Full of beans….

Full of beans….

Hi there,
Thanks for dropping in.
Monday’s blog flowers and trees, right?
Well, let me share something I found in the back room of a little church here in Torrance County, New Mexico.

This area is a very poor area.
A place of outstanding natural beauty,
but poor nonetheless.

It was a work of art in progress.
 Upon closer inspection, I saw that the ingredients were 
died rice
peas and beans.
Carefully and lovingly laid and set with PVA glue, 
one grain, one pea at a time.
In the corner was a picture from a book, 
which was being recreated.
Isn’t this just brilliant?
The frame was made out of old weathered wood, 
and sanded – to avoid splinters.
What struck me was the simplicity of it all.

Not that the artwork was simple -not at all!
In fact, it was a most intricate piece.

No no. It was the absence of crafting materials which struck me.
No embossing machines, or dies, or blending tools, or brushes, or ink pads, or heatguns
or anything. Not even a pair of scissors or tweezers.
And the little room was so modest.
No nothing, except this artwork table and 3 chairs.
I wonder who the artists are. How old they are….
Which just goes to show that we don’t need all the gadgets and gizmos to be creative.
When we have next to nothing, 
but can still make art this beautiful, that’s what I call inspired.
So tomorrow, I think I will make something from nothing. 
Well, not nothing.
Something from around here.
I may use a pen or a pencil though…
Want to join me?
Get your thinking cap on. 
Let’s see what we artists are really made of….
email me a picture of your creation: 
Leave an uplifting comment.
Give us some ideas!
much love,

59 thoughts on “Full of beans….

  1. I have been thinking along similar lines lately. So I'm going to sell the gizmos i don't use and just stick to what I enjoy crafting with. I will certainly get my pen and paper out later and email you what i end up with. Hope you're having a fabulous break over there, would you bring a wee bit of sun back with you 🙂 xx Claire

  2. Oh no! What am I going to do with all my craft stuff ! Lol! Not showing the other half this blog!! I think I've seen something like this before . How marvellous that all you need is a few basics from the store cupboard. I'll look forward to tomorrow as I'm supposed to be teaching myself how to draw bit I'm scared to make the first move! I've got a lovely teach yourself book brand new pencils and drawing book ! I'm still working on the boots have done two Zentngle and plan to,could in the big pair by looking at a pair of mine to see the shading , Looks like you're having a lovely time Barbara and Dave – carry on xxxx

  3. In the past I have used different shaped and coloured pasta, lentils and dried beans to make some amazing creations with the children at the hospice I worked at. They had a great time, and it was cheap! As messy as they wanted it to be. What about a beautiful New Mexican sunrise/sunset with the shadow of a tree or local foliage? I wont have time to be creative and send it to you but I send my creative vibes your way. Enjoy your break, the pictures sure look amazing from where I am sitting, in the flesh they must more so. Thanks for sharing your travels with us. I quite like travel by proxy! lots of love. Vanessa XX

  4. It's wonderful what the creative mind can achieve with very little. Peter & I have seen some fantastic local crafts on our travels. I couldn't resist buying a woven wall hanging with a beautiful village scene on it made by an elderly Greek lady in a quaint little village in the middle of nowhere. The dedication and love that goes into creating such great pieces is astounding. There are so many gifted people around us.
    Enjoy the rest of your day, take care, Carole xxx

