Dust scoop from plastic milk container

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (1)

Don't you just love it when you can figure out how to make something from a photo with no long boring instructions. Well, here's an example. My daughter recently sent me a pic of a really elegant dust scoop (or pan) cut out of a plastic milk container. I know, I know, you're probably thinking whatever??? You've seen a hundred or so similar ideas elsewhere. But, hey, this one is really fine. Take a gander. 

I can't quite make out the source of this photo and idea (and my girl has forgotten where she first spotted it). If it's yours, let me know so I can credit it.

Ciao for now!

Thoughts of spring

Posted on January 9, 2012 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (3)

I know, I know, spring is still just an idea right now but staying here in Edinburgh where I'm surrounded by green gardens and flowering plants, I can't help but look forward to some early planting. Today I spotted this innovative garden on Treehugger - recycling 2 litre plastic pop bottles into a hanging wall garden feature and have to admit that I was quite taken with it.

This 'garden' was designed in collaboration with Brazilian design studio Rosenbaum and the TV show Caldeirao to help poor families improve their homes and surroundings. I'm not sure how much time it would take to water these as container gardens always need a lot more watering than ordinary gardens. Still a good idea if you live somewhere where it rains a lot. If you go to the Rosenbaum site, you will find out how to make it. It's in Portuguese but you won't need a translation as the illustration is pretty self-explanatory.

Recycling bottle idea from Ikea

Posted on June 6, 2011 at 8:54 AM Comments comments (2)

Okay, the Ikea post at Livet Hemma did not use recycled bottles - they were pushing their own glass vases for this idea but I think it would work really well using small recycled glass or plastic bottles and adding paper content labels. Good gift idea for the gardener in your life. 

Recycle Wine Boxes for Father's Day DIY project

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Our local LCBO (provincial-government liquor stores) sell off wood wine boxes and crates and gives the money to charity, so over the years I've assembled quite a collection which I use in many different ways. A few of these have been falling apart (the broken ones are free) so I cut them down into flower boxes for my balcony garden. The box ends, with the vintage year and origins of the wines the boxes once contained, are too pretty to throw out so these I have recycled into cutting boards. Once I've sanded these down, I'll oil them with walnut oil to make them food-friendly. 

To go with the cutting boards, I repurposed a couple miniature-sized vodka bottles (I got those from a nice gentlemen when I last flew to Edinburgh) into salt and pepper shakers (wash and dry first and then just punch a few holes into the caps with a nail and hammer). I intend to give both the cutting boards and shakers to some Dads who love getting stuff for their basement bars.

PET Plastic Recycling

Posted on August 27, 2010 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Okay, we've all probably made a lot of crafty things with these PET plastic bottles. I can think of a few like bird feeders and insect traps. I've also used them as vases and also for storage. However, Brazilian designer Miriam Mitsuko Utsumi takes PET plastic bottle recycling to a whole new level.

She uses this material as her medium to create everything from floral arrangements to clothes hampers to handbags. 

Visit her site.

Both images Miriam Mitsuko Utsum

How to Recycle Glass Bottles and Jars

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)


Since selling my lovely vintage preserve canning jars, I started to think about how long these have lasted (mine were from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s and had a lot of use) and how many different ways I’ve used them over the years. No – I didn’t do a lot of preserving except for fruit jellies and jams which are easy to do. But these jars followed me from home to home and I always found a new use for them. Besides storing food supplies such as beans, rice, flour, and sugar in the kitchen, I also filled some with pencils, crayons, felt pens, buttons, elastic bands, and sewing whatnots in my studio. And they were great for my homemade soap bars and bath salts in the bathroom.


I also used some of them to hold votive candles when we ate al fresco on summer evenings. Some I sent away filled with dry cookie and soup ingredients to my daughter at university or to friends who needed a boost. And did I mention how great they are for sprouting seeds? If I still had them, I would probable use them as pieces of sculpture, leaving them empty in rows at the top of my bookshelves. But now most of them are gone – I sold them to a lovely guy who is rebuilding a farmhouse and will be using the jars in much the same way I did. It’s nice to know that these will continue to be used.


Of course, any type of glass jar or bottle can be recycled, vintage or not. All you need are the jars and I’m sure you can come up with dozens of new ways to recycle that jar. And did you know that by recycling a single glass jar or bottle, you can save enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for as much as 4 hours. So you’re also helping the environment. Cheers!