Artful Ingredients: Artistic Probabilities for 2011

I love to collect odds and ends to use in my art.  I have a moderate-sized stash of goodies on hand at all times, and always keep an eye out for new artistic possibilities.  I’m an equal opportunity collector, too.  I’m not just interested in new or expensive items.  I’m just as likely to select something inexpensive or otherwise destined for the trash.  Whether something cost $30 or nothing at all, it’s all treasure to me.

I’ve been plotting and planning lately, and have written down my goal for this year.  I’ve also chose some materials I’d like to use – one way or another – in upcoming art projects and I’d like to share them with you.  Here are some of the materials I’m planning on using in my artwork in 2011:

Plastic netting


This would have been trash, had I not rescued it.  Originally holding produce and sealed noodles, these pieces of netting now have almost limitless potential.

Caran d’Ache water-soluble crayons


I love working with these glorious sticks of color!  It’s time to pick them up again…

Embroidery hoop & thread


I’ve purchased a book teaching and illustrating embroidery stitches, and plan to learn at least one stitch per month this year.

Joss paper


There are many types of joss paper.  I love this orange and metallic gold combo!



I have some of these oh-so-old photos in my vintage photo collection, and they’re calling to me.

Glass tube-y electrical components


I don’t know exactly what these are, but I knew I had to buy some for my artwork!

Cabinet cards


These photos would like to come out and play as well!  I reserve the right to use different images, but will make use of cabinet cards in 2011.

Wooden sewing box


This is one my pricier purchases; it was around $30 at an antique store in Missouri.  It’s suuuuuuper cool though – trust me.  The way it opens and can be displayed is so unique!

Mailing pouch


These express mail pouches are virtually indestructible, and I’ve wanted to make something with one for a while now.  2011 is the year that function and form will meet.

Metal muffin cup


Most people would’ve eaten the muffin this cup held and then thrown the pleated cup away.  I’m not most people.  This piece of metal will live again in my art!

Please keep an eye out for these materials in my artwork in the upcoming months.  Their inclusion may be subtle, so it will take a keen eye, but they’ll appear.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my Artful Ingredients…

Warm regards,

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  1. Posted January 9, 2011 at 10:16 am by Jenny Hilborne | Permalink

    How cool. You are certainly creative. Look forward to seeing what you make with these items.

  2. Posted January 9, 2011 at 11:30 am by Eric Graf | Permalink

    Those tubey things are radio vacuum tubes, the predecessor to the transistor. Look in the back of any operational antique radio and you’ll see several of them. They were very inefficient, they gave off a lot of heat, and they would go bad and have to be replaced regularly, but they could sure sound nice. Some terribly expensive audiophile amplifiers still use them (although probably not those specifically).

  3. Posted January 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm by Ellen | Permalink

    What treasure, i love produce netting. My family makes fun of me, I too collect odds n’ ends.
    Wonderful finds…love the crayons, photos and wooden sewing box. I look forward to seeing what you come up with~

  4. Posted January 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Hi Jenny,
    Thank you for the positive feedback. It should be a fun challenge to make something nice from all these things – thank goodness it doesn’t have to be done in one piece!

  5. Posted January 9, 2011 at 7:59 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Thank you for letting me know about the vacuum tubes. So interesting! I look forward to seeing what you think of the artwork I make with them…

  6. Posted January 9, 2011 at 8:00 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Hi Ellen,
    It’s good to know I’m not alone in my odds and ends collecting. Thank you for reading, and for posting a comment!