Happy Recycled Halloween in Olympia

Ruby Re-Usable and Second-hand Sid stopped by Eastside Big Tom for milkshakes, and stayed to admire the Halloween decorations that owner Mike Fritsch has created.  Mike proudly informed Ms Re-Usable that he is a recycler and a scrounger, gathering his goulish materials from thrift stores, donations from friends and fans, and also those free piles of wood scraps that appear everywhere (and now we know where they disappear to).  Big Mike/Big Tom, Olympia Dumpster Divers salutes you for your creative reuse, and for keeping the scary good fun in Halloween.  We will be there in our repurposed white plastic bag ball gown for your Halloween House extravaganza, so save us some candy!  Read more about Eastside Big Tom in the Olympian HERE and see some more pics HERE and HERE

Shedding some light on art and recycling


Burnt Out by Ruby Re-Usable

Several Olympia Dumpster Divers will be in a group show at Childhood’s End Gallery here in Olympia, WA.  15 Ways with Light runs August 20 – September 15, with a First Friday reception on September 3, 5 pm – 8 pm.  Participating artists: Tom Anderson, Robert August, Pino Cherchi, curator Pam Corwin, Joline El-Hai, Bil Fleming, Jennifer Kuhns, Ruby Re-Usable, Nikki McClure, Randi Parkhurst, Nancy Sigafoos, Steven Suski, Pat Tassoni, John & Ainsley Walden


Happy 4th BD to ODD!

Olympia Dumpster Divers is officially four today.  Here are some highlights from the past 4 Julys:


This blog was started on July 13, 2006 as a way to document my project, Ephemeral Folks, which was happening around Olympia that summer as part of the City of Olympia’s HERE TODAY temporary art installations.


In July of 2007, I participated in the artists in action for Art on the Ave in Tacoma, where festival participants were invited to engage with my art by taking one of four figures for a stroll around the fair (see pics/more info HERE)


If you have not been to visit Rich Art’s Art Yard in Centralia, WA, you should.  Why?  Read my July 2008 post about it HERE

Not only did I visit Rich Art again in July 2009, but I also met Jane of Dick and Jane’s Spot in Ellensburg, WA, too.  (see all of my Rich Art pics HERE)

IF you want to send Happy Blog Day wishes, mail them to Ruby Re-Usable at Cast Off Art Lab, 416 Washington St SE suite 201, Olympia, WA 98501


How Green Is Your Art?

How green is your art?  Tacoma News Tribune art critic Rosemary Ponnekanti poses that question in her write-up about the recycled, reclaimed and sustainable art at Matter Gallery in Olympia, WA.  Read It’s a Matter of Art – And the Planet


 plastic bag babies by Ruby Re-Usable at Matter (photo by Steve Bloom)

Mentioned in this article is the awesome recycle artist Ross Palmer Beecher who shows her work at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle; check out this video interview of Ross HERE

Ruby Re-Usable believes that art from recycled materials should address the brain, not just the eye.  She loves playfulness and humor in art but cringes at the word whimsical.  Art should not be considered mere decoration, and the truly worthwhile recycled art rewards the viewer: the more one looks, the more one discovers inventive use of materials, compelling elements and principals of design, and different layers of symbolism and/or meaning.

Plastic Trash Gyre

what Ruby Re-Usable did recently:

Went to the Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade in Seattle last week (more pics HERE), where people are amazingly creative with their junk:


Zero Waste-Scapes at the Fremont Solstice Parade in Seattle

Worked on a reloved plastic bag/plastic flotsam and jetsam baby doll that is inspired by the Pacific Trash Gyre (also known at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the Pacific Trash Vortex):


 blue and white plastic trash gyre baby work-in-progress

Tried not to be down in the dumps over recent environmental disasters and other world events, gloomy weather in the Pacific NW, or plumbing problems and other issues at home


 Make Art Not Waste, love, etc Ruby


Recycled Art Dolls are RAD

Heya all you remarkable recyclers and fans of trash art!  IF you are in the Olympia area on Thursday, June 3, please come to the Olympia Timberland Library, where Clarissa Callesen and Ruby Re-Usable will discuss their artistic process in conjunction with the book Who’s Your Dada?  Redefining the Doll through Mixed Media (7:30 – 9 pm, FREE, more info HERE)


