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Celebrating People, Places & the Good Life in SW Washington State
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10 Lessons Learned at the Recycled Arts Festival

Rebar. Plastic bags. Gasoline cans. Art? This weekend, there were dozens of artists at the Recycled Arts Festival in Vancouver who have transformed the rusted, the plastic and the bound-for-the-landfill into collector’s items. Esther Short Park was lined with more than 80 vendors displaying remarkable reuse talents. Thank you Clark County Environmental Services for a great event! A few lessons stood out:

1. I don’t have to feel guilty about those (now rusty) garden tools I left in the rain.

Rusty tools can create great yard art

More information available at Howling Heights Metal Designs

2. Plastic bags can become a thing of beauty.

If you can crochet, you can create beautiful bags and rugs from plastic bags

Lots of products available through Molly J Walter

3. Those splintery chopsticks from my favorite Chinese restaurant can have a new life.

Who knew that chopsticks were so versatile?

There are lots of choices to purchase at Kwytza Chopstick Art .

4. The bowling balls I have been collecting are just begging to be beautified.

Way more interesting than Victorian gazing garden balls

Visit Ta-Dah Handmade about artwork and classes.

5. My collection of out-of-style sweaters could become in-style, felted hats.

These sweaters look great as hats!

Visit Sweater Heads for a great selection.

6. You can teach an old, red gasoline can new tricks as a dog.

Low maintenance pet - perfect for empty nesters

More information available at Howling Heights Metal Designs

7. A cigar box wants to make music.

These cigar box instruments can even be amplified

Alan Matta at Hammered Frets has the details on his instruments at

8. Wine bottles recycled into jewelry can be way more interesting than gemstones.

Beautiful glass beads made from wine and beer bottles

Learn about hand-torched, glass bead jewelry at Late Night Lampworks

9. Vases, light fixtures and other glassware can become stunning, luminescent statues for the garden.

These glass art pieces will never stop blooming in your garden

For details about these sculptures, email or visit their Facebook page Tiffany on a Stick.

10. Every nut and bolt deserves another chance.

Nuts and bolts start new lives

More work available at Fairy Forge.

Got stuff? Avoid the landfill. Get out there and start re-creating!

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1 Sue Anderson { 07.03.10 at 11:22 am }

I meant to get down for this but yardwork got in my way…again! Looks like it was lots of fun and you discovered all kinds of interesting ways to use “stuff” that’s hidden in our garages and closets!

2 Ronda Kennedy { 06.06.13 at 10:09 am }

I am trying to find out about the glue used on #9. I emailed the address given for details, but it was classified and not being a working email and denied, so I clicked the like to the facebook page and it ges nowhere. I have been making the Glass, stacked bird baths. However, when put outside in the elements the glue is dissolving or turning loose. What kind of glue should I be using? I got mine at Lowes and it says it is for indoor/outdoor use on glass, but as soon as it heats up or gets wet my piece’s go tumbling and shatter…….Please advise on the glue.
Sincerely, Ronda Kennedy

3 Katlin Smith { 07.02.13 at 3:26 pm }

Sorry, I have no idea.

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