made from yarn my friend sent me. For only $15, including shipping, it can keep your head warm now and into the future.

If none of these hats entice you, have a look at my newly updated Hats for Sale page. All of the hats shown in this post are also shown on that page, as well as plenty of large hats for folks with smaller heads or those who want a snugger fit.

On another slow day at the mercantile, I whipped up this colorful cutie with more yarn sent by my friend. It’s extra large, with a rolled edge. You can wear it on your head for only $15, including shipping.

Winter is coming, yes, but you can keep your head warm with a hat from the heart and hands of the Rubber Tramp Artist.

More More New Necklaces

Standard

I’ve sold three necklaces since I posted photos of pieces I made. Yippie! In the interest of letting folks know what I have available, I’m posting three more photos of new necklaces today. I’ll add these photos and the information about the jewelry to the “Jewelry for Sale” page too. That’s the best place to see a variety of necklaces I have for sale.

As a reminder, all of the necklaces are made from hemp by my own two hands. I didn’t make most of the pendants, but I try to remember to indicate if one was made by me. I do custom pieces too, so if you don’t see what you want, feel free to send me an email and ask if I can do what you are interested in.

The necklace on the left is 14 inches long. It features a pendant with “pearls” (I have no idea if they are actual pearls) and some sort of blue stone that looks a bit like turquoise but probably isn’t. It costs $13, including shipping. The second necklace is made from natural hemp that is tied in a spiral design. It has a mystery stone pendant. It is 18 inches long, and costs $13, including postage. The last necklace has an orange metal flower pendant. It is 14 inches long, and the blue hemp is tied in a spiral design. It costs $13, including shipping.

 

The necklace on the left features a small cross. The necklace is 18 inches long. The cross is metal, but not sterling silver or anything fancy like that. It costs $13, including shipping. The middle necklace is 20 & 1/2 inches and features a large cross with a cutout design. This cross is also metal, but not sterling. It costs $13, including tax. The necklace on the right is 20 inches. The cross is black and silver metal, but not sterling. It also costs $13, including shipping.

 

All of these necklaces have heart pendants of one kind or another. The necklace on the far left is 14 inches long. The heart is some kind of unknown black material in silver. The metal does not seem to be sterling. This necklace has small metal heart accent beads and costs $13, including shipping. The second necklace has a pendant made from two metal heart beads with a blue bead between them. The beads are not sterling or any other fancy metal. The necklace is 14 & 3/4 inches and costs $13, including shipping. The third necklace has a stone heart. I don’t know what kind of stone it is. The necklace is 15 inches, and costs $13, including postage. The necklace on the right has a blue plastic heart pendant and small metal heart-shaped accent beads. The necklace is 17 &1/2 inches and costs $13, including shipping.