We're doing our usual fall house-cleaning this weekend to get ready for the winter holidays, but rather than throw stuff out, I'm trying to figure how I can recycle things.
Junk mail is always a problem, and today a national political party sent me a big flyer to try to sway my vote. There isn't a single picture or word about their candidate, his platform or what he plans to do in it; it's 100% nasty quotes from dubious media sources trashing the other guy. Typical. Included in this junk mail were three rather nice pictures of the other guy. I cut out the photos and taped them in my journal and wrote a little bit about what I think of him, then put the rest of the flyer through the office shredder. I'll use the shredded material to pack fragile items for shipping.
A favorite author of mine had a wonderful keeper story in an anthology with other authors who, while competent writers, aren't going on my keeper shelf. Because I know I'm going to reread the keeper story frequently, I excised the pages I wanted, hand painted a new cover and rebound them with it. Since I don't donate vandalized books to the library, the remains of the antho will be recycled page by page in my flower press.
I've collected some beautiful handmade paper over the years, and I had one stack of very fragile but truly gorgeous stuff that I've never figured out how to use. I cleaned out that cabinet drawer today, found the fragile stuff and a folder with mat board scraps I've also saved to use as cover boards for my handmade books. Matt board + pretty fragile papers + glue + much patience = a pile of very neat cover boards and bookmarks. For the bookmark ribbons, I used trimmed pieces from my yarn scrap bag.
This year's desk calendar is one of those page-a-day variety with famous paintings from all over the world. Because each page is double-sided, I've had to save them all to flip them over back in June. Flipping through them all year gave me the idea of what to do with them after December: bind them into a flip book so I can look through them again when I need inspiration.
Both of my kids want to clear out the picture and story books they've kept since elementary school. Usually I donate these to the local library, but I had to call the hospital today to set up an outpatient appointment, and after I did I asked them to transfer me to the pediatrics ward. Turns out they are desperate for kids' books for their young patients, so that's where I'm taking ours.
What have you been altering, reusing or recycling? Give us some ideas in comments.