Reuse and Recycle

At Divine You, we are all about living lighter on this earth.  And we love the idea of reuse and recycling in art and craft; a simple suggestion that can be taken in so many creative ways.  

Look for ways to reuse packaging and other household items both for making your crafts. Ann loves to use the clear Talenti Gelato containers to hold water for painting, and now she has me saving those random plastic lids that no longer have containers to seal.  We use them for paint palettes and glue holders.  They wash up well, and you can let them go into the recycle bin when they wear out or get too stained. And there is so much good cardboard that goes straight into the recycle bin in my house, so I use it as a backing to cut or glue stick on, a protector for my table while painting, and even as a cooling place for fresh-baked cookies.  

And don't get me started on using old or unwanted things to actually make newly crafted art items. I have been attracted lately to some of the amazing things people are doing with old books, old textiles, and even their own old art.  So think before you throw it away. You can use an otherwise unloved old book as an art journal,  and you can fold and cut the pages to create new and different sculptural effects.  If you take poems, sentences, or individual words out of unwanted books, it gives them new life in the piece in which you feature them. Try using scotch tape to pull up words from old paper and then tape or glue them onto your own art, creating a faded and lovely effect.

I have recently seen a beautiful throw knitted from sliced up, worn out blankets, skirts made from vintage table cloths, new collages made from cut up photos, post cards and old sketches, and pretty garden furniture inlaid with china broken in an earthquake.  No need to throw away a keepsake that has shattered, an art piece that didn't quite satisfy or an item that no longer fits your decor. All I ask is that you consider using all or part of it in a new creation. Your previously unwanted items will thank, and just possibly, dazzle you.

Here's to seeing old things (including people) with new eyes,


Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Ann here with one of my favorite tips for learning how to be present. Betty Edwards may have thought that she was teaching a drawing technique, but I have found that the way she teaches people to see has other, far reaching effects. The basic idea is to work with practices that bore the heck out of the logical left brain allowing the timelessness and fluidity of the right brain to kick in. When perceiving an object with the right brain we become obsessed with shape and line, without judgement. When we draw from that place rather than from the symbol driven left brain, we have the ability to improve our seeing, our perceiving, and our drawing immediately.

Check out her official website at  Her wonderful book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, is readily available if you haven't yet read it.

Art Materials are Everywhere

Begin a practice of collecting items to use in your artwork. Keep your eyes open as you go about your life and see what calls to you. Here are some ideas of things that you can collect to have on hand when inspiration strikes you:

Rip pictures out of magazines, catalogs, junk mail, calendars, tear old letters, old book pages, or interesting stationary and keep a large manila envelope (that you can decorate!), or a file folder (that you can also decorate!)

Collect items from the natural world. Leaves and flowers can be pressed. Small stones, pine cones, feathers, and shells are a few ideas.

Old lace, buttons, fabric, buckles, embellishments, beads, ribbon, photographs (or photocopies of old and precious photos you love). Find a cool box, tin, or other container to hold your treasures.

You can see where this is going... the possibilities are endless. The idea is to begin to open yourself up to the gifts that present themselves, and to embrace them with open arms.

Trust the Process

Karen here. I felt in need of a reminder on this "tip" and I thought we could all use it. The process is the point. In everything.  So slow down, let yourself be in the flow of it, don't force things before they are ready. Breathe and let go of your preconceived notions about how this is supposed to go. Instead, be aware of what you notice, what comes to you, what is waiting for you (and only you) to discover and bring into the world. It may have nothing to do with what you thought you were going to be doing today, but if you let go and go along, it just might be a whole lot more amazing. And if you learn to honor and love process, you can see it all as an adventure.