Vaccine Vials recycled

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I work in a doctors office and during flu season, our office was going through a ton of influenza shots! So, being the crafty one in my office, I started telling the nurses to start saving the vials for me. I needed about 80 of them!  They did a WONDERFUL job of saving the vials for me!

After cleaning them out, removing labels & making these little flower vases, I handed them out to our clinical staff.  We implemented a new computer system this year & it has been “HELL”, so after I handed them out, I sent an email to them  & said “Everyone has been stressed with learning our new computer system, so next time you start getting stressed out about it, stop & smell the flowers (well these don’t smell, but you get the concept).

vial flowers

These did put smiles around the office… that week….   *sigh*

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Craft money saving hints #2

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Ok, I found more items that I save $$$ on for crafts.

I was at Kohl’s (my FAVE) store the week of Valentine’s looking for clearance Valentine cups/mugs for my boss who makes arrangements for the holiday, and I think I went to Kohl’s 3x that week for her.  On the 3rd day, they (Kohl’s) moved the clearance rack to the back of the store where their other clearance stuff is.  And lo & behold, what did I find? A BUNCH of Christmas cards they still had there… marked 90% off. SO, good thing I took a ‘cart’ — I took EVERY BOX of Christmas cards they had there. The clearance prices ranged from $.79-$1.99 from 12-48 cards PER BOX…    ****JACKPOT****    Total price JUST for all those cards was : $52.39. I SAVED over $496.00 from the original sticker prices (per my receipt), oh yeah, AND I had a 30% off coupon for that too!!!    

CLEARANCE CHRISTMAS CARDS 2011

CLEARANCE CHRISTMAS CARDS 2011

So during our “TV time” of American Idol and “Survivor” I opened all the boxes, separated the cards from the envelopes, flattened all the packaging (plastic tops & chipboard bottoms).

This is what I got:  706 Christmas cards & envelopes

Craft tips: 706 Christmas cards & envelopes

Craft tips: 706 Christmas cards & envelopes

Another few days went by and I brought my Sizzix BIG SHOT down stairs with my Artist Trading Card die. I sat & cut out ALL the chipboard box bottoms & the plastic lids -uh yeah, lets just say I have A LOT of ATC backs now!  I also cut out the chipboard from the South Beach bars that we buy about 8 boxes a week. I have finally started seeing THOSE to be used for craft items -even though we would recycle them to the City Recycling Center with the rest of our recyclables.

I am willing to share the cards if anyone wants some for their craft projects. Sorry, envelopes are NOT going to be shared. I use them for my swaps (that kinda was the purpose of buying all the cards in the first place!)

Ever hear of those Power Balance Bracelets? What about Power Balance Slippers?

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Not coming to a store near you — Power Balance Slippers…  Ok, its a joke -just like the bracelets are. Well, my mom and her friend got a pair of the bracelets off of ebay. Her friend claims that “it really works”. My mom wore hers & said that her bunion didn’t hurt ! My sister & I rolled our eyes at both of them!   WHATEVER!  SO, being the crafty, funny person that I am… I came up with an idea.

I had a friend  that was having a hysterectomy soon, so I asked her if she had any maxi-pads that she wouldn’t be needing anymore. Questionable glance at me, but yes she did have the 4 that I needed. GREAT! So, she brought them to me today. When I got home I went straight to crafting on them!   I made my mom a pair of POWER BALANCE SLIPPERS (from maxi-pads & magnets). She LOVES leopard print, so I had to make them ‘pretty’ for her. I think I’ll mail them to her this week -since I can’t wait until Mother’s Day!!

leopard maxi-pad POWER BALANCE slippers

leopard maxi-pad POWER BALANCE slippers

Supplies needed: 4 maxi-pads (your choice of brand & absorbancy) I used the kind with wings & cut off the wings for the bases.
glue (I used the Aleenes in the gold bottle)
refrigerator magnets (I used 4 of the flat advertisement kind (two on each slipper) & 4 round magnets on each slipper also)
ribbon, fabric,  whatever you want to decorate them up with.

The April Stash Bust promise

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Dollar Store Crafts had this challenge last year, but  I’m going to continue it again THIS year (for myself-but anyone is welcome to join me!)

Come on, you know WE ALL hoard craft supplies–if you don’t then you are in denial. I tend to hoard ribbon, paper, beads…. uhm… I think those are my 3 main items. Don’t get me wrong, I have TONS of other stuff, but nothing I seem to gravitate to wherever I go.

 I have a friend who hoards Cricut cartridges — she has EVERY ONE of them but probably 2.  I have a total of 12 carts, which I rarely use!!  I got to the point of borrowing hers if I was interested in 1 image from a cart.

I went through my stages of fabric (for dotees), organization items (see a previous post on that), Sizzix dies, Stampin Up! stamp sets, acrylic stamps, ….oh geeze… a lot of craft items…. cigar boxes is a new one.

 SO ANYWAYS, I promise to only use items in my CURRENT stash for ALL craft projects created in April (I also promised it for the March Craft Month pledge).  I know my card making will not be effected by any downtime. I probably could make 10 things a day out of paper for the month of April and it wouldn’t look like I made a dent in my paper stash. I want to try to use up all my old Stampin Up! DSP I just don’t use that anymore & they are ‘boring’ to me. If anyone wants to do a swap (on swap-bot) stuff for that paper — message me & I will get back to you.

