Catching up, 2/4: a little bit of recycling

Remember that draping experiment I did earlier this summer with the bamboo left over from my summer wardrobe skirt?

It’s now this.

The story: my (almost) sister-in-law’s birthday was yesterday, and seeing as how she’s going to be getting all sorts of practical things over the next month or so, between her shower (which I still don’t know when it is…grrrr…) and the wedding, I wanted to give her something that was more just for fun. My brother mentioned that she likes doing watercolors, so I decided to take that route.

I figured the bamboo would be a good choice for a paintbrush roll, since it’s supposed to be naturally anti-microbial and quick-drying. Plus she seems to like more earthy, neutral colors, and I wasn’t sure what to do with that shirt anyway, so unpinning it from the dummy and turning it into this wasn’t a big deal to me. My mom was kind enough to let me use a bit of a cotton print from her quilting stash for the trim and ties.

It was pretty simple to make– basically, I just layered a scrap of quilt batting between two of the larger scraps of bamboo and basted that together, folded another rectangle and topstitched that to make the pockets (I was basically pinning around the paintbrushes to ensure the larger ones would fit! Made it a bit bubbly, but at least they fit in there!), and made a slightly smaller rectangle to make a flap that would both protect the brushes and keep them from falling out of the top. The binding covers up the raw edges, and I sewed the ties into the outside with the ends also in the binding.

Besides the brushes, I also got her a small portable watercolor set and a pack of watercolor paper. If I’d had more time, I considered a tote or something to stick it all in, but then I keep telling myself that several of my upcoming projects are for her wedding and I need time to finish those too! (Especially the music I have to arrange!) And she seemed to like it, so it’s all good.

I really like how the brush roll turned out–I may have to make one for myself at some point. I’ve found myself really missing art lately. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it on here, but art used to be one of my biggest hobbies– I took it all through high school and even majored in it for my first semester of college. But I had a really rough time with that, and it became quite clear to me that music is where God wanted me instead. After I switched majors, it’s been hard for me to get back into anything beyond still dabbling in photography– I guess I lost my inspiration for drawing and painting. Or, probably more specifically, my confidence in my ability to do it. And I guess that’s why I kept up with the scrapbooking beyond my teenage years, was because that’s a way I can sort of still dabble in it. I don’t know if I’ll ever act on it beyond maybe trying to do some smaller artsy things in the scrapbook context (it is a time-consuming thing), but I’ve wished more than once that I could get back into it. Even if only in the context of small things like ATCs or watercolor sketches. Especially since making this, and spending a day recently at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with an artist friend. A girl can dream, right?


3 thoughts on “Catching up, 2/4: a little bit of recycling

  1. What a sweet gift. I dabble a lot with a sketchpad and went through a brief watercolor phase that maybe I'll come back to someday. 🙂 I would totally understand the inclination to go back to drawing and painting, and hope you will share some of your pieces if you do!


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