and in the dream

and in the dream, i got the bouquet i ordered at the farmer's market, but it wasn't worth it. something about it just seemed subpar. i woke up mouthing words, saying to myself that it wasn't going to unfold to my expectation. a custom work that crosses the line and makes me turn money away on it's heel, a place that isn't exactly the one i wanted. details unattended to. mistexts. needing help from everyone but can't ask.
yes it may sound like trash, this life. but the flower arrangement is perfecto.

you have to order them a week in advance, but it's totally worth it. available from george at the country market at sunset beach elementary every saturday. he's the one with the hat and galoshes. grows every morsel himself. $7. bring back the container for a refill, get $2 off. it's only the best farmer's market ever! the vendors are limited in that all items must be made in hawaii. with tons of talented artists to boot...

i have made two exciting sales in the past week or so...to wonderful people on the mainland through my website.

^^^detail from Pine Boxes and Pillows

^^^But None to Drink

But None to Drink is a prediction about the lack of sustainability in this complex world, referencing the widespread water shortages and inspired specifically by the drought in the southeast last fall. the one that finally killed the well on my family's land. a memory from childhood, the crackled surface of dried up mud in the driveway, rust.

Pine Boxes and Pillows goes in a different direction. more layering and patterning, more personal. a postmodern assessment of the traditional concepts of gender being abandoned, yet all we are left with is a power struggle. and we all lose. but we do not move, don't even budge. and then we're found inside a window, inside a box. but not in the ground, the way it would have been had we followed you.

i am drawing a line here, connecting some dots. i am forging a connection here, the connection of understanding our roles and responsibilities of showing appreciation and respect: as human beings to one another, and to our environment. 'the personal is political' see. (c. hanisch, 1969)

ok so here's the bottom line...
i got some trash here, right here.
a month's worth. this is it.

gonna try to do something with these items...i must admit, i'm astounded. there's not even enough stuff here to fill one grocery bag! and hey maybe these things are recyclable in your neighborhood. a lot of these items were marked with that possibility, but as i probably mentioned 82 times, the islands are limited. so this is what i might throw out tomorrow, or the next day in case anyone has any ideas of how to reuse. and some of it i will rip or cut into tiny pieces and add to the pulp on my next papermaking day.

the rest of my 'leftovers' are a bit more inspiring though...

a bag of lids,

and some other dope raw materials...

i can't wait to see what's next...



just kidding, it's not that bad. hi it's me jess again and good lord i am TIRED. commuting, using up all that petrol, working workin workin! i've been bad, it's true. the other night i got home after some 12 hour day PLUS drive time and i totally threw out the *horrors and shivers* styrofoam coffee cup from zippies that my well-meaning and wonderful customer bought me that morning. AND this afternoon i bought steak plate from malama which totally comes in a stryofoam standard container. what is going through my head??? why did i not have my coffee cup with me that morning? why did i not bring a container with me to malama? well, all i can do is try to do better. and i keep laughing at myself for these little breakdowns. i mean, before this challenge, making trash was just a part of life. now it's something i'm overly concious of and conscientious about, which is a huge improvement, and not likely to change just because the end of the month is looming.
i totally found a place to live. and it's close enough to my new workplace that i can easily walk. i timed it today, it's between 1o and 20 minutes. signed a lease and everything! so that's good news. i'm trying to start packing, but again, have i mentioned i'm a wee bit tired?
an extra special thanks to dayva and ashley for helping me pick up the slack! i am excited about the breaths of fresh air they are infusing into this blog, new challengers and good information!
will anyone mind if i continue to post the artwork i'm making from recyclables? i have a feeling this is a theme that will be hard to escape, and i would love to share the progress i hope to make once i have a more dedicated studio space (in town!) woohoo!
oh! and i heard they completely banned plastic bags on maui. we're making progress out here slowly but surely it seems...



The only good thing I can see about summer coming to an end is the start of a new monthly challenger!!
Jessica has been amazing all through July. So many interesting and crafty ideas to help reduce and re-use.
With only a few days left in August I wanted to introduce our September "No Trash Challengers".
Erik and Shannon Bator from Needham MA. These two have been reading the blog since day one and are ready to join in on the fun.
I can't wait to read their posts!
Thanks to everyone who is helping make less trash in the world, keep reading!

