Thursday, March 22, 2012

Corks- March Challenge Material

The Repurposing Challenge material for the month of March is used corks from local wineries. Although corks are not typically recycled, there is an organization called Recork that will take them back and recycle them.  They are a company that produces cork for wine stoppers and shoes, but also aims to recycle the natural cork and educate people about how sustiaining cork forests can help curb climate change.   To find a drop box for used corks in your area go to  The drop box location for the Columbia Gorge is Springhouse Cellars located in Hood River.

As I was attempting to collect used corks from the many wineries in Hood River, I found that many people create using corks.  The people working in the tasting rooms all said that customers come in often to ask for used corks.  I am happy to hear that all of the tasting rooms collected the corks, and gave many of them away for further use.   Natural corks should never be thrown into our waste stream since they are made from a natural material.  If nothing else, they can be mulched and composted.

If you would like to join in the March Challenge of creating with corks, you can pick up as many as you need from the Columbia Art Center or the Hood River library.  The library is graciously putting the Repurposing Challenge projects on display in on top of their reference shelves on the main floor of the building.  Go check out the projects and pick up some corks while you are there.

Projects are due on Thursday, April 5th and will be on display at the Columbia Art Center during First Friday on April 6th from 5-7pm.  If you cannot bring in your project, please send me a photo so I can include it on my blog post in April.  As alway, contact me if you have any questions.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Week Eleven- Recycled Sweater Flowers

Recycled sweaters are one of favorite materials to use.  They come in an endless variety of colors and patterns and are easy to come by.  (Especially if you love garage sales and thrift stores like I do).

The flowers were made using recycled sweaters, wool scraps, buttons, wire and wooden beads.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Garage Sales!!

The garage sale season has unofficially started in my town.  The season usually lasts from Blossom Festival weekend (April) until well into October.  This means I spend time each Friday- Sunday hunting garage sales for treasures I didn't know I always needed.  Here are a handful of the treasures I came home with last weekend.

Books were 25 cents each.

Art supplies $2 a box
pastels, watercolors, new eraser, pencil sharpener, pencils

basket was FREE
enamel on steel set of 4 bowls for  $2

Mastering the Art of French Cooking in hardback for $1
(This book is in perfect condition and costs $40 new!)

Total= $7.75
I can't wait for next weekend!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Challenge #2- Discarded Cassette and VHS Tapes

Here is what was made with February's challenge material, discarded cassette and VHS Tapes.

Tape Invaders- by Jess Caudill

Crocheted VHS Tape basket

Hand embroidered with cassette tape ribbon

Light switch- by Owen Stolte

Girl and her dog- by Annika and Dillon

Organizational boxes made with VHS Tape covers

Cassette ribbon lamp shade and cassette tape lamp stand

Cassette tape chair

Friday, March 9, 2012

Week Ten- Crocheted Flowers

I was determined to learn how to crochet this month.  I have have been single crocheting for many years.  My mother taught me how to single crochet when I was a little girl and I made all sorts of  projects with my limited knowledge.  I even remember crocheting myself a pair of gloves making up a pattern as I went along, when I was about 10 years old.

But, now I felt ready to REALLY crochet, so I headed to YouTube to find myself a teacher.  (Have you discovered yet how you can learn just about anything on YouTube?)  I found a number of great tutorials, cozied up on the couch with my laptop, crochet hook and yarn, and learned how to make a flower.  In about a half an hour I had finished my first project using double, 1/2 double and even triple crochet!  What I loved best was that I could stop and rewind the video whenever I needed a little more time or needed a quick refresher on how to do a step.  I was so excited about finishing my first flower that I put it in my purse and brought it to school when I picked up the kids to show it off to my daughter's teacher (a crochet enthusist).

Since completing my first flower, I have made a handful of them.   I am not sure what they will become.  Maybe a colorful wreath?  For the time being, they will hang out the with the rest of the yarn in my yarn basket making the unused skeins jealous.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Week Nine- Embroidery with Cassette Tape

The challenge material for the month of February was discarded cassette tapes, so this is one of the projects that came from that burst of inspiration.  I used the cassette tape as my embroidery thread which gave the project a shiny effect.

My first attempt with using the cassette tape as embroidery thread was a craft fail.  I had assumed I would need a loosely woven material as the background in order for the thread to pass through.  My first project was done on a discarded burlap coffee sack.   The thread ended up looking messy.  When I tried again with this lightweight canvas material, the cassette tape ended up looking and behaving more like embroidery thread.