Old Calendar, New Life

Last year Susan Golden of the Sereno Group, sent us a beautiful calendar depicting local places of interest. Instead of photographs, the locations are watercolors by artist Lou Ann Styles.  Susan sold us our home almost 18 years ago and we haven’t moved since.

artist LouAnn Styles

Artful pages by Artist Lou Ann Styles

I like to re-purpose my wall calendars each year into something useful. They’re always beautiful works of art on lovely paper. It seems a shame to toss them into a recycling bin.
This year I turned my calendar pages into bookmarks for the Little Free Library. The natural settings and lovely detail worked well, even when cut into pieces and folded in half.

calendar book marks

From calendar page to book marks


Bookmarks using the center of the page

book marks

Bookmarks using the two edges of the page

I saved one of the pages to make an envelope. I used the back cover of the calendar with Susan’s picture to make her a special bookmark. I hope she likes it.

It’s fun thinking of ways to use an old calendar.  I’ve made them into envelopes, bookmarks, gift tags, gift card holders and postcards.  Last year I recovered a small box using several pages.  It sits on my desk on holds note cards and scratch paper.

Do you hang on to old calendars because they are too pretty to throw out?

Bookmark and envelope

Bookmark and envelope


Front side of Susan’s bookmark

Green Friday: Repurposing in and out of the Garden

Re-purposing was common practice during the Depression era.  It’s still common in developing countries where nothing goes to waste.  I’m a huge fan of giving new life to items that might otherwise be discarded.  There is an entire movement afoot, people reusing items in clever and original ways.

So, in honor of Green Friday, check out these fun ideas.


Greenhouse Made from old windows
Between Naps on the Porch

sweet magnolia chair

Lovely old chair breathes new life
Sweet Magnolia Farm

umbrellabeantrellis upcycle

Umbrella Bean Trellis from Dirt du Jour

bird bath light fixture

Light fixture bird bath from Indulgy

I wish I had 100 hours a week to read all the fascinating blogs out there. Here’s a small sample:

Dishfunctional Designs: Creative Things To Make With Old (I love the clever title)

Indulgy.com: Light fixtures live again

Denim Do Over: giving new life to old denim

Pinterest: Set the timer or you’ll never get anything done.

Facebook: Re-purposed, Recycled, Reused, Reclaimed, Restored

I like to re-purpose my wall calendar each year.  I reuse the pages to make envelopes, bookmarks, gift tags, small stickers, gift-card holders and other small paper items.

Last year I made a wreath for our front door using scraps of tissue paper, candy wrappers (ahem) , a dry-cleaning bag and the plastic sleeve from the newspaper.

Katherine, over at Pillows a-la- Mode recently refashioned an old sweater into the most adorable teddy bear you’ve ever seen.

Diary of a Mad Woman uses a similar sweater to make Christmas stockings. 

I hope you have as much fun as I did, visiting all these fun sites.  Please share your own re-fashions, links or blogs in the comments below.

A Place to Call Home

The Stones Were Laid into the Outer Ring

Kismet!  The remaining garden patio stones found a home today.

Our talented designer incorporated many of the stones into the new patio design and they look sublime!  Additional stones created a curving walkway along the vegetable garden.  Still, so many remained.

Garden Pathway

Hoping these bronze beauties could find a second life, I placed a call to friends in the community.  They were in the planning stages of their own back yard and guess what?  They’ve been looking at natural stone to incorporate into their own garden design.  Several wheelbarrow trips later, the beautiful bronze stones have found a new home.  The ever- gracious recipients said:

We are thrilled to have such an opportunity to use your beautiful stones in our yard project.

We are so grateful to you that you believe so strongly in the value of re-using!  It really is a wonderful and useful way to live in community. I’m happy you are getting the backyard you’ve always wanted too. It looks great and more functional.

Once again, we have a need for what you now don’t…..and we are most appreciative. The timing of this is remarkable. Thank you.

Finding the perfect “home” for those stones has had me smiling all day.

Tower of Bronze Stones

Have Wheelbarrow, Will Travel