Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Recycling’

Remembrance Box The woodworker stood back and looked at his project. While pouring his heart into the design and construction of it, his mind focused on only one thing – the purpose of it. At a recent meeting of local woodcrafters, a plea had been made for boxes. Keaton Raphael Memorial, a nonprofit organization that assists families with children with cancer, was in dire need of woodworkers to help make Remembrance Boxes. When a child being helped by Keaton Raphael Memorial passes away and becomes a special KRM angel, the organization gives the family a wooden box containing bereavement reading materials and oftentimes a grant to help with funeral expenses. The woodworker rose to the challenge and his expertly-crafted work reflects the beauty of fallen leaves, signifying, in my opinion, the short, but significant lives of young souls.

#1 – Land Art
Land Art Nature doesn’t need any embellishments. However, when man works with natural components, interesting art can result. You will be impressed by the scale of some of the projects in 21 Unforgettable Examples of Land Art.

#2 – Got Stuff?
Recycling Goods With children moving hither and yon, I am left with a garage full of “stuff.” All of it is useful – to somebody. Rather than toss everything into the garbage, I’d rather find new homes or new uses for them. If you are in the same situation of having stuff and not wanting to add to our landfills, go to earth911. Type in what you would like to recycle, add your zipcode, and a listing of local recycling centers should appear.

#3 – Easter Decorations
80 Fabulous Easter Decorations While scrolling through the ideas in 80 Fabulous Easter Decorations You Can Make Yourself, I went into creative overload. There are so many cute and clever ideas in it, I don’t which project to start first!

#4 – Fresh Eggs
How to Buy the Freshest Eggs PossibleWith Easter right around the corner, you’ll want to make sure you buy the freshest eggs possible. In How to Buy the Freshest Eggs Possible, learn how to read the Julian date on an egg carton. And here’s a tip from me: when selecting a carton of eggs in the grocery store, just don’t open the carton and look at the eggs. Always wiggle each egg. If an egg doesn’t move, there’s a good chance that its shell is cracked, causing it to stick to the carton.

#5 – In Every Falling Leaf
“In every change, in every falling leaf there is some pain, some beauty. And that’s the way new leaves grow.”
Amit Ray

Note: The beautiful Remembrance Box in the photo was made by Mr. Jim Hunt

Now go and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

Goldfinch acrobatics “And for my next trick, I will perform a double rotation with a half-twist . . . ” That’s what I imagine a Goldfinch hanging on a nearby wire is saying. As other birds wait patiently for spots on the bird feeder, this particular bird preens and performs acrobatics. He (I believe it is a male, because of its brilliant color) sports a showmanship flair and a touch of attitude. My creative juices recharge and I feel inspired as I stroll through my yard. My garden hums with vibrant energy as baby squirrels scamper from branch to branch, as blossoms flutter in the breeze, and as birds fly about and fill the air with song. Where do you go to recharge and gain inspiration? (Click on the photo if you want to see this little bird up close).

#1 – Random Acts of Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness Kindness lives in all of us. For some of us it’s always on the surface of our hearts. For others, it may require a direct tug of a heart string. Acts of kindness rarely make the news, unless they are on a grand scale. But in my opinion, every act of kindness is significant, because small ripples of kindness create big waves of good. Check out Moments of Human Kindness and you’ll instantly feel better.

#2 – A World of Hope
A World of Hope March 8th is International Women’s Day. CNN asked women to complete this sentence: “Build a world where I can . . . ” Click here to read answers from men and women around the world and see what kind of world they want to build.

#3 – Repurpose! Repurpose! Repurpose!
28 Creative Ideas for Repurposing Old Items My husband will confirm that one of the most frequent phrases he hears me utter is, “You’re not going to throw that away are you?” Being big on repurposing and upcycling, I always like to share any repurposing inspiration that I come across. Here are 28 Creative Ideas for Repurposing Old Items that just might save a few things from being discarded.

#4 – Inspirational Quotes
Miles Davis Quote If a walk outdoors doesn’t inspire creativity in you, maybe reading 10 Quotes To Inspire Your Inner Creative will help.

#5 – What Do You See?
“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity . . . and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.“
William Blake

Now go and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

Carpenter Bee Bzzzzzz-bzzzzzz-bzzzzzz . . . bzzzzzz-bzzzzzz-bzzzzzz . . . ah-choo! A large black bee darted quickly in and out of squash blossoms. If a bee could sneeze, I imagine this one would, because it was covered from head to tail in pollen (click on the photo to see all the pollen). After hearing gardeners complain of low vegetable yields due to lack of pollination, I’m happy to have this bee in my garden. However, I’m not so thrilled to learn that it’s a carpenter bee, the type of bee that burrows into wood!