  5. Wow, Barbara, that artwork is absolutely amazing, especially when you think of what it's made with, what they are recreating and how long it must be taking them. Thank you for discovering and sharing :-). Well I made a huge effort to get everything done this afternoon so that tomorrow I would have no excuses to not get creative for once. Looks like I now know what that creativity is going to be :-). Not what I'm supposed to be doing but never mind, anything that get's me being art is bound to lead to better things, eh! I think my basic tools will be a needle and thread, and I'll need to use a bit of card, but I'll have a rummage in the basket for recycling and see what I can find. I'm off to raid the drawers, and recycling, I'll give raiding the bin a miss though!!! Pity I can't get outside, I'd be able to raid loads from my garden and shed. Actually might make this a two parter, I'll see what I can find in here, come with a plan and idea tomorrow and then go on the search in my garden on Wednesday, maybe even manage to look at weeds in a different light!!!!! I've never done anything like this before, but I'm so up for giving it a try. Probably won't be very imaginative, and certainly won't be anything like as arty or good as yours or everyone else's, but at least I'm taking part in something, and something totally different and new to me 🙂 Thank you. Love Brenda xx
    p.s. I don't think I'll be ditching any of my craft stuff though, but I'll certainly be thinking even harder if the things on my need list are actually needed!!!

    1. Got my sprays out again today and did another few pages in my journal, covered up worktop as best I could. When I finished I tried you tip (had been to the shop earlier) WOW, it got todays marks off as well as the other days!! It also took off the ink from my hands, which I didn't cover again but hey I like to live on the edge 😉 THANK YOU !! XX

    2. Great, you're very welcome :-). Guess that will be the sales of bicarb on the rise then!!!! Och, I should have taken out shares in the company that makes it!!! With a sister like yours you've got no choice but to be living on the edge!!!!;-) Intrigued as to your idea for your something from nothing artwork, going to give us any clues?! 😉 Mine, you know how our teapots are going to look like an explosion in the B&Q paint aisle, well I think my art from nothing is going to look like an explosion where a group of us put our bins on bin day!!!! My mission is to use as many different rubbish and totally non crafting things as I can possibly find!!! Won't look anything like as arty as the beans one, or anyone else's, but I'm doing as asked, literally!!!! Talking of teapots, are you up for a wee bit more colouring in? It's the roof next, bigger spaces for my rubbish eyes to cope with xx

    3. Hmmm a clue…………. Well, I am going to try not to use anything from my craft room! How's that??? Missed the light today so I will create my masterpiece tomorrow (cough, cough) well my attempt anyway!
      Ok lid next, what colours are we using?

      Right then just off to take as much as I can out of my craft room ………….. 😉

    4. Hey, hands off your craft room, or you'll be on the naughty step next to Sam!!!! It's not a mission impossible, you won't get blown up for telling, honest!!!!! 😉 Mine's is probably going to be something totally boring like flowers or trees or something else outside, garden, depending on what I can find to make things out of. See, I didn't get blown up!!!! You're allowed a red and white coloured pencil from your craft room as long as you promise to put them back when you've coloured in your teapot roof, deal?!!! It's a circus bigtop roof, so has to be red and white stripes, are you fine with that? xx
      Must get dark dead quick where you are, we're still in broad daylight up here! 🙂

    5. Circus big top, I like that idea. Will take out my pencils before I padlock the craft room. Hasn't been very nice today, a little sun this morning but then it came over very overcast and chilly.
      My arty project involves me going into the garden and.. .. . . . . .oh dear the computer seems to be . . . . . . .. going wrong… . . . . .

    6. Ok, I'm taking my teapot to do in bed. This must be some special artwork that you're keeping secret, it better live up to expectations, you can't disappoint us!!!!! 😉 At least I'm starting very low on expectations and if it ends up any better, then bonus!!! See you all tomorrow xx

    7. The beans could be the start of a lions mane?! Have you got any blueberries or raisins to add to it? Hmm dinner is going to be interesting tomorrow when you've finished creating! Xxx

    8. he he he brilliant will sleep on those tips girls no blueberries or raisins got a tin o pineapples tho now theirs that sun Donna.. ……Na hold on there chunks ..back to the drawing board night night xxxx

    9. Beans, rice and pineapple, sounds more like ingredients for a sweet and sour!!!!! Dot go raid your recycling, and bits and pieces drawer, your chuck everything in cupboard, your grandbairns rooms, the local park…..
      I've got my idea sketched out. It's kind of this world outdoors stuff but not quite, and off course there's gonnae be a wee dod o Scots xx

