Tag Archives: upcycling

Elise was a Piano Once Upon a Time

This is a true story.

This is the story of how a tiny doll and her special hedgehog friend came to live in my studio….

Long, long ago, there was a seed, well several seeds, really.

They grew up and became majestic trees.

They sang the song of the wind and the sun and the moon and the rain and the stars for probably hundreds of years.

And, then they were cut down.

They became a piano.

And the piano sang  songs of love, and sadness and grief and joy.

Eventually, the piano wore out.  Completely.

The piano tuner shook his head sadly and declared it to be done.

But he had a friend who made things with wood, so he offered some of the wood from the piano to his friend.

His friend happily accepted the wood from the sad and gone piano, and because he is a generous and kind person,

he offered some pieces of the wood to his Mum.

That’s me.

I was sure I could feel a very, very tiny doll singing little tiny songs inside the wooden scrap….

I cut a little bit of the piano wood and loved how it felt in my hands….

I cut out rough shapes that would be just the right size to carve my favorite size of doll- 2 and a half inches tall.

I carved:

and carved:

and carved and carved and carved some more.

While I was carving, I asked her what her name is,

and she declared: “Elise, of course!”

She said that even though she preferred playing Mozart when she was a piano,

that she had always loved it when her family played ‘Fur Elise’.

(An interesting thing happened when I told my daughter about tiny Elise-

she knew, even before I said Elise’s name that that was the name of this tiny, but

determined little wooden person!)

Elise let me know that she wanted old fashioned boots

and cream colored stockings and camisole

and that lovely amber color from the shellac for her hair.

She also told me that she wanted me to tat her dress,

and while I was at it, to make the tatting shuttle that I would use

to tat her dress.

And, to make the tatting shuttle a hedgehog, and

to use the bit of wood that was around the lock that used to keep the piano closed.

Elise  helped me to figure out how to get the lock out of the wood….

She insisted that the lovely round brass keyhole had to become part of her tatting shuttle.

Elise chose some old tatting cotton that I had been given

(from the estate of the friend of a friend who didn’t know what to do with it)

Elise and I started freeform tatting her dress.

Sometimes, it didn’t go well.  sigh.

Tatting is the pits to try and unpick, so scissors were the best option:

Elise got a little annoyed at times with all the trying on and taking off of the dress,

but I reminded her that she was the one who demanded it be tatted-

crochet would have been infinitely faster!

She fell on her face and refused to co-operate for awhile, but eventually,

calmed down and we got on with the tatting:

Eventually, Elise’s dress was done.

It’s a bit cattywombus but Elise has forgiven me for that.

She understands that freeforming when making a tatted dress can mean that things are slightly ‘unique’.

Elise is looking forward to having adventures with the other wooden dolls in the studio.

She has placed a few requests for things that she would like to have, thank you very much.

Elise may look young, but you must remember, that she’s a doll with a long, long story!

(and has more to tell, but that is for another day and until then, she and her hedgehog friend will enjoy life in the studio).

 

I have joined a group of wonderful bloggers from all over the world – The Scrap Happy Bloggers- who work with upcycled materials and post once a month.

Here are the links to all their blogs: Do check them out 🙂

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2 and Noreen

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Filed under carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, eco crafts & green projects, lace making, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, tatting, upcycling, wooden dolls, woodwork

How to Make a Tutu for Dolls Using Upcycled Cloth Tea Bags

For links to video on how to upcycle cloth tea bags into Teabag Yarn, and how to weave triangles with it,  please go to: LINK

I love finding fun and unique ways to upcycle things, and so I have had so much fun turning cloth tea bags into yarn and weaving with it, to make tutus for the Merrie Sunshine and Mermaid Minnie Moonbeam dolls.

