Long ago and far away in a land called Ann Arbor, I was a child growing up in the consumerist 1980’s. Many people in Ann Arbor were ahead of the curve on recycle-reuse including my mother, and when the Scrap Box was founded, she used to take me there, first to get art supplies, then to volunteer and later on for one of my first jobs.
There are many kinds of work needed to keep a place as vibrant as the Scrap Box up and running, such as sorting scraps into bags, bins, and boxes; unloading the van into the stock-room; cleaning and organizing boops and bops from floors and incorrect bins; and even running the cash register. But my favorite job was when we got new scraps because then they would let me make some samples.
In part because of the joy of working with scraps as a child and a young adult, I’ve grown up to be an Artist–Teacher who uses and re-uses materials to share beauty and discovery with children and adults alike.After many years away from Ann Arbor– in Chicago, Madrid, San Francisco, and LA– I arrived back to the area last August, and the Scrap Box is still teeming with wonderful possibilities for educators, artists, and consumer conscious locals. Though there are now lots of other recycle-reuse art warehouses across the country, the Scrap Box is still one of the most vibrant and wonderful places I’ve had the pleasure to explore.
Because there have consistently been a lot of long strands of ripstop nylon fabric whenever I pop into the Scrap Box, I decided that it was time to come up with an idea to share with you, the Scrap Box enthusiast, to utilize these under-appreciated scraps! Recently, I’ve been excitedly crocheting some rag rugs based on some of my drawings. The rugs are made from strips of torn up sheets sourced at local second-hand stores. The strips are similar in width to the scraps of ripstop, so it struck me that the same technique might apply.
Given the season, and the beautiful bright colors of the prolific scrap strips of ripstop from Cameron Balloons, it seemed like a good idea to make a tiny fluffy Easter basket to show how to turn this great junk into a greater treasure. Since ripstop is so slippery, the uncut knotted ends make for good Easter-grass padding with which to cradle your eggs!
Here’s a how-to video made using time lapse photography so you can get the idea of the steps without wasting too much time on watching every stitch.