#1 – The Ultimate Packing List
If you are planning on doing some serious traveling, you will want to check out The Ultimate Packing List for Full-Time Travel by the Professional Hobo. She lists what she takes, why she takes them, and where you can purchase these items.

#2 – The Second Time Around
Repurposing Ideas If you have imagination, most things can have more than one life or one purpose. Some of the ideas in the article Creative Ways to Repurpose & Reuse Old Stuff I’ve seen before, but that’s probably because they are really great ideas and have been well-circulated. Thanks to creative people who continually find new ways to reuse things!

#3 – A Slice of Time
Chinatown Sunset, 2013 by Fong Qi Wei Photographer Fong Qi Wei places an emphasis on time in his collection of work called Time is a Dimension. His photographs reveal landscapes, cityscapes, and seascapes during a 2 to 4 hour period, rather than just a moment in time.

#4 – Shelf Life
This infographic reminds me of my daughter. On occasion she’ll call to ask if I think a particular item in her refrigerator or pantry is okay to eat beyond its stated date. If you, too, are confused with all the dates marked on food packaging, then make sure to read the section at the bottom titled, “What’s the Deal With Expiration Dates?”

The Shelf Life of Food

#5 – Life
Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.
Ashley Smith

Have a great weekend!

Read Full Post »

What's Stuck On Your Stucco?What’s stuck to your stucco? Possibly, a lot more than you think. My stucco patio overhang has been a pit stop for praying mantises, dragon flies, pipevine swallowtail caterpillars and their chrysalises, and even an injured squirrel. Whenever I walk out my back door, I always look around to see what interesting critters might be stuck to my stucco!

#1 – Swirling Paint
When my brain gets stuck on overload, I give it permission to rest and play for a little while. I like to give it a break by doing mindless, yet creative things. One way I do that is to create instantly-gratifying art or what I call art-for-the-moment on my computer. The best part about art like this is that it’s not around long enough for anyone to judge it — not even myself! There are many sites where you can paint or draw computer-generated designs. Here’s one I found today. It’s super easy to do: you just move your computer mouse around to create swirls of colored patterns. You can experiment with three different “trails” or versions.

#2 – Cinder Block Projects
Cinder Block Centerpiece When I was a college student, all my friends made bookshelves out of cinder blocks and planks of wood. Well, cinder blocks and concrete, in general, have come a long way in versatility. Take a look at the projects shown in Rethinking Concrete – 5 Cinder Block DIY Projects and 12 Awesome Concrete and Cinder Block Outdoor DIY Projects!.

#3 – Common Cooking Mistakes
Sometimes cooks are stuck with a culinary problem and need a quick fix to avoid a disaster. According to Cooking Light’s article The Most Common Cooking Mistakes, “A creative cook can often cook her way out of a kitchen error, but the smart cook aims to prevent such creativity from being necessary.” Yes, a little knowledge can prevent big mistakes. I liked looking at the photos of “good” versus “bad” examples and reading the helpful tips. Want to know the best way to keep guacamole green? Check out tip #43.

#4 – Playing With Food

Food Art by Hong Yi

Red Cabbage Marchesa Salad by Hong Yi

Artists like to think outside of the box. For a month, Malaysian artist Hong Yi did that by playing with her food. For her project 31 Days of Creativity With Food, Hong sliced, boiled, chopped, stirred, etc. to create her artwork. Picasso’s quote, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up,” inspired her to “see joy and fun in ordinary everyday items that I come across, and to paint and create objects as I feel and imagine them, not just as I see them.”

#5 – Don’t Get Stuck In The Box
“They say to think within the box, but it’s funny how those in the box never go anywhere, where those outside it, get to see the world.”
Anthony Liccione

Enjoy your weekend!

