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November Board Meeting

November 12, 2013 at 7pm
Directors Present: Harley, Rebecca, Cindy, Leslie, Kaci, Carole
Visitors: Alice, Christine

Event Successes: Educators Drive and Craft Night
Between our Educators Drive and our craft night, we’ve been having a great month! It’s been super exciting!

More Great Events Coming Up!
We have two great events coming up! EAST is 11/15-16 and 11/23-24 on Tillery Street. We’ll also be at Austin’s Holiday Stroll downtown on December 7th.

Ready to share your latest reuse creation or get some inspiration from others?

Are you proud of a craft that you have made recently? We’d love to see what you have created. Send us your photos and let us know if we can add to one of our blog posts. Instagram users tag photo(s) with #reuseATX.

Here are a few examples of items that our board member, Jan Bland, has created this past year.
1. A fleece scarf turned into an ipad holder
ipad holder
2. children’s book pages modge podged onto a frame
picture frame from book pages
3. flowers made from maps
flowers from maps
5. earring holder from a picture frame
earring holder

Guitar String Crafts

If you play guitar frequently and happen to chew through strings as quickly as I do, you’ve probably found yourself wondering what to do with all of your used strings besides simply throwing them away—there’s got to be something to do with them, right? Right. Let’s run through a few alternative uses once they’ve run their course as melody makers.

Lately, I’ve found myself experimenting with making a sort of hair-plug monstrosity that seems to be coming together nicely. It’s a bit pretty, a bit bewildering, and a lot like Angelica’s doll Cynthia on Rugrats (if you’re a cartoon aficionado and catch the reference). This is certainly a long-haul project, and is the accumulation of roughly two years worth of used acoustic and electric guitar and bass strings!

guitar_Strings

If you don’t have the care or patience to wait years to put together something spiffy with your leftover strings, consider the following:

1) Use your leftover strings for arts and crafts, however your imagination permits! Be careful with the ends, which, if you frequently change your own strings, you probably know are very sharp! You can alter string length by clipping them down with wire cutters. You may then bend them, glue them, tie them, braid them, string beads on them, and so on. Be creative!

2) Hang pictures with your leftover strings. Just exactly how you hang the pictures using guitar strings is up to you as there exists numerous ways to do so, also dependent upon what you are hanging. A lighter gauge string (slimmer in diameter) is more pliable—while still having a high tensile strength—and therefore a fine candidate; on your guitar, in standard tuning, this is the high E string.

3) Cutting clay, like one would slice cheese with wire. (I would not recommend using filthy strings to slice your food unless you have sterilized the used string and are sure it is safe to cut edibles such as cheese or cakes.)

4) Make bracelets, necklaces, or some kind of creative jewelry. Keep safety in mind when making jewelry so that you know you are wearing or gifting something safe!

October Board Meeting

October 8, 2013 at 7pm
Directors Present: Harley, Rebecca, Katy, Cindy, Leslie, Kaci, Angela
Visitors: Rachel, Alice, Jonathan, Christine, Carole, Jan

Educators Material Drive
Our 2nd Educators Material Drive is this Sunday, October 13th from 9-2pm and we could still use some volunteers. Please sign up for a shift this weekend and tell any educators you know about the event!

Official Austin Reuse Day and Austin Reuse Week
We’re pleased to announce that Austin will be proclaiming October 20th as Austin Reuse Day to kick off Austin Reuse Week! Rebecca will be making a statement about this proclamation at City Hall.

We’ll be at East Austin Studio Tour!
We’re super excited to be a part of EAST again this year! Look for more information about our event and booth in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

 

Meet our interns!


Alice ArmstrongAlice Armstrong
is currently finishing degrees in Urban Studies and Plan II Honors at the University of Texas at Austin. Her academic interests range from environmental planning and design to cooperative housing development and science fiction literature. She has a background in studio art and plans to pursue masters degrees in Architecture and Urban Planning.


