Category Archives: Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Plastic Bags To Sleeping Mats, What?

March 8, 2013, by

This blog post is on a project I have completed (and continuing) for the Hurricane season course, where I was to create a sleeping mat from upcycling plastic grocery bags. The purpose of this project is to take an action against an unnatural disaster and mine is misuse and non-reuse of reusable objects and sources. I am proud that I have been able to work ont his project because it has made me grateful for so many things that I have and that I know about. What I learned from this project was that to up-cycle is to have great amounts of fun and also I learned 2 different stitches for crocheting. Please read on and see what I completed for this project and the time it took me to do it! There is a video here on how to make it also! Check that out too!

DIY Upcycled Sleeping Mat from J M on Vimeo.

The link to the double stitch video is in the description of the Vimeo post.

sleepin mat

Statement of Purpose

The problem I am responding to by taking this action is the problem of the misuse/non-reuse of reusable & non environmentally friendly objects. My intervention for this problem is to create a sleeping mat out of plastic bags which is a form of upcycling. Upcycling is taking an object that had previously been used and creating something new from it. I am doing this action to show just how many uses we can make for a bad pollutant. What I hope to accomplish with this project is to bring more people to see just how much we misuse objects and pollute with simple things we get every day. Something that I wish that I and other people can get out of this project is the ability to become more creative and be able to upcycle more reusable objects.


    The effects my project had were great on a personal level. After completing this project, it shows me just how much waste and pollutants we create by doing little things. I feel that now, I want to upcycle more and what I mean by that is I want to maybe continue making these mats just with more time and less hassle. I also am motivated to become more creative and start upcycling with more objects.

     The most rewarding thing for me was the ability to even say that I would like to recieve donated plastic bags and actually recieving some. The reason why that is rewarding is because it really shows you whether other people were listening to you and what you had to say. It was also rewarding to be able to learn how to crochet different stitches and to also learn how to upcycle in fun ways.

    The most challenging part for me was… having to work and create my mat within the time I had for the project. I really liked that it was challenging though. I liked it was challenging because it showed us just how to take action and upcycle.

    What I will do to keep this action affecting this community is by creating a video on how to upcycle these recycled materials. I will continue to affect the community so that people realise almost just how much we pollute and waste even if it is just with a little tiny thing.


Hello GCE!
So for those of you who don’t know in Hurricane Season, our 4th action project is to interact with the community and make a difference through tackling an unnatural disaster we disagree with and wish to make a difference on. My project in particular is a take on up-cycling (reusing materials) to decrease the amount of plastic we toss into landfills. I plan to do this by collecting Plastic grocery or shopping bags people in our community no longer are using and I will be crocheting them into sleeping mats for the homeless of our city to show them a little bit of comfort in a time in which they may not have much comfort.
But, in order to complete this task, I NEED YOUR HELP! 😀 I am going to need a lot of plastic bags for this project and I am wondering if the community of GCE will be willing to help out with this project by donating your very own plastic Jewel or shopping bags. It would be extremely generous and nice. 2 Requirement for the bags though are: they must be clean but have already served one purpose, and they must be PLASTIC!
Thank you all for taking your own time to read this email.And I hope you are all staying warm on this cold day and that you donate some bags! =D

– JM

Dreamcatcher – JM

March 8, 2013, by

This is a blog post about the magic of making a dream catcher and learning about its magic. The purpose of this piece is to show just how amazing the dreamcatcher and its power is. I am proud of being able to create this dreamcatcher because I am not very artistically adept. What I learned the meaning of a dream catcher on a normal basis and a spiritual basis and I loved learning both of these.

dream catcher foreal doe


     The materials that I have used for my project are paper, paint brushes, blue paint, white paint, red paint, and brown paint. These materials were used to paint a dreamcatcher. Dream catchers are not tools like many people of our culture today think. According to the native people who created the dream catcher, they have a lot of spiritual meaning.

The dreamcatcher is structured in a way so that the meaning of it is portrayed through however it is made. In my dreamcatcher, I have center that is created by a web that makes it look as if it moves into oblivion. I have it like this because I want it to symbolize the great mystery (what I believe is the ability to question everything). I had this weaved into the middle of the web because I believe that if we question things a little to much, we begin to loose the focus of our lives. My dream catcher has blue and white beads on it because I believe they symbolize the essence of peace, clarity, and calmness. The feathers hanging down from the dream catcher are the main passageway in which the good dreams flow down from the web. I have a web that is complex enough to catch the toughest of bad dreams/thoughts and to know to allow the good. I chose red paint for the web because I feel anger towards bad dreams and anger causes blocking of things and I also feel a color of anger is red.

My dreamcatcher symbolizes my fear that I want to block because my fear is the fear of questioning to much. I feel that my dream catcher truly blocks this fear. I feel this because the center of the web is the great mystery the reason for that is that my dream is supposed to not have to deal with bringing up really scary questions.

I feel that the dreamcatcher is a really strong elemental and spiritual tool. I feel this because I feel the meaning is to allow your superego to grow. The superego are the thoughts we previously pushed away and I think thats allowed to grow when you have a dreamcatcher because it opens the concious and unconscious because it allows you to have dreams in your unconscious that you want to remember when you are conscious.

I think that if I were to use this dream catcher, I would hope for it to let in dreams that at least have some of my fears in them so that my dreams enforce my acts of good. I would hope that the spirit of the dream catcher would see the source of the bad thoughts and let in only dreams that would aim towards me being against those bad thoughts and ideas.