You know type-setters trays – those shallow wooden trays with many odd divisions which printers used to keep their metal letters in? Nowadays people have them on their walls as curiosity cabinets for tiny objects like thimbles. Well I’ve always wanted one of those. Partly because I find them beautiful and partly because I have some small things which I’d like to have on the wall so I looked at them more often – my grandmothers thimble; a lead duck which was my dads when he was a child; some tiny seashells; a sea worn beechnut case, etc. But there’s no way I can afford one because they are seriously expensive. So I decided to make one out of tetra-paks.

DSC 0468

 

It isn’t the same of course, but it will have that many small compartments look (and I can make them the size I want which is nice) as well as that handmade uneven look – yes, it will definitely have that! At first I thought I’d use the tetrapaks with silvery insides as they’re the most common, but then I found that some tetra paks have a creamy almost waxed effect finish on their inside so I decided to use them. Also it so happen that the only thing I occationally buy which comes in a largish tetra-pak is cream coloured on the inside. So I started experimenting, and quickly realised I could work in modules and then decide how they are put together when I’ve made them all (which will be some time as they take and hour or 2 per module, and I’ll probably want 8-10 modules in total).

So far I’ve made 3 modules and this is what they look like. I partly work by measuring with a ruler and partly by eye. I’m cutting with a combination of a Stanley knife and scissors, and I’ve using PVA glue help with paperclips until it sets. If you want to have a go, it’s very easy – though time consuming – and you can make it up as you go along.

I’m only working on it in odd moments when a friend comes by to visit and I can chat while I work so it won’t be finished for months yet – but I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished thing and hanging it on my wall!

Marie-Anne from Serenity Eco Crafts wrote the following piece inviting you all to learn to crochet with unusual materials and participate to a creative endeavour covering her dear Dolly with a crochetted coat.

 

What is Dolly's coat/Plastic carrier bags crochet challenge?

Across next June till next November I challenge to meet and join me to cover Dolly the 2 CV with crocheted inches square of yarned plastic bags.

 

 

Dolly

What is the benefit for you to join the the plastic carrier bags challenge?

It is the opportunity to learn or practice or rediscover a traditional skill, using and recycling household waste material. It is the opportunity to be able to say:" Yep that was MAD, but I took part and you see that square on the top left corner of the boot lid? Well, it's mine. That year I learnt a skill that I used for other things since and that I shared with family and friends later."

 

Dollycrochet challenge

 

 

Why using carrier bags for the challenge?

I selected using carrier bag from house hold waste because the more carrier bags we reuse or up cycle, it's less carrier bags on their to the land fill or left for Mother Nature to deal with ( rivers, sea, trees...). You may have seen  the "Yarn bombing" activity or vehicle covered with knitted wool. I just feel that wool could be use for other objectives than covering trees, buildings or vehicles. Behind using carrier bag is also the concept of, what else can we use to make what: accessories, useful items for the household or motoring?

 

Why crochet and not knitting?

I use more easily crochet than knitting because I find it more versatile. I know we can knit a circle but it's easier with a crochet hook.

I also find that you can crochet about every where in the difference that long knitting needle may be an obstacle.

 

wheel

 

 

 

Why Dolly?

Dolly is a 1989 car to who I offered a second leaf of life. I love driving and I can't see my life with out her. Dolly is my way to be greener. However compare to her elder on a yearly Citroen Rally parade, she is not that old and my first idea was to do something different, a tad wilde to bring attention to her even though she is a young "Vintage Vehicle". It's also the idea that if this rather big project is possible, what else can be achieved on a day to day base: footwear, garments, accessories? 

 

Intrigued?

Get in touch and let's have a chin wag or just turn up on the day with preferably a crochet hook, carrier bags and your friends and family and let's offer Dolly her coat.

Keep watching the Green Festival of Making and Mending website for information on dates and places plus my facebook page : Serenity Eco Crafts

 

Marie-Anne Nogues from Serenity Eco Crafts

 

 

 

Project name:-

          Medieval sewing box

Project number & date:-

          7. March 2015

Why are we undertaking this project? What has motivated us?

Fed up of hiding my modern sewing box from the public when we are at medieval events. We have learnt that it is actually much easier to have everything medieval instead of hiding modern things. So the motivation is to make our life easier.

Materials used and sourced from:-

A wicker basket from a second hand shop, some linen to line it some scrap leather to make new loops for the lid and a stick from the garden to hold it shut.

Length of time taken:-

          2-3 hours

Total cost:-

          I think the basket was £3

Our experience of this project:-

We liked…

Using something from a second hand shop and making it look older than it is. I have several tools I use for demonstrating arrow making that I have done this with too.

We didn’t like….

Conflicting info about the handle – it was originally on the front, I was advised to move it by one re-enactor, then another suggested I remove it.

How have we benefited from doing this?..

Having something I don’t have to hide. It is big enough to hold several sewing projects, so I have a choice of what to sew.

What resources did we use?

          Friends advice.

And here it is.

sewing

Project name:-

          Raised veggie beds

Project number & date:-

          6. Jan 2015

Why are we undertaking this project? What has motivated us?

          They didn’t hold enough soil.

Materials used and sourced from:-

          Wood from an old deck that one of our customer’s asked us to remove.

Length of time taken:-

          A couple of hours

Total cost:-

          Maybe a pound or two for screws.

Our experience of this project:-

We liked…

          Altering our beds using free wood.

We didn’t like….

We would do differently next time…

How have we benefited from doing this?..

Raising the beds, allowing more soil in them. As we have a high water table, raising veggie beds allows them to dry out quicker an so warm up quicker in the spring.

What resources did we use?

            Wood, saw and screws.

The finished beds.

Indecently, the same decking wood has been used to make a raised path between the beds; raised beds in another customer’s garden; some planters for lillies and plenty of firewood for a woodburner. The deck also had a quantity of 3” x 2” wood supporting the deck, which we have used some of to edge a bed close to the house where we grow salads. We have also used some reclaimed slabs in this, and some old trellis to make a frame for nasturtium to grow up. J

In the picture below you will also see some breeze blocks. This is a long and rather funny story, but briefly it is the remains of an old wall that got knocked down by a car. We are using these to raise up other veggie beds too.

raisedbeds

 New lids for our compost heaps.

Project number & date:-

          5. May 2015

Why are we undertaking this project? What has motivated us?

          The old lids have rotted away.

Materials used and sourced from:-

          2 Pallets from a friend

Length of time taken:-

          A couple of hours each

Total cost:-

          Zero

Our experience of this project:-

We liked…

          Finding a way of utilising the pallets with the minimum of alteration.

We didn’t like….

They wouldn’t come apart, so we had to ‘fill the gaps’ with other wood found in the garden.

We would do differently next time…

That depends on the wood available. The compost heaps themselves – we have 4 in total, have all been made and remade over the years from reclaimed wood. Sometimes pallets, sometimes the remains of an old shed and sometimes just bits of wood left over from other jobs. What was done differently this time was to NOT cover the lids with roofing felt, as that led to the last ones rotting prematurely as moisture got in but couldn’t get out.

How have we benefited from doing this?..

          Used up some wood and got our compost heaps dry again.

What resources did we use?

          Just wood, a saw and some screws.

See over for the bins & new lids.

            That reminds me, the wheelbarrow has a hole in it too…..

heaps