As most of you know, Earth Day is approaching, and as a paper crafter you are certainly aware of the mounds of waste we produce when creating. Many of us try to use up our scraps in creative ways, but there are lots of fun and unexpected ways we can use the "trash" in our homes to make something beautiful. I'm challenging you to create a card, layout, or altered item that uses at least one item that was destined for the trash or recycling. Think about cardboard, tags from clothing, bottle caps, bits of string, junk mail, etc. Post the link to your project below by April 22, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST. One entry will be selected at random to win 3 new sheets of stickers from the new Doodlebug "Mother Nature" line.
Seriously, how cute are those? I can't wait to see the entries! I will be posting a few examples myself, with one coming up later today.
Now, I hope you'll give me just a few more minutes of your time while I tell you a little more about myself and why I chose to do this challenge. Let me start with the title of my blog, "Seaglass and Sentiments". The sentiments part is pretty self-explanatory, given that I make cards, but seaglass refers to those lovely pieces of colored glass that have been worn smooth by the ocean over time. The fact is that those pieces of glass were once trash: bits of broken bottles and such left to litter beaches and the ocean alike. Seaglass is one of those very rare examples of trash being turned into treasure by nature alone. Pretty cool, don't you think?
As crafters, I like to imagine that we do something similar every time we create. All those scraps of pretty paper and embellishments, while often quite lovely by themselves, are transformed into something totally unique and beautiful by our hands alone. Just like those pieces of glass in the ocean, "trash" is turned into treasure. I wanted to take this analogy a step further, by challenging myself and you to look around at what we already have available to us, that might have been thrown into the recycling or destined for the garbage, and find creative uses for it that will transform it into something beautiful and meaningful.
To sum it all up, I came up with a nifty little slogan that reflects 3 very important facets of my life: Conserve. Create. Connect. First, to conserve means to protect our resources, to care for our environment, and to reduce our impact on the world around us. As a former biologist myself and the wife of an environmental biologist, I am always looking for ways to live a "greener" life, but I am often conflicted when it comes to paper crafting. For many of us, one of the most enjoyable parts of the hobby is shopping for new products! But often we can stretch our creativity and be mindful of our impact on the environment at the same time by finding new uses for what we already have.
The word create is pretty self-explanatory too, as this is one aspect of my life that I have chosen to share with you here on this blog. For many years I put my creativity aside while I pursued other goals, and only recently did I realize how much joy and satisfaction the creative process brings me on a daily basis. I know that many of us find the act of creating so important that we stay up late at night or sneak it in while the kids are napping, whatever it takes!
Finally, the word connect refers to the end product of our creativity. We connect with our loved ones through the one-of-a-kind cards and gifts we make for them. And we connect with each other as crafters, including through our blogs. One thing that convinced me to start blogging about paper crafting was the overwhelming sense of community and sharing of ideas that exists through the internet. How fortunate we are to be able to support and encourage each other while doing something we love!
For those of you who are still with me, thank you so much for letting me share a bit of myself with you! As always, I love reading your comments and encourage you to share your thoughts. And be sure to submit your most creative uses for "trash" for a chance to win!