Betsy Greer X Mr. Cart: Our logo in stitches
Yes, we have yet another very pleasing and exciting new addition to our Uncollection!
The latest contributor to our Artist Series is none other than Betsy Greer, now the proud owner of a Mr. Cart-stitched shirt, thanks to, well, to her own effort. Betsy has been exploring the idea of Craftivism for a while now, both thinking about and acting upon the intersection of craft and activism. Among other things, she’s the author of the very thoughtful and useful Knitting For Good! For a more recent project, see her anti-war graffiti cross-stitch. “I want to open dialogue,” she summarizes, “instead of closing it down.”
Up next for her: With Sally Fort and Inga Hamilton, she’s working on QR-3D, which “invites anyone, anywhere, to create a textile QR code and share it on a Flickr pool; works will be selected to be shown at Cornerhouse, Manchester, in autumn.” (Learn more about Betsy and her work here. She also blogs, and tweets.)
Bottom line: We’re really psyched she agreed to be a part of our efforts to make Mr. (or Ms.) Cart an emblem of creative reuse.
I used Cat Mazza’s KnitPro program to transfer the Mr. Cart image to a graph (above; click here for a PDF). Then I stitched Mr. Cart directly onto a t-shirt using Rayna Fahey’s tutorial on how to add cross stitch to fabric.
If I had to do it over again, I’d probably use 3 strands of embroidery floss instead of 2, as when I stripped away the aida cloth the stitches weren’t quite as crisp as I was hoping. But I still really love the result!
We love the result, too.
But those of you who are paying attention will have noticed that our logo appears inverted on the resulting shirt! Why would that be? To look better during handstands? Or so that the wearer can enjoy Mr. Cart’s traditional smile by glancing down at her (or his) shirt?
Neither. Once more, Betsy explains. You’ll like this:
To me, our job as writers/makers/crafters/creatives is to open dialogue. And, of course, as we’re all different, we all have our different methods of doing so. My approach (not that it’s unique; in fact it’s the bedrock of many of us involved with cultural production and/or critique) is all about putting forth something that looks familiar at first glance, but at second (or third) isn’t that at all. I like the way that approach allows readers/observers to come to their own conclusions and — more importantly — develop their own response, based on their own comfort level, either by asking questions then, dismissing (or misinterpreting) the work entirely or by letting the work unfold in their mind later. As creatives, we are both permission givers and dialogue openers, so I like involving the reader/viewer directly in my work.
When I was trying to get a photo of the shirt, I took it to work and had a co-worker snap one. While we were doing so, another co-worker came into the room and saw the logo and smiled and said something like, “Cute! A little shopping cart!” and then paused and added somewhat confused, “it’s frowning.” My response was something to the effect of: “It’s based on consumerism and consumption being too ubiquitous.” More pausing, followed by a smile and a thumbs up. And that open space for her to get my meaning in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational way pretty much sums up exactly how I would wish all my work to be received.
Cool answer! Of course, you can orient the logo however you like — sideways, even.
Big thanks to Betsy Greer for being part of the Uncollection. What are you waiting for? Join in!
Diane Gilleland x Mr. Cart: Reviving old T-shirts with fabric patches
We’re proud and excited to bring you the newest contribution to The Uncollection. (That’s Unconsumption’s do-it-yourself “ultimate lifestyle brand: all lifestyle, no products for sale” — any old item, object, thing, stuff, that gets a new life by way of anybody who wants to incorporate our logo into or onto it. You are encouraged to add your own stuff to The Uncollection, and post the results on our Facebook page.)
The second contributor to our artist series (following Tiffany Threadgould) is the fantastic Diane Gilleland: the Editor-in-Chief of CRAFT, she also publishes CraftyPod, a blog and podcast about making stuff. And as you’ll see, she’s pretty handy with the actual crafting, too.
Here she explains what she did, and how:
Old T-shirts seem to have a way of proliferating — most of us have a drawer (or back of the closet) full of them somewhere, and they show up at thrift stores regularly. So for my contribution to The Uncollection, I thought I’d make use of this ubiquitous raw material. I thought it might be fun to add contrasting fabric patches, making it clear that graphics are being deliberately covered up. And then I stenciled Mr. Cart over the patches.
Here’s one tee (above) before I started. I measured the screen printed area, and cut a big patch from another old shirt to cover it. I cut this patch about 1” larger on all sides than the graphic area.
To adhere the patch to a T-shirt, you can use one of two methods. For a small patch like the one above, on a different tee, I fused it to the shirt with fusible webbing. You can find this wonder-stuff in most fabric stores. Steam-a-Seam and Heat-n-Bond are good brand names to try. Just bust out your iron and follow the package directions to do the fusing.
