A piece of unexpected art equipment

If you’re like me and you haven’t totally divorced yourself from Amazon, you probably have received more than one piece of blue-and-white bubble wrap packaging from them. That packaging may be hard to recycle, but it’s dead simple to repurpose. I’ve used one of these plastic sleeves for several years, it’s the perfect size, and more than likely, yours may fit you perfectly too.

“Perfect size? For what?”

It’s a modern version of my 1950s Girl Scout Sit-Upon, of course.

Here’s all you need to do to make yours:

1- Cut off the sticky part at the end of the Amazon bubble wrap envelope so it doesn’t cause trouble later.

2- Then you fold it in half, or fold it in quarters, and tuck it into your travel art kit. I have a very small backpack I keep stocked up for grab-and-go sketching. Then all I need to do is fill my water bottle, and I’m off and running.

In case this is not obvious yet, your bubble-wrap sleeve is the perfect size for your butt. Yup, no other word for it. The great news is that the next time you go out sketching and the only place to sit is on a wintry granite bench or a bumpy stone wall or a wet wooden step, no problem! You just put your Amazon mailing packet down first, then you set yourself down. Ahh…

Back a zillion years ago when I was a very young girl, I was a member of Brownies, the American junior version of Girl Scouts. One of the first things we did in Brownies was create a “sit upon.” All we needed was:

  • two butt-sized rectangles of Girl-Scout-green oil cloth (a pliable plastic-coated fabric with a cotton mesh backing. It’s like waterproof canvas, great for things like picnic table covers.)
  • a small stack of newspapers
  • a paper punch
  • a long, long piece of bright yellow yarn
  • a big fat sewing needle

(Keep in mind the Girl Scout colors back then were kelly green and bright yellow; now they are green and white.) We measured the spacing carefully, then punched holes around all four sides of both pieces of green oil cloth. Then we made the layer cake: oil cloth with green side down, then the newspapers, then second oil cloth, green side up. After aligning all the holes we threaded the fat needle with the fat yellow yarn and looped our way around all four sides.

Voila, an instant tushy cushion!

We were supposed to use them for all the wonderful camping trips, and all the other fun things you do outdoors in Girl Scouts. Unfortunately I either drifted off or the troop disbanded, not sure. I think I actually sat on mine maybe twice, but making it is still a vivid fond memory.

So now I have this much simpler version, and it makes me smile to remember how long I’ve been playing with yarn, and how much I just love my creature comforts. As I write this, I am sitting outside on my bubble-wrap sit-upon, on top of a very, very cold granite stoop, in front of the candy store where I live (yes, I literally live above a candy store!). It’s a cold, autumn Sunday afternoon, and I’m about to go sketching with my good friend Patrick.

What more could I want? I feel like all of you are my new scout troop now. Look at that! 🙂

Latest updates: the book is right on schedule for November 22nd release. Also, I have added the “Look-at-That Art Pouches” page to this website. This coming week, I plan to do a bit of work on the 82 photos of the 41 pouches I’ve made so far, and of course weaving continues. My Esty page needs more work before it can launch too. Never bored!

Life is so good, once you’ve found your passion.

Burlap bag from Aigas Field Centre (Scotland), fold-up chair by Road Scholar, sit-upon courtesy of Amazon, and sketchbook is a wonderful discontinued version (of course) from Michael’s Craft Store. (“Why a chair AND a sit-upon,” you ask? You never know where you’ll decide to sit!)

About Bobbie Herron

I live surrounded by watercolor brushes and paints, fountain pens, sketchbooks, and journals- often wanting more than anything to write and paint at the same time. If you like what you're reading, feel free to share it with others. If you see something that needs correction, please let me know. Thanks for visiting!
This entry was posted in 2- Bolts: Sketching Tools, Look at That! book, Look-at-That! Pouches, My Story, Sketchbooks, Sketching tools and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A piece of unexpected art equipment

  1. thebigshedart says:

    Brilliant and inventive as always my friend! Can I add that a good length of the very large-bubble bubble wrap makes an excellent, soft and insulating sleeping mat, and strips of the even larger rectangular air pockets, if each is carefully trimmed, thus releasing the air, give a little pile of very useful tiny plastic bags. Whilst all this may not quite be saving the planet one bubble at a time, in these cash-strapped times, isn’t it great to know you can usefully recycle bubbles 😁.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beth Harwood says:

    It’s funny you should bring up Amazon bubble bags right now. I just received a teensy weensy watercolor brush in a one of those very large (just the right size for my tush) bags. When it arrived I looked at it sadly, thinking I’m singlehandedly destroying the planet. Now I know just how to upcycle it.

    Liked by 1 person

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