What to do when bored

I grew up having to figure out how to keep myself entertained, boredom was something to “handle” by yourself. Consequently I read…a lot! And do you know what happens when you read a lot? You get ideas.

I am also someone who doesn’t mind imperfect attempts and downright failures. I try a lot of things and because of that, I learn how to do a lot of things. Tech was and is not intimidating to me, because it is like a giant puzzle – one part function and one part figuring out what the creator(s) thought patterns might be, in order to anticipate how something might work.

So now, as a semi-retired adult, when I get bored, I try new crafts – and especially if they manage to reuse, recycle or repurpose something that might otherwise go to waste.

I am currently working on crocheting a tee shirt rug – which will wind up as a bath mat when I am done.

And I am playing with scraps of silk on a cardboard loom. Not sure what it will be when it is done, maybe a small wall hanging…it is about 8 inches wide, and will be about 11 inches long when completed, longer if I add fringe, which I am thinking about doing. 🙂

What do you do when you’re bored? Any cool crafts that reuse existing materials? Let me know!

Fabric and rope basket

It is relatively easy to make an upcycled fabric basket (no sewing machine needed) with fabric cut in strips made into a kind of yarn; and rope. I wrapped, and tucked the fabric every 5 or so wraps, using a crochet hook to pull the fabric down and through the previous row. There are numerous Youtube videos on how to do it. And it is very satisfying overall, when you’ve finished it. 🙂


The graphic is of a water shower over plants, and says: “We could have gardens instead of golf-courses. We could be growing food instead of watering empty lawns. We could have flowers and bee hives instead of empty lots. We just have to make it happen.”

So go out there and make it happen. Even if it is just planting wildflower seeds. Make something happen!

Italian company creates “invisible” solar panels for historical sites

I saw this graphic on Facebook. It says: “A family company in Italy has invented “Invisible” Solar Panels, nearly identical to historic Terracotta tiles. They are already being used to generate green energy at cultural historical sites like Pompeii, with more historic sites to follow”.

Since the link in the graphic is not clickable, I found it on Google – so here’s the link to the article: https://cleantechnica.com/2022/12/28/invisible-solar-panels-for-pompeii-other-historic-locations/

And here is a link to the company: https://www.dyaqua.it/invisiblesolar/_en/

I love seeing developments like this. It gives me hope that we might be able to be more sustainable!

Fidget blanket or quilt.

I admit, I just learned about these today and they seem to be an excellent way to upcycle material while addressing a need.

So just what is a fidget blanket/quilt?

It is a lap sized blanket or quilt with working buttons, zippers, pockets and such. Much like the items that are often created for toddlers to learn to use zippers, buttons, velcro, and lacing.

The purpose of the fidget blanket/quilt is for those who have a need to keep their hands busy as a self-soothing process – such as people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia or ADHD or Autism Spectrum. Adults and children who feel more settled when keeping their hands busy.

I love this concept and the opportunity it presents to reuse old clothing in a way that might help someone else.

Here’s a link to some that are for sale on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/market/fidget_quilt

You can find them pre-made on Amazon as well. I am excited to try my hand at making one, just to see how it might turn out.

Hope this inspires you to do the same!

If you already make fidget blankets or fidget quilts, drop a comment with a link to your work.

What does it mean to live responsibly?

I’m not one for guilt tripping folks. My own creed is pretty simple – if I can make something better, I do; if not, then I try not to make it worse.

Making something better includes sharing information that someone else might not know, something that might make their lives better. Sometimes that is something small…. like reminding folks that dryer lint can go in the compost pile (if they have one) or in the organic waste bin (the green bin) – also if they have one….or can be left in a wild place for animals to use as nesting.

See. That wasn’t painful, nor was it lecturing…just a list of things you could do, if you are so inclined. And of course, you can still throw the dryer lint into the trash, if you prefer. It won’t hurt the landfill.

Some of the things I do to live responsibly, include:

  • repairing/mending my favorite clothes and making sure that clothing that I have bought that is in good repair – but that I don’t wear anymore – goes to someone who can use it.
  • recycling – the cardboard boxes, the magazines (that I don’t use all of in collage or papier mache), the jars and bottles – all get cleaned and put in the recycle bin. It is the one bin that always goes out to the curb, and because of that we don’t really generate much landfill trash.
  • upcycling: material from clothing or sheets etc, that are worn down or holey, become patches, or quilt material, or cleaning rags.

There are many ways to live responsibly, and surprisingly, they usually include saving you some money as well as being kinder to the earth. And they are relatively painless.

I hope you’ll stay tuned for more ways to live responsibly.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

A New Year, A New Basket

I just completed and sent off a basket I did for a friend – she asked for earth tones, and until she receives it and gives approval, I will wait to share a photo of it.

Right after I shipped her basket off, I started a new one. I love that I have so much yarn to work with (mostly from Buy Nothing gifts, and thrift store/yard sale acquisitions).

Here is the start:

And here is where I am today:

The rope is some clothes line that I got from a thrift shop ages ago. I’ve since bought some ropes of various sizes, but I also have a ton of plastic bread bags, that I need to cut up and turn to plarn. And I am going to play around with some variations on the wrap method. I will likely play around with the crochet methods, too. I have a lot of very small baskets that I’ve wrapped using plastic and yarn, and I hope to transform these to sculptures and possible mobiles. We’ll see what 2023 brings. 🙂

Stay tuned, and know that I hope you are safe, warm, well-fed and have time for some creative fun – wherever you are.

Sometimes we all need a little help from our friends

We have a friend who while already struggling with a ginormous electricity bill, thanks to the outrageous rate hikes in New England, her little dog Pippin has torn a ligament, is in great pain, and needs emergency surgery. If you can donate something to help, it would be greatly appreciated, if not – please share this GoFundMe with dog lovers and pet parents that you may know.

Like most folks post-pandemic, she has already depleted any emergency savings for health issues that she and her loved ones have had over the course of the last two years. She cannot afford the over $6K surgery for her beloved dog.

Here’s the link: https://gofund.me/14e3f939

Please help if you can…