Read Full Post »

Peace Rose

Peace Rose by Linnell Chang

My high school photography teacher used to say that black and white photography was an art form that required a fair amount of skill, whereas, color photography required less skill, because it got an assist from Mother Nature. I agree with him. My photograph of a Peace rose is nice, but Mother Nature did the lighting and the color for me. For this to be a good black and white photo, more forethought would have been necessary prior to the shoot. When color is stripped away, the viewer’s appreciation of the subject matter changes. A black and white photo, with its shades of grey and exposed lines and angles, bares its soul and tells a different story. What do you think?Peace Rose in black and white

#1 – Who Is Vivian Maier?
As a longtime fan of black and white photography, an old news feature caught my attention. Until recently, Vivian Maier’s existence as a photographer was unknown. She lived on the East Coast in the 1950s and was a nanny by profession. Decades later, when the contents of a storage locker went up for auction, her skills as a street photographer would be revealed to the world. Watch the video to learn more about the interesting discovery of her work and check out the Vivian Maier website to view historical social commentary through her black and white photographs.

#2 – Re-purpose Plastic Bottles into Gift Boxes
plastic pillow box repurposed from plastic bottles Who doesn’t have plastic bottles at home waiting to be recycled? How about making pillow boxes out of them? Pillow boxes make great gift boxes and storage containers. Follow the tutorial provided by Too Good To Waste and re-purpose some plastic bottles today!

#3 – 10 Winning Words
If Scrabble is your game, you’ll want to learn these 10 words and keep them in the back of your head:

Oxyphenbutazone
Quizzify
Oxazepam
Quetzals
Quixotry
Gherkins
Quartzy
Muzjiks
Syzygy
Za

To learn more about these words and to check if I spelled them correctly, read 10 Words That Will Win You Any Game Of Scrabble.

#4 – Fork Bows
This is one of those ideas that needs to be shared – how to tie perfect little bows using table forks. If you’re clever, you’ll find a way to extrapolate this knowledge and create bows on a larger scale. I’m already thinking about wood pasta rakes and pitchforks!

#5 – Life’s Challenges
“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”
Bernice Johnson Reagon

Have a perfectly lovely weekend!

Read Full Post »

Pasadena, CA

Photo by Linnell Chang

Like clockwork, my hip started to ache as soon as the weather grew colder. The saying goes, “You’re only as OLD as you feel.” Or is it, “You’re only as YOUNG as you feel”? Let me think about this: My hip hurts, so I feel old OR my hip hurts, so I don’t feel young. Really, I think the sayings are one and the same. However, if I disregard my cranky hip and listen to my mind instead, I am young. My mind is my fountain of youth – like the fountain I photographed one warm summer day, my mind “bubbles” with energy and activity.

#1 – New Life for Old Bottles
glass bottle Christmas Tree What to do with old bottles? The obvious answer is to find ways to reuse them! Check out this post Impressive DIY Ideas With Empty Bottles for more creative ways to reuse bottles.

#2 – It’s Okay
Orca Bookstore sign This sign from the Orca Bookstore in Olympia, Washington, gives you permission, as an adult, to read young adult books (YA). It’s not like you need anyone’s permission to read these books, you just need to get over the self-limiting-stigma you impose on yourself. Besides popular series such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, good books with great story lines exist in the young adult categories. If you’re too embarrassed to purchase a YA book in person, order one online. After reading the comments to the 22 Words post and taking notes on particular authors, my “Must Read!” list is now longer.

#3 – Under the Sea
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Moby Dick, The Little Mermaid, and Finding Nemo reflect the interest of both the old and the young in sea creatures and the ocean. Oceanographer David Gallo said, “Today we’ve only explored about 3 percent of what’s out there in the ocean. Already we’ve found the world’s highest mountains, the world’s deepest valleys, underwater lakes, underwater waterfalls . . . . There’s still 97 percent, and either that 97 percent is empty or just full of surprises.” Watch this TED presentation and be prepared to be astonished at the amazing sea creatures captured on film.

#4 – Autumn Leaves
poplar leaves If the youthful side of you enjoys identifying familiar shapes in clouds, you might like New York Time’s illustrator and graphic designer Christoph Niemann’s Bio-Diversity collection of leaves.

#5 – As Young as You Feel
“You are as young as you feel. If you begin to feel the warmth of your soul, there will be a youthfulness in you that no one will be able to take away from you.”
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Go ahead and feel young this weekend!

Read Full Post »

This tree. This beautiful weeping cedar, a graceful perch for so many birds, is dying. It’s just a tree, I tell myself. But nonetheless, for over sixteen years, without any special wants or needs, this tree’s long, downward-growing branches covered with silvery, grey-green bursts of needles created an elegant archway into my garden. Now, it stands almost completely denuded. The arborist came last week, dug around, and shook his head while he uttered, “Probably some type of fungus. It’s a wait and see game, now.” Everyday, I go outside and look at this tree. I examine it for new growth – there is none. I touch the branches – needles fall slowly to the ground. I scratch lightly at the bark to see if there is any green underneath it – there is. There is still hope for this tree.

