I just finished a nice batch of my upcycled metal lid ornaments and I’m happy with the way they came out. This was supposed to be a springtime collection, but somehow some skulls got in there, lol.
I’ve got one more set of spring-related artwork to complete and then I’m sure I’ll get back to some spooky, kooky, gloomy, doomy Halloween stuff.
Check out my Pinterest board below for beaucoup craft ideas and inspiration for making your own recycled metal lid ornaments.
How to Make Upcycled / Recycled Metal Lid Halloween Ornaments
If you’d like to make these yourself, here’s a tutorial I made. Have fun!
How to Make Upcycled / Recycled Metal Lid Halloween Ornaments
I finally completed my batch of fairy mushroom houses, yay! They are photographed and ready to head over to the Bellefonte Art Gallery. Hope they find good homes…
Group of Fairy Mushroom Houses
To make these fairy houses, I raided our recycling bin for plastic containers: creamer bottles, yogurt cups, marshmallow fluff jars, smoothie bottles, etc. I cleaned them thoroughly and painted them in bright, happy, spring colors. I made the doors from paper clay and outlined them with miniature paper flowers. This was a fun project and could probably be completed with children, should you choose to try it.
If you need inspiration, please check out my Pinterest board:
Follow Trilby Works’s board Fairy Houses in the Garden on Pinterest.
I don’t know why I like robots so much. Not real ones – they kind of freak me out. Although I am somewhat fond of the benign little Roomba that circles our house, sucking up cat fur and cracker crumbs. No, the ones I really love are the found object robots made from household junk.
I Heart Bots
A robot is defined as
- a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer
- a machine resembling a human being and able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically (especially in science fiction)
- a person who behaves in a mechanical or unemotional manner
The word comes from the Czech word robota, meaning ‘forced labor,’ and was first used in 1920. Synonyms for robot are: automaton, android, golem, droid.
Follow Trilby Works’s board I Heart Bots: Robots Rule! on Pinterest.
Found objects robots are a new popular modern art genre created from combined and often modified found objects resulting in a recognizable figured piece in the form of a robot. The phrase found object originates from the French term objet trouvé, literally “found object.” Found objects can include any item with a non-art function like tin cans, old tools, household recyclables, kitchen utensils, vintage toys and games, automotive parts, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.
Here’s an Etsy Treasury I made of colorful, happy robots of all shapes and sizes!
My father grew up during the 1930’s Great Depression and the subsequent World War II years when it was common practice to collect trash metal for conversion to weaponry, ships, tanks, and planes. His family also saved newspapers, bottles and caps, jars, cans, cooking fats, fabric, rubber, aluminum foil, pots and pans, and even old toys. Some of this recycling spirit and thriftiness rubbed off on me! Today I save metal and plastic lids from bottles and jars, plastic containers, old wooden toy parts, interesting labels and papers, old tools, ribbon and string scraps, vintage books and many other items.
Lately I’ve been putting those plastic containers to good use by using the pieces to assemble my mushroom fairy houses, as in the photo below.
Mushroom Fairy Houses in progress
I glue the tops and bottoms together and then cover the surfaces with either decoupaged colored tissue papers or textured stucco paint. Doors and windows are made from molded paper clay and decorations are from random bits and bobs in my craft stash.
I love the idea of converting trash into art! Here are some projects made from household trash.
A silly monster made from a glass drink bottle
This Hippo Witch is made from a peanut butter jar
Butterfly Pixie House Door by Trilby Works
You can make mushrooms from plastic containers
Pine Cone Stone Fairy Cottage using two rectangular food containers as a base
One of my “Oddballs” creatures made from a plastic creamer lid.
If you want to do this, here’s some inspiration from my Pinterest board.
Follow Trilby Works’s board Upcycle, Recycle: Plastic Jars and Containers on Pinterest.
For me, artwork inspired by the beauty of springtime is all about color: vibrant sky blue, vivid new growth green, and sprinkles of crocus purple, bold orange, sunbeam yellow, and rich pink. And my favorite part of spring is the explosion of flowers in my garden.
A Springtime Celebration
In this trio of works, I started with canvas board and painted a background of blue and green. I added canvas flower shapes topped with bottle caps attached with heavy gel medium. I drew abstract flowers in Adobe Photoshop and printed them out onto thick paper, cut them out with a punch and glued them into the beer caps with matte medium.
A Springtime Celebration
Two of the collages have green floral wire for flower stems with leaves made from paper clay and painted green. The other piece uses green twine from the dollar store for the stems with folded and cut masking tape for leaves.
A Springtime Celebration 3
I covered the entire surface of all three canvasses with Liquitex pouring medium for a shiny, glassy finish to reflect the brilliance of spring.
This was a really fun project, with a happy, cheerful result! These paintings will be available for sale at the Bellefonte Art Gallery soon.
If you like collage flower paintings, check out my Pinterest board:
Follow Trilby Works’s board Collage Painting: Happy Flowers on Pinterest.
