30 January 2009

Kiddie Placemats

Another useful way to recycle packaging paper is to cut them into 8.5" x 11" sheets and make them into instant placemats. Put them on a child's highchair or favorite spot on the dining table and with a handful of washable crayons or markers, your little one will be entertained as he or she waits for a yummy meal. This can easily be thrown away after eating. If you're impressed with the masterpiece your child has created (granted it's free of drink drips & food stains), by all means frame your little artist's handiwork!

Wishing you all a TADA! weekend!!!

29 January 2009

Note on a Rope

Today's TADA! is another notebook crafted from packaging paper, those sheets that give a bear hug to breakable items for the ride home from the store. Simply cut the sheets into the size of a deck of cards, punch a hole on the upper corners and sandwich them in between two pieces of cardboard. Thread on a chain, string or ribbon and you've got a note on a rope! Students, writers & reporters will find this accessory very useful for jotting down quick notes or important quotes. Hang one on your closet doorknob for instant reminders (ex. mend socks, get new jeans, shop for a silver clutch) or leave one in the car for lists to make while in traffic. Need to exchange phone numbers? Scribble it on a page, tear a sheet & there's your instant calling card! This practical necklace may never appear on the pages of VOGUE but you'll be the hero when somebody asks, "Anyone have paper?"

28 January 2009

Doodle Your Dreams

We're still working with packaging paper today and these large sheets are perfect to turn into a scrapbook for doodling & dreaming:

Just fold and cut the paper into the size you want, then staple them together. Secure the folded edge and add a nifty label for the cover (I used an old paper bag), get out your pens and get ready to draw! But let's play with purpose, shall we? Why don't we turn this doodle pad into a diary of dreams, goals & wishes? Go ahead and decorate the pages with everything you hope for this year -- a better job, to find love, to travel, whatever!

If you've ever read the bestselling book "The Secret", it talks about the Law of Attraction that's always responsive to your thoughts for as long as: (1) You know what you want & ask the universe for it; (2) Feel & behave as if the object of your desire is on its way; and (3) Be open to receiving it. Isn't this doodle pad a good way to start?

Through the course of the year, as you slowly realize the dreams that you drew, be like a kid again & color away:

I wish all of you a colorful doodle pad at the end of this year! That, in my book, will be a real blah to TADA!

27 January 2009

Fridge Notes

Today's BLAH is still packaging paper used to wrap delicate items. Let's turn it into a TADA! by cutting them into little sheets and adding holes using a puncher. The sheets are then mounted onto cardboard (wrapped in fun scrapbook paper) using a piece of ribbon. As a final step, attach a magnet on the back of the cardboard with a glue gun or crazy glue and what have you got? An instant notepad for grocery lists, spur-of-the moment recipes and menus for the week!

26 January 2009

Welcome to my Blog!

I used to write a newspaper column about recycling called Cheap Thrills during a time when environmental concern was not as in vogue as it is today. I liked the challenge of creating something new out of stuff that screamed, "I"m off to the garbage can". I tried to be a miracle worker by giving new life to ratty things like old towels with holes in them or finding new uses for plastic water bottles. With a little imagination and some elbow grease, I think I kicked it up a notch. Recycling, after all, doesn't stop at the recycling bin.

So I'm reviving that newspaper column to get in touch with my creative self and ultimately to help save Mama Earth. Plus I'd like to save some cash given this current economic crisis.

Welcome to my little corner in the Web and thank you for stopping by. I hope you will find some ideas to transform your BLAH into a TADA!

Pocket Notebooks

Packaging Paper is what we'll be recycling this week. You know -- those big sheets of newsprint paper used by stores to wrap breakable items before they are placed into a paper bag. I amassed quite a few over the holidays. While some made it into the boxes I mailed out (used in place of Styrofoam peanuts), I still have a huge pile ready for transformation. Everyday this week, I'll show you how we can turn this BLAH (packaging paper) into a TADA!

Today's TADA! are
Pocket Notebooks. The Moleskine Cahier Notebooks
are the inspiration for this. I started out with a neat pile of about 5 sheets, folded them and cut them in half with a pair of scissors. I kept at it until I found the size I wanted (4" x 6"). I folded the sheets in half but instead of cutting, I stapled at the fold (about 2-3 staples along the fold). For the cover, I used an old photo I was willing to part with. Hey, that's new life for a photo that was hiding in a box for years! Plus it makes the notebook unique, personal and sturdy. Decorative paper or colorful card stock are other options. Attach the cover to the spine using glue.

There you have it, several pocket notebooks for all the brilliant ideas that will come your way.