3 Repurposed Plastic Bag Babies by Ruby Re-Usable, currently part of the Art From Detritus show at Pure Light Gallery, Turners Falls, MA

But if you are in Seattle on Thursday, June 3, then you should go see our friend Marita Dingus at the Northwest African American Museum (6:30 – 8 pm, FREE, more info HERE).  Also, check out Art Zone with Nancy Guppy: Marita was feature on the  5/21/10 episode HERE


The old adage ‘waste not want not’ is a mantra for Seattle born artist Marita Dingus. An artist of magnanimous spirit and vision, Ms. Dingus will give a presentation that reflects on her experience as a working artist in the Northwest, and offer insight into her creative process. This Guggenheim Fellow creates imaginative depictions of ‘discarded peoples’ in glass and fabric mediums. Through her work she explores the travails within the African Diaspora pre and post- enslavement. Her analysis is artistic and offers the hope that a society who sees through its victims will in effect see through itself.  (NWAAM)

Fun Junk


Fun Junk (not open on Sundays, when these pics was taken by RR-U)

Sometimes even a dumpster diving diva needs to shop for supplies; when Ruby Re-Usable needs some groovy garbage vintage craft supplies for one of her recycled art projects, she visits Fun Junk on the west side of Olympia, WA.  Read more about Fun Junk HERE and HERE and see more pics HERE

We love the name “Fun Junk,” and we also love the name of this blog: Love and Trash

Make Art Not Waste! love (and trash), etc Ruby

Papa’s Got a Brand New (Reusable) Bag


Mama had a whole bunch of brand new reusable bags made from recycled materials at Thurston County’s Secondhand Safari and Reuse Fair this past weekend.  The Creative ReUse Project was designed to be a Trash Fashion edutainment exhibit, with both functional and decorative totes, bags, and purses on display, with the intention of inspiring attendees to realize that there are many different ways to create something to carry stuff in and that they should Choose To Reuse!  Some of the bags were humorous (like the souvenir of Hawaii coconut head purses), some were artistic (Lynn DiNino’s “Fowl Play,” which is an albatross to be worn around one’s neck), some were handmade, and some were mass-produced, but all had a reuse message.  We even had some reusable bag information from ReusableBags.  More pics HERE    


(l to r): aluminum can and pop top purse by Svein “Slim” Sirnes, “Fowl Play” by Lynn Di Nino, plastic and wire basket by Marita Dingus)

Ruby Re-Usable was inspired by Janet Cooper’s Virtual Museum of Recycled Handbags, Kelly Lyles and her collection, and  Haute Trash


Cynthia’s Purse from Janet Cooper’s Virtual Museum of Recycled Handbags

Olympia Recycled Arts Walk Spring 2010


Arts Walk letters made from recycled materials at the Martin Apartments by David Scherer, with help from the community; photo by Berd Whitlock

This past weekend was Spring Arts Walk here in Olympia, Washington, and despite the damp weather (having a cold with a runny nose did not help matters, either), Ruby Re-Usable was there to enjoy the sights and sounds and delicious smells of downtown (mmm, crepes with Nutella and whip cream, sold on 5th Avenue in front of the Capitol Theater).  One of our favorite art exhibits was at Mixx 96.1 KXXO;  Stephanie Holttum created mixed recycled media sculptures with an humorous housewife theme:


My Sweet Life by Stephanie Holttum

You can see more of Stephanie’s art work, plus some other interesting stuff from Olympia Arts Walk Spring 2010, HERE and HERE

In Olympia, the place to find sustainable/green/recycled art on Arts Walk or any other time, is Matter Gallery

Of course, you can always find amazing arts and craft, a lot of which are made from recycled materials AND have an housewife theme, on one of our favorite blogs, Art for Housewives

AND if you are in the Olympia area on Saturday, May 1, come to the second annual Second Hand Safari Garage Sale and Reuse Fair, where Ruby Re-Usable and Second-hand Sid will be hosting an edutainment exhibit featuring creative reuse bags, purses, and totes.  BUT if you are in Seattle on May 1, check out the Eco-Chic Expo


more inspiring housewife art: Inspiration by Roxanne Lane at Einmaleins