Jonathan DavisJonathan Davis is a fresh UT graduate with a degree in Rhetoric & Writing and enjoys writing, songwriting, practicing and listening to music, film, philosophy, literature, analog electronics, backcamping/camping/hiking and playing sports.


rachelRachel is a Studio Arts major at the University of Texas at Austin. As an artist her main interests lies in painting and two dimensional work, though she is trying to branch out to more three dimensional sculpture and installation as well. Someday she hopes to own her own store that specializes in restoration and design- think of a small scale, curated, actually vintage, version of Anthropologie. Until then she is focusing on her studies and trying to learn and experience as much as she can in her time at school and in Austin.

 

How to Make a Gift Bow

Make a Bow from ReuseCan you believe we’ve been buying expensive predictable bows, when we could have been remaking almost any image into one of a kind little gift?

Materials

  • Magazines, Map, any paper that is 10 ½ inches long
  • Scissors
  • Tape, glue or staples

Step 1. Cut 9 strips of paper, ¾” wide and 10 ½” long. Leave three pieces just as they are (10 1/2” long).  Cut 1 inch off of 3 of the pieces (now 9 1/2” long).  Cut 2 inches off of 2 of the pieces (now 81/2”long).  Cut the final piece to 3 ½” long. (Image 1)

bows-image1

Image 1

Step 2. Bend the 3 ½” strip into a circle.  Secure with double sided tape, a staple, glue, glue dots, etc.  With all other strips fold both ends to the middle, twist the ends in opposite directions to create a loop at each end. Secure. (image 2 and image 3)

Image 2

Image 2

Image 3

Image 3

Step 3. Take the longest three pieces and place them on top of each other with equal space in between.  Secure.  Do the same with the middle 3 pieces and secure.  Attach the two smallest pieces together.  (image 4 and Image 5)

Image 4

Image 4

Image 5

Image 5

Step 4: Attach the 3 layers of bow together and secure the circle to the top.

Bow kits

Enjoy!

Reusing Old Pill Bottles

Sometimes, we can’t get passed the iodine color and plain medicinal look of these prescription pill bottles and thus we throw them away. But wait!…hold on to those bottles because we may be able to remedy this problem and provide you with some creative ways to reuse these and other medicinal “type” bottles that you and your kids will love!

Whether you are looking for a way keep kids entertained in the upcoming holiday months, or are looking for a great new look for your living room lighting, here are some clever reuses for pill bottles that I’ll bet you haven’t thought of:

Great light fixture created with pallet wood and old pill bottles

Great light fixture created with pallet wood and old pill bottles

Make your own Rainbow Crayons using an old pill bottle!

Make your own Rainbow Crayons using an old pill bottle!

Snowman Craft Ornament using a pill bottle and pipe cleaners

Snowman Craft Ornament using a pill bottle and pipe cleaners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before reusing these pill bottles, remember to take off the stickers and wash the container out thoroughly with soap and water. If you are having a tough time getting off the

stickers, soak them in hot soapy water first.

there are also many more ways that you can utilize these handy little bottles that don’t require anything more than putting something else inside to help with storage and organization. Who couldn’t use a bit more of that!

-Pin holders for Sewing

-Band-Aid Holder

-Bead Storage

-Ear-bud headphones/ wires storage ( so they don’t get tangled!)

-Bird Seed holder when going to the park, kids can feed the birds

-When traveling, your travel size toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner will fit nicely in a large pill container and this keeps thing neat in your suit case.

-Diaper Bag Condensing-If you need to take some moist wipes with you for your baby’s diaper change, you can roll a few up and carry it in a pill bottle. It will stay moist.

(Source)

 

 

Trash Makeover Challenge

Texas Campaign for the Environment is throwing an exciting party to celebrate 22 years of protecting our air, water, land and health with a Trash Makeover Challenge on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at Ironwood Hall, 505 East 7th Street / Austin, TX 78701.

The Trash Makeover Challenge will include a runway fashion show, a fabulous silent auction and tasty delectables by Austin chefs. The Trash Makeover will be a Zero Waste event – at least 90% of discards will be reused, recycled or composted.