Or, for a larger patch like the one I added to the orange shirt, you may want to sew it down. I just folded under ¾” on all four edges of the patch, pinned it to the shirt, and sewed around all four edges with my sewing machine.
Next, I printed Mr. Cart at the size I wanted him to appear on the shirt. I taped some freezer paper (shiny side down) to a cutting surface. and then taped the print-out on top of that. I carefully cut all the outlines with a craft knife.
Tiffany Threadgould: Shrinky-dinked Mr. (or is it Ms.?) Cart Earrings!
On Monday we announced we’d be sharing the things that Tiffany Threadgould, author of the (awesome!) new book ReMake It! Recycling Projects From The Stuff You Usually Scrap, made, incorporating the Unconsumption logo.
Above (and below, actually) is the finale in this series of three: A pair of earrings made with recycled plastic! Tiffany explains:
To remake your very own recycled plastic shrink jewelry, you’ll need #6 plastic (found on most deli lids and clear plastic takeout containers), scissors, hole punch, permanent markers, aluminum foil, an oven, an oven mitt or tongs, and jewelry findings.
Use your markers to draw your own designs — like Mr. (and/or Ms.) Cart — onto the plastic. The plastic will shrink over 50%, so keep that in mind as you’re creating. Since the plastic is clear, it’s easy to place an image under the plastic and trace. Cut out your shapes. Use a standard 1/4” hole punch to punch a hole in near the top of your piece.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your plastic piece on top of a folded piece of aluminum foil. Aluminum foil may be hard to grab once hot, so be careful as you remove it. Keep an eye on your plastic. It usually only takes about 30 seconds to cook. Carefully take out your plastic piece and add your jewelry findings. Your new shrink jewelry will have big style.
For more inspirational yet practical remaker projects — 95 of ‘em in all, involving all manner of materials — check out ReMake It! Recycling Projects From The Stuff You Usually Scrap.
The Unconsumption team thanks Tiffany for this incredible work!!
Tiffany Threadgould: Turning glass bottles into lovely vases
Earlier today we announced we’d be sharing the things that Tiffany Threadgould, author of the (awesome!) new book ReMake It! Recycling Projects From The Stuff You Usually Scrap, made, incorporating the Unconsumption logo.
Here’s the first one: A pair of glass bottles remade into lovely vases after having been etched with glass etching cream. The brown glass is an empty container of vanilla, and the clear one (with tulips) was a bottle of kombucha.
To make your own glass etched project of Mr. Cart or your own design, you’ll need a glass jar, electrical tape or vinyl sticker paper, scissors or a craft knife, glass etching cream like Etchall, and a paintbrush.
Create your design on your glass with the vinyl tape. Any area that is masked off with the tape will not be etched, so keep the positive and negative space in mind as you’re creating your design. Once your design is taped on, follow the directions on the etching cream for application.
Most etching creams take about 15 minutes to set. Once the cream is set, wash it off and you have a new-to-you glass jar with your own personalized design.
It’s clearly a great way to remake old glass jars into personalized creations.
For complete instructions, see Project Number 88 in ReMake It! Recycling Projects From The Stuff You Usually Scrap.
And if you’re inspired to create your own reuses of our logo, post a picture on our Facebook wall. Maybe we’ll feature it here on the flagship blog! Help build the Uncollection!
This week: Tiffany Threadgould repurposes our logo!
We could not be more thrilled to announce the special team-up that we’ll be sharing with you this week! Tiffany Threadgould, of the heroic RePlayGround, will be unveiling some amazing Unconsumption-inspired creations on this site over the next few days, in conjunction with her new book (more on that below).
When we introduced our logo a while back, it may not have been particularly clear what function a logo for a project like Unconsumption would serve, since it’s not like we’re going to start selling branded merch! But the idea came up that we could simply make the logo “available” for anybody who wants to use it on things they already own. The concept in a nutshell: Take an old T-shirt you don’t really wear anymore, print our logo on it — and it becomes, on some level, a brand new T-shirt!
The result would be The Uncollection, the first-ever line of products consisting of stuff people already owned. It’s the ultimate lifestyle brand: All lifestyle, no merch!
Which brings us to Tiffany Threadgould…
When we got wind of her book ReMake It! Recycling Projects From The Stuff You Usually Scrap, we sensed an opportunity: Maybe we could convince Tiffany to make use of our logo in one or two of the excellent how-to projects in her book.
And she said yes!
So we’ll unveil her creations, and share more about her and her book, over the next few days — starting this afternoon. For now, rush over to RePlayGround for more about ReMake It! and all the other stuff she does. (And you can read this Consumed column about her work, too.)