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Rags, Bottles, and Books


Once upon a time there were people who collected other people's trash and resold the items. Some of these early recycling entrepreneurs were said to go down the street calling out something like "I'm here for any rags, bottles, and bones."

Rags, bottles, and bones. For me, it would be books rather than bones. But, I'm not looking to purchase any rags, bottles, or books. Not at all. I mention the phrase because the past week, I've been repurposing fabric scraps, wine bottles, and old books.

RAGS
The elephant scene (above) is my first try at fabric art. I machine stitched everything but the the red flowery thing, which is the top of a tree, onto a purple napkin. The zipper is the second, if not the first, one I've ever sewn.

I have several more purple napkins and a whole bunch of scraps so I might experiment with more fabric art. We shall see.

BOTTLES
Last year I decided to make a garden border with wine bottles that I collected mostly from our 2016 anniversary party. I liked the look until a few weeks ago when I thought the bottles may give the impression that we are heavy drinkers. So, I decided to paint the bottles. Once we have a few days of clear weather, I'll stick the bottles back into the ground.

Don't the bottles look like bowling pins?

BOOKS
We have so many books, from the late 1800s to this decade, we could open a used bookstore in our house. My books. The Husband's books. The huge collection of books the Husband inherited from his parents that includes the collections they inherited from their parents and aunts.  We've already donated books and sold some for credit at a used bookstore. Not a dent was made at all.

I kept coming across blogs of artists and crafters who have turned old books into art pieces and practical things, one of which was a book safe. Finally, I gave it a try and hollowed out an old cookbook. When I bought it decades ago, a previous owner had cut out the recipes for sourdough bread, so I had no problem carving out pages.

It's an easy-peasy craft. Next I want to try making a purse or a clutch out of a book. 

All this creating is certainly helping me stay close to being centered, I tell you.

I'm heading over to join other blogging friends at Jesh's All Seasons and Angie's Mosaic Monday. Thank you, dear hosts!


Comments

  1. WE have a friend here in Colville who is making a garden border from wine and liquor bottles. You are crafty!

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    1. That's good to know, Ellen. I've yet to meet or hear of anyone making a wine bottle border. Whooo-hooo.

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  2. I've thought of the bottle edging in the garden but I don't really drink wine so I have few bottles

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    1. Carol, jars and vases work, too. I've got a short vase out there, too.

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  3. Su-sieeemac - the first thing that comes to mind is Mama would be proud. Your carefree artistic talent is on vibrant, wild display. Second, the bottles now look a little more like bowling pins, but I am not sure you are fooling anyone. But hey, it was a party in 2016, so they should just get over it! As for being "centered", I am glad if it is helping you. But I have always enjoyed having you just a little "off" center! Thanks for adding your special quirk to Mosaic Monday - my friend!

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    1. hahaha, you don't think people will see them as bowling pins. Well, maybe not when they're upside down in a row. But, now I'm thinking how fun it would be to create a bowling ball & pins display out there.
      I hope Mama would like the craziness on her former beautiful green lawn. :-)

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  4. Hello, I love the fabric art, the elephant is cute.. I hope you show the painted bottles when they are back in the ground, they will make a pretty border. I wish I was more creative..
    Wishing you a happy day!

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    1. You are creative, Eileen! Your photos and your words and your love of birds all speak creativity and imagination to me.

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  5. Your fabric art is pretty darn cool!

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    1. It's fun, to make, too, Brian. I'm starting to see things differently.

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  6. I think the neighbors were probably impressed with the bottle collection. There's an Etsy seller who takes old books and makes them into pot holders. She cuts out a hole through several, and then she puts a pot in the middle of it. She does other things with books as well.

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    1. We are a quirky, but happy and harmless, couple is probably the sentiment of our neighbors. So, I hope. Books as pot holders, that I have to investigate. Thanks for the heads up, Liz.

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  7. Most people now take their trash to Goodwill and feel good about it.

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    1. I've heard that more people are taking their fancy discards to thrift shops because of some book. Better that than filling up the dump. :-)

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  8. What do you think the bones were? I would be so tempted in smashing those bottles with a bowling ball, I don't know why but I feel I need to. The painted ones, very cool and I no longer want to smash them but I do want to hang them from trees and old fashioned clotheslines. Your fabric art is way cool, it's 3D and everything. Love the flower tree, are you going to hang this in your house?

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    1. Thanks, Jeanna. The napkin is hanging in the hallway leading to the living room right now. My brain is already conjuring up scenes for other napkins.
      The bones were mostly meat bones, leftovers of what people ate. At least that's what I read. But, I can imagine other kind of bones and other kind of stories, like Sweeney Todd.

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  9. Hello, centered girl!
    You are so creative...have a good time!

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  10. ...there has always been money to be made collecting others trash!

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    1. I wouldn't mind making pocket money this way.

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  11. For a time as a girl, I wanted to be a peddler. I lived out some of that as a Grateful Dead parking lot vendor. I still remember there was a "rag man" in town that collected rags.

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    1. I wanted to be a street artist who sold her wares by Ghiaradelli Square in San Francisco when I was young. The only thing was I had no wares or even knew what I would make to sell. I still have that dream. So maybe it'll come true yet.

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  12. Applique - gorgeous
    Bottles - also gorgeous
    Books - Brilliant! :D

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  13. You've created beautiful projects from discards. The best way to recycle. For our youngest daughter's wedding I used an old hymnal and created a box/book for the ringbearer to carry the rings to the altar. Unfortunately, it disappeared after the ceremony and we've no idea where it went.

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    1. That was a great idea, Lorrie. We've found a bunch of old hymnals among the Husband's parents' book collection. The Husband tells me I can do what I want with them.

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  14. I don't seen my comment here - Have you not been getting them?? Please let me know. I came her to see how you were doing.! Hope all is well with you? I also write an email, to double check - Have a great Easter weekend!

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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