For the main page about Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam dolls, please go to: LINK

Here is the video that shows how to make the Upcycled Tea Bag Tutu:

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Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, eco crafts & green projects, free pattern, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, mermaid, Merrie Sunshine & Minnie Moonbeam Wooden Dolls, pin loom, potholder loom, tutorial & how to, upcycling, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven, wooden dolls

How to Weave Using Upcycled Teabag Yarn 2 Nails at a Time on Pin Looms

If you want to weave with bulky yarn on a pin loom, it can be challenging.

I’ve made a video, using Upcycled Teabag yarn (here’s the link on how to make upcycled Teabag Yarn: LINK) as the bulky yarn for this example.

When you weave using 2 nails at a time on a pin loom, you can open up all kinds of possibilities for working with art yarns, fabric strip yarn and other bulky yarns.

It’s quick and easy and adds so much creative potential to pin loom weaving.  Yay!

Here’s the how-to video:

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Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, pin loom, tutorial & how to, upcycling, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven

How to Upcycle Cloth Tea Bags into Teabag Yarn

Ahhh, tea!  One of life’s great pleasures!

Some teas come in cloth tea bags that can’t be composted, so instead of throwing them in the garbage,

here’s a great way to upcycle the bags into yarn that you can weave with (or knit or crochet).

I’ve made a video about how to cut the cloth tea bags into fabric yarn-

What can you do with upcycled tea bag yarn?

Weave with it as if it’s regular yarn… for instance, here are a Star , a Dragonfly and Heart woven on pin looms that I designed for Dewberry Ridge Looms

Or: Make upcycled brooches- here’s a video showing how:

More videos  about weaving with teabag yarn –

How to Weave Using Upcycled Teabag Yarn 2 Nails at a Time on Pin Looms:

AND:

 

 

AND:

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Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Heart Loom, jewelry, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, tutorial & how to, upcycling

Woven Window Hearts

One of the lovely things that people are doing during the pandemic is to hang hearts in the window to cheer up passers by.

This video shows some of the window hearts that I have woven on the 6 inch heart loom that I designed and Dewberry Ridge Looms makes.

The woven window hearts are a great way to use upcycled t-shirt yarn, fabric strips made from torn up worn out household linens or outgrown clothing or bulky yarn or roving or 6 inch potholder loom loops.

I embellished some of the hearts with little dolls that I made from my Rosie Recycle eBook: LINK

The looms are available from LINK

Wishing you all the best- stay well, stay at home if you can, and weave some love into your community!

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Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Heart Loom, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, tutorial & how to, video tutorial

Upcycling old crochet cotton with potholder looms

For many years, I have adopted all the stray balls of crochet cotton that I have found at the thrift shop.

I have happily been using them in many different ways, but now they are coming together to be upcycled into lovely kitchen cloths to use instead of paper towels.

They are a pleasure to weave on potholder looms and are lovely and soft.

While we are all holding the fort at home, let’s create some beauty, and enjoy the sweet pleasure of weaving on simple looms!

Here’s the video I made about this very satisfying form of upcycling.

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, potholder loom, tutorial & how to, video tutorial

How to make buttons from twigs and branches

I love making one of a kind wooden buttons from twigs and branches that I find on the ground.

It’s a great eco-friendly project that is upcycling at its best.

They are a great way of embellishing hand woven, knitted, or crocheted fabric, or to make a sewn garment or accessory even more special.

You don’t have to have a woodworking shop full of power tools to make lovely wooden buttons- a few simple  hand tools are all that are necessary.

Here is the video that I made, showing how to make 3 different kinds of buttons from the same twig.

I hope that you will have a wonderful time making your own unique buttons:

 

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, woodwork

Cutting garments into fabric strips to weave and knit

Recently,  I made a video about cutting up garments to upcycle them by weaving or knitting with the fabric strips.

In early October of 2017, my son in law’s step-dad passed away.

This was, of course, very hard on our grandson.

I talked with him about what it meant to him to have his ‘other’ grampa (not my husband) pass away.

I asked him if he needed something of his grampa’s to hold onto, and he said yes.

So, I asked for a couple of Bill’s shirts so I could make comfort critters with them.

