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Water Bottle Sling from cargo pants and karate belt

My kids are off to summer camp. We got a loooong packing list, and among other things, we were told the following:

“Every child goes on tiyul (=hike, trek) for at least one overnight. For these tiyulim (hikes, treks), it is essential that your child pack a water canteen with a shoulder strap that can be easily carried while hiking.”

A quick search revealed a variety of prices for the water carrier, but I also found many tutorials for making them, and so… I finally used this great tutorial by Betz White to make the water bottle sling shown above from old cargo pants. Here are some more results:

a girly water bottle sling (pinkish)

a man's water bottle sling (no pink)

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*PLARN= plastic yarn

So, I’ve never really crochet(ed) before, but being a plastic-bag collector as I am, and following the beautiful bags and baskets that one talented Israeli artist, Arbel Eger, is creating, made me try to crochet my very own little basket. I looked online for some simple instructions, and they are out there, in cyberspace.

Here’s the first result:

my first basket crochet made of plastic bags

first plarn crochet

I was very happy and excited with what seemed to look like an actual basket, and even gave it as a gift. My friend looked pleased (she either liked it, or she was really kind to me), and she’ll be using it to collect her own plastic bags from now on.

Encouraged, I have decided to ride again on the waves of success, and created yet another basket to be given as a gift. This time I used more colors, and here it is:

crocheting basket from plarn, again

another crocheted basket

I am now hooked :). be prepared for some more photos.

For instructions on how to make PLARN, here a link to Arbel’s blog. It’s in Hebrew, but the great photo tutorial explains it all, loud and clear.

Any questions? remarks? I’d be happy to address them.

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I’m sure that I’m not the only one that hates it when a good cork is tossed away.

I love wine and I love corks! So I collect them.

corks corks corks

some quick cork facts:

  • cork oak tree grows in coastal regions of the Mediterranean.
  • cork trees survive harsh conditions.
  • average life expectancy of a cork tree would be 120 to 200 years.
  • natural cork is actually obtained from the bark of the tree.
  • In ancient times, cork bark was used to form sandal soles, food storage vessels, and floats for fishing nets.
  • Seventeenth century, one French monk, Dom Perignon, is credited with being the first to recognize the ability of cork to contain sparkling wines. The rest- is history.

Cork oak with bark of lower trunk removed (Ian Francis, Australia).

Corks uses nowadays:

cork collage

cork designs by Martin Margiela

cork floor

cork floor (from corkfloor.com)

And here are some things the kids made at our Trash 2 Art club, and anyone can make:

heat resistent cork trivet

heat-resistant cork trivet

Erel's trivet

Yahel's cork art- ancient dog?

cork trivet

Standing cork trivet

and there’s plenty more to do with corks. maybe we’ll wait for next winter. meanwhile- collecting more of them.

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not only is it green, but it’s totally original and your very own, not to mention: kids had tons of fun making’em, and no need to spend money…

the first photo is of my own two gift boxes, cordially filled w/goodies and given to the kids’ karate teachers (they deserve the best):

holiday giftbox

got milk? make a gift box

how?  EZ:

so here’s the deal: once more we’ll save those milk/juice cartons and redesign them.

milk carton, cut

milk carton, painted

and here are some awesome gift boxes made by my Trash2Art club kids:

made from shipping box

orange juice box

chinese illustrastion? dreidle?

chinese illustration? dreidle?

bow tie gift box

box with yarn; with cool little buttons

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floating gracefully

floating gracefully

So we had a party coming up. A BIG party. We needed to decorate a large hall. I schlepped around some party stores that sell a tiny decorative item for at least $2. For a larger item, the price blows up like crazy. I wasn’t ready to spend a lot of money, though I must admit that I have bought some decorations. Call it party fear factor.

Making it a family project, we sat around the table and started to prepare some decorations. we had fun and laughs  making them. Whether or not they’re cool, they sure are original. I call it: the jellyfish decor. That’s what they remind me of.

jellifish decor

jellyfish decor

wait, don’t throw: colorful plastic bags, plastic bottle (such as your empty organic apple juice).

to do:

  • Flatten the plastic bag, then cut off the top to remove the handles, and the bottom to remove the closed end. Fold the bag lengthwise several times,  then cut strips (between an inch to 2 inches wide) thus creating plastic rings.

making plastic rings

putting my brother to work into cutting plastic rings. he's good.

  • now that we have many colorful rings, we’ll take our empty, clean and dry plastic bottle and cut it into… aha… more plastic rings. On second thought, it’s more like slicing the bottle, like so:

plastic slices

plastic slices. Use a utility knife or scissors

  • now, we need to tie the plastic bag rings onto the plastic circle we created. Wrap the ring around the circle and pull out through the ring itself. Nothing like a picture to demonstrate:

wind plastic rings around plastic slice

wind plastic rings around plastic circle

  • cover the whole circle with many colorful, dangling rings, till it looks like- a jellyfish when you play around with it. You then attach a string to two sides of the circle, to be able to hang it high up on the ceiling. Make many jellyfish to brighten up any party.
  • and…we also managed to create yet another cool colorful chain from the plastic bag left-overs- by tying them to one another, and tying balloons on.
balloon chain

balloon chain

did I mention recycle?

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well, it’s an upside-down plant made of a plastic bottle and a cloth-hanger. and a plant.

cute plant growing down

cute plant growing down

But wait- it’s not just pretty, it could also be beneficial, when you try it with a tomato planter. Google it up and you’ll find that it sells for $$$, but you can skip the buying. There are different ways of doing it, but here’s my way:

tomato plant, swinging in the air

tomato plant, swinging in the air

  • The only thing we bought is an organic tomato. Before cutting it into our great salad, we kept some of the tomato seeds, and planted them, first, in small yogurt containers with our own soil from the back yard. We took care to water the little tomato plants, and when the stems showed up, at around 2-3 inches long, we then transferred them into clean plastic bottles.
  • To prepare your plastic bottle, cut off the bottom of the bottle (the wide part) with a utility knife, and puncture two holes so you can attach your hanger.
  • Insert, carefully, the tomato planter, with stems/leafs upside-down through the narrow opening of the bottle, fill the rest with soil.
  • Attach hanger and… hang in a sunny location. Be sure to water and take care of it.
  • Adore it !

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Though most people don’t need road maps anymore due to the incredible ease of the GPS. Never the less, I have stocks of old maps, and even some new ones from places I visited recently. You know how you enter a visitor center and you just can’t leave without a handful of brochures and local maps, that eventually find their way to the recycling bin, or even worst- the trash bin?

The Maryland border is so straight

The Maryland border is so straight

well, why not save paper, and money, and stash ’em right where you keep your gift wrap paper? Yap, those maps give a nifty, sophisticated look to your gifts.  Add a little ribbon or make a card with motifs from the map leftovers to make it even more special.

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