I'm just sayin'

I Have A Purpose; Repurposing

on July 27, 2012

To use today’s vernacular for hand-me-downs or worthless-pieces-of-crap, I am a lover of  ‘repurposing’. It’s the new buzz word in the Home & Garden sector. Repurpose.  For example; say you broke your favorite coffee mug or ceramic plate or vase or grandfather’s whiskey jug  or, okay you get the picture. Instead of throwing the broken pieces out, you pick up the pieces, carefully of course, put them in a box and wait for a nice outdoor kind of day and you can make a concrete stepping stone, placing the broken pieces in the wet concrete. And just think, you’ll have two more memories to add to your tale of your favorite plate you bought in Nova Scotia on your honeymoon; 1) The day you broke that mug and how you felt standing over the broken pieces of your treasured item. That’s one more tale to add to your favorite stories repertoire. 2) You can share your experience of making the stepping stone for your garden with sunflowers and dahlias and a freakish looking gnome. You can have all that from being clumsy. Plus, you’ll have a stepping stone that is home to your memories.

I have been ‘repurposing’ all my life. I just didn’t call it that. I am the self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Spray Paint’. I will spray paint anything. Tired of that 1990 blonde oak picture frame? Spray it. Just a couple of rules to remember; not inside, make sure it’s not real windy and put some old newspaper under the item. Then spray away. I have footstools, patio chairs, frames, bookcases , you name it, that have been multiple colors over the years. I tye-dye dingy white t-shirts. I have even done it for other people. Just because a still in good condition t-shirt – or skivvy shirt as my dad used to call them, has a little wine stain on the front. Tye-dye it. It’s not that hard. I mean hippies did it in the ’60s, what does that tell you?

So with my lifetime of repurposing,  imagine my surprise when a very good friend of mine and his cousin ( they know who they are) were embarrassed in a restaurant, in San Francisco, on the wharf, when I pulled out my eyeglass case. I, at the time, was using a white sock. Seriously. First off, it was not big and bulky. Secondly, it was white – easy to find in a backpack or purse where the insides are black, same color as the regulation style eyeglass case the optometrist gives with your new prescription. It was an only-sock, it’s other half disappeared, The washer ate it, I guess. My dining companions actually tried to act as if they weren’t with me – I was at the same table. Needless to say I am not the only person who has ended up with one sock out of a pair. What do you do with one sock? Use them in different ways. And this day the wayward sock was an eyeglass case. Just to be sure my idea was not as whacky as the two at my table made it out to be, I asked the guests at the neighboring table what they thought of my idea. They gave me a thumbs up. That’s how I remember it. But the only-sock doesn’t have to be just an eyeglass case. I have used the not so good ones for dust rags – and I feel okay just throwing out the not so good sock after it’s been used because it served another purpose. It was repurposed. I even made a friend a fancy only-sock eyeglass case with a  decorative ribbon. But it’s okay to go just-plain-Jane. I have a few examples of plain Jane repurposed socks. But as the trend catches on you will see more and more fancy only-socks making their appearances everywhere; the Red Carpet, at airports and theaters near you.

A footsie is in the sock category. This is the kind a patient gets in the hospital. It has grippers for non-skid on the bottom. This one I use to house and protect my GPS. In today’s world these are not best left on the dashboard. What do you do with it? Try to cram it into your glove box with pencils and hairbrushes and other junk that could potentially scratch or damage your treasured techno map? Just drop it in, it fits ‘like a glove’ but it’s a footsie. The other up-side to this is the grippers on the bottom keep it from sliding off the console and it does not look like an item that would house a hundred dollar  or more piece of technology, thwarting a potential break in.                                                                                           

Here is the repurposed sock as an eyeglass case. Just slip the glasses into the sock , it’ll slide down to the foot part, then you turn the crew-top over. The tightness will help keep the glasses from sliding out. Yet, easy to reach into. On the plus side, besides repurposing the sock, the ‘case’ can be used to clean your glasses, too. Eyeglass case and an eyeglass cleaner. What more could you want from an item that keeps your glasses from getting scratched?                                                                                   

All styles can be used for different purposes. This short sport sock I use as a coin holder. It rests on the console of my truck with coins in it. The no-neck sock makes It is easy to reach into when you need to grab money quickly at the drive-thru or to quickly grab some coins to give to the ‘Vietnam Vet’ with his cardboard sign at the bottom of the off ramp. It’s easier to get into than a coin purse with a latch or fumbling around in the ashtray for your spare change. Plus, if you spill your coffee or dribble your lunch while eating in the car, ta-da, you have something to wipe it up with. A coin purse and washable napkin.How can you go wrong with that?

And last but not least, is the dog toy. Although this was not an only-sock, it was an ugly sock that came in a package with multiple colors. I use ugly socks or worn-out socks as dog toys, I tie a knot in them and put them in the basket of dog toys. Well, you can see for yourself how well loved this sock is. The one on the left is pretty much the way they both started out. The one on the right is after many hours of playing. As a matter of fact this is Phoebe’s favorite item to play with. She will push past other toys in the basket to retrieve this one and bring it over for a good ol’ game of tug of war, with a human or canine friend. Recently, after I found it in several pieces, I brought out the ‘newer’ one and put her old one inside to entice her. It did, but she still wanted the old ratty one. You can see for yourself, it has certainly been repurposed.


4 responses to “I Have A Purpose; Repurposing

  1. Noele says:

    You can come and “repurpose” any crap of mine anytime!!! xoxo

  2. Anna Olson says:

    What I do to repurpose is I place a mismatched white sock, any kind or shape will do, around my waterbottle to prevent the condensation from building up in my little backpack!!

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