Finding Purpose in Re-purposing!

In 1997, my grandmother was awarded the Keep America Beautiful Lifetime Achievement  Award, named for the late First Lady, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson.  This award recognizes a lifetime of work, dedicated to beautifying America.  Mimi operates by the principle “Leave a place better than you found it, and always give back more than you take.” And she strongly believes in teaching, and leading by example. Both, she sees as her duty to God.
We like to give ourselves labels. Mimi calls her self a conservationist. Of all her accolades as a life long volunteer, I think she is proudest of those which represent her loyalty to this principle. During my high school and college years, on visits to Mimi’s, I chose to tag along with her as she delivered seminars to Mississippi garden clubs. I watched her give demonstrations on how to reuse, recycle, and revitalize. She developed and taught recycling programs, implemented revitalization of neglected public areas-planting wildflower gardens along highways, and magnolia trees in public places.
Practicing what she preaches, I have watched her re-use the same set of floral tools and supplies most of my life.  I have seen her turn “trash” into “treasure” on many occasion.  Her enthusiasm for repurposing can sometimes push the envelope.  But, as she reminds me….she is a child of the depression.
I try to apply her brand of intentional care taking.  I look for ways to reuse containers,  instead of creating extra trips to the store. When something is used up, I try to think first about repurposing.  I make my best effort not to pass by the same stack of laundry more than twice a day, or the same repair project more than twice a week.
I find that setting these goals of intentionally reusing, caring and tending is a good reminder to me, to appreciate this earth that God has gifted to us, to leave in better shape for those who come after us.
I love the fresh look of a vibrant green boxwood wreath on my front door during the holidays and in the Spring.
Boxwood wreaths can begin to look weathered after just a short time.  Preserved boxwood will last longer than untreated fresh cut, but proper care is required if left out in the elements. When the freshness fades, or the wreath begins to lose fullness or shape, I like to find ways to recycle.  I have found that boxwood looks great painted, and repurposed!
Here are two ways to give your boxwood wreaths a second chance, in just a few easy steps at home!
Create a warm and dramatic  “gold leaf”candle ring in a simple two-step process. First,  prep the wreath by gently wiping down the leaves, and laying the wreath on a flat surface to paint.  Spray first in the direction of leaf movement, and then in the opposite direction, to make sure to get even coverage from every angle. For the look of “gold leaf” I prefer a soft gold paint, like Golden Egg from Amy Howard Home.  As long as the wreath has kept its shape, your gold leaf revamp will also look elegant and festive when placed back on the front door.
Reshape dried-out or damaged wreath forms by adding elements and painting.  In this example, I have added pine cones to help redefine the inner ring of the wreath. Spray painting and adding ribbon detail transforms  this worn out wreath into winter white holiday decor.  To get this rustic, natural look, I sprayed with a flat white spray paint using circular strokes for full coverage. Then I wired some pine cones into the inner diameter of the wreath, using floral wire.
I tied a soft linen  ribbon into the existing twine hanger and allowed it to drape, or to be tied as a hanger.
I have been able to enjoy this recycled version in my decor, for several more seasons!
Instead of replacing season after season, give repurposing a try!
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