Friday, April 22, 2011

nature paints and a magazine stool

Happy Earth Day everyone! If you haven't already seen my post from Monday dedicated to unique ways to be earth friendly, do check it out! 

In addition to adding some new eco-friendly practices to my life in honor of Earth Day, I also decided to try out two green projects from an amazing website I found the other day: The Way To Go. The first project was to make my own non-toxic paints! It seemed like the perfect project for me given all the painting I've been doing lately and my obvious love for nature. I had never thought too much about it, but when I read about this project I realized how possible it is to make your own paint given people have been painting on cave walls, tree bark, pottery and such for thousands of years….and they certainly didn't have Dick Blick to help them out.

The first step is to find objects in nature that can lend you some of their color. Examples from The Way To Go website include:

Red & Pink: crushed beets, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries
Purple: blueberries, blackberries
Yellow: onion skins, marigold petals, crushed dandelion flowers
Blue: sunflower seeds, alfalfa flowers
Green: spinach leaves

My choices were….

 Frozen blueberries
 Pine needles…..  and kale stocks.
 Frozen raspberries
 The little yellow flowers that are falling off so many bushes this time of year.

The next step is to place each item in a jar (I used old pasta sauce, honey and coconut oil jars…recycling at its best!). Then pour hot water over the top and let them sit overnight. VoilĂ ! Nature paints! They have the consistency of watercolors so I'd suggest using them on watercolor paper (now I'm wondering how I could make thick nature paints similar to acrylics…hmm). My paints have been curing over night and I'm going to be experimenting with them later today. I'll post the results next week…

The next project, also from The Way To Go, was to assemble a flower stand out of old magazines. Yes, that's right! It was incredibly easy to make and I'm loving it!

Instructions: Open a magazine to the left, keeping the front cover open and flat. Fold 10 pages in half and tuck into the binding, including the back cover. Repeat until you've folded the entire magazine, then fold the front cover over the first 10 folded pages.

Repeat this on 1-3 more magazines, depending on the thickness of each magazine. When you are finished, place them back-to-back and you've got yourself a stool! 

Ideally, you would only use two moderately thick magazines so that you'd end up with two semi-circle fans that you could fit together (back-to-back) to form a circle. My magazines were much smaller, but they did the trick! 

Happy Earth Day!

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