Sarahracha rhymes with "Frère Jacques"

Friday, April 2, 2010

Plastic bags

How did I start collecting plastic bags?
I think it all started while I was on a trip to London. I bought a book at an impressionists collection that was showing in the national galleries and the shop keeper handed it to me in this beautiful plastic bag that had a painting by Renior on it. The bag actually matched the book I bought. As I travel, I try not to hang on to anything that can add bulk to my small carry on bag but there was something about this plastic bag that made me want to keep it. I thought I could make something out of it so I folded it up and stashed it in the suitcase. I had seen fused plastic made into wallets and thought i may use the bag to try something like that. I ended up making this small basket.
oct 238

I started saving any plastic bags that I came across that were colorful.
My husband and I have always used cloth bags for grocery shopping. Every once in a while we would end up stopping at the market unplanned without our cloth bags and we would get those nasty plastic bags. Of course I saved them and reused them. Most shopping trips we don't bring home those plastic bags. That was until i figured out a way to incorporate them into my baskets by wrapping the white bags with strips of colored bags in the coil method to create baskets. Now every so often, when my stash is getting low I will do a grocery shopping trip to Safeway and not ask for paper or bring my own cloth bags.
The other colorful bags I save I don't seem to come across very often. I am not a big shopper. Most trips to stores I buy single items and refuse the bags. My biggest stash of bags right now is dog food bags, and the plastic packaging from things like costco paper products, like tp and paper towels. I do admit to being a bit of a museum store addict, especially books and I ended up with several bags from the legion of Honor, and de young museums in SanFrancisco. We are members and visit several tmes a year usually purchasing a book or two. Here is my museum shop basket

jan 085

My first attempt to create anything with plastic bags was a purse I made out of a johnny cat kitty litter bag. I lined it with fabric and I thought for sure I would be able to sell it on etsy. After a month of no interest in it at all I removed it from my etsy shop and gave it to a friend, who is a self described crazy cat woman and she loved it!
front of bag

I was finding the bags from the cheesecake factory beautiful and about as plentiful as their servings. I decided to try crocheting a purse out of the cheesecake factory bags but about half way through I got this idea to do coil baskets so I ripped the crochet out and started making a basket. It turned out great. I ended up gifting that basket to a friend who works in the cheesecake factory corporation.
recycled plastic cheesecake factory bags basket

It seems that when I travel I collect more. Maybe because I tend to buy stuff on vacation more than I do when I am home. We went to Disneyland for my 50th bday last November and I bought myself a pair of pjs. Always practical. I also bought my dogs some stuffed animals to kill... i mean play with. My daughter picked up some Alice in wonderland plates and I ended up with three very large beautiful Disneyland bags. I ended up making a mostly blue basket out of them.
Disney basket

When shopping and I am asked if I want a bag I say let me see it I have tried several ways to use the bags for the core of my baskets without wasting any. I think I have finally figured a great way to connect them without causing any bumps. Right now I am working on a basket made from bright green plastic bags a friend sent me. Every six months or so I get a package of her collection of bags in the mail. I am pretty sure this craft of mine wont last forever. There are already actions in motion to ban the plastic bag from the area I live and when that happens I am sure I will find something else to create with.