#1 – “Staying” Green

Planet earth is counting on creative people to save it. Smart concepts such as this “Urban Hotel” illustrate my point. Although you would expect solar-power and rain water recycling systems in these hotels, a unique feature of this concept are the bicycles in the rooms. The bicycles can be used for exploring surrounding urban areas or used for exercising inside the rooms. While exercising, the bikes convert “the bike’s pedaling into kinetic energy to power the room and any extra energy is used to deduct rooming costs.” Make sure to click on the link to view all the features of this earth-friendly concept!

#2 – The Green Gift

My neighbor came to visit the other day and she brought with her two gift bags. One contained my birthday gift and the other one contained another kind of gift. The bag was filled with empty toilet paper tubes. She remembered a comment I made about how I compost toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes. After collecting several tubes, I cut them open, flatten them out and then feed them into my paper shredder. They add much needed “brown” organic material to my compost bin. There are many other items around the house that can be added to compost piles. TLC’s article on 75 Things You Can Compost, But Thought You Couldn’t is a good refresher course for those of us who compost. If you haven’t started composting, please consider it. It’s an easy way of redirecting some of your garbage away from landfills and back to the land.

#3 – When Chefs Get Bored

What do chefs do when they are bored? I don’t know the answer to that, but I would imagine they play with their food! Check out this series of food art photos and see that creativity knows no bounds in the kitchen!

#4 – To Market, To Market

What could be better than going shopping? What about shopping outdoors in the fresh air and sun? Most farmers’ markets carry more than just produce. I love walking up and down the rows of stalls looking at and sampling the fresh seasonal produce. I also enjoy visiting the stands that sell olive oil, soap, honey, hand-crafted and fresh baked goods, plants and flowers. I always make sure to bring my own bags/baskets, cash, and, of course, my camera. For more tips, visit Recyclebank’s 10 tips to Shop Smart at Farmers Markets.

#5 – The Tao of Pooh

“Say, Pooh, why aren’t you busy?” I said.
“Because it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“But you could be doing something Important,” I said.
“I am,” said Pooh.
“Oh? Doing what?”
“Listening,” he said.
“Listening to what?”
“To the birds. And that squirrel over there.”
“What are they saying?” I asked.
“That it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“But you know that already,” I said.
“Yes, but it’s always good to hear that somebody else thinks so, too,” he said.

Benjamin Hoff, author of The Tao of Pooh

Happy Earth Day! What about this? Do one thing every single day that is good for the earth!

Read Full Post »

The holidays are right around the corner: Hanukkah begins on the 21st, Christmas, of course, is on the 25th, and Kwanzaa is on the 26th. There’s still so much to do, so many people to see and so many ways to help others. Check out the links on today’s Friday’s Fresh Five! – help and inspiration is just a click away!

#1 – Charities
Giving to others during this holiday season is a kind and generous action, but be sure to check out the charities before you donate. If you want to check the legitimacy of a charity, go to the Better Business Bureau’s charity page or go to the nonprofit American Institute of Philanthropy. Although it puts a damper on the spirit of giving, it’s wise to do your homework before you give.

#2 – Life Is a Gift
Feeling like you need to refocus or regain perspective on your life? Here’s a brief video that will give you a boost.

#3 – WHOLE FOODS to the Rescue!
WHOLE FOODS has a page on its website that is devoted to gifts from the kitchen. You’ll find recipes for Apple Almond Gingerbread, Hot Chocolate Buttons, Sweet and Smokey Popcorn and Nut Mix, Sweet Potato Apple Dog Treats, and a WHOLE lot more. Another nice touch is that WHOLE FOODS also provides a link to a printable gift tag for each recipe!

#4 – Oh, Christmas Tree
Is “creativity the mother of invention” or is “necessity the mother of invention”? I think either saying fits the bill in this story about a frugal town in Lithuania. City officials asked an artist to help them with their holiday decorating. Appreciating the shortage of city funds, the artist created a huge 13-meter tall Christmas tree constructed from some 40,000 recycled bottles and zip ties! Lit from inside at night, it is a beautiful sight to behold and a wonderful testament to the creative spirit.

