Tag Archives: reuse

Care a whole awful lot…

Happy Earth Day!


I always wondered why we have months for this and for that, but only get a day for the one thing we all uncontestedly have in common…


I thought this was a great example of eye catching graphic design. Gets the point across without words. (Even though I’m very much not a sushi person!) I’m not sure I think their aim of entirely removing plastic is possible or even desirable, I think it has its place, but I agree that we need to cut down. And there are so many ways to do so without really impacting the rest of your life. Something as basic as using resuable shopping bags. I found some tutorials on how to make them out of old t-shirts, and they’re both durable and washable. Another basic thing- bottled water is not cool. Seriously, in most areas it’s no safer than the local water and wastes postively obscene amounts of plastic.

 The thing is, we all know how to start this, we’ve known since we were kids. That whole reduce, reuse, recycle thing. We just to actually *do* it. As ever, it doesn’t have to be a sacrifice, it can be an artisitic challenge.



A cool shadow over carpeting,

curling in tendrils of friendly darkness.

A shade, a safe haven from the sultry sun

of midsummer. Green light

left to filter through.


A vibrant torch in autumn.

Molten iron hues holding tight.

Soldiers falling one by one

gracing the yard with gold and fire

to burn through the short days.


A snowy vault in winter.

Ghostly rafters standing strong,

proud, even, under a diamond coat

weighing the roughest branches

in regal splendor.


Now comes Spring, limping and slow.

Red-brown buds crept out overnight and waited,

swollen with promise, for the time of their birth.

But rough bark cradles, shaggy with use

Stay empty.


And the echo of saws can be heard.



This is an older poem, admittedly written in a fit of pique. A few years ago our neighbor cut down this gorgeous oak. It was old, and healthy. And shaded a good part of our house as well as his. Losing it killed a lot of our plants that weren’t made for sun and makes it harder to keep both houses cool in the summer. It feels like Earth Day deserves a deeper poem, but this was what came back to mind when I was trying to write a new one.

Leave a comment

Filed under Natural Science, Upcycling

Happy Earth Day


It’s Earth Day, and hard to think of anything that hasn’t been said (and oft ignored) a million times or more. Reduce, reuse, recycle. We learn the three Rs in school, and then everything else seems to bury them. At the simplest, just be mindful of what you use, try to limit the amount of trash you make, and clean up your mess as you go. Picking an altoids tin off the top of the trash like I did this afternoon is optional. (Mind you, I thought everyone bought altoids for both mints and tin…) I scrubbed it up and it’ll make a great mini paint set to keep in my car! Take a look at etsy, a world of inspiration for small tin projects. As well as plenty of other upcycled treasures.

If you’re feeling creative and need some inspiration on how to reuse or upcycle the things in your life, there are plenty of places to go for inspiration. DeviantArt is having a Trash to Treasure contest that runs through mid-May. My finished submission is a plein air watercolor set. It’s an old velamints tin (love those candies, haven’t seen them in ages!) that I painted and decorated with polymer clay that has a paint pan made from the plastic bubbles from a gum pack, a watercolor pen from a kid’s paint pen, and a denim folder that fits both set and water brush plus a sketchbook and other pens or pencils.

I used a slight fire theme to tie the elements together. The polymer clay design on the tin was something I made while watching Henry V and the “Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend/The brightest heaven of invention” line snagged me. So I opted for a subtle muse of fire vein running through the design. Fire also connects to the myths of the phoenix and rebirth, so it seemed to work doubly, even if my original inspiration was a little on the arcane side.

I’m also hoping to make a denim slipper set, I’ve been meaning to try it out ever since I ran across the tutorial. Seems like a nice idea for a holiday gift.

The New York Times recently ran an article about how there are so many threatened species that the Fish and Wildlife Service can’t cope with the number of petitions and are themselves petitioning the government to limit the number of requests that can be submitted. Limiting the number of officially endangered species doesn’t limit anything, all it does is give threatened species even less of a chance than ever. I understand that paperwork can be brutal, but simply ignoring issues and underlying causes… yeah.

The cartoon of the classic Seuss book, The Lorax. One of my favorite children’s books. Listen to the Lorax and back away from the thneed…

BBC & Discovery Channel’s South Pacific was an excellent and beautifully photographed series. Oddly enough there are multiple versions with multiple narrators, apparently they were concerned that the British accent would put off American audiences. I’m partial to the BBC version.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts, Natural Science, Upcycling