Dummies Guide to reusing bags

Ashley here (July "challenger"). I don't at all mean to intrude / interrupt Jessica's posting (which has been fabulous!), but I just came across this video on Dave's blog over at 365 Days of Trash about reusing bags and it is really helpful and down to earth and I wanted to share it. Plus, he has driven a good amount of traffic over here so this is our way of saying thank you!

Please enjoy. He gets to the good part—how to tackle dog poop bags, coffee bags and other things— toward the end so hang in there!

And if you enjoy this, be sure to check out his website where he has posted another video, "How to Cut Out Single Use Disposable Items". Essentially, this is a starter kit for people looking to go trash-free. Really helpful. He even throws in some interesting facts (which I always love), such as the fact that last year, Starbucks gave out approx 52 billion disposable cups! That's insane.


the first day of the last week...rubbish reused!

aww look at this little coziness at faith's house...this town thing might not be so bad. especially since it seems like i have already found the perfect new place! hold your breath for me that everything goes through! although i will miss this...

but the trade off is grand; a world of possibility, and so many new exciting creative minds...

what a great idea right! one of my new friends / co-workers makes these books, and they are perfect! seamless craftsmanship, and mine is already filling right up with notes and graphs and sketches and appointments and directions and such...the things you can do with trash and a long armed stapler...


so even with the new job that started right away, the apartment hunt, and my business being really really busy, i as well managed to make some new art out of trash! from this piece, i already got quite a spendy commission! pretty exciting. i love what one gentleman said about this piece when i displayed it with some other artwork on saturday, "now that's intelligent." and a little girl asked me if it was a map. my heart might burst from all of this great feedback. i have a lot of raw materials still to work with, tons of little scraps are piling up in my studio to be reoriented into artwork. but this week is gonna be rough on me. probably moving, first day of school is thursday, and i need to work every single day through the end of the month! still, i will find the time to rinse all of that would-be-trash; even if i don't make all of the trashy art this month, hopefully i can find a way to share it! and even with the move, i think i can pull off some sort of sustainable something to be proud of. junkraft comes in this week! how exciting!! don't forget to check their progress, http://junkraft.blogspot.com/



i am about to fail miserably on this challenge! i tried desperately not to get this new dream job, even putting the wilted lettuce from the starbucks sandwich in my pocket (oh horror as if i didn't smell bad enough after bike riding town and blowing glass all day.)

but alas now i am gainfully employed as a teacher's assistant by an amazing glassblowing program at a very prestigious school in downtown honolulu. good lord! my life is really changing! it's been the same for SO long! so i need a new place to live, pronto. preferably in makiki, and preferably a place to myself. come on world, cough it up! cause literally i am about to have to financially. dayva, i so wish i could just move into yours and faith's old place!

anyways, but i...how in the EFFF am i gonna move and not make trash??? any tips kids?
and whoa my time just got so limited. now i have to operate my business, start a new job, and make no trash. wish me luck!


rough week

ok i'm past halfway. i think i can do this.

crazy Crazy week. my life is up and down, highest highs lowest lows. the low is bad. my car!! you don't even want to know. but something amazing is happening too...

so i'm quick to admit that this completely trash free thing is totally impossible. it's not normal. i'm already weird enough k! going anywhere where they have anything is completely productive in the trash department. so anyways, in a place where not much is recyclable and most of that recycling occurs elsewhere, i am truly trying to find some sort of "trash self-sufficiency." perhaps trash truly can be a part of my repertoire as an artist! this idea about the art i want to make is huge and all consuming...people are digging the wallets i'm starting to make, and are wanting to see bags. i need to go get a respirator, even though i kinda like the smell of warm plastic. but i have a whole other idea...wanta see where i'm at now? getting closer...it's just a rough sketch...but just wait.

stitching this recycled paper (next batch i'm gonna add some blue felt and see what happens) to fused plastic to create contours of silhouetted landscapes and cityscapes with lampworked flowers stitched on, stretched on canvas. oh my lord where did this idea come from???
from this blog. i'm so excited.
even though this

looks rather daunting.
it's not. it's not even that much! just the 2 bags in the middle. and most of it i can turn into recycled paper or plastic fabric.

but. there is one serving of mac and cheese i couldn't finish in the back of the fridge, along with a half thing of kidney beans, and half of some costco size thing of ham in the lunch meat drawer. should i let them sit in there till the end of the month, or make some trash? and speaking of costco and trash, today i was so starving there was nothing else i could do but shove a slice of costco 1.99 pizza into my system. my friend was like arent you going to blot the grease off that and i looked horrified, 'but i don't want to have to carry around that napkin.' so i ended up with some spurt of grease at the end that fell onto my face. sick!!!!! but i just went to the bathroom there and washed my hands and face and used no paper towel and instead used the extra water on my hands to style my hair. and i rolled up the paper plate and foil and carried them home for some washing and reusing. (don't tell, but i am so very tired of washing and reusing).

now i know this sounds crazy, but i still have a job! so forgive me for spending some time with this...

saving my glass scraps for some future meltdown fusing extravaganza...

and wondering if my days on the north shore are suddenly numbered...


paper or plastic

is this what armageddon looks like?

