ScrapHappy December: Wrapping a Starfish

What’s a Scrap Happy post?

It’s an opportunity or an excuse to make something entirely out of scraps. Our host, Kate, of Tall Tales from Chiconia, encourages the use of scraps to make something useful or beautiful or both.

If you would like to join us, please see the details at the end of this post.

Last month I helped put together a volunteer appreciation afternoon for Front Door Communities/Lifted Spirits. My friend Mary came up with the idea of a starfish keyring as a small thank you gift for our volunteers. The keyrings came packaged in a simple black box.

This is where my scraps come in. I had exactly two sheets of this autumn-themed paper, which I won at a scrapbooking event several years ago. I wanted to include “thank you” somewhere on the gift and came up with the idea of hand-stamping “thank you” and a couple of small stars on a band of paper. I needed 30 bands in all and had just enough to wrap 30 boxes, with enough left over for one bookmark!

Scrap-happy bookmark.

I assembled drawstring bags with the boxed keyring and the thank you band, then added small cinnamon-scented pine cones to help the box stand upright.

Gift bag and pine cones

Small bag, pine cones, black box and a strip of paper before stamping

This is what they looked like assembled on a tray.

Volunteer Appreciation gifts

Why starfish?  Here’s the story:

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “why are you doing this?  You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

She bent down, picked up another starfish, and tossed it into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one.”

Positive Promotions starfish key ring

Boxed starfish keyring with a parable

Our volunteers make a difference

These small crafty projects are about all I have time for of late, but they’re satisfying nonetheless.

If you would like to join us, please let Kate know.

Wishing you a happy, scrappy holiday!

Starfish Keyring: One Person Can Make a Difference

Starfish Keyring: One Person Can Make a Difference

Check out the links below on December 15th to see other scrap-happy posts.

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline, and Sue L.

ScrapHappy November: Wall Calendar Bookmarks

I’m joining Kate, of Tall Tales from Chiconia, for her monthly scrap-happy blog post. The challenge is to create something made entirely of scraps, or as Kate put it this month it’s “time to show stuff made from bits of other stuff!”

This month I converted pages from my old wall calendars into bookmarks for our Little Free Library. With a library at the curb, it’s a fun excuse to make several bookmarks at once.

Sample calendars

The Nature Conservancy calendar and bookmark: photograph Rick Flematti Nature Photography

Bird calendar page into bookmark: photograph Loic Poidevin

Being the animal lover that I am, I’m on mailing lists for the Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) and the Nature Conservancy. Their calendars are too beautiful to toss so I upcycle the pages into an assortment of things.

Time is short, so nothing fancy this month.

I perused my stash, set aside pictures that would work for the scale of a bookmark and then located the most strategic center.

Sweetness overload

A pair of puppy bookmarks

A trio of kitty calendar bookmarks

From our HSSV calendar (the book is a gift from my friend Kelly)

Will you look at those puppy-dog eyes?

More puppies

I cut a 6 x 6 inch focal point from the center of the calendar, then score at the two-inch mark on either side.  I fold it into thirds and glue the layers together. These gorgeous calendars get a second life.

It’s surprising how relaxing this simple craft can be. I enjoyed revisiting the beautiful nature photography, and I smiled at the notion of all those cats and dogs going to their forever home.

That’s it for this month. I’m off to see how the rest of the bloggers below are using their scraps.

Check out the links below on November 15th to see other scrap-happy posts.

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline, and Sue L.

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-Windows

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.