I cut them up and wove them into kittys, as that was what my grandson asked for, so he has one, and other family members have them too.  (I didn’t photograph all of them).

I also knitted a teddy bear for one of our relatives, as he is definitely a teddy bear guy 🙂

The bear and kittys have been well received and they do carry the love that went into every stitch of making them.

I’ve done this before, and have found that ‘compassion critters’ made from upcycled clothing of a dear one is very comforting for people in grief.

Every little thing helps….

Here’s the video:

The woven kitties and knitted bear are made from the following patterns:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/88710…

and https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/27430…

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Filed under blessing bear, charity knitting, crafting for charity, eco crafts & green projects, Findlay Bear and Flora Panda, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, personal stuff, potholder loom, teddy bear, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven

6th Sense One of a Kind Art Doll- Tree Mother

Last month, when there was a spectacular Super Moon, we stepped outside to admire it.

The gigantic moon looked like it was suspended in the huge trees that line our street.

The image of the Great Tree Mother, rocking the Moon in her arms, rose up in my mind….

and I knew that I had to build one of my 6th Sense one of a kind art dolls.

Here she is:

Great Tree Mother Rocked The Moon in Her Arms:

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-1-c

While I was contemplating how to build the Great Tree Mother piece, my husband and our daughter took the dogs for a walk one morning.

Chloe came home with a wonderfully gnarly branch that had been pruned from someone’s tree and tossed into the alley.

She just knew I needed it…. even though, at that point, I hadn’t told her what I was mulling about 🙂

We have a very deep connection!

It is perfect.

So’s our daughter….

Anyhow…

The faces….

Years ago, my dear friend found a moose antler that had been shed and she asked me if I could use it.

I cut 3 faces from it, and carved them and painted them.

Two of them became part of this piece:

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-2-c

Tree Mother’s face.

She also has a ‘Hidden Face’ that is hidden inside the piece and will never be revealed.

Too bad I didn’t photograph it!  Oops…

Here is Moon’s face:

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-3-c

I carved the hand from wood.

I wove the bands on 2 different looms and knitted the grey hand spun cloth of her robe.

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-4-c

All of the 6th Sense Woven Women have 6 pennies incorporated into them, as a metaphor for coming to our senses, and embracing intuition, intelligence and inspiration.

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-5-c

She is 29 inches/72.5 cm  tall and the branch spreads out to 15 inches/37.5 cm wide.

She is not for sale.

By the way, she is also a celebration of creative adaptive re-use and upcycling.  I love that.

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Filed under band loom, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, knitting, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven, Woven Women tapestries and woven works

Introducing Findlay Bear and Flora Panda Knitted teddy bears

For several years, I designed teddy bears (Edward and Anastasia) for a knitting magazine that is no longer being published.

People have been asking me for the patterns for Edward and Anastasia, but I can’t share them, as I don’t own the copyright on them  😦

So…..instead…..

I have been working on a pair of tiny knitted teddy bears that will have all manner of adventures.

And, I would like to introduce:

Findlay Bear and Flora Panda:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Findlay Bear and Flora Panda are 4 inches tall.

Findlay Bear How to 1

They are really fun and easy to knit.

Findlay Bear How to 2

Here is the link to their pattern in my etsy shop: PATTERN

Because they are small, they can travel easily in a pocket:

Findlay Bear How to 3

Findlay Bear and Flora live in a Tree House.

Findlay bear house 11

Findlay bear house 12

They have just moved in, so the inside isn’t decorated yet.

They have to make up their minds how that will go….

Their house began as a thrift shop find that I did a whole lot of renovation to.

Here’s a little slide show that I made, showing how I made their house:

Findlay Bear and Flora Panda have all kinds of thoughts about the adventures that they would like to have.

I hope that you will knit your own version of Findlay Bear and Flora Panda and join us!

The pdf pattern for Findlay Bear and Flora Panda is available in my etsy shop: PATTERN

 

 

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Filed under Findlay Bear and Flora Panda, knitting, teddy bear