Stash Bust Participant Badge 2011

Stash Bust Participant Badge 2011

Craft money saving hints

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This was a GREAT idea for a swap! I guess I never thought of money-saving, until I stopped to look at what my tips are. Pretty much the main thing I believe is RECYCLE & REUSE seemed like my theme! Or as I call myself, “A Shiney SH*T Saver* -NOT a  “pack rat” — I USE my stuff (for the most part)! Of course I keep thinking of more ideas after I already sent the swap! Oh well…

Here are my tips with photos.

1.) I work at a family practice doctors’ office as my day job. There is so much waste & disregard for recycling, that I finally took action.

a.) The sign in sheets come in pads of 200, with chipboard backing on each pad. I asked the girls to NOT throw those out & please save them for me. Chipboard can get pricey & might as well save it for crafts or to send to partners for THEIR craft projects! So always look around especially in an office setting, there are chip board pieces that come in forms boxes (at least at my office they do).

chipboard

chipboard

 

b.) Also a big + of working in a medical office, I noticed one day there were these AWESOME trays with about 30 little round spaces – 1 tray had deep ones & 1 tray had shallower ones. So I asked one of our nurses what those were from & she said that the Pap smear (female GYN test) tests came in those trays. OMG – those are AWESOME for sorting beads! So, from that point on, I’ve had the nurses save all those trays for me. I have exceeded MY personal limit of them, but I take them to my monthly craft group and they LOVE them –for paint trays, beads, glass pieces, etc.  So I stock them up each month! (If you’d like any PLEASE let me know – I have plenty – I’ll post a pic on my blog)

 

trays

trays

c.)  Also working at the doctor’s office, on the exam tables are rolls of white paper that is changed between patients. Well, I have a parrot & since she loves foraging (searching) for treats, I make her foraging toys out of old paper towel tubes. Since we don’t go thru too many paper towels at home, but she can rip through the tube in seconds, I wasn’t able to keep up with her demand. So again, at work I asked the nurses to save the tubes from the table paper. The tubes are pretty much the length of wrapping paper, so I just cut them down smaller and stuff them with her treats & give her one tube each day.

 

tubes

tubes

d.)  During the flu season, I noticed a bunch of colored little button size plastic tops that came on each vial of the influenza bottles. *light bulb*  So, I asked the nurses (again) to save those & any other ones that they have from immunizations. I was not aware that other immunizations/vaccines had different color tops – BONUS for me! So, these are great replacements for buttons!!

2.)  I save & reuse EVERY little plastic bag that stickers, jewelry, you name it, comes in. The sticker size ones are great for punches that I’m working on a specific project. I also will use the bags to send swap stuff in. I think the BESTEST  invention EVER is the zip-top bag!!! I can NEVER have enough!

3.) I am a ribbon hoarder. I LOVE ribbon (especially when on clearance!) So besides buying Christmas ribbon @ 90% off, I swap the ribbon on swap-bot. I am in almost every ribbon swap! I love seeing the different ribbons people have!!!  Then I use small pieces to tie up swaps before sending them off. I believe each swap should be like getting a small present in the mail! I have my ribbons arranged by color.  I saw this blog and fell in LOVE with her method of storage for ribbon. For the most part, my ribbon is in those drawers, however any ribbon I have purchased or swapped since, oh, say, November, are in the purple baskets or white trays on top and still need to be sorted. OH, this is one of my uses for my chipboard I save in #1 – I cut the pieces down to appropriate size to fit. LOVE this storage method!

ribbon storage

ribbon storage

 

ribbon drawer

ribbon drawer

4.) Spice bottles. I don’t go thru too many, but I do save the glass ones for my buttons. Good size doesn’t take up much room & looks great!

5.)  Make your own rubber stamp cleaner. I was first introduced to cleaning your rubber stamps by Stampin Up! Since I don’t want to buy another bottle from them, I found the recipe on Splitcoast Stampers & made a few bottles of my own. The stuff lasts a long time & smells great.  From that link, I used this recipe:     Recipe #2:  2 Cups Distilled water1 Tsp. Dawn dish soap5 drops of Glycerin

6.) Gerber plastic baby food containers. I have no kids but have LOTS of friends/coworkers that have had them. Those containers are SO awesome for saving beading projects, baby powder, glitter, and so many other things – they ARE NOT leak proof for liquids though, so be warned!  So find someone with a baby under a year old & ask them to save them for you!

 

Gerber baby food plastic containers

Gerber baby food plastic containers

7.) Tissue paper from gifts. Yeah they make fun of me at work for saving the tissue paper from gift bags, but WHO do they come to when they need some for a gift? HMMMM? Yeah that’s right ME!  Whether its for another gift bag, or to cut it down smaller to wrap jewelry or just a small swap package, tissue paper is so universal! LOVE IT!

 

Hope yall start searching around your jobs, stores, and home for other ideas! Let me know if you have any!! 🙂