Thursday, December 10, 2015

The DIY Upcycling Blues

I love upcycling. LOVE it. It probably comes from growing up with a mom who was always saving things, "just in case." She's a little like Mary Poppins--whatever need you have, just call and she'll say, "Oh, yes. I have five of those. Which color would you like?"

This works out well for me because I can't stand clutter or hanging on to lots of things. I'm forever going on de-cluttering binges, bungling my way through the house with big cardboard boxes, bellowing things like, "how did we end up with three of these?!" and "ugh, this feels so good! so freeing!"
How did this artist get my photo? Image credit: Dawn Hudson

But inevitably, in three months when I'm looking for that red glove or broken garden statue for an art project, I lament my mad, crazed dash through the house.

Lately, though, I've got the DIY upcycling blues. It's all well and good to see pictures of all the cool upcycling projects other people are tackling ... but what about those of us who haven't ever learned to use a hack saw, let alone a jigsaw?

Probably done in an hour. Would take me 50. Image credit: DIY & Crafts

This is probably why my upcycling Pinterest board only has projects that require glue or paint. 

I suppose it's time for a lesson. YouTube perhaps?

How do you learn new hands-on skills? Classes? Online tutorials? Ask someone you know? 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dismembering a Doll: Upcycled Art

It was a dark and stormy night. A woman sat alone in her basement, the chill, damp air creeping up her legs. She shivered and adjusted the light, illuminating a tiny figure on the table in front of her. 

"This won't hurt," she murmured. Then, under her breath, "much." 

I am not a fan of dolls. They give me the creeps, probably because I was traumatized watching "Chuckie" when I was at a sleep over party in the third grade (don't ask).

This poor, hapless doll is nothing like Chuckie. She is sweet and innocent (though it does feel like her little painted eyes follow me around the room at times). A Christmas doll I picked up at Goodwill for a buck last week with one intention in mind: dismemberment.

It had to be done.


It was a bit harder to get my scissors through the cloth of the body around her extremities than expected.

Note gummy glue stuck on
And you can see from the picture of her arms, that there is a thick glue still stuck to them. I had the same problem with her legs this morning, but after a day-long bath in the sink, the glue was easily removed with my fingernail.

"Mooooom, what is THIS in the sink?!" (Son, while brushing his teeth.)

I have big plans for this doll involving a vintage wooden box and a shiny, red enamel heart. I can't wait to see how it all comes together--but have to admit I did feel like somewhat of a serial killer taking her apart in the basement.

Let's just hope she stays on the dining room table tonight and doesn't find her way up to my bedroom, Chuckie-style.

What's your latest dissemble project?