Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reuse it

Recycling is probably the easiest thing to do for the environment. I always look for ways to reuse things I have that have outlived their usefulness in my home. I often donate items to the local not-for-profit thrift store where my boys and I volunteer, or to the Re-Use Center in Edmonton where I love to "shop" for art supplies.
But what to do with a big, flat, purple exercise ball? Levi had a suggestion: "Land fill."
Nah. That just goes against my grain.
The ball was very heavy vinyl. Surely there was some useful reincarnation for it?

First I cut the ball along the concentric rings (it was a big oval ball, not a round one). I thought it would make super stretchy, giant rubber bands (for perhaps a slingshot? I know, I know, what was I thinking?) Unfortunately they are not very stretchy, but I think they will make great ties for hanging my garden hose in the garage this winter. I got a lot of these, about 2" wide and up to 18" in length. They are great!

That still left a big center section that was completely smooth. As I cut it and laid it out flat, it looked like great stamp material.

I found a design I thought might work and printed it off. I used a glue stick to adhere this print to the vinyl, then got to work with a safety knife, cutting away the negative design. It was a zen kind of job, best done while listening to a book on tape or some great tunes. It wasn't as difficult, or as tedious, as I had anticipated.

I only did part of the design, ending up with a 6" x 6" stamp that I will use in backgrounds on pages in my journal. I have a lot of the vinyl left for the next time inspiration strikes, or a design presents itself.
Or I may take the rest to the Re-Use Center to become some one else's treasure.


Kim Mailhot said...

How brilliant are you ?! What a great use of that great vinyl ! I have a ball in the basement I am tempted to puncture just so I can do that... or maybe I should use it for some exercise instead? Hmmm...
Cheers !

Mary S Hunt said...

enh! how CLEVER you are!!!
forget the exercise...i like the stencil idea much much better

arlene said...

Kim! You're back! I think my exercise ball will get MUCH more use this way. *snort*
xo arlene

arlene said...

Hi Mary,
I agree totally. Some things have to be sacrificed...for the Art!
xo arlene

creative sandwich's lovely proprietors said...

I wanna use your stamp .. maybe I'll even try making one if you have some of the ball left :)

arlene said...

I'd be happy to share some vinyl so you can give it a go. Anyone else want a piece of the action? I could mail out a piece!

xo arlene

LaY hOoN said...

Such lovely, to reuse them back.

Karyn said...

Can't wait to see that stamp in use!

catharinas-love said...

Wow , that is beautiful !