Monday, March 3, 2014

Renew, Reuse, Recycle

First, the winner of last Monday's giveaway! Thanks for joining in, everyone - I had a lot of fun, and I'm planning more giveaways in the future! So, pulled from my favorite hat by an adorable baby...

(immediately after pulling it out and opening it up, she tried to eat it --- that's something we'll need to work on, for the future!)

Mommy fashion --- this week: layers! Kind of like scarves, in that cardis can protect your shirt, cover anything that gets on your shirt, and dress up an otherwise dressed-down outfit. They're also fairly readily available... I haven't made it to cardis yet in my research (this one is Banana Republic and probably Not Good) but since they're popular, that means "trendy consignment" type stores like Plato's Closet (or even a thrift shop) will have a pretty good selection (or, if you're a knitter, you can make your own). Regardless of the manufacturing ethics of the item, resale and second-hand is awesome --- using an item until it literally can't be used anymore (and then making something else out it!) prevents the purchase of a new one, and it gets the most possible good out of it (also, in terms of mommy-style, I am much less likely to be unhappy about an irreparably stained cardi that I got second-hand for a couple of dollars than one I bought new for $30 or more - even if it's the same garment in both cases).

Which is yet another reason why I like Kashoan's necklaces - the concept of taking a vintage dictionary or Bible and making a piece of jewelry out of it is so appealing to me. I also love when people (especially artists) sacrifice a part of their profits for a greater cause... I recently read a blog post speaking against our tendency to only give if we get something out of it (eg, buying a $20 Tshirt that gives $5 to some cause, but refusing to give $20 directly to the cause) and while I agree that all of your giving shouldn't promptly give you something material in return, if it's something you need/want and you can support or raise awareness about something good in the process, I'm all for it! Actually, that's why I bought that Mama Carmen's shirt - I was already looking for a Tshirt that was that particular color, and I was able to benefit myself and others with my purchase.

Returning to the topic of reusing until it can't be reused anymore and then making something else out of it, Mum sent me a daybrightener in the mail last week. GreenCraft usually gives me ideas beyond the ones that are actually in the magazine...

...the first of which was to cut a "B" out of the bubble-mailer Mum sent it in for Brooklyn's room. Adam made these awesome frames out of cork and trim scraps for her room, so that we can change the artwork easily. They currently hold a couple of Gingiber prints, a verse from Psalms that I wrote out prettily on a square of vellum, a bunch of dried lavender... but one of them was empty, and this filled it perfectly. But it only used the back half of the mailer, so I was forced to do something with the rest of it.

I chose to make notecards (what else?) Since I was trying to use only things that I already had, I cut a sheet of bristol paper (that I fished out of my art supply crate) into 5.5" by 8.5" rectangles. Any type of cardstock or stiff paper (a manila folder, maybe?) would work.

First, I cut out as many hearts as I could from both of the bubble mailers that I had. For this project, I ended up deciding to only use the floral ones - so I saved the pink ones for a future project. I freehanded mine, so they came out a little asymmetrical and slightly different sizes - if that bothers you, you could create a template and trace them first.

I lightly marked a guide line along one short edge of my notecard, because I wanted to write on it and I can't write straight without one.

Because I wanted to leave room for the hearts, I chose a short greeting. You actually wouldn't have to write anything, if you didn't want to or had brightly-patterned washi tape.

Of course. How else would I tie it all together? I happened to have a roll that matched my hearts (actually, I think that's the first roll I ever bought...) Rub it down firmly, then trim the ends and turn them under (I trimmed those a little too short - they kept trying to pop out later).

Double-sided tape did the trick for adhering the hearts to the front of my card. I love how they stand out because of the bubbley back - now, I just need to get more mail!

How do you extend the useful life of ordinary objects?
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