Since I’ve learned about Operation Write Home, I’ve also discovered the joy that are alcohol based markers. Copics are the big, well know ones. They’re also, imho, insanely overpriced for someone who is just using them for making a card or two.
Spectrum Noir are an affordable alternative. Most craft stores sell the twelve packs of six markers that make up the basic set for $12-$15 a pack. I’m a thrifty girl and never like paying retail. I’ve purchased eleven of these sets so far using coupons, paying about $8 per pack. I’d had them in a carousel holder but then learned that they should be stored horizontally. A display rack is made for them but, again, I’m not paying that much to hold some markers.
I’m a thrift shop afficianado so started looking around at one yesterday, trying to see what I could use instead. I had a VOILA moment. I found a sturdy CD holder and a pack of thin CD cases.
I can fit 7 markers per “shelf” and there are 18 shelves. That’s 126 markers in one holder and I can get a second to stack on top if need be. I spent about $4 for this set up. Quite pleased with it. 🙂
Mel and I volunteer with a group called Scrap DC, a creative reuse and recycling center that focuses on things that artists use. Working with them has opened my eyes to interesting ways items can be repurposed.
I’m doing a festival today with items from both my jewelry and scarf shops. I realized that I needed another display for earrings but didn’t want to have to spend a retail price. Looked around and found a metal CD stand and a roll of that foamy shelf liner. Attached the liner with some black cotton crochet thread. VOILA. A groovy place for earrings and all for less than $5.
Where we live, students have to have a minimum of 75 service hours to graduate. They can start earning them the summer after 5th grade. Most places where you can earn hours don’t allow volunteers under 15. Those that do allow younger ones require a parent to be with the kids. That first summer, Mel and I volunteered at Days End Farm, a rescue group in MD. I love horses but spending the summer in 100 degree heat, mucking stalls and doing other horsey maintenance was not high on the list of repeat performances. Still, Mel earned 45 hours.
We didn’t do much last year so I made it my mission that this summer to find a nice inside a building volunteer gig. As we’re both kinda crafty, finding Scrap DC was a very cool thing. Scrap is a creative reuse center. They get donations of all sorts of materials and then sell some and use others to run workshops, do demos, have classes etc.
A week ago, we were there when a woman came in with box after box of all sorts of electronic supplies. Apparently her father-in-law had been a “spy” and once he retired, he started a business that had the description of “Counter measures for eavesdropping.” How cool is that? He passed away last year and they had no clue what to do with all his stuff. Then she found out about Scrap. She came in again yesterday with cabinets full of gear. There were circuit boards, capacitors, resistors, knobs, transistors, ic circuits etc. Mel and I spent the day sorting boxes of mixed loose stuff into empty drawers in the cabinets. Some of it found its way home with me as well. That’s the danger of this volunteering gig – I end each session by shopping.