"and i'm knocking on the doors of your hummer, humma..."
i must admit my vision of the future is bleak, at best.

but what if this garbage is just a blossom, and from it comes some wild fruit...

fusing plastic is totally addictive. for a tutorial, check http://etsylabs.blogspot.com/2007/05/long-overdue-fusing-plastic-bag.html
or check with me for availability, because i have, oh, a million and one ideas about this. it's like layering paint, only it's plastic! it's like a collage only it lasts. and i have always made wallets, it's just that before i used scraps of tyvek. this is waaaay better. $20 who's got $20 right!

yeah i know, i'm all blingin with my love's bakery supercuts granola wrapper wallet. don't hate!

>paper or plastic<

^^^^^^tell me what to do about this...is this awesome like this? should i stitch it up and hang it like a quilt? should i paint or draw on it? add tiny glass trees to it? sandwich it between sheets of glass and build a frame? i've been staring at it all day. this is the majority of the trash i made during the first week and a half of this month, mostly single ply boxes into handmade paper and plastic bags into fused plastic composites. i love it. if you would like to learn how to make handmade paper, check

hot dogs, chicken tenders, pepperoni, sausage, yeah basically i'm just eating processed meats so i don't have to throw out no bones. this meal was great. i saved the single ply pizza box for the next papermaking, put the corrugated underthingy in with recycling, reused the plastic as fused 'fabric,' and all of the veggies came from the farmers market so there was no packaging there...

the only thing i've thrown away at all recently is the disgustingness of the dish drain after doing dishes. that's it. i'm saving everything else, and either gonna find a use for things, or figure out some way to send things to be recycled. it just seems like the carbon footprint to send things to the mainland for recycling would be too huge. but i really don't know how i could reuse these stupid things, like what maybe i could use this empty shaving cream can as a pretend microphone in the shower? i don't think so...and the lids and bottlecaps are adding up too...


something stinks and it's this

woke up this morning to the sound of a garbage truck, checked on paper pulp peeyew that stinks. now i'm about to evacuate my house because that rumbling truck noise i've been hearing outside is producing some toxic smells, in the form of an apparent cesspool pumping. it's all about the glamour baby.
i will be driving to wal-mart to make some very important, allbeit trash producing items. the list includes an iron, an ironing board, some parchment paper, and a blender. then a little stop at ace hardware for some window screen. hopefully by the time i come home, it will be time to convert some of this stink into beauty (and that noxious beast of a truck will be gone).
an extra special thanks to ashley and dayva for not only the props but also for the ideas! priceless...


cement and plastic sittin in a tree

in the beginning there was a new beginning...more than just some empty nest. more than just walking on eggshells. we saw so many eggshells along that path...

how can people not appreciate this planet, in all of it's fragility...

too bad my dad and brother didn't get to share in the family fun this past week. i wish my brother didn't have school and work, and that my father didn't hate plane rides and / or hawaii. see hawaii really does suck as far as hiking along trails and seeing trash. dad, i don't think i can do much about getting rid of the sand that you hate. sorry. i understand cause i inherited a little bit of your irritation with grit on the floor. but now i'm hooked on picking up litter, at least. a tiny little impact one person can have, but i can see it, and that matters! maybe one day people here will take the trash out of the woods, and off of the beach instead of vice versa.

now this is weird.

i'm gonna put the trash out tonight. there's still a lot in the thingie but i do have a roommate and i did have houseguests, and it smelled like a lot of it was from before. yum! later today, i plan to ride my bike up the way with the recycling because this...

