January 2023 - Happy Arty Crafty New Year - Salvaged Finds in Art

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue ... 

Its so good for the soul and our planet to be buying less, reusing and recycling, sharing with others and visiting Op shops. There is so much joy and satisfaction felt from making something out of preloved things, finding a worthy home for that little thing saved from so many years ago (whether its a button or page salvaged from an old book). 

Even though I have a shop full of nice treasures, I have always felt that its best to share and reuse as much as we can. I feel there must be a balance in all things of life, buy things that need replacing or when there someone has an amazing idea that we never new we needed ... However, we must work with our planet not simply consume it :) Use the old with the new.

The old wedding verse "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" often comes to mind and is perfect for every day, not only for brides and grooms! New items purchased compliment old favourites, everything is better shared (or given or borrowed), and blue is a colour that compliments almost everything Mother Nature has created. I guess 'rainbow' doesn't quite rhyme! lol :)

None of this is new information, but is always good to talk about often, to remember to be mindful about what is reused or sent to the tip. 

artwork created by Jenny James using salvaged items and recycled packaging

The above five photos were created using (from top left, clockwise) book pages (I don't like to cut up books but this one was damaged), vintage sheet music, leftover yarns and paper packaging, plastic packaging (for the jar) and string, buttons (need I say more? we all have buckets of buttons!). 

Things I find useful include clear plastic packaging, cellophane packets (great for windows, wings or see-through layers), cardboard backing sheets (some brands have beautiful reusable packaging), cereal boxes, packaging from furniture, foam (printing patterns on gel plates or to cut up into basic shaped stamps), fabrics, preloved jumpers (can be felted if wool too), old books and toys, mugs and crockery (great for making tiered plate stands or garden ornaments), and other items found from wandering around secondhand stores, op shops or antique shops.

Share or give away to your local op shops too, as one person's trash is another person's treasure! That's not a new saying either :)

One note though, these found and saved things can get out of control as well, in our attempt to not throw things away, but if we all use, reuse, create and share, they won't breed when we're not looking.

There is no limit to what we can use to create more art, home decor, garden pieces, gifts for others :) Have fun with it!

... Speaking of found objects ...

Tim Holtz is always finding and saving items throughout his travels, I love how he inspires us to reuse the old with the new.

One of these saved treasures was a little toy rabbit (or three). Knowing not everyone in the world has little toys to use or colour, he has worked with Advantus Corp to create a new (limited edition for 2023) resin character for the Idea-Ology range. The Salvaged Rabbit. The pack has two adorable bunnies who stand about 1 1/2 inches (38mm). Available inStore soon :) 

Tim Holtz photo of creativity with rabbits covered in ink and Christmas trees turned into carrots

Rabbits and baubles with carrots and adorable chicks have been in my thoughts all week, so I went searching for that fabulous video by Tim Holtz from last year showing how to use Foundry Waxes, Alcohol Inks with his toy bunnies ... in preparation for what is to come! Still waiting for our new friends to hop over to Oz, but too excited to keep it all to myself :D lol The above photo is from Tim Holtz's blog from March 2022.

Don't forget Tim's next video is tomorrow night (Saturday 14th Jan, our Sunday morning) :D So much awesomeness!

Find the video showing these adorable bunnies and other Easter makes here at https://timholtz.com/creative-easter-ideas/ :D This video has timeless and priceless information. Huge thanks to Tim and Mario for all they do!

Don't want to use alcohol or solvent chemicals in your art? The waterbased acrylic Distress Paint will give good coverage too and the metallic colours can be made to look polished or rustic using Pink Ink Designs' Sparkle Dust brushed or splattered over the wet paint, or use Distress Crayons rubbed into the cracks of dried paint.

And, if you brush on a light coating of gesso (a primer or basecoat), you can use almost any medium to colour resin characters and metals, including watercolours, acrylic paints, embossing glazes, and ink sprays. Seal afterwards with your favourite sealer of choice (Tim's Collage Medium, a spray varnish, Mod Podge, Tim's Resist Spray would work too, whatever you have in your shelf). 

What have you found and reused in your art or home? Share it in pictures and inspire the world to be creative every day at Instagram @art.by.jenny #artbyjenny 

Thanks for reading the Art by Jenny blog. I hope it has helped you smile and inspired you to be creative mindfully, every day!

Happy Arty Crafty Day!