WATERVILLE, Vt. (WCAX) If you find it, Heather Leigh Bushey will put it to good use. There's something about the Waterville, Vermont, woman's artwork that just stands out.
"The inspiration just comes from everywhere, like anything I can get my hands on, it's like, what can I do with it?" Bushey said.
The cat in one picture used to be an earring, and the insect in another, well, it used to be alive. "This is a bumble bee that hit a friend of mine when they were driving their car, and they called me and said, 'Would you like this bee?' And I said, 'absolutely,'" Bushey said.
A long-time oil painter, Bushey started using found objects in her paintings a couple of years ago. Eventually, the paint disappeared but the objects stayed. "This has been a very fun way to begin a new way of creating," she said.
It starts with the frame. "This frame here just looked very wintry to me, so I said, I've got to build a winter scene in there," Bushey said.
She glues down the objects and finishes it off with an epoxy that helps prevent any fading or deteriorating.
Creative Sprout Crafts has a Facebok and Etsy page. It's $30 for the small pictures and $150 for the larger ones. It's $375 for one giant patriotic piece. "I like to make these big American flags. This is one giant piece of birch bark. The actual quarters represent each state. Go all the way to number 14 -- there we are, Vermont," she said.
Bushey's most popular pictures are the ones that feature sap buckets. Now, the little top on the bucket, well, that's provided by another Made in Vermont product-- aluminum from a Citizen's Cider can.
"I've always enjoyed being creative and trying to make art, but it's really hard to find a niche, and I feel like this might be my niche. I love doing it," Bushey said.
Finding purpose in re-purposing.