Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wine Cork Ideas

If you drink wine, you get wine corks:

Some wine corks remind you of lovely times:

Some wine corks are just plain lovely:

I keep my corks in a display jar on a kitchen shelf.

I like the way they look. But when the jar is full, what should I do with them?

A quick check yields some good ideas (I Googled "wine cork art"). This person turned wine corks into wall art around a dart board (very helpful if, like me, you're a lousy shot and apt to strike the wall):

This person made them into a wine-themed wreath:

I love this holiday wreath made of just corks and red jingle bells:

This trivet is straightforward, simple, and rustic:

This crafter made herself a message board out of wine corks:

This small trivet, below, is by Reclamation Revolution. Simple and elegant, no?:

Photo: Reclamation Revolution

By the way, Reclamation Revolution has a FaceBook page filled with links to terrific ideas for re-using things. I love their tag line: "Saving the world by making one bad ass thing at a time." Ha ha!

This is one of my favorite solutions for using wine corks:

A frame around a wall mirror! This idea was in one of my shelter magazines, and the looks terrific, don't you think?

My local grocery store has a carton for recycling wine corks:

According to the signage, a group called ReCork turns the donations into cork soles on shoes:

But I think I'll toss my corks into the bag I'm collecting for the art program at my local preschools. They always appreciate fun materials to foster their creativity. 

Curbside Rescues

My neighbors were at it again this week, tossing things to the curbside that should have been donated to charity instead. First up, this sweet little cubby:

Granted, it's dusty and grandma-looking, with its current dark-brown stain. But look at the appealing, curvy lines it has:

Here's the back of it, looking down as I hold it against my knees:

I imagine it painted glossy white and hung on a wall above a dresser in a little girl's room, or perhaps a crafts room, like this gorgeous one.

The same household that tossed out the cubby also chucked two chairs currently lacking seats:

Such nice lines! Picture them with a modern, edgy fabric on the seat and painted a kicky color, like high-gloss tangerine or turquoise. They'd be so sweet.

Unfortunately, I learned that Goodwill has a nationwide policy of only accepting things "in working order," meaning they can't take these chairs. *Sigh.* Too bad; all they need is somebody with a little imagination and some simple DIY skills.

Also this week, somebody tossed out two nice-looking decorative pots.

Judging from the greenish stain and dirt inside this one, it had a plant in it. It could, again; there's not a chip or a crack on this thing. It just needs a good scrubbing.

The same household tossed this attractive metal planter:

My mother called these things by their French name, "cachepot." It just means an ornamental pot for holding and concealing a flowerpot. 

Today, I ran across this handsome side table left in an alley:

Again, you have to look past the dust. Then you can see it's a very sturdy, masculine design, with ornamental leather straps and metal studs:

Next to the table was this basket:

It, too, had leather-and-metal accents:

Everything except for the seatless chairs went to Goodwill. Somebody, somewhere, will love these finds. And a worthy charity will profit from my finds. AND stuff will stay out of our overflowing landfills.

Please, folks, help spread the word: Don't be lazy and leave your stuff by the curb or the trashcan. Take it to a charity and let it have a second life.

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Recycling Kerchiefs for Pound Puppies

When my dogs come back from being professionally groomed, they smell wonderful and sport little neckerchiefs the groomers tie around their chubby little necks. (Hey, it beats bows on their ears!) But after a couple of hours, the dogs are ready to chuck the neckwear.

 You can almost hear Won Ton saying, "Get this thing OFFAME!"

The kerchiefs are so cute. The patterns and colors make me smile:

 Here's the kerchiefs they wore when I had them groomed last July 2 or 3:

But I didn't really need them. So they piled up in a corner of the laundry room.

Recently I realized I could donate all the kerchiefs to the pound puppies! I gave the kerchiefs a quick spritz of spray starch and a touchup with the iron:

...and then took the entire pile to the next dog-adoption event I worked.

For some reason, dogs look cuter--and attract more attention from passers-by and serious lookers alike--when they're sporting a scarf.


 Do you have leftover kerchiefs from the groomer's? Or maybe a pile of bandanas from that last company picnic--the one with the Western theme? Consider donating them to your local adoption group.

They'll love you for it.

(All pound puppy photos taken by Karl Loveys. Thank you, Karl!)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 24

Happy Holidays, everyone! Teapots & Polkadots will be back after the weekend.

In the meantime, I wish for all of you the best and bubbliest.



Friday, December 23, 2011

Cookie Baking

Today, my kitchen is awash in flour, sugar, and chopped-up nuts.

Every surface is covered with dirty spatulas, greased baking sheets, and batter-smeared bowls.

 It's fun and festive, though.

I'm in a cookie-baking windstorm.

 Things are looking mighty tasty.

And it smells terrific.

But I had to banish the pugs from the kitchen.

They were trying to lick up all the spilled flour, nuts, and sprinkles.

So I made a temporary barricade from a turned-over chair, a placemat, and a seat cushion.

 Not everybody is happy about that. 


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