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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Making embellishments out of rubbish

Are you getting your free food? The hedgerows round here are full of big juicy blackberries at the moment. I've had my eye on some for a few days, across the road on the village green, but they were a bit too high to reach. Not to worry, last night I took my step ladder over there and picked a big bowl of them. This is a mixing bowl, almost a pan full. All boiled up now and strained. I'm going to use the juice to add to drinks, rice pudding, porridge, and cereals. Would go nice in a fruit smoothie as well. I made some ground rice pudding and added some juice, made it a lovely shade of pink. 
Hows this for swaps. I gave my friend a big courgette and he gave me a large portion of rhubarb and blackberry crumble, and half a pot of cream. Very nice, I like this swapping lark.

I've been adding to the picture again. The big grey flower now has a red border round it, and I have made some flowers out of aluminium drinks cans and an empty tomato puree tube. Did you know you can cut the top and bottom off the tubes and open them up, they are gold inside.

If you want to make some, here's how you do it. First draw your shapes onto tracing paper, or greaseproof paper. I have three different sizes here. Then cut the top and bottom off a can or tube with large scissors,and cut the side open so you have a flat piece. Use a pencil to transfer your flower shape to the tin, and cut round it with a pair of nail scissors. 
For a piece of artwork I made before, I used them coloured side up. For this one I want the metallic sides up.

Lay one on top of the other. When you have the petals in the position you want them grip tightly between thumb and finger of left hand. Then puncture some holes in the centre so you can pass a needle and cotton  through them. You can finish off with a button on the top, but I have some flat beads which have holes across the width rather than top to bottom. After stitching them onto the fabric, I have added some small black beads to keep the petals flat.

Cutting up aluminium cans is not suitable for young children, older children should be supervised. The edges can be very sharp, easy to end up with cut fingers if you are not careful. Anybody else fancy making some metallic flowers? You can use them to embellish all kinds of craftwork. You could puncture holes all around the outer edge and sew them onto fabric or card with a running stitch or blanket stitch. I'll leave you to play around with it while I carry on with the picture. Thanks for stopping by.
Toodle pip.


  1. No, I didn't know the insides were gold, I'm going to take a look at one, I'm sure I'll be able to make use of it.
    thanks for the tip.

  2. I also did not know the insides were colorful, nor would I have ever thought of cutting up a can to make a flower! You are incredible.

  3. VERY pretty...but not one for Blue Peter!

  4. Exchanging food is so exciting. I love it when I can do it with my workmates. It feels right.

  5. My daughter (15) has arranged for friends to go blackberry picking tommorow. We'll make a pie or crumble when she gets back (love the freeness of it all as well as keeping the kids happy in the holidays). Wanted to tell you.....drum roll.....I made my first tote bag today after I was kindly given an old 60's Jone's machine. It is not to your standard but will do the job and I will practice. So excited about making my own bags! Debbie.

    1. Well done Debbs. They can only get better, keep at it.

  6. When I saw the title of this post and the picture of the blackberries on my sidebar I thought to myself 'embellishments made out of blackberries aren't going to last very long' .... trust me !!

    The tubes being gold inside is a revelation, what made you look?

    1. Hi Sue. I never take things at face value, I want to look inside everything. I am nosy.

  7. I spotted a couple elderberry bushes earlier on when they were in bloom....I had my mind of making a couple batches of jelly (my favorite) and when I went to check on them a week ago....they were gone....bulldozed under. I couldn't believe it....they're developing the land where they sat. I had a lump in my throat when I saw it....I had plans to not only use the fruit for jelly, but cut some branches to start in my yard. I'm still looking any time I go for a ride in the country. Janet


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