Tag Archives: upcycling

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

The flu knocked me for a loop, and as I have been slowly pulling myself out of it, I haven’t had much energy, so my blog has slipped off the rails.

I did want to mention, however, that I made a video about cutting up garments to upcycle them by weaving or knitting with the fabric strips.

In early October, 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 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, 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

Memory Bears

Last summer, Marie,  a member of our extended family (through marriage and love) died.

I asked her daughter for one of Marie’s sweaters so I could upcycle it to make little bears for Marie’s close kin with it.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I unraveled the sleeves of the sweater and used the  Comfort Bear pattern LINK to pattern

It’s taken awhile, because, I think that I needed to design the Comfort Bears first.

I was so pleased when I had an ‘AHA!’ that I could use the Comfort Bear pattern  to make the Memory Bears for Marie’s daughter and her partner, her son and grandson and her grandson’s Mum.

They’ll be able to cuddle a little of their Mum and Grandma whenever they need a small bit of comfort…..

I am finding the Comfort Bears to be very inspiring…  They have many aspects, and more keep being revealed.

Tiny bears, made with love.  ❤

 

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Filed under charity knitting, eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, teddy bear

Upcycling a little box into a band loom

I can’t share photographs of the weaving that I am doing for my new book, nor can I say anything about it, but, I can tell you about something else I have been up to.  🙂

I absolutely love weaving Scandinavian style woven bands, using different styles of rigid heddles.

Many people weave narrow bands by using backstrap looms, which I find to be a complete misery to work with. ugh.

I love using my Norwegian cradle loom and other rigid heddle looms.

Weaving with a Norwegian cradle loom

Weaving with a Norwegian cradle loom

I’ve been mulling over the idea of making a smaller, more portable box loom based on the Norwegian cradle loom.

A few weeks ago, as we were cleaning and clearing in preparation for our big move, we found some sweet little drawers that my father in law had made many decades ago.

He had reclaimed some tiny little wooden butter boxes and made wee drawers for his workshop with them:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

And, since then, the idea for building a tiny, oh so portable band weaving box loom has been gestating in my mind….

After much trial and error, I have built the little loom, and absolutely adore it!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I have made a small video that shows what I did to build this little charmer:

This is the ratchet and pawl that I designed for my loom.

I made them from a scrap of marine plywood, which allowed me to curve the pawl.

I am going to make the next one from a piece of purpleheart that we’ve been saving, so I am going to make the pawl straight, to make it stronger and not risk breaking it by cutting a curve against the grain.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

If you are interested in learning more about weaving Scandinavian style narrow bands, definitely seek out the work of the marvelous weaver extraordinaire, Susan Foulkes:

And, if you’d like to see some of the ways that I use narrow bands please click:
Note: I have upgraded the little box loom…. it’s even better!  I will post photos of it soon.

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Filed under band loom, eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven, woodwork

Weaving with recycled & upcycled fabrics for Green Window City

For the last 6 weeks or so, I have been weaving up a storm, working on an installation for the Green Window City project in Edmonton Alberta.  Link to Green Window City

I wove 7 banners ( each 5 yards long) from cut up clothing and t shirts cut into t shirt yarn (tarn and ‘Farn’- fabric strip yarn) on my Saori loom.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I rescued a warp chain that an angry weaver had cut from the loom and tossed in a box at the Reuse center:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

It wove up beautifully:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I figured out how to weave stars for the ends of the banners:

Green Windows April 7 update 5 (c)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I built a mannequin, a cat,

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

a dog,

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

a stool, a loom and a stand. LINK

I made gigantic balls of yarn…. I wove a tapestry of the earth, using cut up fabric strips- whew… so many new things to figure out!  LINK

copyright  Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

And, then, yesterday, I installed it all in the window of a beautiful little boutique in Edmonton, ‘C’est Sera:

Weaving the world 10 (c)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

And, today…  I clean the studio and work on new projects.

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Saori weaving, tapestry, weaving & handwoven

Green Window project – weaving a tapestry of the earth

I have been incredibly busy, working to deadline on  a really neat project: The Green Window City project. LINK

13 artists were paired with shops in the Old Strathcona district of Edmonton as part of Earth Day celebrations.

We are each creating an installation in our partnered shop, using stuff that was pulled out of the trash…..

I have been building and weaving like mad….

I can’t show too much until I have the installation up and running.

But – I am going to give a sneak preview of a small tapestry that I have woven for my installation.

I was nervous about using discarded fabric that I cut into strips for the weft of the tapestry- I had NO idea if it would work!

Also, I built the loom (more about that later) and wasn’t sure if it would be alright for tapestry weaving.

On top of all the other unknowns, for the warp,  I used hemp yarn that was given to me by someone who gave up on weaving.

Fuzzy, sheddie, hairy hemp yarn? As warp? Bonkers.

I was sceptical when I saw that the cone of yarn was labelled as being warp, but thought- Why not?

This is all about experimentation, and creative adaptive re-use….

So, I warped up the loom:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

And then, I cut up strips of fabric and started weaving.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I’ve never used fabric strips to weave tapestry, so I was really quizzical about it at first….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Those are the fabrics that I cut up, and wow…. I LOVED weaving with them!

Its’ very slow, but I was amazed at how well it worked!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I loved it, and I am eager to weave more tapestries with upcycled, re-used, recycled fabric cut into ‘farn’ (fabric yarn).

But, for now, I have to get back to cutting up more t shirts and discarded garments for the banners that I am weaving for the installation.

And, then, back to weaving weaving weaving…. I have 5 more long banners to weave….. oh my!~

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

Tapestry Diary 2014- 3

This week has been insanely busy, with a major new project being on the top of my list, plus a maker’s faire yesterday, AND having to rush to get a vest done that I have been working on as a wedding gift… busy… very busy!

Even so- I have been working on my tapestry diaries….

Here’s where I have gotten to with my latest ‘Dancing Lady’:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The Schacht Mini Loom has been surprisingly satisfying for this small piece (*no affiliations or profit from saying that I do like this little loom*) although, of course, tensioning is pretty minimal!

I still have a whole lotta work to do on her, but that is ongoing.

For April, I will be working on this piece, that is the other half of the warp strands from my first Dancing Lady of the month:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The light is so glaring in my studio right now that I am either getting totally over exposed or under exposed pics. Sorry.

One of the things that has kept me so wildly busy, is that I am participating in a very neat project in Edmonton, Alberta, called, ‘Green Windows City’.

A group of artists have been paired with businesses in Old Strathcona, a very artsy part of Edmonton.

The artists are scrounging up stuff that has been discarded, or donated to the ReUse center, and are creating magical installations in one storefront window of their assigned business.

I chose the theme: ‘Weaving a new world’, and have been busily building a mannequin and loom and stand and props, and will be weaving up all manner of things….
so, here’s the loom warped (I’ll show more about the loom and stand in the upcoming days), but I haven’t got the drawing done for the cartoon yet….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The warp is set at 6 epi, and is soft hemp that was given to me by someone who had given up on weaving. The label said that it was warp, but it’s sure new to me to use hemp as warp! Wish me luck!!!!

The next couple of weeks are going to be sooooooooo busy, as I have to have everything done and ready for the installation on April 17 – eeeeeeeeep!

But, I do feel that the weaving on the loom for the installation is very much part of my diary process, so I will be including it here, and posting about it.

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Mirrix loom, tapestry, weave along, Woven Women tapestries and woven works

I’ve been weaving bracelets

I am participating in all kinds of craft fairs and maker’s markets this summer in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

I’ve been weaving up all kinds of bracelets for the upcoming shows:

The bracelets are a combination of paper yarn, t shirt yarn, vintage buttons and charms and other embellishments, as well as copper and brass findings and embellishments that I have made.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

 

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

And, now, I must get back to my looms! 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven