Playing around with Plastic bag upcycling

So recently I got in to up-cycling and how I can use it to make our world a little better. As a small business I try to source things in the US whenever possible and if I can I’ll source supplies in Arizona where I live. Buying local and keeping money local helps the economy of my area. Another thing I’ve gotten into is turning trash into new things so they don’t just get thrown away. One of these things is bicycle inner tubes and plastic grocery bags. Rubber and plastic are very toxic products so I am starting projects that will incorporate recycling them so that they don’t end up in landfills or if they do they’ll be easier to recycle and brake down. I have a whole box of bike inner tubes waiting for my attention right now. I’ll be posting about that later. Yesterday I came across a great tutorial on etsy on how to turn plastic bags into a fabric type substance so that you can create reusable tote bags for shopping. This is my attempt at fusing plastic bags to create a fabric. 

I started with the amount the tutorial suggested of eight layers of plastic bags. I folded them neatly then cut the handles and bottoms off. 

 

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This is the result of that. I actually folded the eight layers in half here and created 16 layers which came out pretty cool.

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I used a heat press instead of an iron (suggested by the tutorial) to fuse the bags.

 

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I decided that those scraps of handles and bottoms needs to not be wasted so I experimented with fusing the loose pieces. After a little trial and error I found it worked fine. 

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I had the heat press a little too hot and the plastic stuck to the paper. 

 

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I’m excited to make more plastic fabric and create reusable shopping bags. 

 

Continued effort to get organization.

So since Organization is kind of my theme for this year I decided to make myself a portfolio for my calendar and notepad. I made one a few years ago for my business partner and he love his. I’ve been on the look out for a portfolio for myself. Mainly because it was a lot of work to make the first one for my business partner and the design of it wasn’t quite right for what I needed. I’m left handed and the one I made was right handed. Not only that but I needed to add a place for my notebook and a larger pocket to hold my tablet or any books I might need. You can see have designing a whole new portfolio was a daunting task. So I just waiting and tried to see if I could find something in the stores so I wouldn’t have to make it myself. Well, after almost a year of searching for the “right portfolio” I realized they’re all designed for right handed people with no option for a left handed writing situation. In every single portfolio I’ve come across the slot for the pad of paper or calendar is on the right and the misc. pockets for pens and what not are on the left. This was very frustrating. So I gave in and finally design a portfolio specifically for me and my needs. I took some time and thought about what kind of pockets I needed and where they should be placed. After that I came up with the pattern idea. Last night around 11pm I couldn’t sleep and wasn’t tired and was suddenly inspired (or rather tired of not having a portfolio) that I just set out and started working it. Before I knew it it was 3:30am and I was done. Here is my newest creation my business portfolio. 

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Simplification

In a quest to get organized and simplify the way I live and do things, I decided to downgrade my smartphone to an old school regular slider style phone. This decision has been looming for a while and yesterday I made it official. I went into the Verizon store and told them to turn off my smartphone and turn on my old school phone. They were a little like “what?” then I explained my reasoning. A few days ago I was sitting in a restaurant with my sister and I looked around, all the people were checking their phones and not really relating to each other. This is something I’ve started to notice more and more. People can no longer just sit in a place and enjoy the company of others. They have to constantly detract them selves with checking their texts, or emails, or Facebook. We’ve become a society of distracted people. Then I was sitting at my computer the other day and I got an email four different devices made noise to alert me to this fact. My computer made a noise, my smartphone, my tablet, and my laptop. It occurred to me right then how ridiculous it was that I had so many things connected to the internet. I decided that I simply don’t need to be THAT connect to anything. I found that I was too co-depended on my devices and that the sounds they made sent me running over to them as if something was that important. Nothing is EVER THAT IMPORTANT to receive only via email! If it was important someone would call me. So there you have it. For someone who sits in front of my computer most of the day or at least has access to it there is no reason to have multiple mobile devices that alert me to everything all the time. Now I’ll use only my computer for email and social media when at home and I have my tablet for when I’m not home. I really do not need a phone that is a computer also. Not only that but my smartphone would often freeze if I was running an app and a call came in. To the point where I couldn’t even answer the phone. A lot of times my contacts got deleted randomly. I’ve tried to make calls and its busy doing nine other things so it wont even open the phone app. Basically my smartphone wasn’t acting much like a phone. So I went back to basics and got me a phone that is just a phone. 

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Re- Organized my shop (living room)

So I’ve been very blocked creatively by the clutter in my house. I started this process a little over a week ago and its finally almost finished. I started minimizing and reorganizing my whole house. Starting with my bedroom where my piles and piles of clothes, both dirty and clean, were overwhelming the space. I finally sorted and organized and washed all the clothes and put them all away. This made me realize just HOW MUCH clothes I have and how unnecessary that amount is. So that then lead to me donating about two garbage bags worth of clothes to goodwill. I also threw out some stuff that was just taking up room in my room. My next step was the living room/office/shop. I live in a small one bedroom and it’s also where I work currently, that will change soon but for now this is my shop. I moved my couch and my TV into my bedroom with my bed and turned my living room into my sewing shop and my kitchen into my office space with my computer and files. My living room felt like a huge storage unit with no room to work so I though really hard about what about it made it hard to work and what I could change to make it more functional. I figured out that if I rearranged my machine and prep stations it would be more functional. I am very happy with the result. There a few more parts of the house I need to reorganized but slow and stead wins the race. I’d get overwhelmed doing it all at once. Next the kitchen and the bathroom. 

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