If you’re writing a book, it’s called editing. If you’re organizing an event, it’s called the second annual. If you’re into crafts, it can be called a whole lot of things – altering, sculpting, upcycling, creating.
As I browse the library shelves for books about making stuff, I find myself gravitating toward the ideas about taking items in my cupboards that’ve already been once around the block – or a couple of times – and putting it together. I don’t know about you, but I spent my childhood pawing through my mom’s ice-cream pail of buttons, melting wax crayons to make candles, and using white glue as a material to sculpture. It may not sound posh, but a lot of creative projects happen that way. And the exciting part is that artists showing in galleries and sculptors who exhibit work upcycle materials as well. There are tonnes of great books in the library with ideas on remaking. Why not pick up a book and re-do?
One of my favourite books in the library’s collection is Generation T Beyond Fashion: 120 Ways to Transform a T-shirt, by Megan Nicolay. I not only spent hours in glee over the cool new ways she thinks t-shirt, but I can now wear them. I tried many of her ideas, and variations of her ideas. Her book has a sassy flair, and invites you to create. You can hardly sit down with it. You’re immediately itching to pull out the thrifted treasures and the scissors. In my opinion, that’s the sign of a great how –to book.
If you’re aching to re-invent an old t-shirt check out our Upcycled T-Shirts program for teens at Millennium Library on August 10. Call to register.
Another great book for makers and re-makers is Alter This! Radical Ideas for Transforming Books into Art, by Alena Hennessy. If you’re into transforming, this book is for you. It’s full of beautiful photos of work done by Hennessy and her amazing friends. The book will send you through your house looking for “new” media that are with you everyday, it will encourage you to mix-and-mash techniques, and it will inspire you by the beauty in simple ideas.
Re-Craft: Unique Projects that Look Great (and Save the Planet) by Jen Jones and Carol Sirrine is another great pick for those who love discovering the stuff they’ve got lying around the house. CDs and their cases, bottle caps, quart jars with strings of Christmas lights – all these have a place. There are even a couple of T-shirt projects. You see T-shirts on the front of a book, and you know can take this one home. This is a fun and easy-to-follow book for the maker in you.