...is useless. more of a yard decoration than anything actually getting used. why did they even bother to put these at people's houses if they don't actually pick up?? do they?
anyways, it's no problem. i need to take a bike ride, i have orders to drop off at the post office, and i should give my little economical car a break for a second.

glamour shot!

sorry world but i do love having a car! i just only like to use it for adventures and work. that's it. errands, little visits to friends can easily be done by bike. i love being utilitarian about the bike riding, combining responsibilities with exercise just makes good sense.

kerplunk is the sound of the lilikoi hitting the ground, i have a second ear for it like i do for the postal truck.

here is the neighborhood compost pile! i took all of the compostables out of the freezer and walked with my neighbor, emily, for the first dumping. yup you just throw it right here. smells pretty rich!
composting is easy, just don't put any meat products out there. eggshells are good though.
you can bring a shovel and bury things, or you can come back later and watch the birds have a feeding frenzy. i would recommend the latter.

composting was immediately rewarding. not only did i discover a breadfruit tree on the property, i also found a small broken purple plastic star with a smiling face. awww. i LOVE trashed toys, and have quite a collection of funny things from my walks into haleiwa. near the school i always find the best stuff, like calculators that have been run over. this was one of the best parts of being carless for 8 months last year. my collection just grew and grew.

ah yes i found a use for that brown cow container already!

i'm gonna make paper. now all of the paper or cardboard i can't recycle will find a new home. not really sure exactly how to do this, although i've made beautiful paper before...for now i'm just soaking some would be trash in water, and thinking. something about creating the packaging for the artwork i make. anything. some way to use this crap.

rinsing bags, and thinking.

this is all going to add up soon. all of these things i cannot throw away. i don't want to make junk art! it always looks, well, junky. plastic bag wallets with bottlecap details? i don't know what to do. weave plastic bags? how come i can't recycle these things?? this is gonna make me crazy.

pop quiz:
which one of these bottles can you recycle?

soft sucks!! soft squishable containers do not have a recyclable emblem on them, and the symbol on the hard plastic one was almost undetectable. i had to fully take off the lid. just so you don't have to, it's the one on the left.

air dry.

dern. why'd i have to notice a plastic bag floating way far out. made for some good exercise, specially since that was all it was. once i got out there i realized it was a plastic milk jug and it was attached to ropes and nets. *sigh* at least other people are reusing too!


shake it baby show me what you workin with

i did this just as much for you as for me! i can never remember what they accept here as far as recyclables. it's limited, it is. once my family leaves, i plan on doing some research about recycling within this state. i've always heard rumor that it's pointless out here, that there is no facility that actually recycles so all this sorting is in vain and everything ends up in a landfill. i have a hard time believing this, especially with foundations like kokua and the schools being involved. i feel like i'm about to be an artist moonlighting as an investigative reporter.

speaking of being an artist, i also have another project lined up for myself for this month. i sell my glass artwork through two sites, etsy.com and ebay.com. i have usually favored etsy, but i recently learned that ebay will donate percentages of profit to the foundation of your choosing. there are a few designs that scream for this: the bonsai tree designs i make need to benefit the environment and the heart designs need to benefit victims of domestic violence.
i already feel quite fulfilled by my career on so many levels, but adding this donation option will help me feel like these little glass things are serving some greater good.

here's something delicious i whipped up for my mom, sister, and roommate the other day...starfruit, apple banana, mango, pineapple, and banana lilikoi...all from local farmers, and from our own harvest (my raw foodie friends should be very very proud). the optional drizzle of yogurt did come from the grocery store but at least it was brown cow cream top and i always reuse the containers for paint when i do murals.

by the way, i'm pretty proud about the lack of trash from the past few days. sunday the waiter at cholos was too efficient and whisked away my plate before i could hide the paper napkin and tiny plastic container from guacamole in my purse...something great i've been noticing is that i keep on joining the clean plate club! especially when we have gone out to eat, i'm ordering with more conciousness about what is the right amount of food. it would be okay to have leftovers, because one of the best changes that has occurred in haleiwa town since i moved here over 5 years ago is this: styrophobia. to go containers are no longer epidemic! check www.styrophobia.com for more information.

another cool blog i came across: lifeonplasticearth.blogspot.com
katie is making me consider things i never paid much attention to. packaging and plastic are everywhere! and, she may be interested in trying out this challenge as well. exciting!
a cool site that she turned me on to: www.cosmeticsdatabase.com

guilty admission: i ate something off a paper plate yesterday before i thought about it. and i went to the movies and had quite a bit of the popcorn and soda my mom bought for us all. enough to feel like 1/3rd of the waste was mine:(

next up, composting! i'm learning so much during this crash course...