Archive for the ‘Recycled’ Category

Easy Method How to Make Altered Art Books



Altered artist book creator Isobelle Ouzman was featured in The Artists’ Magazine in October 2015 (above) and several blogs. The most fascinating part of her process, for me, is the very simple tools she is using to make such complex work: an X-Acto knife, Sakura Pigma Micron pens, glue or glue stick and watercolours. I love that her style has so much detail and fine lines, like an intaglio etching. I love that she is carving into the book and making it into a bas relief sculpture.

If you feel badly about destroying a book to make art, George Takei shared a photo on Facebook that makes a suggestion on a certain work of fiction that is in abundance which could stand to be upcycled. Get your pencil, pens and X-Acto ready to try this process. There are enough volumes to transform for free or cheap.


50 shades of grey takei






Recycled Art: Basket Bird House

March 31, 2016 1 comment



Spring is coming, more or less, to Chicago. As the days warm up, our feathered friends are going to be looking for their own cool condo. You can help them out by recycling baskets into a bird house!


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Categories: Recycled, Uncategorized

Recycled Motherboards Installation


107 by Shaikha Al Mazrou, 2009, circuit boards


I saw this piece in the Robert Morris University gallery downtown and it has a terrific presence based on its size. This is where the grid and manufactured color come together with recycled materials. I think many if not all of these circuit boards were laptop motherboards since the prongs for the CPU chips were visible on many of the pieces. In addition to the colored boards being arranged, all of the solder lines and solder points for the boards give the installation depth though the secondary, intricate pattern of metal throughout the whole surface.

Recycled Art: Mosaic Art Bowl

September 15, 2015 2 comments



Do you have an old wooden salad bowl? I was given one but I also see wooden bowls crop up a lot at thrift shops and yard sales. Get one if you want to recycle it into a mosaic art bowl. This is a fun, easy project to make an old wooden bowl into something much nicer.

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Recycled Art: Crochet Fabric Bowls

September 3, 2015 3 comments

how to crochet basket bowl


This is a fun craft to use up fabric scraps or recycle old clothes. T-shirts cut into strips work well. I made these two small baskets above and went on to make some larger ones with stripes. The frayed edges of soft flannel were interesting while a stiffer fabric like denim looks good but takes hand strength to crochet.

This video shows two ways to recycle t-shirts into fabric yarn and the mechanics of crocheting a fabric basket / bowl. There are a number of videos and patterns online but the basic mechanics are the same: you make a circle and crochet upward in a spiral to become the walls of the container. This is easy and a good project for beginners, too.


Categories: Recycled, Video

Tree Change Dolls artist transforms, improves Bratz dolls

April 6, 2015 1 comment

Artist and mother Sonia Singh of Tree Change Dolls in Australia has made a big impact by recycling and altering Bratz fashion dolls for girls. The hand altered dolls are being hailed as more natural looking and less sexualized than the mass market dolls and I agree. See the short seven minute documentary video on her concepts and process below. She has how-to tutorial videos online that describe her methods and invites others to participate.

Street Art Found: Collage Artist in Chicago

February 17, 2015 Leave a comment

Street Art @gruelestate Chicago 2015


I pounced really fast to snag this street art giveaway, found tucked into the front of a RedEye newspaper box. Years of living in the city and I’ve never found free art before this and not for want of effort on my part. The artist, @GRuelEsTatE, has a portfolio showing the series, currently at #1 – #69. I have artwork #41 “Many Moons.” The works are made of vintage magazine and juxtapose imagery. It’s a wonderfully consist series of work and the pieces range from snarky to surreal. There is no contact information so this is work being done for the sake of expression and the fun of treasure hunting. Another site found via Google possibly identifies the artist as Deb Pressman.

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Categories: Chicago, Collage, Graffiti, Recycled