Ornaments for Holiday Ecology (My Newest and Grooviest Creations Yet!)


I have a passion for transforming trash into treasure– for repurposing something you might throw away into something that might just blow away your friends and family this holiday season.

My own family mocks me mercilessly about this.

In fact, my nephews’ effort to humiliate me for saving cat food cans knows no bounds. They love to remind me of the labels I’ve collected—the sales receipts I’ve saved.

Insisting I have a near terminal case of pack-rat-itis, they allege I’ve crossed a line—stepped off the edge separating the safe side of sanity from the abyss that is crazy-ass-recycling.

But, morphing junk into joy can be tons of fun—and a whole lot less crazy than my nephews might imagine.

Below are my newest Christmas tree ornaments created from recycled cat food cans.  These were special orders from my friend, Miranda over at “ScatteringMoments.”  She emailed me photos of her friend’s cats who had recently died and asked me to make special ornaments in their memory, so she can give them to her friend as holiday gifts.

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Below are a few of my older cat food can designs.

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Pretty cool, aren’t they? And not at all crazy!  The empty containers create a shadow box—a perfect frame for assemblage in miniature. Plus, these are a green gift-giving idea.

I’m selling my cat-food-can ornaments at idiomART, my Etsy site, for $14 each, plus shipping.  If you want to can shopping at the mall this Christmas, these gifts can be ordered with just a click.

My ornaments quilted from recycled paper and fabric scraps are also available.

I know you may not be shopping for ornaments yourself, but would you mind sharing this post via Facebook and Twitter, in the event that your friends and family might be?

This is only one of many options available.

This is only one of many options available.

So what kinds of things have you recycled? Have your efforts been successful? Or would recycling be just one more thing you’d have to think about. Come on, please share. I promise I won’t tell. I swear on an empty cat food can, I won’t.

idiomARTPlease, forgive me for being so behind on my blog reading.  I’ve been busy getting ready for Christmas, working on my memoir, and preparing my next Huffington Post piece.  In fact, this may be my  only post this week.  Hope to get back on schedule soon.  I miss you all!

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64 thoughts on “Ornaments for Holiday Ecology (My Newest and Grooviest Creations Yet!)

  1. Your ornaments are not only beautiful, they are fascinating. Created with such skill and love. Who, may I ask, could take what others see as “trash” and create such beautiful art out of it? Only someone with a happy heart and wonderful skills. Beautiful! You and your art. Hugs to both you and Sara!

  2. I can make leftovers not look like leftovers, but the artsy craftsy stuff I leave to you. You do such a beautiful job. I especially like the personalized ones. What a great idea.

  3. These are bgorgeous and so creative! We recycle at the recycling place, but I can’t say I’ve created anything from these items…though I’ve seen interesting things made from wine bottles. My creative endeavors normally involve yarn, dye, fabric, or plants.

    • Thank you so much. I’m delighted you like these. Now, I’m not at all able to do the creative stuff you mention. It’s fun how we all have different gifts to give.

      It’s great to have you stop by. Hope you will visit again soon. I’ll stop by your blog asap.

  4. Love you ornaments….I have this habit of disassembling things and saving the component for other projects…of course there are those who think that’s a bit crazy. :-)

  5. I hope you get lots of sales! I’ll share this on Twitter, but I can’t on FB for obvious reasons. I’m am so delighted about how well they turned out! You totally ROCK, Sista!

  6. There you go being all Martha Stewart again … I recycle the obvious over here — all my clinking empties i.e., beer, wine and “spiritual” bottles. Looking forward to the next Huff-Po piece!

    • Ha–”spirutual bottles”–love that description! I know, I need to stop posting so much Martha Stewart type stuff. I think folks are tiring of it. Hell, even I’m tired of it. I’d just like to make a few more holiday sales. Hope the Manhattan Project is going well!

      • The Manhattan Project is going but won’t be out until 2013. Hey, ’tis the season to go for holiday sales. If I were inclined to get a tree (no way; never, would sooner shoot myself and I’m not remotely suicidal – I just loathe all this nonsense) I’d definitely decorate it with “gourmet” hand-crafted artisan ornaments. One day a Kathy McCullough ornament might be worth a mint. Just pointing that out so savvy types should invest. 60 years ago no one thought much of Warhol’s I. Miller shoe ads when they were all over the place. Just pointing that out.

  7. You sound as crazy busy as me. Only I haven’t written anything for HuffPo in a while. My mind freezes when it comes to thinking about what I could submit. Yet, I have all these ideas for my own blog and now for my work blog. Go, figure. I recycle but not in the true spirit that you do. All I do is put my paper and cans, glass, etc, into a recycle bin and every other Monday, the city collects the stuff. Maybe they’re using it to make ornaments and the like, right? Second thought, maybe not. I wish I could just stay home and get ready for the holidays. That’d be so nice.

    • I’m totally sure the city is making cool art out of your recyclables! LOL Is that not the role of local government? You’re too funny, Monica.

      I, too, am having trouble deciding what to submit. I work on one thing. Then I decide against it. And try something else. I just need to stick with one plan and follow through. As it stands, I’m investing a lot of time and not producing much of anything.

      Great to hear from you, Monica!

  8. No wonder you’re so busy! WordPress has decided I don’t exist again and stopped sending me emails when the blogs I follow have new posts. Grrrr! Finally I checked my Reader. Cripes! I thought everyone was just busy!

  9. You really do have new and groovy ornaments, just in time for the holy-days, Kathy. I recycle cards and make new cards. That’s about the craftiest thing this one does.

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