I'm new to the site and am still trying to find my way around all of the wonderful tutorials. I discovered this site by finding some snowflake earrings made from a plastic bottle, and once I signed up, I lost the page
Anyways, a bit about me. I'm over 35, happily married for 16 and a half year, have two teenage sons (one turns 16 in July, the other is 14) that I homeschool, and 5 furry feline house mates named: Garfield, Spooky, Bandit, Nibbles, and Minnie...all are boys except for Spooky and Minnie. Garfield and Spooky are siblings, and the other 3 are Spooky's children (this is what happens when your kitty "goes for a walk" a month before getting "fixed" because your niece thought it was "funny" to let her outside).
Ok, enough about my odd little family. I'm a recycling crafter, and have been for most of my life. I enjoy scrap quilting, gardening, scrapbooking, paper making, and making/recycling/upcycling toys, the latter of which began when I was a kid (I was raised by my grandparents, so I learned to make Doll Houses and their furnishings at a relatively young age). I keep a lot of "crafting" resources that to most people would be "junk" and probably the biggest one of these is paper that I recycle into handmade paper for stationary, journals and scrapbook embellishments. I also make envelopes out of old calendars and magazine pages. But my current obsession is...dollhouses. This is an obsession that comes and goes several times a year, but one that I really enjoy and use to "give back" in more ways than one. The area where I live is mostly a farming type of community with plenty of churches. Depending on environmental factors, the local job market, etc. you never know how many children will be left off of Santa's "nice" list, but most years our community ranges well over 100. This is where my dollhouse creation/recycling/upcycling comes into play. I make the houses (for boys and girls..but the boys are Super Hero Lairs), deck them out, and include dolls/action figures. Since most of the time, the dolls/action figures aren't "new", I include them in the houses. I spend MONTHS of every year rummaging through garage sales and thrift stores looking for toys to recycle. SOMETIMES I luck up and find actual doll houses that I can refurbish with some paint and furnishings, but most of the time those are very difficult to come by so I build them with recycled materials (cardboard, paper mache, and odds and ends from around my house and old toys...like pegs that go to games that the pieces are lost to, Jenga towers that are missing blocks, etc.) I clean up Barbie dolls, Bratz Dolls, Monster High Dolls, Ever After High Dolls, Lallaloopsy, Polly Pocket, etc. And make them clothes and even extra clothes. I do similar things with action figures...but my youngest son has informed me that Spider Man and the Ninja Turtles don't "need" extra clothes (tried making clothes for his action figures a few years back). Both of my boys are well aware of my dollhouse obsession and often "donate" unwanted/outgrown items to the project. And starting when my youngest was about 9, he began specifically ASKING me to make him "Super Hero Lairs". He had one previously that was made for a Christmas that my family had no money for gifts due to my DH becoming disabled. I refused to let Christmas go by without at least 1 present per child under my tree. My oldest was into stuffed animals and my youngest was into action figures...so I made a teddy bear from an old brown sweater that I shrunk in the dryer and the batting from a pillow that had seen it's better days for my oldest son and I made a "Super Hero Play Set" for my youngest son. My oldest son still has the bear, but the playset for my youngest was destroyed in 2005 when our home and my inlaw's home were hit by a tornado the night before Easter. The bear would have been lost too had my oldest son not been sleeping with it at his Nana's house.
Hi Ali and welcome! I'm glad to meet another paper maker. I love making it, too, and am on a paper making design team in the U.S. for a couple more months. I've been on it for 2 years so feel it's time for me to step down to do other things I enjoy. I loved reading about everything you do. Thanks for sharing!
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