Monday, February 27, 2012

Ecofrugal artwork

Just a quick post today to show off my new ecofrugal artwork. Ever since we got the futon for our downstairs room, about two years back, we've been trying to come up with something suitable to hang over it. Well, a couple of months ago, I happened to think of my collection of Harmony catalogue covers. Harmony is a company that grew out of Seventh Generation (purveyors of eco-friendly cleaning supplies and recycled paper goods) and eventually became part of Gaiam, and for a while during the 90s, they were sending out catalogues about eight times a year with beautiful, seasonal nature photographs on the cover. I started saving these and eventually collected together 15 of them, which I trimmed down to 8 inches by 10 to put them in a photo frame screen like this one. But the screen got broken during a move, and since then, the pictures have just been stashed away in a box with other unused artwork.

We didn't have any picture frames in our collection that were the right size to display these in their new, truncated size. I tried hanging them in 8-1/2 by 11 document frames, but the tiny sliver of white space around the edges looked untidy. So then I tried buying some cheap 8-by-10 frames from the Dollar Tree, only to discover that this is one of the cases in which the adage "you get what you pay for" really holds true. The cheap frames were backed with cardboard, which was very difficult to squeeze out of and back into the frames without crushing the pictures in the process—and eventually I broke the glass in one of them as I tried to cram the back into it. So I decided to try the next step up and see what Michael's had to offer. I took the precaution of checking the Internet for coupons first, and I found that, lo and behold, there was a coupon good that very weekend for 25 percent off any order of picture frames—including sale items. And when I got there, printed coupon in hand, I found that most of the picture frames they had in stock were on sale, as well. So I ended up buying eight 10-by-13 frames with an 8-by-10 mat, reduced from $9 each to $5, and with my coupon I paid just $32 (including tax) for the lot. I took a picture of the final result, though I'm afraid it didn't come out very well with the reflection off the glass—but it gives you the general idea.

For me, I'll admit, even $32 is more than I would normally spend on anything that's purely decorative—but it's probably less than we'd have had to pay for a single large piece, and it's green both in its thematic material and as an example of creative reuse.
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