Friday, January 28, 2011

To Recycle and To Freecycle

It's a fact: I have a really hard time throwing out art work -- even if it's just scribbles of ink or paint. And I've learned that children really do take offense if these "masterpieces" are not valued -- even if they were just whipped up on a whim.

So I have decided to look for ways to recycle art work -- my own and my children's. When I altered my journal  , I used a drawing that I'd done a while before and didn't really have a "purpose" for. Recently, I had the idea (or maybe I read it somewhere -- I lose track sometimes!) to turn some children's art into note cards. There's a thank you note that I've been intending to write, and so I recycled one of DS4's paintings. (I asked first. The original piece that I intended to use was too special to him -- "I don't want you to cut that. It's my creativity," he told me with a quivering lip.)

The envelope is reminiscent of the fancy envelopes DH and I used to exchange while we enjoyed a long-distant relationship. We rarely sent a "plain" envelope -- they were always made from something unusual, or decorated with art work and cut-outs. All I did here was pull apart a "real" envelope, trace it, cut it out, and adhere the sides with double sided tape -- which I'll also use to close it. I should probably wait until the recipient has received this before I post it -- but I'm afraid I'll forget about it once it's in the mail!

That was a quick job, and since I was in the art studio, I decided to take action on a plan that I've had for quite some time -- to turn pretty remnants of fabric into tablecloths. I apologize for the less than lovely photographs -- but my goal was simply to show you that I took an unmeasured piece of fabric, hemmed the edges, and lay it on the table. Easy peasy:) DS12 entered the kitchen and said -- "Let me guess -- we're having spaghetti and meatballs." It took me a minute to process the comment, since it was well past dinner time; apparently the tablecloth reminded him of an Italian restaurant! :)

I've mentioned before that I'm so not a sewer -- but I can deal with lines and hems that don't really matter -- as in this tablecloth. I'm quite tickled with the result and look forward to making more because I've grown quite fond of setting a pretty table whenever I can -- and a tablecloth is always a great thing with which to start.

Now, before you get concerned about the cost of such creativity, I wanted to tell you that the fabric for this cloth -- and the cloths of the future -- all came from Freecycle. Have you heard of it? We have offered and received all manner of useful items that might otherwise have found their way into a landfill: clothes, shoes, boots, dehumidifiers, CD jewel cases, furniture, technological devices (including computers and their accessories), sports equipment (including skiis, skates, helmets, and soccer shoes), an antique room divider  -- and the list could go on. While it has the potential to "feed the need for stuff," it is also a frugal way to support creativity.

Have you acquired anything fabulously frugal via freecycle?
Have you found any creative ways to recycle art? Do tell!

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