Upcycling around the Web

Most mornings, I spend a few minutes surfing craft blogs and websites looking for new trends and inspirations. Here are a few of my finds this week:

Sculptures Made from CDs
Artist Sean Avery creates amazing animals from shiny CDs that nobody uses much, anymore. (Notice the stacks of them at thrift stores lately?) He says "My sculptures are all constructed with recycled materials — old CDs, computer hard drives etc, so I classify my work as "sustainable art". I can't imagine the patience and attention to detail it requires to assemble these pieces. And I love the way Sean captures the most magical part of CDs-- their rainbow iridescence. 

Baby Clothes Transformed into Plush Toys
In her blog, Alisa Burke explains in detail how she turned her children's baby clothes into hip, whimsical plush stuffed toys, which she calls "clothing creatures. Each has a unique personality, thanks to the unexpected fabric combinations and machine-embroidered faces and features. She provides step-by-step photos so you can make your own creatures. 

Army Men Attack! Picture Frame
I have a confession. Although I'm a pacifist, I love little plastic army men. Not sure why. I didn't play with them when I was young. I haven't done much upcycling with them (yet); I did use some to create a funny sign for the door of my father-in-law's retreat. (Magnetic letters spell out "Bill's Bunker" on a camouflage background.) On her blog "Please Note," Elizabeth takes army men to the next level. She glues a whole battalion to an old frame and then spray paints them metallic silver. Genius!

Photo Slide Lampshade
Almost no one creates new 35-mm slides anymore, but lots of us have boxes of old ones that we can't bear to part with and are too lazy to scan. How to reuse? An obvious idea is to create a lampshade, so that the images are seen and projected when the light bulb is on. This tutorial is among the best I found.
I have a set of vintage slides of Rome (which must have come from a cheesy tourist shop) that are waiting to be turned into a lampshade. 

Upcycling Cans and Plastic
Green Crafter reviews Crafty Cans and Perplexing Plastic, an ebook by Mahe Sehra Husain. Every time I rinse out another can of cat food, I think to myself that there must be a way to repurpose the pile of aluminum my three furry friends generate each week. Husain's book might be just what I need!