Friday, November 9, 2012

Thankful for... creative reuse


I am not the most creative person out there, but I certainly have my moments.  I am still proud of the fact that I made the flowers, invitations, favors, and programs for our wedding, to help keep the budget down.  And I am a highly creative cook.  But in most other ways, I am not a creative person.  I tend to see things exactly as they are, as opposed to what they could be.

The world is full of highly creative people, who can take something that seems useless and transform it into something beautiful or highly functional.  I really value people like that, and am often awestruck by the things they create.  Last night, I got to meet some really creative people, and spend time in a highly creative environment.  I am hoping some of it rubbed off on me. 


A group of my social media pals created the idea of a Blog Mob, where are group of bloggers comes together, learns about a new organization, and goes out to spread the word.  Last night we attended a Blog Mob hosted by the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse (PCCR)  and Construction Junction.  Let me tell you, it was pretty darn inspiring.  Both of these organizations foster the idea of reusing materials that might otherwise be wasted, and putting them to use in creative ways.

PCCR is a large shop where individuals can go to purchase items at low cost.  Most of these items are art or craft related, but the things you will find in the shop are amazing, and the possibilities for their use are pretty much endless.  This is a wonderful resource for artists, crafters, teachers, scout troops, and anyone who likes to do creative projects.  The items are reasonably priced, and the idea that you are reusing something that would have otherwise been wasted is priceless.  PCCR also hosts programs and classes where you can learn to make projects and allow your creativity to flourish.


Housed in the same building as PCCR is Construction Junction, an organization which focuses on the reuse of building and home materials.  Reuse purposes can be as simple as using an item in its original function in your own home, or as wild as transforming it into a completely new item with a new purpose, like turning a bathtub into a sofa.


The idea behind PCCR and Construction Junction is that instead of people throwing away perfectly good items and materials, they donate them to these groups, thereby allowing others to purchase them at a low cost and prevent waste.  The programs are very green in nature, and are community focused.  I found both organizations to be really unique, and the people from the organizations are incredibly kind.  Often, being creative has been a little cost prohibitive for me, but with these organizations the costs are pretty affordable.  As I toured both facilities last night with the Blog Mob, I was inspired to make ALL THE THINGS.  And that says a lot.

As a part of our time there we had a chance to work on a project.  The idea was we could take items from the PCCR shop to make a Christmas tree decoration, and the decorated tree will later be donated to a shelter.  (Did I mention I am not very creative?).  I really tried to let the items in the shop inspire me, and I think I did a decent job.  One of the items they had was a collection of slides donated by a college who had recently digitized their collection.

These slides spoke to me
I noticed many of the slides had green labels, so I fashioned them into a Christmas Tree, and decorated it with odds and ends of other materials.  Not too shabby.

My Slide Christmas Tree

I am really thankful for the opportunity to explore both of these incredible organizations, and I highly recommend to any creative types out there (I am talking to you Pinterest folks!!!), take some time to explore and support both these great organizations.  They are supporting creative folks, and supporting the gentle treatment of the environment.  I call that a win- win.

For more information on both these organizations, visit their sites, and look for them on Twitter and Facebook.  More photos from the Blog Mob can be seen in my Flickr set here.