Artful Recycling · simple book binding

Using Wallpaper for Book Covers

Pamphlet covers  made from salvaged wallpaper sample books have captured my attention.

Beads if Wallpaper-Boiund books

Up until recently I have not been a fan of using wallpaper sample books as part of anything that I do with bookmaking. The fact is that no matter what you do with wallpaper it still always looks like wallpaper, a quality which I found unappealing.

Book made using Wallpaper sample

An elementary schoolt teacher named Kelly changed my point of view. This is an excerpt of a letter she sent, last year, to Kassandra, Kelly’s arts-in-ed liason.

“When Paula was here at our school last year, I asked her if she knew how to make books with wallpaper covers. I was interested in learning how to do this because I wanted the 5th graders to use what they learn about immigration to write a journal from the viewpoint of an immigrant coming to America in the late 1880’s – early 1990’s. I thought the wallpaper journals would be great for this project because you can make them look old-fashioned.

Paula figured out how to make them and then showed me. This year, I did this project students, and the journals came out great. The kids choose the paper they wanted for their covers from old wallpaper sample books. The kids have been very inspired by these to do some of the best writing I have ever seen from some of them.’

Pocketed Wallpaper-bound book

I was humbled by Kelly’s successful experience of making books using wallpaper samples. The students loved browsing through the samples and picking out the patterns for themselves. The books looked great, too: sturdy and varied. It seems that most wallpapers are made out of a material that does not tear easily, and is thick enough to hold its shape well.

Books made using Wallpaper Samples

Since using outdated wallpaper samples is form of recycyling, this is certainly a politically correct activity.

Blue book with Rowan's Chain stitch variation

The variations are endless….

Wallpaper-bound book

…and there always seem to be little bits of extra scraps around to place in unexpected places.

In two weeks I will get to work with several fifth grade classes, making books with wallpaper covers. Since I will be working with dozens of students in a limited time, the binding method will be different than the books pictures here (ie more friendly for elementary students). I will post pictures and directions when we’re finished.

In the meantime, if you have something against wallpaper as a book arts material, my suggestion is: get over it.

Grama's-Wallpaper Book

This one reminds me of the walls in my Grandmother’s bathroom.

Artful Recycling · moving parts

Antique Jumping Jack Toys, made by students

This past Friday I had the good luck of being able to work with students to test drive my instructions for making cut-paper Antique Jumping Jacks. The students were young, only in grades First through Fourth, but they were a surprisingly competent group.. Some of these childrens live nearby in Vermont, the others are from New York City, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

After seeing the my sample Jumping Jack, the students, knowing we had just under 2 1/2 hours to work, asked me how long it took me to make mine. I told them that I worked on mine for several hours,but that it would become boring to work on after kept I kept putting it aside and coming back to it later. It’s not good to be bored while working, so I told them I was structuring the class in a way that would keep things moving.

We started by cutting and gluing together simple shapes for the head and torso, using scraps of cover weight copy paper.

I told them we would work on the torso for only 25 minutes. If it wasn’t finished by then, we would still move on to the limbs, but they could come back to the torso later.
Before any ennui set in, I brought out some paper punches (of snowflakes. cirlces, stars and hearts) which kept things exciting.

These kids seemed to have no problem keeping focused on their creations.

As soon as the limbs started getting attached, the work pace picked up.

Here’s a line-up of Jumping Jacks at rest….

…and here they are again, jumping.

“Wave good-bye, Jack!”

Artful Recycling

Art and Recycling, again

Since I recently posted about a contribution that I made to support recycling, I wanted to follow that with this post showcasing my husband’s contribution to a  local recycling effort.  It started with a call from Ann, who was helping out the local arts organization, Hubbard Hall.  HH was hosting a “trash bash” over the Halloween weekend.  People were to come in costumes made from recycled materials.  Trophies were to be given out.  Ann thought that it would be appropriate for the trophies to made out of recycled materials.

Using found objects to create sculptures is not something that I generally do….but my husband has a real talent in this arena. So I volunteered his services (always a dangerous thing to do, but I risked it.)  He made four trophies.  I have to say that I am jealous of the people who received them.

I think Marcel would have approved….

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Artful Recycling · Drawings

Art and Recycling

recycling sign for dirty Linens

A couple of weeks ago my dear friend Nancy, an avid recycler, sent me an email labeled “Favor” which included these words:

“Before next Saturday’s Compost Workshop (Nov 13) we need nine 8-1/2 x 11 signs, which I will have laminated so we can re-use them at future events. ”

recycling Sign for Compostable Food Scraps 8 1/2 x 11

I had no idea what a compost workshop was, but I make it habit to say yes to Nancy, as everything that has come through her to me has been a gift.

Recycling Sign for Glass Bottles, 8 1/2 x 11 drawing by Paula Beardell Krieg

I had to ask her for some clarification. At the top of her list was “Dirty Linens.”  I had never heard of anyone recycling dirty linens.  She explained that the signs were for a dinner event which supplied diners with washable napkins. Okay. I like drawing draping cloth.

I decided to print the text and drawings on an off-white stock.  Also, I decided that I would hand color some small areas on the papers.  It wasn’t until after I was completely attached to these parameters that I realized that Nancy wanted to make numerous copies of the signs.  Since color printing is a whole other budget consideration, I made a second set of pages that are just black and white, meant for reproduction….and, for anyone who so desires, for coloring.   So, here’s  recycle signage in black and white, for anyone who is interested.

Recycling sign for Cans

I still offered Nancy the set that is slightly colored, to use as she wishes.

Her next note was as follows: “Success…..copies made and laminated.. Very pricey….but the product is good.
Huge thanks to you.”

Next came a forward from an organizer of the workshop:

“With over 100 people we generated virtually no waste for disposal (at the incinerator). Last Sat. Melissa and I picked up close to 50 regular plates (free, which Melissa washed) at the Kingsbury Reuse Center, Aaron borrowed silverware from his church, and some of you brought extra mugs for others to use.

Nancy made a great contribution by designing the Zero Waste sorting system and getting signage made for future community events”

Since I did not sign the drawings, I suppose that they were viewed as clip art?  Nancy, in her “reply all” response gave me credit:  ” Paula Krieg illustrated the zer0-waste signs, and I really think much of the success goes to having clear pictures for people.   ”

Now,  here’s the last sign for the recycling line.  I particulary enjoy this one.

recycling signage by Paula Krieg