In January and February, when winter’s frigid claws strangle my creativity, I struggle to appreciate the beauty of the season. This Etsy Treasury lends inspiration!
I also have a Pinterest page by the same name:
Follow Trilby Works’s board The Long Cold Hand of Winter on Pinterest.
In art, theme conveys the message or broad idea of a work or group of works. Themes are often universal ideas; that is, explorations into life, society, or human nature. Themes are usually implied rather than explicitly stated.
If you are trying to create a cohesive body of work, or prepare your artwork for an exhibit, you might find it helpful to choose a theme so that the pieces “hang together” (no pun intended). The list below should help you get started.
List of Art and Exhibit Themes
- 3D Art
- Aboriginal and Native Art
- Apron Strings: Ties to the Past
- The Beauty Myth
- Bizarre and Surreal
- Bring in the Clowns
- C is for Consciousness: Your Rich Inner Life
- Casting Shadows
- Conflict / War
- Creations of the Night: Art Inspired by Dreams
- Creepy / Spooky / Eerie / Strange
- D is for Disrupt; Risky, Rebellious Art
- Decay / Rusty / Grungy
- Drip, Dribble or Splash
- Duality / Yin Yang / Light Dark
- Elements of Design: Line, Color, Texture, Shape, Form, Value, Space
- Emotions: Love, Hate, Desire, Jealousy, Envy, Joy, Compassion, Fear
- Eyes from Above/Below
- Fairy Tales
- Famous Landmarks
- Found Objects
- From Natural to Abstraction
- Full Circle
- Gardens / Flowers / Plants
- Great Outdoors
- Glassy and Glossy
- Head in the Clouds
- Heroes / Heroines / Archetypes / Gods / Goddesses
- Humor / Fun / Silliness
- Inspired by Great Artists
- Interactive Art
- Is Anybody Out There? Artworks About Outer Space
- Kinetic Sculpture
- Landscapes, Real and Imagined
- La Vie Quotidienne: Art of Everyday Life
- Light and Shadow
- Lipstick and Rouge: The Emotions of Red
- Local Inspiration
- Loneliness / Loss / Solitude
- Masks for Full Moons
- Medicine / Anatomy
- Meet the Parents: Art of Moms and Dads
- Messy & Sloppy
- Metals / Metallic / Shiny / Lustrous / Golds / Silver
- Mythological Creatures
- National Identity
- Nature & Environment
- Opposites Attract
- Ordinary to Extraordinary
- Out of Place
- Outdoor Art
- Paw Prints: Artworks of Animals
- Personality Through Sculpture
- Picture books
- Principles of Design: Pattern, Contrast, Emphasis, Harmony, Scale/Proportion, Balance, Rhythm/Movement
- Reflections & Shadows
- Renaissance / Rebirth / New Beginnings
- Romance / Love
- Seasons / Fall / Spring / Winter / Summer
- Seeing Things in a New Light
- Seven Deadly Sins
- Shattered Images
- Slice of Life
- Small Art / Tiny Art / Miniatures
- Souvenirs from the Sun: Vacation Artwork
- Stages of Life: Growing Up, Boyhood, Manhood, Girlhood, Womanhood, The Crone, The Maiden, The Mother, Children, Fathers, Mothers, Grandparents, Death
- Take Me Away
- The Great Outdoors: Landscape Art
- The Heat is On: Summer Artworks
- The Way We Were: Art About Nostalgia
- Through a Window
- Time and Space
- Unique Mediums
- Weird & Wacky
- Who’s Your Helga?
- Winter Wonderland
What would you add to this list?
Yay, Delaware! We may be the smallest state, but we have a lot to offer, including beautiful landscapes and cool goods. Check out some of them below:
One of my favorite Delaware photographers is Eric Zippe. Here’s a screen shot of his Etsy shop, featuring my favorite print: Osage Orange.
Eric Zippe Photography Screen Shot from Etsy Shop
If you’re a local Delawarean, you can find Eric’s art at the Bellefonte Arts Gallery. I really need to get in there and buy this print!
Last Sunday my family had a wonderful time exploring the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts here in Wilmington. It was one of the museum’s Free Family Sundays with a theme of Build it Better.
2016-01-17 At DCCA 10
There were two work areas set up for kids to make their own art that my crew gravitated to immediately. The first was set up on a long table set with empty glass bottles, yarn, glue, scraps of paper, and scissors.
2016-01-17 At DCCA 1, cropped
The idea was to make something with the items at hand. We came up with a sort of stringy octopus creature using yarn to cover the bottle, some bottle caps for eyes, and a yarn mouth.
2016-01-17 At DCCA 5
The second station had sheets of newspaper and tape – that’s it!! – and people were rolling up the paper into tight, long tubes and taping them to other tight, long tubes to create open, airy architectural structures – neat! My gang made a “swing set”, which definitely needed an explanatory label attached to it for identification purposes, lol.
All in all, it was a fun afternoon. I recommend it for anyone living in the Delaware area.