So for all you beautiful visual learners out there, Trashy…
Being in love with the art of recycled damaged and outdated books myself, I know you all are going to fall in love with the work of Charlene Rucker! She runs an Etsy shope called Diddle Bug, where she turned old books into beautiful flowers, they are out of this world! Here is her interview below 🙂
1. When did you first get into crafts, and have you always been into recycled/upcycled crafts?
I have always been into crafts, from the time I was a kid. I also hate to throw things away…which can lead to recycling in one’s art. My paper flowers are a direct result of me not being able to throw things away.
2. What is the story and inspiration behind your work? What do you do when you get a creative block, how do you get inspired again?
I was directing the annual musical at my local high school and we were doing Music Man. For the library scene, I wanted a wall of book cases, but that would be really heavy. My husband is a librarian and I found out that the library had a lot of books that were destined to be recycled because they had been withdrawn and had been for sale in the book sale and other ways of getting rid of them and they had reached the point of being recycled. So, I took a lot of them and cut off the covers and spines and glued the spines to boards to make book cases. Then I had a lot of book pages and I couldn’t bring myself to just throw them away. They sat in my house for quite a while. I happened to get some roses as a gift later on that spring and after looking at one, I thought maybe I could make one out of the book pages. I took the real rose apart and made a petal pattern then glued together a rose. A friend told me he would buy a dozen to give to his wife for her birthday…and my little art project began to take off.
My biggest inspiration at the moment is my customers. They are always coming up with great ideas of new things for me to try. Often these experiments end up in my Etsy store.
3. When did you first get into crafting and art? Do you typically work with the same mediums?
I have always loved art and crafting and have done various things from a very young age. My family, including my grandparents and aunts and uncles has a very high ratio of artists so it seemed very natural for me. I do a lot of different kinds of art, apart from working with paper sculpting, I enjoy painting, especially in water color. I also enjoy doing all manner of art and craft projects with my two kids, ages 6 and 8.
4. What project are you most proud of ever making?
I don’t know if this is something I am most proud of, but certainly memorable was the first big wedding order that I made out of book page flowers. The bride was having a Night Circus themed wedding, which is one of my favorite books. I was actually working with her mother on the project, but I had so much fun, figuring out all the details and then they sent me photos from the wedding. It was so great.
5. What do you like to do for fun when your not making art? What is the one things people would be shocked to know about you?
I do a lot of theater work. I am very involved with community theater in my town as well as directing shows at my local high school. I am very lucky to have a beautiful, historic opera house just down the street from my house where I very often get to perform or attend shows.
Something shocking about me….I have a Master’s degree in Entomology and before I had my children, I worked for the State of Michigan battling invasive species.
6. Why do you think the Eco-Friendly, Recycled, Upcycled Movment is so important? What is your one best tip for a small change anyone can make in their life to be kinder to the environment?
For the most part, we have so much, so many things. There is a lot of beauty and a lot of art to be found in things that people throw away.
Be sure to connect with Her….
Etsy store is: Diddlebug.etsy.com