#5 – My Wish for You
“This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!”
– D.M. Dellinger

Have a wonderful weekend!

Read Full Post »

It’s bleak and wet outside, but I’m thinking of the beautiful sunny days ahead. My garden will be lovely in the spring, but only if I put in the work now!

#1 – A Garden Tip
In his book A Year In The Life Of A Rose, Rayford Clayton Reddell suggests stripping (cutting not ripping off) the foliage of your rose bushes two weeks before pruning. He states, “When leaves are removed from rosebushes, the plant is given a signal to rejuvenate the foliar process immediately.” The best time to prune your roses? Reddell says, “Prune as soon as possible once dormancy is safely broken, that is, when you’re sure there won’t be another hard freeze.”

#2 – Recycle With Freecycle
Got a new Blu-Ray DVD player for Christmas, but don’t know what to do with the old one? Check to see if there’s a Freecycle group in your area. Freecycle’s internet site claims: “The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,878 groups with 6,913,000 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them’s good people). Membership is free.” Make sure to be smart and protect your safety and privacy when posting to any list or participating in any exchange.

#3 – A Kitchen Tip
When using honey in recipes try spraying your measuring spoon or measuring cup with non-stick vegetable spray first. The honey will pour out more easily.

#4 – Say Hello
Here’s how to say hello or good day in these different languages:
Greek – yassou
French – bonjour
Spanish – hola
Italian – buongiorno
Portuguese – olá
Chinese – nǐ hǎo

#5 – A Quote
I would disagree with those who say we cannot change the past. We can heal it, transform it, utilize it, build on it – any number of creative things.
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way

Read Full Post »

P1090588_1

Some things are too pretty to throw out. Cracked or chipped teacups fall into that category for me. Recycling or reusing them in different ways seems to be the best compromise and for years I have looked for ways to do this. After much thought and research, I have compiled this list of ways to reuse mismatched cups and slightly damaged teacups:

1. Teacups as Planters
Pack crocus corms tightly with point side up in water over a bed of tiny pebbles. Or drill a drainage hole into the bottom of a teacup and pop in an herb plant. Plant three or more of these and line them up along your sunny kitchen window.

2. Teacups as Storage Caddies
A teacup set in your guest bathroom makes a cute container for small guest soaps.

Teacups can also be used in a bathroom to store small items such as nail clippers and hairpins or used in your bedroom as jewelry sorters for earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.

What about using an old tea cup at your desk for storing paper clips, rubber bands, stamps, etc.?

3. Teacups as Pincushions
I’ve seen old teacups converted into pincushions with attached saucers used for holding buttons, bobbins, etc. Just make a compact ball of stuffing, cover it with fabric and hot glue it to the inside of the tea cup.

4. Teacups as Candy Dishes
Collect and group an assortment of teacups. Place different colored candy in each cup. This would be especially sweet for a springtime luncheon.

4. Teacups as Candle Holders
Put votive candles into an array of teacups for an instant candle-scape indoors or out. Varying the heights of each teacup and saucer set would add visual interest.

5. Teacups as Candles

I haven’t made these myself yet, but I plan to. Basically, a wick is attached to the bottom of the cup, wax is melted in the microwave and then poured into a tea cup. Complete instructions for this project can be found here: http://www.designspongeonline.com/2008/11/diy-project-kates-teacup-candles.html

6. Teacups as Bird Feeders

Check out this website for ways to convert teacups into bird feeders for your garden.

7. Teacups as Decorative Items

Broken pits of teacups can be used in mosaics and in jewelry designs.
Teacups have been converted into bangles, wind chimes, and chandeliers. Look at these clever ideas.

Now that you know what to do with those misfit teacups, don’t forget that tea leaves can be recycled, too. Throw loose tea leaves into your compost pile. Composting tea bags is a little trickier, depending on the type of tea bag fabric used. Used tea bags can also be placed in the bottom of plant containers, especially in hanging plants, to help retain moisture. And remember the old beauty tip of using them as eye compresses. Warm or cold, teabags can help to relax tired eyes. Lastly, donate dried, empty teabags to native artists who use them to create original artwork that they sell to raise money for themselves and their communities. Check out this company in Africa that makes art and useful items out of tea bags. Good for our planet and good for our souls.

Note: I created the photo mosaic teacup card at the top of this post for my Auntie Ella who is a lover of hearts and of tea, but more importantly, is a very special person to me.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: