Thursday, May 7, 2009

spirals and whimsy

Newspaper is one of my favorite materials to create with. It's readily available for free (check out any cafe at closing time), it's versatile, and its typography give everything an instant graphic sensibility. Knowing of this fondness, my husband brought home the above trivet a couple of months ago. Artisans from the Women's Multipurpose Coop in the Philippines made this amazing hot plate out of coils of newspaper. It has not moved from the center of our dining room table. I love it and find myself staring at the spirals as we eat, talk, and create. You can buy your own here: Ten Thousand Villages. Last night, as we were clearing the table, I found that I could not look at the spirals for another minute without trying it myself. I grabbed a sheet of newspaper and started rolling it to create a coil.

It felt so good to make something spontaneously, but this coiling is not as easy as it looks. The women that create these have very strong and dexterous fingers, I am sure! Even if mine wasn't as lovely as theirs, I was happy to have tried something new.

After carrying one around in my pocket all morning, I decided I needed to wear it. I put aside all of the should dos and ran to my sewing machine. I really did run! I rarely make something on a whim... for myself. I stitched up a little linen cuff. The linen is crisp white with a rustic open weave. I got a linen sampler from Namolio a while back, and this was my first time breaking into it. I felt like I was sneaking a piece of chocolate... it was that delicious!

I attached my little spiral with thread and created a button out of a shell from our Sanibel trip. I love it. My new summer accessory!

It's no more than a piece of fabric, some newspaper, and a little shell. And yet, it encompasses: whimsy, spontaneity, inspiration... lovely words to wear, don't you think? Pin It

29 comments:

  1. So charming! You are amazing and an inspiration.

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  2. Love this!

    You inspired me with newspaper way back in February too, as I recall.

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  3. It's a very pretty bracelet, but also could it not be a pin cushion one wears on one's wrist for a quick place to put or get pins while creating?

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  4. oh my - how simply wonderful!!!! so inspirational, i love the idea of turning a humble piece of newspaper into somethings so beautiful! definitely food for thought, i may have to play with newspaper this afternoon! I've just discovered your blog - wow!!

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  5. I have a Ten Thousand Villages shop near my home and always find myself lingering in the area where they have these rolled-paper items. They fascinate me. :)

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  6. That table centre piece is absolutely gorgeous!

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  7. I love the fun and playfulness
    of this! I am also inspired
    that you fell in love with
    something so recycled.
    What better thing than newsprint
    to absorb heat? So smart.
    Also i need some trivits...hum.
    They look hard to get that tight
    though.
    LOVE your shell button...
    did you put the hole in it
    or was it already there?

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  8. Oh wow...you should also add the words original and beautiful to the list.
    Have a nice weekend, Jeannette

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  9. What a splendid idea!! - So far I,ve only reused newspaper to make sowing pots and boats for playing in the stream amd things like that. There must be hundreds of things to make with spirals :)
    Lovely bracelet you've made!!

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  10. I have a hot pad just like that! Mine was purchased for me as a gift from 10,000 Villages.
    I love what you did with your coil!

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  11. oooh such a cool idea... I want to try this too!!

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  12. It looks like a bandage. Ugh.

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  13. I love it when you get a bright flash of creative spark in your brain and can't rest until you have made it into reality. Love your cuff so very much. Newspaper snails now that is a great idea.

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  14. Thanks so much everyone! This was so fun. It's such a wonderful feeling to enjoy the process of creating and learning a new technique... and not worry so much about the end result. I love my "bandage", as the anonymous commenter referred to it, because of what it represents to me. I sometimes wonder what "wounds" people carry that they must leave a negative sentiment Anonymously. My heart goes out to them... and now to get back to my day! :)

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  15. I don't care for it myself, but if it could have been made into a pendant I may feel differently. I do agree with whoever is anonymous above, the fabric itself looks like a bandage (but who says that's all bad?). Not my style, but it doesn't mean I don't like the words it represents as you wear it. Those are all words we should make more of a habit of wearing.

    I also like the way you are looking at the comment that individual left behind. We don't all have to agree, or like everything do we? But why leave anon. comments just to be mean?

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  16. 10,000 Villages had a nativity at Christmas made out of newspaper coils. It was amazing!

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  17. So casual and summery - beautiful! I attend a Mennonite church and am very familiar with these trivets - at our annual Chirstmas "villages" sale I have to say these are one of the very popular items!

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  18. I often wondered how those newspaper thingies were made, thank you for showing us. The cuff bracelet is gorgeous and I like that the materials are so simple but elegant. Have a great weekend, Carolyn

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  19. thank you for sharing! I once had a neighbor who showed me how to fold gum wrappers to make something like this. I love the recycled material arts and crafts!

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  20. Lovely, indeed! I bought some woven baskets made out of newspaper strips and love them so much. I have been willing to try to make one of my own but haven't come to it (yet!). Now, these spirals have a lot of potential - right now I'm just thinking of one of those curtains you hang in the door to keep flies from coming in (what are these called?). I guess you would need plenty of spirals but it just popped to my mind... or a window ornament with shells and spirals... hmm, might try this! Thanks, Maya!!

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  21. I love that you just whipped up a newspaper thingamajig and then turned it into a piece of jewelry.

    Sometimes I wish I could make everything out of paper.

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  22. I would love to make one (or more!) of these newspaper spirals into a necklace - does anyone have an idea of something eco-friendly I could spray or paint on them to keep the ink from smearing onto your skin?
    Thanks!

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  23. I might have to try with old book pages!

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  24. what a shame - i'm from the Phils and i don't know about this. i def wanna try to make something out of a newspaper. just the other day, i was sitting in front of the sewing machine but couldn't get my hands to sew. an old catalog caught my eye started rolling a page but could not make anything "artsy" with it :(. so i cut bits of papers instead and put it together to make a paper necklace, bracelet, watch and a dangling earrings for my little daughter. she had so much fun and would not want to take it off!

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  25. You are so very creative! And inspiring!
    Happy Mother's day!

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  26. So that's how they're made! I've always wondered but never quite figured it out. Thanks for the tutorial. Definitely putting this one to practice. I think I'll try it with magazines.

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  27. What a fantastic idea! I love the cuff too! It's great to learn new techniques all the time.

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  28. debbi in east TexasMay 31, 2009 at 11:50 PM

    I love your paper spiral; I think it would look great with several linked together as a bracelet or strung together with beads or stones for a necklace, wiring them together would allow for "shaping" the final piece

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