Sunday, April 24, 2016

Recycled 100 Percent

Hello everyone! I apologize for the false start earlier! I was posting away, and my Internet was not saving my work. I accidentally hit the publish button WAY before my post was ready to be published. Onto my project, a wall hanging made completely out of trash!

Suzz at Frilly and Funkie  and Autumn at Stamps and Stencils would like us to use recycled materials to make an art project to celebrate Earth Day or to just see what we can create  giving materials a second life.  I took them literally for their challenges and made my wall hanging entirely out of things headed for the trash, and some I actually pulled out of the trash can!  I will have a few process shots at the end of this post if you are interested in seeing how I took this trash to treasure! I challenged myself to use only what I had in my pile of trash, but in the end, I had to use some other trash-worthy flowers, because the ones in my pile were too large.


I have lots of photos to share, because this is a fairly large piece--10 inches
    in diameter--with lots of details.

If you remember my trip to my neighbor- Hilda's- house last month, you'll recall I picked up a few crafting goodies that were getting ready for a heave hoe into a giant dumpster, as the junk men came to clear out her house. I picked up a box of keys and a few metal pieces--one looks like a drawer pull back plate and another is a charm with a gold colored "gem" in the center. I thought these would add interest to my piece.

The crusty, well-loved paint brushes were some I found in a can of paints and related materials given to me by a friend a few weeks ago. The caked on paint and the black handles were what inspired my color scheme.The rusted lid of that can, by the way, is my "canvas". I thought the brushes were just so pretty just as they were, so I didn't do anything but wrap them up with that piece of stray raffia, bound first by the wire "vein" of one of those lacy green leaves you see in my pile of trash. The gaskets came from my friend's dearly departed father's tool shed. I purchased one of his tool boxes from his estate sale last fall to remember him by. There's lots more where they came from...seems he liked to save trash, too! You never know when you might need just the right sized do-hickey!

Those girls are just adorable, aren't they? This is a photo from a Jones soda carton like the one pictured above--my son's beverage of choice. I just found 3 empty 4 packs in my secret stash! Hmmmm....I wonder if he's on to my hiding spot? Since he's the only soda drinker in the house, I think it's safe to point the finger at him!

Of course, I had to add some RUST! I found this piece of very badly rusted metal in our driveway.  I think it fell off the trailer my husband borrowed from a friend. I hope he doesn't want it back; the rust, I mean.

I painted a little Bubblegum Pink Dylusions spray on the originally gold colored gem to balance the pink flower petal pieces I added from my stash  trashcan (not in the original pile of junk).  I was actually going through my stash the other day looking for things to THROW OUT and had tossed these and those blue ones! (Believe it or not!)

The following shot shows stenciling done with texture paste and a TCW stencil, followed by black gesso and DecoArt Weathered Wood, and a final coat of white gesso.

 And to provide balance and add contrast, a Tim Holtz Mixed Media die cut from my "maybe I'll use it later" box placed on the opposite side. In the recesses I added white paint, Weathered Wood and then Black Soot Distress paint, drying between layers. I love how the Harlequin echos the diamond cut of the piece of ribbon I adhered nearby. More stencil work and Crackle paste with another TCW stencil--"Art Is" and a Tim Holtz Speckles Layering Stencil.

 Here's that metal drawer pull backer--(quite coincidentally)--with more of that diamond pattern at the center! Lucky me! I found three of these!

Some stamping on the key--appropriate words from the Stampers Anonymous Classics #12 set. I had to do some finagling to get it to fit right on the key.

And now for the ugly technicals:
All that great rust on the lid! I sealed it with a yard sale bottle of Folk Art Outdoor sealer. My initial thought was to save the rust to be a part of my design, but that didn't work as planned. I sealed the rusted metal piece, too.


I can't believe I had the foresight to add a hanger on the back before starting! This was a piece from that pile of junk adhered with 527.

After adding the hanger and sealing my lid and rust piece, I gave it a coat of black gesso, dried, adhered some background trash, and added stenciling. My background pieces: at the top a leftover piece of card which I had embossed with an embossing folder, fussy cut and tested embossing powders on (reverse side)   a piece of burlap I was testing paints on, and a piece of mesh ribbon. Front and center- a negative from the Postage Stamp die cut, a ring from a mayonnaise jar, and two pieces of corrugate board--the one of the left a test piece and the tiny square on the right from one of my latest projects. Down the left that metal piece from Hilda's and a piece of a lacy leaf from a yard sale  flower stem (I cut off the flowers, and threw the leaf in the trash can.) Behind it all a strip from the top of a spiral bound watercolor page. Thanks to my blog friend Autumn of Sew Paper Paint for that little tip!  You should make time to visit her blog for some awesome inspiration! More lacy leaf cuts and my special charm I found at Hilda's house adorn the bottom.  This looks horrible here, and I really started questioning my sanity at this point in the process, and gave up taking photos.

I gave it a coat of white gesso, after laying down some Weathered Wood on the diamonds and within the mayo ring, and it looked much better. I spritzed with Dylusions Vibrant Turquoise and water to blend and push around the color I splattered more Turquoise straight off the hose removed from the bottle and flicked on watered down Black Soot Distress paint. Some stamping and Remnant Rubs finish the background. Those grunge board flower petals were colored with gesso and Turquiose spray and adhered. I thought it best to quite there and call it found art.

I would like to enter my junk wall hanging into the following inspiring challenges:
Stamps and Stencils April Challenge Trash to Treasure "Found Object" stamp, TCW and Tim Holtz stencils
Our Creative Corner Gypsy Fayre colors: turquiose and pink and purple, yellow, and green ( on brushes) I was also inspired by the large amount of goodies the Gypsies carried aboard their caravan.
Creative Artiste Challenge #13 Anything Goes Option of Chipboard, Stencils or Flowers I used chipboard (the girl's image is chipboard), stencils and flowers.
Mixed Media Place April Challenge Creative Gym #18 Be Patient. The Best Things Happen Unexpectedly. I was regretting making this before the final coat of gesso and sprays went on. Then, it turned into one of my favorite mixed media pieces!
Southern Ridge Trading Company Anything Spring (I think my colors are spring-like, and the girls look like they are enjoying a beautiful spring day outdoors!
Creative Inspirations Challenge 249 Your Favorite Things RUST, gesso, texture are three of my favorite things.

Thank you for stopping by today and for all your amazing comments! I read and appreciate each and every one of them! If you have any questions, please just ask.
Hugs and Blessings!
Sara Emily


  1. What an amazing artwork! I love it an your Little Girls too! Thanks for showing it for paperminutes this week.

  2. This is great ! Thanks so much for joining us over at Country View Challenges !
    Corrie x

  3. Wow this is awesome sara ... what a fab make from your it to bits ... you are so very clever... the paintbrushes and the flicked black plus the overall colourscheme are just perfect... and i love that cheeky face too! Thanks for joini g us at stamps and stencils and countryview crafts. Hugs rachel x

  4. You have taken recycling to a whole new level Sara, this is so clever! I love that you added the hanger to the back first, I am sure I would have forgotten that... The old paint brushes look amazing and I just love that rusty piece you found. A wonderful piece of home decor art - I love it! Hugs, Anne xx

  5. What a great upcyling project Sara.The paintbruses are such a fun addition.Thanks for joining in with our spring challenge over at Country View x

  6. Beautiful canvas. Love all the found items. Thank you for joining us at Altered Eclectics this month. Judy DT

  7. I love this, Sara Emily! It's you "on a plate"...and yes, that was a terrible pun, but this project is wonderful. The crusty paintbrushes are my favorite element, but the entire assemblage is wonderfully composed. I love that it all started out as trash. Genius! The pop of pink from that petal was an inspired moment for sure!

  8. What a fantastic upcycling project, Sara! Love it to bits! That rusted piece of metal is awesome and those old brushes is just a perfect touch to your fabulous and clever design! Marvelous project, my friend!
    I enjoyed reading your amazing post!
    Thank you so much for joining us at Stamps and Stencils!
    Huge hugs to you! Branka xx

  9. Wow every picture is a delight! I love seeing what this looked like before you painted it. For some reason those pics always make me laugh! Ha, anyway - this is a brilliant tribute to my fun challenge theme. Thanks so much for playing along with us and making art from junk at Stamps & Stencils. Hugs, Autumn

  10. Ok so... now you have me questioning my sanity too Sara because at the point where you put "This looks horrible here, and I really started questioning my sanity at this point in the process, and gave up taking photos" - I was thinking... Ahhhhh isn't this a yummy photo - it looks so neat here - in fact, it is my favorite photo because it shows how it looked in the raw process. Now how crazy is that!!!!?????

    What a great tribute to Hilda and her family. As well as a cute way to remember your son's propensity to Jones sodas!!! It was truly so fun to see that way you used 'everything but the kitchen sink' in your junk wall hanging. Although I just have to say - your junk looks FABULOUSLY YUMMY after your creative genius was applied. FUN FUN FUN. Xj

  11. Back with my design team hat on for OUR CREATIVE CORNER now Sara! Wow - sure hoping 3rd time is a charm for your wonderful Gypsy Fayre challenge creations!

    And of course, I must tease you!!! You know I can't resist it dear Sara! But I just need to know the answer to this question that pops into my mind. You made a 'junk' wall hanging but then you say that you were inspired by the large amount of 'goodies' Gypsies carry in their caravan. Is there a difference in the meaning of the words goodies and junk?????!! I'm thinking that in Hilda's mind - the words were totally interchangeable!!!!!!!!!!!!! Perhaps in your mind too - truth be known!!!!!!! Heheheheh!!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy that you shared your UNIQUELY MARVELOUS wall hanging with us. There is no doubt that it has a definite Gypsy Fayre Flair. j.

