Saturday, 19 January 2008

"Rethink It!" Challenge

Over at Chile Chews, a fourth "R" has been added to the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle slogan: Repurposing! It's like reusing, but instead of using something repeatedly for its original purpose, repurposing is using something creatively, for a purpose for which it was not necessarily designed. Chile is challenging us all to look at things a bit differently, and see what else they could be used for. I'm joining up a bit late with this challenge, but I've got a couple things I thought I'd share.

The first one is the wooden soap dish in the picture there. I made it out of willow branches in the Fall. I had trimmed one of the willow bushes and had visions of basket weaving in my head. Well, I'm not quite that talented, so I thought I'd try a soap dish/rack thing. It turned out fairly well and it's now my soap dish of choice in my bathroom. At first I wasn't sure if this was a repurposing or not, but if you think that the original purpose of a tree is to be a tree not a soap dish, then I think it counts. It also made a nice candle holder for the little votive candle there, but I decided I would get more use out of it as a soap dish, which is what I wanted it for in the first place.

Gord brought some used metal hangers home the other day, and I immediately thought of the stove burner trivet thing I wanted to make for the woodstove, to keep my Dutch oven from sitting directly on the woodstove top. My mom had these things when I was little - my dad made them from hangers (a least I think that's what he made them from), and my mom used them to keep the glass teapot up off the stover burner a bit so the tea wouldn't scald. Apparently, I am not as talented in metal working as my dad is, the evidence for which you can see in this next picture. These things are going to take a bit of work! I think I will have to consult my dad for some metal-bending lessons!

The third thing I've repurposed so far is in my cupboard right now, and will have to wait 'til Spring to be used. It's a plastic veggie platter container from some veggies and dip I brought last month to a potluck at work when I didn't have time to make anything more elaborate. When I took it home again to recycle, I looked at it and thought, "Hmmm....this could be a mini-greenhouse seed-starter thingy." I will fill the sections with my compost and sprout veggie seeds in there! It will fit nicely on the ledge by the window when I start seeds in March/April.

Thanks Chile, for the inspiration to keep an open mind and consider what else something could be used for, before recycling it or just tossing it in the garbage!


Chile said...

Argh. My comment got lost in cyberspace. *sigh*

What I said was that I hope you have fun with the challenge. Love your twig soap dish! And thanks for the reminder that do-it-yourself trivets are far cheaper.

Theresa said...

Thanks Chile! I really like my twig soap dish, and I've got an idea for betwigged jar to serve as a matching tumbler in the Spring when the willow bush thaws out again.

The trivet is ugly, but it works! I have it under the cast iron kettle on the woodstove, and it gets the job done just fine!

DC said...

The trivet is not ugly. A steel mill is ugly. I think it's great that you and others are finding such creative new uses for things!

Theresa said...

Oh my. Yes, my trivet does look nicer than that steel mill. I shouldn't call anything ugly (or beautiful, really. I like what the Tao Te Ching says about that:

"When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises
When it knows good as good, evil arises
Thus being and non-being produce each other
Difficult and easy bring about each other
Long and short reveal each other
High and low support each other
Music and voice harmonize each other
Front and back follow each other
Therefore the sages:
Manage the work of detached actions
Conduct the teaching of no words
They work with myriad things but do not control
They create but do not possess
They act but do not presume
They succeed but do not dwell on success
It is because they do not dwell on success
That it never goes away"

DC, could you enlighten me as to how to embed links in the comments section like that? I can't seem to figure it out.

Chile said...

Not DC, but imbedding links is easy. Use <a href="LINK">TEXT</a> substituting your link's URL for the word LINK and whatever you want to say for the word TEXT.

DC said...

I love the Tao Te Ching. That's a beautiful quote from it. I think I'm going to stick with calling a steel plant ugly and applauding the "repurposing" of metals though :-)

I'll try to see if I can tell you how to embed a link without the computer thinking I'm actually trying to do it. Here is the form to link to Google:

< a href = "" > Google < / a >

I had to put extra spaces before and after the < > = and a characters to fool the computer. Delete those spaces when you try it. Place any web page you want in place of the link I used, and place any text you want in the place of Google.

If this doesn't work for you, let me know, and I'll try to find a web site that explains it better.

Simply Authentic said...

such neat ideas! love it!

Theresa said...

Thanks everyone - I will try this fancy embedded link thingy soon!