Thursday, November 4, 2010

Upcycling and Recycling

So I've just recently learned a new hip and cool word - upcycling.  Here's the definition:

  • Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.
  • The repurposing of a material into a product of higher quality. An example would be a purse made out of woven candy wrappers.
I'm not quite sure how this differs from recycling, but blogs that are way cooler than mine use this word all the time.  So here's my newest "upcycling" projects:
 This mirror, in all its lovely golden splendor, hung in my parents entry way for a long, long time.  Underneath it was an equally lovely, and matching gold shelf on which two ivory and ebony little elephants stood.  I asked my mom the other day if I could have the mirror.  She said yes and pulled the dusty thing out from under her bed (my sister had already taken the little shelf). So in the mode of upcycling, and because I get asked at least 6 times a day, usually more like 12, what's for dinner, I decided to try my hand at making a chalkboard out of a mirror to post our weekly menu on.  It actually was pretty easy and if anyone wants to make a chalkboard out of something, I have TONS of the chalkboard paint left. (Found out later, there are much smaller bottles in the craft section, instead of the paint section.)
Next is my other new love, painting on t-shirts using freezer paper as a stencil.  I've cut the freezer paper using my Cricut (or I also did one by just laying the freezer paper over a picture I printed out and cutting) and then iron it on the shirt.  Then paint away.  Maddie's shirt had a stain on it which I carefully covered with the butterfly.  Jon was very sad when his favorite shirt (which is a hand-me-down from Billy, and before that cousin, Chase) got a big snag and hole in it.  So I cut out the felt guitar and painted it and the shirt.  Now he has his favorite shirt back and he thinks it's cooler than ever!  I also painted a shirt for Cheyenne, Natalie, and me (covering up a hole I patched).  I even painted all of the kids Halloween shirts.  My kids are now becoming a little leery of telling me they have a stain because they know I'll whip out the paint and fix it right up, instead of just buying a new one.
What do you have sitting around your house just waiting to be upcycled?

Linked to:
Love Notes by Lauryn

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween

What a fun weekend we had! I'm kind of liking Halloween on Saturday/Sunday, it sure makes things less rushed and enjoyable.  Friday the kids all wore their costumes to school.  Maddie had her hair done first, and after I was done ratting it up, I showed her in the mirror.  She almost started crying and didn't want her hair "crazy".  After Chloe's got "crazy" too, and then we sprayed them blue, she decided it was kind of fun.  However, Jon wasn't so keen on wearing his "church clothes" to school, especially since it wasn't red. (If they wear red on Friday's they get a pride pass to redeem for candy and he didn't want to miss out.  I assured him that there wouldn't be any pride passes given out and he'd get lots of candy anyway.)  Billy was just psyched that he got to wear his costume all day long since it was just camo pants and shirt, and everyone else only got to put on their costumes after lunch.  Even more exciting for Billy was getting to wear his camo pants and shirt together since his dad had told him he couldn't before because one is "desert camo" and the other is "forest camo" and they don't match. :)  I was even a good mom and went to the costume parade - first time I've ever done that.

 Saturday we had a nice relaxing day at home and especially enjoyed having Bill home with us, a rarity in the last couple months.  Finally, it was time to get all dolled up again and have some more fun.  This time there were tears for a minute when Jon had to wear his "church clothes" again, but the threat reminder of no trick or treating if he didn't wear them quickly stopped the tears and he had a great time.  I even joined in with them thanks to my sister's great Cat in the Hat costume.  Cheyenne and Natalie were too, old for trick or treating this year, but luckily their brothers and sisters got plenty of candy to share. 

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