Greetings from the Bay: Creative Reuse


In her early years, my sister Jules had an incredible gift for finding those tiny little hidden objects in the pages of I Spy books. I was more of a Little House on the Prairie girl myself, but I remember spending many hours with Jules looking through those spreads of things – so many things – and wondering, where on earth did the people who made these books find all that stuff?

Well, they definitely could have found them at Creative Reuse a Goodwill-like donation and purchase shop on Telegraph in Oakland, where you can donate your old art materials and get a great deal on…well…stuff.


Yes, boxes and baskets and bins of shells, corks, bottles, crayons, caps, candles, stoppers, beakers, and anything else that might have been donated by someone who – for whatever reason – had a few extra boxes of, say, cards that say “this product is organic.”


I went down there hoping to pick up a stockpile of backing cardboard, but I think that Creative Reuse is a place you have to go without any hopes or expectations – like a garage sale, really.  Because you may not find your cardboard, but you will certainly stand there wondering, “What could I possibly do with ten pounds of corks and an old cassette box?”


Any ideas?


  1. Muv January 11, 2010

    I fully expect to see installations in the SF area using some of the “junk” from this place…..the boxes of “stuff” do excite the imagination!

  2. The Hollymans January 12, 2010

    Okay, the corks are easy: cork placemats, potholders, rugs/doormats…..the cassette boxes…not so easy! I’ll keep thinking on that one.

  3. GMama January 12, 2010

    How about pulling some feather pieces from your feather duster. Then use straight pins to secure them to the cork. Then use water- proof glue to put little button “eyes” on them. Voila!! A fishing lure for Granddaddy!.

  4. Author
    Ellen Heck January 12, 2010

    All excellent ideas! I didn’t leave the store with any corks, but next time…

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