Thursday, October 7, 2010

Unusual Uses for Ordinary Stuff

Wondering why I’ve been so quiet? I’ve been working busy, busy on last minute stuff for my upcoming Micro-Workshop, Into the Groove. Setting up the class blog, reading over and refining the Intro & Supply List as well as the workshop handouts.

As I was looking through my documents on my computer tonight I found a list I’ve had for quite a while. It’s an ongoing list of different ways to use ordinary, everyday items that I add to here and there, as I come across new ideas. Anyway, I thought that my little list might be of use to others so I thought I’d share. Some of these ideas are artsy or crafty and some are just good ways to use things that are probably just sitting around the house. Maybe you can find a few that are useful for you.

  • Eyeglass Case – Since I wear my glasses all.the.time, I have a few eyeglass cases that come with every new pair laying around so why not make use of them? They are the perfect size to fit in some pens, pencils, a little ruler and voila, add a little journal and you have a journaling kit that fits in your purse and is ready to go at a moments notice. If you’re not into journaling, put in some nail clippers, a file, your favorite lip balm or lip color and some mascara and you have a little beauty kit to go.
  • Rubbing Alcohol – I learned from the fabulous Wyanne about the use of alcohol with acrylic paints and I’ve been hooked ever since. While your paint is still wet, little (or big) droplets of alcohol causes the color to disperse giving it a watercolor look. Gorgeous look…give it a try!
  • Contact Lens Cases – Another thing that we have lots of around  the house…I use them to store small amounts of acrylic paints to use when I travel. With only three cases (6 pots), I have my 3 primary colors (red, yellow & blue), a bit of gesso, plus black and white, to go.  Not into art, put some Vaseline in one side and lip balm in the other…or what about salt & pepper to go? Or you could really be cool and make an earbud case out of yours like this dude on Instructables did with his.
  • Six-Pack Holder (the cardboard kind with the handle, not the plastic rings)– I use one in my studio to house different sizes of paint brushes…think of the other art supplies you can store in them (no pens or markers, though, Kelly Kilmer’s advice is that you store those flat to keep them from drying out!) like pencils, tubes of paint, etc. If you’re looking for an everyday use, how about putting plastic silverware, napkins rolled a bit in one slot, salt & pepper and use it to easily tote those supplies to the picnic or to the coffee table for pizza & movie night.
  • Coffee Pot – The old Mr. Coffee died but the glass carafe was still in good shape so that’s what I use in my studio as my brush water bucket…the handle makes it easy to carry to the kitchen to wash & clean the water and brushes. Not artsy? Use that extra carafe to mix up pancake mix and have not only a handle for pouring but a built in spout, too.

Just some little tips and hints I have jotted down over time…what kind of unusual uses do you have to share?

If you haven’t signed up to win a spot in Into the Groove, don’t forget to go back to the Giveaway Entry and comment…the giveaway is coming up on Friday (at 7pm CST instead of that morning, like I originally said) so be sure to get your entries in now and any help you can give me in spreading the word (Twitter, blog posts, Facebook) is mucho appreciated, too. (Thanks to all of you who’ve already been spreading the word out there…you guys are the best!)

See y’all Friday evening!

Peace & Love,


  1. Oohh I love this kind of stuff and have books on the subject of uses for everyday things that they were not originally designed for. I drink a lot of 5 Hour Energy and those small bottles can carry alot of paint, gesso, etc for travel. Hope we can talk soon.

  2. hi barb!!! me and my sister are really looking forward to starting your into the groove!!!
    as soon as i receive the markers i ordered from your fantastic etsy we will join the team to learn more things about art journaling!!!!


Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by. I am open to any comments, questions, suggestions, critiques, etc, so lay it on me...
Peace & Love,

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