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Ewing shares craft ideas, projects
Making something out of anything
Pat Ewing of Martinsville shows a small sampling of some of the man crafts she has made. She finds inspiration anywhere, and she can make decorations from practically anything. (Bulletin photo by Holly Kozelsky)
Sunday, May 6, 2012
By HOLLY KOZELSKY - Bulletin Accent Editor
If Pat Ewing sees it, she’ll know how to make it into something else.
Crafter Pat Ewing likes to do “a little bit of everything” when it comes to creative handiwork. “I like recycling” things she finds by turning them into craft components, she said.
Her Martinsville home is full of her crafts. A central area in the home is organized meticulously with all of her supplies and a work desk.
When she sees a potential material, “I feel like what it should look like for me,” she said. Then she cuts, paints, glues, sews or whatever else is needed to make it happen.
Take the plastic roll center you’re left with once the transparent tape runs out. That makes a perfect base for a Santa Claus — made of a painted burnt-out light bulb.
“I don’t waste anything,” she said.
Some of her other tips are:
• Margarine tub lids can be used for several things. If you save many of them, cut out the centers and discard; wrap the rims in ribbon and use as loops for hanging curtains. One can be used as a base for a lamp shade on a candlestick. Create a game by cutting grooves and challenging the player to get a little ball in the correct groove or hole.
• “There is a secret to a lot of this,” she said, sweeping her arm to show all types of decorations, cards and doo-dads on display. “It came out of wallpaper books.”
Books with wallpaper samples have a square of wallpaper on each page. With retired wallpaper sample books, Ewing has a supply of fancy, decorated papers to make an array of items: cards, announcements, fans and folded paper art, just to name a few.
“If you look at it” creatively enough, she said, “you always see something in a picture.”
• When Ewing saw a box full of new test tubes destined for the trash, she saved them and turned them into Christmas gifts. She filled tubes with small candies. She painted the cork top as Santa Claus’s face and glued on little hats.
• Plastic grocery bags can be crocheted together to make a tub-side mat for the bathroom.
• Interesting looking rocks catch her eye, as do fancy or designed papers. Even an advertisement for a car repair service can have a second life as a craft. Flaps of the advertisement with just illustrations would make great beginnings for a card for a man, she said.
Ewing, 63, and her husband, Jerry, moved to Martinsville six years ago. Before then, they lived in Triangle, where she was the only female officer in the rescue squad, she said.
She started tinkering with crafts during her working years.
“Every so often, I’d pick up something I like, bring it home and play with it.” During conferences and meetings, she’d doodle and draw people to pass time.
Her husband interjected: “Oh, she’s been fooling with that for I don’t know how long,” he said with a grin.
“About 20 years,” she estimated.
In 1997, she “came down with colon cancer and that’s what stopped me from running rescue,” she said. However, the cancer was cured. She attributes that in part pure living: She does not smoke or drink.
Her children are Bruce, a police officer in Florida; Virginia Macedo of Indiana; Jackie Brichetti of Florida; Jerry Jr. of Roanoke; and Michelle of the home.
Her appreciation for uses of household goods extends to her philosophy of life.
Ewing advises not to take anything for granted. “Always feel that God’s given us a good day, and I’ll use it and appreciate it and be thankful for it,” she said.
Here Ewing explains how to make a variety of projects with things you just may have around the house.