    10. Dot the answer to chucking out stuff you don't need, move to somewhere with only one cupboard, and another tiny one in the whole house – that sorted out a lot of my 'might come in useful at some point'. I had to chuck out loads, after having already chucked out loads before moving here!!!!
      A wee idea wi stuff yer gonnae hae in yer hoose,and yer grandson in mind tae. What aboot space /outer space /aliens / alien planets, and tae start ye aff, what aboot tin foil, greaseproof, clingfilm, sweetie /chocolate wrappers. I'm sure yer wee grandson will help you come up wi loads of ideas space related from all sorts aroond yer hoose xx

  6. Hi Barbara. I have a friend who made a picture of a heron using rice and pasta shapes. It was an absolute work of art. Unfortunately she stored it in her loft and the mice ate all the rice and pasta!
    Hope you are having a good break, you certainly sound as if you are. We have just had two lovely weeks down in your part of the country (Sussex and Kent) Its a beautiful place and I would love to go back sometime.
    Gayle x

  7. That is just amazing! I've just finished doing a crochet cushion for the chair in my hallway, all made from leftover bits of yarn (it's my new year's resolution to use stuff up!). I'll take a photo and send it through to you – so it doesn't match the colours in the floor tiles, but who cares? Susan x

  8. Hi Barbara how beautiful ,amazing colours ,how one can make such beauty out of such simple things enjoy what you find to make crafting hugs xxx

  9. Who would ever think that dried store cupboard food stuffs could ever look this good and with just fingers and glue. I don't think I have enough of the right imagination to come up with anything that would be worth looking at or that wouldn't take far too long to do, so I'll just enjoy seeing what everyone else comes up with. Thank you for showing us this remarkable piece of work Barbara. x

  10. Hello Barb, well that is just amazing, peoples imagination much surely fire us all up. I never would have been able come up with something like this with so little! We are helping Mums care home with their float for the local carnival, but have had to buy bits, although a lot has come out of the craft room. I may when they are done post those pictures, as there was also inspiration from Chelsea this year. 2nd hand book trade has gone up considerably in our area since last week. Take care and thank you for sharing something so amazing with us. Please let us know if you find out details of the artists. Bx

  11. Since I haven't an ounce of creativity and thank God there are people like you to inspire . I'm afraid I do mostly copying with my own adjustments for mistakes . Beautiful picture

  12. Absolutely blooming wonderful! Aint life grand when we find artwork like this! Just think how much patience it has taken! While we are busy rushing about someone has sat there carefully selecting the colored rice or corn or a pea and stuck it on to make the picture! It reminds me of the well dressings they do in Derbyshire with flower heads or petals stuck into wet clay! Just marvellou!!
    Love and hugs! Xxxx

  13. Hmmmmm, thinking……………….maybe have to nip off to the garden before it gets dark. Have an idea, just hope I can get it from my head onto the card. Will be interested to see everyone's creations. The picture is amazing, some very talented people out there. XX

  14. What a wonderful piece of work. A real labour of love , I reckon. I think it is great when you come across these special little pieces of art. Look forward to seeing what you create. xx

  15. Wonderful, simply fantastic, but if you think about it – art goes right back in time the very beginning of time when our ancestors drew on the walls of caves, or the egyptians etc – people over time have taken simple things around them and developed them over time to adapt in to pictures and other art forms – a few years ago on a visit to New Zealand – I went to the Corromondel and on a narrow gauge railway that winds its way up the hillside – it takes you on a journey – a journey one man has lovingly created over a great length of time – he uses old bottles to create wonderful things until you reach the top and look over the oceans below…..it is one of my favourite memories of a wonderful family trip ….. everything is handcrafted from the materials found in the forest…its called the Driving Creek Railway…..if you ever happen across to NZ….put it on your bucket list as the view from the top is breathtaking.
    Much love
    Kim xx

