Friday, September 25, 2009

Mandala... made from plastic bottle caps!!

Yup, yup, that's PRETTY darn cool alright...

Found this browsing around the M.E.C.C.A. site (Material Exchange Center for Community Arts)(it's the Mungo of Eugene, OR, don't you know) and I'm LOVING it. Kinda makes me want to move back to my homeland...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I've seen the future, and it will be... quote Prince...

I am completely and utterly overjoyed by this discovery I made last night... earthships. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the direction we are going in! These houses are completely sustainable, they are built out of old tires and cans but look AMAZING, this really gives me hope that the future is not grim and Mad Max but instead just this whole other phase where we really raise our consciousness and live in tune with the earth.

I want to build one of these immediately, like right now, TODAY! Got any tires to give me?

Tin Can Mania

My friend gave me this huge box of formula cans and they've just been sitting there kind of mouldering in my tinkering area... I decided today that it's high time I figure out what I was going to do with them, if I wasn't planning on chucking them in the recycling,which I must admit was tempting considering the rabid de-cluttering zest I was seized with today. Luckily I managed to stay those chucking impulses and search Google first, and as per usual my search yielded many fascinating reuse ideas.

One which you may well know is a tin can luminary. You fill your can with water, freeze it, and then go to town with a hammer and nail punching in the pattern of your choosing. You can do it simple or oh-so-fancy. This is quite fun and a very fun gift to make with, say, a 9 year old boy who might enjoy bashing the nails into the can.
Another result found was from, specifically, formula cans, and it was this amazing house in Patagonia, weatherproofed with the cans... cut through and flattened into sheets. You can read more about it here.

And this game a fellow made, it's really hilarious... I'll absolutely have to give this a try, because my little fellows would sure love it: it involves stretching a balloon over the mouth of a tin can, setting them all in a row, and rolling a little marble or large ball bearing down a little ramp so that it
goes bing, bang, boing, bouncing across the little rubber trampolines. You have to see the little movie of it, you can watch it here.

Last but not least, you can make an absolutely fabulous hobo stove in about 5 minutes with nothing more than a can, a can opener, a knife, and some scissors. Watch the how-to-make video here.

Oh tin can, you contain multitudes. Of reuse-itudes (So sorry, I simply couldn't resist).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Streamers for your bike handles

... made out of a silvery chip bag, of which we have plenty. I'm trying to think of other uses: one of those solar blankets you use when you're lost in the wilderness? Or... you could make a whole skirt out of the streamers, for your Halloween costume as a outer space hula girl? Certainly use these rather than buy tinsel for your Christmas tree... Any other ideas?

My hero Dan Phillips in the New York Times!

This man is one of my biggest inspirations... he builds homes with (with, not just for!) low income folks in Huntsville, TX out of the scraps and leavings from other construction companies (along with other choice bits like the picture frame samples lining the ceiling in this photo, as well as wine bottle corks, bottlecaps, bones, and license plates) and fashions them into beautiful, original, and inspiring homes... read the NYT article here.... re-live Mungo's visit with the man here...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My nifty new journal

You know how sometimes you have a little (or big) mental block against something? And then you finally finally finally after many months (or years!) make yourself do it, and then it's so much easier (though occasionally much much harder) than you thought? Well, that was my relationship between me and my nifty new journal.

I've had this book, How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith for about a year now... It's a FABULOUS, inspiring book... it finally inspired me to use this torn off old cover from a beloved (early) Richard Scarry book... All I had to do was clamp the cover and pages to a table, drill three holes, and then easy peasy, stitch it up in this very basic way.... it really only took half an hour, probably. And considering all the bucks I have spent on blank books over the years... and the fact that now I can make them oh-so completely custom-made and to-my-liking.... I'm actually almost wishing this one weren't quite so fat and full of pages, so I could make myself another, sooner. I guess I could get right on it with the Christmas gift making.... yes, that would be organized of me, wouldn't it....