Sunday, October 28, 2012

Autumn Wreath

I love the changing of the leaves in the Fall in Oregon.  This (and Pinterest) inspired this class project.  I walked around the school campus I was working at in The Dalles, Oregon gathering Fall leaves.   Each student was asked to look at a leaf noticing the colors and details.  They traced the leaf on a piece of old book page and colored them in with colored pencil trying to copy what they saw.

We put the leaves together and created this Autumn wreath that is displayed in their classroom.  Great job kids!

Plastic Triangle Art

A fellow Master Recycler came to me with a handful of plastic triangles that she found at the transfer station. This is how I find many of the materials to create with.  Someone comes to me with something they have found and ask me if I would like to use it for a project.  I am not sure what these triangles were originally used for, but they are clear and have a hole at the top.  I recently worked in a  4th grade classroom in The Dalles, Oregon and wanted to come up with a project to do using the plastic triangle.  This is what I came up with.

Each of the students was asked to draw a picture of him/herself with a black sharpie.  They used torn pieces of tissue paper to decorate the back of the plastic triangle applied with glue/water.  The beautiful colors were enhanced when we put this in the window and the sunlight shined through.  Some students embellished this pictures with glitter glue and puffy paint.

Recycled Art Class at Columbia Art Center

This summer, I spent 4 days teaching 9 students about how to create with recycled materials at the Columbia Art Center.  We spent 3 hours a day making recycled notebooks, wallets, reusable sandwich wraps, lavender pillows, and sweater monsters.   The students were eager to create with recycled materials and the favorite day ended up being the final day of the class where I brought in supplies and my sewing machine and the kids were free to create anything they wanted.  One girl even brought her sewing machine along and helped out at the sewing station.  I can't wait to teach this class again next summer.

The Bins

I've heard it called "The Bins", "As-is Goodwill", or "Last Chance Goodwill", but whatever you want to call it, it is my favorite thrift store in Portland.    Everything is wheeled out in big blue bins throughout the day and it is up to you to dig through the items to find treasures.  The only sort of organization that exists is that the bins are loosely sorted according to contents such as shoes, books, electronics, textiles, glassware.  

 The warehouse space is huge and it can be a bit overwhelming the first time you go.  There are people who shop there regularly that obviously take it very seriously.  If you are a first timer, it is best to stand back and learn from the regulars.  

The majority of the items are sold by the pound.  The more you get, the less you pay per pound.  If you walk away with 50 pound or more you are going to pay the lowest price per pound.  (Something like $0.89 a pound.)  Some of the larger items like furniture are marked with a price and books and glassware have their own prices.  I believe it is $1 for softbound books and $2 for hardbound.

Your best bet is to go with specific items in mind, but be open to possibilities.  You never know what you are going to find!