Saturday, December 12, 2009

DIY Christmas Gift Idea: Community Center Art Classes!

For the past 6 weeks, thanks to the suggestion of my husband, I've been really enjoying some pottery classes that I've been taking at my local city's art center. Below is a collage of some of the pieces I've been able to bring home so far...there are still a few left to fire before they are all done!

In addition to creating items to use around my own home, I purposely made some flower pots that I am planning to fill with a little herb or cactus to give as Christmas gifts. My class was on the pottery wheel, however, you can hand make so many things out of clay, including ornaments.

While I know this is probably too late for this holiday season, I wanted to post this as a great way to be green, make your own one-of-a-kind gifts, and support your local community! Check out your own local community center or community college and see if they offer art or craft classes, as many do. It's a really fun way to get out of the house (SO precious to a work-from-home mom!), learn something new, and create original gifts and decor for your own home.

Why not even start now for next year? It would make a great New Year's resolution!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Get $ to recycle your old, dead Christmas lights!

What do you do with your box of old Christmas lights that don't work? If you're not up for hours of checking each bulb to find the dud, there are several options out there for you! Why not start replacing them with LED strings? With 20x the lifespan and 90% less electricity required to light them, (not to mention they're much brighter!) they'll not only save you money in replacement costs and electrical bills, but you can now get money towards new lights as well...

THIS WEEKEND ONLY, Home Depot is offering $3 toward a new set of LED lights for every set of old lights you bring in as a part of their Eco Options Holiday Light Exchange Program. You still have today to bring them in, so now's the time to make the switch to LED while also saving some money AND properly recycling your old lights!

If you live in the Twin Cities area, the Recycling Association of Minnesota is offering a great program for recycling old Christmas lights. They will even come to you and pick up your lights for free!

Also in the Twin Cities, you can trade them in for $5 toward a $20 purchase by bringing them into Snyder's, and use it to get some LED's there or do a little Christmas shopping!

You can also bring them to the WCCO plaza at the Holidazzle parade to get the same deal.

Randy's Sanitation is also allowing you to place them in your regular curbside recycling bin.

Check out the web in your own area and you may find some of your own local deals...feel free to post any others here as comments for fellow readers! Happy halls-decking!
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