Reduce, Reuse, or Recycle Your Finds

Gosh, I’m so not in the mood to make fun of stuff today, or really all this week. You can tell by all the pictures I have that don’t come from a garage sale or thrift store. Since they are the more interesting ones, to me at least, let’s do one first, and save something pretty for the end.

A couple of years ago, I raised monarch caterpillars given to me by a neighbor. She was at it again, and this time I had eight! Things haven’t gone as well as previously, and two have straight-up died, and one ding-dong made their chrysalis on the bottom of the container—evidently climbing to the lid was just too much trouble. It will be interesting to see if they come out okay (fingers crossed). I’m consoling myself by saying, “Any monarch butterflies that I release, will increase their numbers!”. I so want to help bolster the population, but they seem to be hell-bent on suicide. Here’s one container with a chrysalis, and two caterpillars. If you see these in the wild, please don’t hurt them:

The caterpillars eat only milkweed, which I have in spades all over my backyard. Unfortunately, aphids really like milkweed too, which necessitates much rinsing so I don’t bring those pests into the house!

While I was looking at this week’s pictures, I was thinking about how these items could be repurposed to make them useful, even if only slightly more so than what they are now. I did come up with a couple of ideas.

First up:

This thing is about two feet long, and just fugly. It’s copper so I guess it’s probably from the 1960s or ’70s. Even if you’re mad for Mid-century modern design, this ain’t it! Since now we decorate for all holidays, someone should paint this like a pirate ship, complete with a jolly roger, and voila, Talk Like a Pirate Day might be a lot more fun. You could paint “The Pearl” on her bow, and you’ll be all ready for September 19th.

We just rolled our eyes at this tin can craft project:

So, happy fall, y’all! Usually this is filled with orange leaves, little pumpkins on a pick, and some calico corn or Flint corn instead of these silk roses which don’t seem all that Autumnal. I think we should repaint the face to look like a zombie, and make the “flower arrangement” using doll parts, or even black flowers and scary kinds of plants like Venus flytraps, and Audrey II. Now you’re all set for Halloween with an original decoration that won’t give your visitors diabetes!

I consider birthdays holidays, so this qualifies. It really doesn’t need a makeover:

It’s one of those doll cake kits where you make the cake look like a formal dress on a doll. My mom made us these cakes when we were kids, and used Barbies. We loved them! This poor dolly needs to be upgraded as she is only a half doll at best. If you used a Disney princess doll, that would be cute as can be, and your kid would have a doll to play with, too. When they move onto another toy, you scoop up Belle or Jasmin and put them into the pan for next year.

We aren’t even sure what this is, with the dried flowers and feather decorations:

This thing is vaguely potato shaped with a weird decorative finish, that might look like a skin condition if you squint right. It isn’t great the way it looks now, but I wonder if you could do one of those Styrofoam egg things with a Christmas scene inside on a slightly larger scale. Here’s a pretty common sample:

Kathy really likes these little things and she will buy them if the price is right (99¢ or less, usually). I think she should do a post about them some time as a sample of one of our weird collections. ( Kathy Here: honest, I don’t have more than a couple )

We saw this at a doll sale which was full of disappointingly large dolls:

At first glance, you might think this would work for Easter, but think again. Anything this creepy screams Halloween, not kid’s toy. What is wrong with people that they would give this to a defenseless child? It’s yellow and black, so it might not be too hard to make it orange and black with a fabric pen. You could give it stitches, a hatchet, and a splash of blood. It already has a funky right eye, which is kind of scary. It’s hard to make something this creepy accidentally so the maker must have done it on purpose!

Finally, we have this guy! What to do with him?

You know, those eyes are absolutely terrifying with those multiple pupils; what a horrifying idea! I’m having a hard time coming up with a holiday-related makeover, but I think he could become the model for the monsters that who need to be painted into all those bad landscape pictures we complain about. It might turn into a thing, like the Blue Dog by George Rodrigue in Louisiana. Although, Blue Dog is so much cuter!! But, this looks like something that I could paint and if I could do it, anyone could! I’m not sure what else you could do with this, besides putting a Santa beard and hat on it—shudder!

Whew, all done with the awful, so let’s look at something pretty:

Last week Kathy was showing off her beautiful hibiscus and this week I’m bragging on my hollyhock, which is a relative of a hibiscus, but not as spectacular. It is my mother’s favorite flower, and we always had them while I was growing up. This one just appeared on its own, and I’m so thankful! My other pretty offering is a dahlia:

They aren’t huge, but I love their colors. I’m going to dig this up and try to keep it for next year.

I hope you all have something pretty to look at when life gets to be too much! Be good to yourselves!

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4 Responses to Reduce, Reuse, or Recycle Your Finds

  1. Sandi Magle says:

    I dug up my Hibiscus and replanted it this year, it is huge but no flowers???? Which I think is very weird…fun post.

    • kathy & deb says:

      That is weird about your hibiscus, Sandi. We know our post is weird, ha ha! Now that I think of it, my big tropical hibiscus has been outside all summer and hasn’t had one blossom, either. It’s been a strange summer! Glad you enjoyed the post. Hugs, Deb

  2. Stephanie J Gazell says:

    Your hibiscus and hollyhocks are lovely! Most everything in our garden has died. Only the tiny tips of a few blossoms on the butterfly bush are still alive, and that plant did not flourish this year. It was twice the size last year, with large blossoms. But we only have seen 3 Monarchs this year. Very, very sad.

    • kathy & deb says:

      I’m so sorry about your flowers. It’s the one thing that I love about summer—watching things bloom. Fingers crossed for next year because gardeners are freaking optimists! I’m so glad that my butterfly bush has finally bloomed for when my monarchs come out of their chrysalises. They need a day to recharge and be on their way to warmer climes. Hugs, Deb

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