Gardens are one of the most creative things to do, whether it's blending the colors of annuals in your pots for just that perfect contrast, or developing the perfect layout for your garden path. Gardening is all about creating. So we thought we would finish out the week with a fun creative project that gets those artistic juices flowing.
If you've ever flown into or out of the Lindbergh terminal at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport during the summertime, you've probably noticed very large pots of (usually) petunias hanging from just about every lamp post bordering the entrance and exit routes. Every time I drive past them, I'm always struck by how thick the blooms are, as you can
Hi! I’m Alexandra Hedin – a lifestyle and entertaining expert from the Pacific Northwest. I provide inspiration, recipes, and crafts for creating a lovely life. It doesn’t take much to make everyday lovely – or to have fun. And isn’t that what life is about? All week I’ll be here showing you how I threw together a little springtime affair that takes only a little thought and some good friends.
All week I have shown you how to host the...
This, my friends, is one of the craziest/coolest things I've seen in a very long time. The delicate rose pictured above looks like it's made of porcelain, right? Of course it's NOT porcelain. Can you guess what it IS made of?
In 1968, after he conceived the Ball Chair, Eero Aarnio, a pioneer in using plastics in industrial design, created the Bubble Chair as a reduction of its predicessor. He wanted the chair to be light-filled, and since, as Aarnio maintained, "There is no nice way to make a clear pedestal," it had to hang from the ceiling. Iconic in shape, the space-age design is as fresh today as it was 45 years ago. Original Eero Aarnio Bubble Chairs are still to be had. To find a retailer near you, visit Eero Aarnio. (An original clocks in at around $4,700 whereas a knock off will set you back around $900.)
Okay, that was the 'good for you' educational part of this post. Now, let's get to the dessert, shall we? The photo pictured above looks to be straight out of 1968, white boots and all. Less downtown girl, the suburban-like interior (pictured below) from Twenty First Century Retro is warm and
Would you have ever guessed that's what was used to create this abstract piece of art? It's easy and a great way to use up all of those plastic bags that seem to breed under your kitchen sink when you aren't looking.
Designer Rui Pereira's melts stuff. Rescued from the recycle bin, he took a heat gun to a bunch of detergent bottles and fashioned them into a vivid lampshade. Two things: 1. Can the off-gasses of melting plastic be good for the environment? and 2.
They might not look like it now, but all of these lamp shades began their existence as plastic drinking bottles. Eco-designer Sarah Turner is the talent behind them. Thirty 500 ml are used to make Cola 30, pictured above. The Lily lamps are constructed of 2-liter drink bottles. (Sprite, to be specific.)
Ryter Design's recycles plastic bottles, turning them into candle holders, vases and pencil holders and such, with lovely results. See more Ryter creations here.
Plastic wrap, cellophane, Saran Wrap, cling wrap... whatever you call it, this just-a-bit-too-sticky surface does what it does - sealing food in containers to keep it fresh - and does it well. Turns out, there's at least eight other things it can do, as well, and they've been compiled thusly by Diane Rixon at DIYLife.
- Salvage corked wine
- Preserve paint and spackles
- Pack silverware
- Get a non-slip grip
- Banish frizzies
- Keep ice cream fresh
Buddy, if we'd had one of these on the playground when I was a kid, "King of the Hill" would have been a whole different experience.
This ziggurat of zaniness was created by Salzig Design, a graphic and industrial design firm. It was built in Heijplaat, an old neighborhood in Rotterdam, and made from 100 tons of plastic bottle bales.
It's been an entire year since I posted the Tater Tots vest and hat project. Now that everyone's upcycling, reusing and recycling plastic bags routinely, I thought a re-run may inspire some
Two professors--one of fashion, the other of science--teamed up to fabricate melting fabric which was then used to make high-end couture-type togs. The dresses are part of a UK touring fashion exhibit entitled 'Wonderland'. The dresses, made of a polymer, are dipped into vessels of water and left to 'melt' into a gel-like substance that can be used to germinate seeds.
So we all know that plastic water bottles are bad for the environment, and that’s enough to eschew their usage. However, if you ever needed more specificity to punt the plastic, Green Upgrader has ‘em.
Did you know......
....that plastic bottles take 700 years to even begin composting?
Or that 90% of the cost of the bottle water is due to the bottle itself??
Or that 80% of all plastic bottles used aren’t recycled?
Or that 38 million...
South African designer Ryan Frank was inspired by a South African crafted chicken ornament when creating this chair. Named 'Inkuku', which is Zulu for chicken, the chair is 'made entirely from plastic shopping bags combining traditional craft techniques and recycled material.' The structure is made of recycled aluminum as well. To see more of Ryan's designs, visit his website. Via.
Chicken ornament inspiration:
The Howell sisters of THIS Gallery have created a unique entry into the drinkware/light category: THIS LIGHT is created from 50ish plastic beverage bottles, hardened with a fusion process that makes the lamp more durable and look, well, less like a buncha plastic beverage bottles. And if you send them three cases of plastic bottles, they'll knock a hundo off the price tag.
- CDs/DVDs and their...
Designer Thorsten Van Elten created the 44" diameter "War Bowl" from melted plastic soliders. The $225 price tag warrants a DIY attempt: perhaps you could warm the army men in the oven, then flip the softened sheet onto a large bowl for formation? Thanks, BLTD!
Even if you've already made the move to reusable bags when grocery shopping, you still seem to gather a collection from short trips to the pharmacy, hardware store, etc.
Here's ninetine other options to put them to good reuse.
- As bathroom trash bags.
- Store soiled diapers
- Store glasses and containers that are apt to spill, such as children's sippy cups.
- Collect trash in the car.
- As packaging material.
- Store wet bathing suits and towels...
Marion Owen has amassed a list of clever uses for used plastic milk jugs in an effort to keep them out of landfills. Here are some of her suggestions:
- Bird Feeders
- Scoops (½ gallon jugs work particularly well for these)
- Swimming Floaters
- Potted Plant Bases
- Poor Man’s Blenders
- Toilet Brush Holders
- Piggy Banks
For detailed instructions on making these and other projects, check out this page.