  12. Oh my gosh, this is the most gorgeous trash ever!! It's definitely trash to treasure!! I love seeing the pictures of your process!! I can never do that because I'm never sure where I'm going...I add and subtract embellies so much, I'd have a hundred pictures to edit ;) The texture is amazing!! I love the paintbrushes...heck, I love everything!! This is sensational my friend!! And so inspirational!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  13. Ahhh, I get it now Sara - thank you for taking the time to replyy to my question. Makes perfect sense to me. I'm glad I don't have to worry about your sanity or mine either!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Two days... whew... but I get it! Maybe keep it simple - if you can. Sometimes I miss seeing some of your "old" style projects that were wonderful in their simplicity. Just a thought!!! XXj.

    1. I need to go back and see where my old simple project are! I forgort how to do that! Ha! Ha!

  14. I might have to go and lie down after this. Phew! I don't think I have ever seen anything like this, it is amazingly amazing. Your detailed descriptions with the detailed photos all brought it vividly to life. I was fascinated that the photo of the two girls was not a precious family photo but taken from a soda carton and that you added a bit of old rust that fell on your driveway from a trailer. You have made a beautiful art piece from such an array of "junk" items, it's brilliant.

  15. Wonderful piece of trash to treasure!!Loving those paintbrushes!
    and those lil ones are just darling!!xo

  16. Trash never looked so good until you get ahold of it! Holy tarnation, this is stupendous! So many bits to look at and take in. I wish I was a fly on your wall to see this design come to life! Those rusted elements are gorgeous and the metal pieces add nice dimension, not to mention that mayo jar. Fan-freakin-tastic upcycle dearie! The layers of color create an awesome sauce shadow to the entire piece. Stunning transformation! Hugz to you muffin! ~Punkin

  17. I am sitting here shaking my head up and down and back and forth. Now I have NEVER had any trash that looked anywhere near like what you pulled out of your trash. I can't say that I have EVER found any rusted anything in our driveway. And those darling little girls - you found them on a soda box? Now I have heard everything!! I totally agree with you - those old paint brushes are beautiful.
    Honey Child you are really talented - what a designer your are. You should have a shabby chic store for your found objects and your beautiful makes too.
    Now the reason I am late this time is because Monday morning my husband was working out in the yard and accidentally cut our cable. So - no phone, no TV and no computer until this afternoon.
    You do inspire me Sara Emily -- you really do.
    Sandy xx

  18. Sara Emily, I don't know how you do it, but you are amazing with trash - LOL! You really do make one think differently about what they throw away, I have to say! Your project is amazing and I was laughing about how you found a rusty metal piece in your driveway - these things find YOU! I think my favorite pieces on your wall art are the paint brushes (they are so pretty) and the drawer pull - that was a find! Awesome, awesome, awesome!!

    I was so tickled yesterday at all the love you left over at my blog - thank you so much! You're too kind about that awful mosaic snowman - I don't like it (I do like the background), but trying not to miss any of the Tim tags while knowing it's not getting any better and moving on - LOL!

  19. Amazingly creative work!!Bravo...Thank you for sharing with us in MMP.Good luck!

  20. Wow Sara, What an awesome way to use up some recycled junk... I love how it turned out...
    Thank you so much for entering our challenge over at Creative Artiste Mixed Media Challenge Blog, we hope to see you join in again...

    Hugs Rhonda DT & Owner xxx

  21. Love all your gathered trash and finds and recycled bits and bobs - such a special creation.
    Alison x

  22. Sara, this is amazing!!! I love how this morphs and molds from scraps to beauty.

  23. Thanks for joining in our Gypsy Fayre challenge again at Our Creative Corner! And I have to admit, that this is my favourite of your two entries. The assemblage is too die for and oh my those rusty bits - I LOVE IT!

  24. I love how you made your rusty find the contrasting colour spot on your upcyled beauty, Sara!
    Thanks again for joining in our challenge at Emerald Creek Dares! And also thank you for playing along with us over at Our Creative Corner!

    Claudia x

  25. wow lovely creativity and texture thanks for playing at Creative gym for Mixed Media PLace

  26. love love your creation, lots of texture and dimension you have created
    thanks for joining our challenge over at
    Debbie DT

  27. Sara Emily, I'm back to say once more how much I love this piece. It makes my heart sing! Thanks so much for sharing with us at the Frilly and Funkie "It's Not Easy Being Green" Challenge!

  28. Beautiful mixed media piece, love all those yummy layers of pieces and paints. Beautiful hues of colors just make them pop. Thanks for joining us on the Emerald Creek Supplies Challenge.


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