Secret Lab

This page should be a sort of playground, where I would like to show some of my hobbies and experiments. In this page the newest entries are at the top of the page.

Saving my long time friend Tandoori (30th April 2014)
Tandoori is a rubber chicken. You know, one of those party trick-chicken? Well, he is one of those.
My sister and her boyfriend gave me Tandoori when I moved to London, to not feel alone. The first weeks in London I used to go to work with Tandoori in my bag. He captured the attention of my colleagues, he is such a magnet for people!

He followed me in several movings, he also came with me to Berlin. Well, after all these years I was very shocked when I noticed that the plastic, of which Tandoori is made, was litterally melting, probably due to its unstable chemical structure.

To save Tandoori I decided to copy, sew and substitute every part that was going corrupted. You can see the result in these photos: Tandoori is now almost completely a cuddly chicken, he's doing great and he is totally safe now!
Tandoori rests after a very successful "body change"!

A particular of the body

The feet are still partly original

The head is still original...Tandoori greets you all...

I thought to post this little story because it might inspire you, if you want to save a old toy but you don't have all the pieces of it. It might be also give to that toy a new artistic dimension.

I was thinking to renew vintage Barbies in this way, finally attaching back their arms to the body.

How to make socks and gloves -almost- immortal (9th April 2013)
I am one of those people who get affectionate to clothes, even to socks and gloves.
I know, it sounds a bit strange but some of them are so nice and still new when the holes develop, that I feel it is a pity to throw them away.

So, I had a thought and tried to use them again: the first example is a pair of mint colored wool gloves I bought in London. They were particularly nice because they were long armed.
First thing I cut the fingers and kept them to make finger puppets later.
Then I closed the open stitches and embellished with a satin ribbon...around the thumb I had to sew by hand while the rest was done with the sewing machine.

Last but not least, a couple of buttons from the magic-buttons-box and here they are, my new mittens! I really like the colors combination.

My "Frankenstein Socks" were very straightforward: I cut the "leg" of some destroyed socks (for some mysterious reason in a couple of weeks at least 10 pairs of them simply self destructed, after years of honored service). I sewed all these pieces together,very simply, to form a kind of hose.
Then I found a pair of socks too short to be worn (if not in summer) and with the sewing machine I attached the hoses to the top of the voila'!

Now I don't have to part completely from some of my favorite socks, they just reincarnated  in a new form. Obviously you have to be into colored stuff, to like them  ;-)

I hope you like these very simple ideas and they will be of inspiration to recycle old fashion accessories.

Business  card holder (9th August 2011)
Finally! I made this card holder for my two different business cards, out of recycled plastic bags and using the same technique of the wallet (bottom of the page). I embellished the borders with a green ribbon and it can be closed with a violet rope. What I like most of this cardholder is the palm motive on the external side (it was a Vietnamese food-shop bag) and that is made almost entirely with recycled materials (even the red bead is from a collection of old beads and buttons a friend gave me).

This technique offers really many possibilities to create objects from recycled plastic...I have a couple of other ideas to experiment with it.

Hope you like it. :o)

Bag for a friend (12 September 2011)
Last year I visited one of my dearest friends in Paris. As we went to the supermarket for the weekly shopping I noticed that for her using the usual canvas shopper bag was painful: these kind of bags are not designed for carrying heavy weights and the result was that they actually sawed her shoulders!
Back home I designed this bag with a large comfortable strap and solid handles but thin enough for smaller hands, like those of my friend.

The decorations are made with scraps of colorful fabric I bought in a small local shop Frieda Hain. I tried to make it very strong and durable, so I added a lining

The handles and the strap can collapse inside the bag, so that it can be use to suit any "shopping mood"

That's it! I really hope it will help my friend to keep her back and shoulder healthy!

Wallet made of plastic shopping bags (8.September 2011)
Last year I went to a upcycling workshop in Kunstoffe, a fantastic organization in Berlin that educate about recycling, store and sell reclaimed materials, organize exibition of recycling art.
The workshop was about how to recycle normal plastic bags in new and useful objects, like bags, covers, etc.
I made with very simple technique (that involve an iron, a ironing board some material and oven paper) a few objects and this wallet is one of them.

Normally it is not necessary to refine the object but I thought with a couple of ribbons and beads would have looked better. I also made a strap which attaches the wallet to the inside of the bag: this should make the life of a pickpocket a bit harder!!

To add a bit more strength I sewed it with the sewing machine. I used several different plastic bags and "bubble-plastic". An overview of this technique (though a bit different from the one I learnt in the course) can be found here:

And here...