Fashion Challenge: The fabulous Tina Sparkles leads our Fashion Challenge that will feature clothing made from recycled materials.
Silent Auction: The silent auction will include items made from recycled materials and will include many of the designs created for the fashion challenge. Chef Challenge: Austin chefs will be challenged to show “what green really means in cuisine,” judged by a panel of food experts.

Tickets can be purchases on-line at https://www.steinhardt.us/texasenvironment/donate/donate_event.cfm

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Some words from Tina Sparkles about the inspiration for her Systems Supernova Computer Wire Dress (2011):

In the summer of 2010, as an experiment and art project of sorts, I made a dress out of old computer wires; it pretty much took the whole summer to complete the dress, which I named Systems Supernova. Part of the experiment included doing a bit of research about e-waste. The dress explores the concept of systems thinking as it relates to our ecosystem. Each computer wire is situated in a closed loop system that interacts with all the other systems within the dress. Movement within one system influences other parts of the whole.

Systems Supernova Dress by Tina Sparkles (photo by Andrew Sterling)

Systems Supernova Dress by Tina Sparkles (photo by Andrew Sterling)

 

It all started out when I got a knock on my door from someone at Texas Campaign for the Environment. They were going door to door with a petition to get a new standard in place requiring computer and other electronics manufacturers in Texas to take back their products for recycling. Thankfully, the measure passed and now companies like Dell must offer a free recycling program for their customers.

Since I recently upgraded from a Dell to a Macbook, I was really excited about this news, so I checked out Dell’s website for info on the recycling program. I was particularly interested in knowing what they do with the computers once they take them back for recycling – like how are they recycled and where, especially since I had heard about “fake” electronics recycling programs where companies say they recycle your old electronics, but in reality they just collect them and sell them as a commodity to developing countries.

This sounds like it might be fine and good to have people re-use our old and outdated products instead of sending them to a landfill, but actually, many of the products are obsolete and unusable, so what actually happens is that workers in places like China and Nigeria are stripping the electronics of their precious metals and other valuable resources by hand in their homes without any safety precautions.

The problem with this whole scenario is that the electronics contain lots of toxic elements like lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, polyvinyl chlorides and flame retardants. What’s worse is that to extract the metals, the parts are openly burned, thereby releasing into the air one of the most dangerous toxins of all, dioxin. Studies have been conducted on the children, water, soil and air in the towns that do this type of work and the news is not good – our electronics are poisoning people and the environment! Ugh. So, I did some more research to find out what is being done about this problem and what we can do to make sure this doesn’t continue.

I want to thank Texas Campaign for the Environment for inspiring me to take on Electronic Waste and inspiring my Systems Supernova Dress! I am so glad to be a part of the Trash Makeover Challenge on Saturday, September 24th at 7 PM @ Highland Mall, where a former clothing store will be transformed into a fashion runway and recycling will be the theme of the night.

You can learn so much more about e-waste and landfill initiatives and accomplishments by Texas Campaign for the Environment at http://www.texasenvironment.org/

Whole Foods Market Volunteer Week

We were lucky enough to be selected as a nonprofit participating in Whole Foods Market’s Global Office Volunteer Week! We had lots of participation and were able to create 62 teacher kits to make maracas, made and organize new business cards, cut out fabric letters for fabric banners, and created Austin Creative Reuse signs.

susannahsusanmelissaangela eileen

acrkits-sm
Thank you to everyone who came out to help us!

September 2013 Board Meeting

September 10, 2013 at 7pm
Directors Present: Harley, Rebecca, Katy, Cindy, Leslie, Kaci

Yard Sale – Take 2!

We still have lots of materials available, including leftover fabric from our fabric sale, so we’ll be holding one more yard sale on September 28th!

Educators Material Drive

We’re tentatively scheduling our next Educators Material Drive for mid-October! We’re still nailing down the location and some of the final details, but we’re really excited to offer this event to educators this fall!

Thanks to Carole and April of Fabricker! 

Our Fabric Sale was a huge success thanks so much to our fantastic volunteer, Carole, and April at Fabricker!