Saturday, April 28, 2007

Another Mirror Saved from the Trash

I recently posted about a very nice mirror that I found in the trash and rescued. But, alas, I was too far from home to save it for myself, though I am happy to have been able to save it for someone else, even if I'm not sure quite who that someone is. Anyway, that reminded me, after I had gotten home, that this mirror was also rescued from the trash: I retrieved the very nice frame, with a gilt inner edge that I don't think quite shows up in the photo, from the attic of the Molly Root House, which the college I teach at had recently bought and was cleaning out. A little while later I came across a large mirror which had once been attached to a vanity or dresser (at least that was my best educated guess) in the trash a few houses down from my last apartment. So, for $10 I had the mirror cut down and fixed inside the frame by a local glass company - a pretty good deal, I think. The mirror is pretty heavy, so I don't want to try to hang it on the wall myself, but I actually like it leaning up against my bedroom wall anyway.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Manga Man - Someone Else's Treasure

So, here is a great piece of funky art which my friends Lynne and Phil rescued from the trash outside this store on Orange Row in Brighton, UK. They assume that the store had decided to do some redecorating, and luckily they were there to take this home. It is now on an outside door of their flat. It was very helpful when I was visiting recently, and needed to be sure, instantly, that I was back at the right place!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My New Bloggy Endeavor

I've started a new blog, as a way to keep track of and write about a new project I've undertaken: becoming a cheese connoiseur (sorry, I realize that this sounds kind of high falutin'...). So, though it has nothing to do with what I write about here, check it out!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wherever I Go, I Find Treasures!

I've just come back from a week in England, where I had a great time. The weather was very warm and sunny, and I had a lovely time visiting with friends in London and Brighton, and then a very productive and interesting conference at Oxford, where I presented a version of this paper. One evening, while walking home with the Lynneguist and her soon-to-be-husband from a great dinner of Bangers and Mash at a pub which specializied in about a dozen kinds of sausage, including vegetarian varieties, and at least half a dozen mashed potatoes and gravies, I spied this mirror leaning up against a dumpster: I dutifully carried it back to their home (with help - thanks!), where I was able to inspect it a bit more carefully than I could out on the dark street. It is very nice. It is a pinkish amber color, with a scalloped edge, and virtually ready to hang (it just needs some wire attached to the back). When I left it with them it was in need of a good cleaning, and perhaps a scraping with a razor blade to remove some relatively recalcitrant dirt that you can see on left. But other than that, it really is a lovely mirror, and I was tempted to drag it all the way home myself. (But it's rather heavy, so the idea of carrying it up to Oxford and then out to Heathrow dissuaded me.) They weren't sure whether they would be able to find a spot for it in their home, but I left it in their care assured that if they couldn't use it they would find someone who could. So, even when I'm away from home, I can still manage to remain true to myself!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

You Can't Have Too Many Bulletin Boards!

A couple of years got back, I too got caught up in the clever idea of magnetic bulletin boards, that is, using a metal surface and magnets to post notes, messages, etc., rather than a more traditional push pin type of bulletin board. And I found an old enamel top table at at a yard sale for $10, so I took the top and secured it to a wall in my last apartment, which I thought was really extra clever of me: This takes a bunch of magnets, so that gave me the excuse to make more button magnets (simple to make: hot glue round magnets to the back of old buttons):But then, when I moved into my new house (I've lived here for more than a year now, so I wonder when it will stop feeling 'new'...), I decided that I was over the whole idea of metal bulletin boards. The button magnets, or even more traditional smaller magnets take up a lot more room than do push pins, and how many enamel tables does anyone really want to take apart? (I recently found one in the trash, took it apart, and stuck it in my garage, but I'll leave that for another post.) So, I've returned to regular old bulletin boards, and I actually have four, all over the house, because I find them so useful! (Meanwhile, I put that green enamel top table back together and use it in my craft room.) Here's the cool vintage one I found years ago at the Salvation Army in Cleveland, that I keep in my craft room, with various inspiring images on it: Then there's a little green one, from the same Sal Army in Cleveland, with fish swimming across the top. I use it as a small rotating gallery. It currently has old pictures of my house, kindly given to me by a previous owner. But if I manage to collect a few old chipmunk postcards (such is the kind of ambition to which I'm susceptible) then they will go there next: And, after I had painted the kitchen and the back study, I made two more bulletin boards out of homosote. (This is very easy: go to a lumber yard, and have homosote, a soft cardboard like material which comes in 4' x 8' sheets cut to whatever size you like. Then stretch over it any fabric that can withstand the pushpins and staple it to the back. Finally, attach it to the wall with screws and washers. I learned this from my sister Julie, who teaches me many cool things.) I made a relatively small one just for displaying my modest collection of 'display-worthy' vintage kitchen towels (the collection of usable vintage kitchen towels is far from modest): And I made a larger one for next to my desk, for the usual desk-like things: calendar, movie listings, etc. So, that's four in all, which so far seems to be enough, so I don't even have to put things on my fridge, which I'm glad about. So, all I've got on the fridge is all those left over button magnets!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

New York City Garbage as Art!

I was just sorting through and trying to organize all the sites that I've bookmarked in the past few months, and I came across
this article about Justin Gignac
who collects NYC garbage and packages it as art. (I no longer remember who sent me this link, but thanks!) What he is doing is very cool on many fronts: he's recycling, he's stretching our concept of 'art', he's calling attention to how much stuff gets thrown out (especially in NYC), and to boot he is making money doing it! I love it. You can
check out his site here.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

What Treasures Have You Saved from the Trash???

Okay, so now that you've seen some of the stuff that I've found in the trash, I'd love to see your reclaimed treasures. What's the best thing you've ever found in the trash? Send me a picture and description of what you've found (the better the story the better), so I can share your finds with others (just click on "Contact Celeste" on the left to email me).

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

A New Use for Old Graters

I was just browsing through all the iPhoto albums on my Mac, when I came across these pictures: The pictures were taken the day of my nephew Eli's wedding. The reception was at my sister Julie's house, and I made these lights as one of my contributions towards the festivities and decorations. I made them out of the old fashioned graters that come with big old industrial style food graters. I used a string of Christmas lights, cutting them apart, running the wires through holes in the tops of the graters and then rewiring the lights. I think that there must be a better way to do this, but it did the trick at the time. The picture don't show this very well, but they cast a very nice, mildly funky light at night. My sister kept the lights up for quite a while, but eventually returned them to me. I've got to see if I can find them, and put them to use this summer when I hope to host some gathering s in my back yard.