  16. My last comment seems to have vanished!! I love this picture because it is all the people had to hand, but personally I cannot bring myself to use foodstuffs to make pictures or other artwork – probably due to a frugal upbringing. This is the only picture made this way that I can appreciate. I sometimes like to make things with 'junk' – like some pendants I made using tags from clothing ('George' make tags using what appears to be mountboard) painting them first then sticking on broken jewellery, odd beads, sequins and other bits and pieces. I gave most away but still have a gold and black one and a purple one, but don't know how to upload photos here. I'll be interested to see what others make using non-stash items.

  17. That's wonderful, sometimes it's the simplest things that make the best art. Just wish I could think of something as good. Hope you are all enjoying your holiday. Haven't commented lately as we had a lovely break in the Cotswolds in our caravan. Just catching up on all your blogs. It's fantastic that we don't need to miss them and can get them all back, don't think I can join in with this last instalment as lots to catch up on I haven't even started my teapot yet let alone the boots. You have made some beautiful creations this last week and so enjoyed seeing the photos of the Grand Canyon. While away we visited a National Trust property called Chastleton House and I managed to find an old book in their book sale, so now I can make a card like you had for your birthday from Maria.xx

  18. Hi Barbara Dave and Steve the work with the rice is beautiful so pleased your having a brill time can't wait to see what you have for is tomorrow stay safe love always June horrocks xxxxxxxxxxxx

  19. This is amazing! Truly beautiful. A picture of nature created with foodstuffs from nature. What patience the artists have. How fortunate you were to come across it. xx

  20. Hi Barb,
    Wow, this is simply stunning! I dread to think how many hours ( or days) it has taken to make. I'm not sure I would have the patience to make a picture like this. I have just managed to finish my teapot and emailed it to you. Now, where did I put those boots?! Love Alison xx

  21. That is lovely Barbara bet you wanted to sit down and have a wee go when you saw this looking forwards to see what come up with…by the way thanks for saying yesterday you enjoy our wee bits of conversations on here was kind off worried you might not like us going of the crafty path so thanks again meant a lot….take care….Dot..xx

  22. Hi Barbara
    This is a wonderful find, I wonder who was making it, the colours are amazing. I haven't got any pictures, but ever since I was a child my dad, sister and I would always find a piece of empty flat sand and draw a picture, either with our finger or a stick. We would use shells pebbles etc in the picture. My dad's trade Mark was a dog with lead and coat who he named Fred , Fred would appear everywhere, on the beach little pictures on corners of newspapers but usually on walls ready to be wallpapered in every house we lived in. When I go to the beach I still have to draw a Fred and now my daughter does it too. It's art, we have fun doing it, the tide washes it away so it doesn't stay long- I must take a photo one day!
    Enjoy your holiday.
    Love Diane xxx

  23. Hi Barbara. Isn't it wonderful what we come across if we take the time to look. This is a fantastic piece of art. you wouldn't guess what it is made of would you? How many hours of work has it taken so far? How many people have helped? Oh, so many questions. I love the frame too, I bet you just had to stroke it, I know I would have had to, wood is my most favourite material that I have to touch : ) Thanks for sharing your latest find : ) Have another great day. Take care xx

  24. It's beautiful Barbara, we were recently talking about the crafting we did as children using crepe papers and school glue with dried pasta shapes, Mum was always making things with us, happy memories xx

  25. these are lovely aren't they? and so ingenious! i have seen a lot of these in Malta. usually they reproduce a lot of good friday pictures like this and i have always marvelled at them. enjoy the journey, hugs xx

  26. What a fantastic piece of artwork Barb, trust you to ferret it out! After you told us it was rice and corn, and gave us the close up, it all became clear, and then it reminded me of the famous Well Dressings in Derbyshire. Those are all done with flower petals, and grasses, pressed into damp clay. Looking forward to tomorrow now!

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