In need of a new roof? If you’re in Maine and you have a funky studio gallery that isn’t worth replacing the roof, you might want to consider used billboard tarps like the one shown here on the Art By Katy studio. My boyfriend converted this antique garage space into a studio for me (see the transformation here). At the time the roof was old and had trees, grass, and moss growing out of it. We told the contractor not to touch the roof and that means please don’t pull out the plants! Well of course he pulled ’em out. So a previously dry interior became plagued by leaks. We solved that by putting a regular tarp over the roof. This worked for a couple of years but we had to replace the tarp every year at a cost of $50. No biggie. However, this summer when we came up to Maine the new tarp hadn’t done the job. I think it’s because of the absence of a thick layer of snow this mild winter we had. So I had to find a new solution. My brother suggested the billboard tarps. They are industrial strength with the capacity to last 5 times longer (maybe up to 7 or 8 years). But the best thing about them is they have cccccccraaaaazy advertising on one side since they were used as actual billboards and then reclaimed to be recycled for other purposes. Some people use them to cover bales of hay. Others for covering boats. We are using them to turn our spaces into art pieces. BTW, you don’t get to choose your advertising tarp so what you get is random and a complete surprise. I’d say this tarp had my name on it but it says “Boston Store” and has a huge face of a woman in a hand knit sweater that you can only see from an aerial view. I thought that was so cool since I used to have a career designing sweaters.
Coincidentally we also had a vintage Airstream trailer that began to leak after we gutted the interior to create an open space with plywood inside. We looked at all kinds of solutions and decided to try a tarp on it, too. It’s a quick, easy, cheap solution and in this economy that is cool with us. The Airstream billboard tarp says “Cuddleduds” on it. We like the bold graphics, the ease of cutting them to size, and also that these are repurposed and recycled products that are helping with environmental concerns.
The company that sold them (at a cost of not much more than a regular tarp) says you’re supposed to use them with the solid side up. Don’t tell on me. 🙂
Gotta love anyone with the creativity to recycle leather western belts into lawn chair webbing! Feng Shui By Fishgirl thinks this idea is way cool and has good feng shui. It reminds me slightly sorta of the seatbelt chairs made famous by The Hunger Games. Slightly. See more pics and the “how to” at kiki the spunky munky.
One of the most interesting green sustainable products on the global market that Feng Shui By Fishgirl has discovered is from Spain. Charcolive is producing restorative sleeping pillows made from naturally carbonized olive pits. The process–patented technology modeled after an ancient Far East formula– results in pits that look like this and are said to ionize the air, eliminate moisture, and have deodorizing properties, too. The company makes pillows, air fresheners, and a refrigerator item that keeps vegetables fresher/crisper for a longer time–all made with these pits.
The idea behind the pillows is the pits inside mold to you so they cradle your head and neck in the proper position throughout your sleep. Supposedly you get a more restful night that could help prevent headaches and cervical spine issues. I bet they could also help eliminate snoring if you get your head supported correctly with this pillow. They offer 3 versions, all come with their own removable/washable pillow cases and arrive shipped to you in a complimentary logo tote bag (a nice touch!). These babies are heavier than normal pillows and have a similar consistency to bean bags.
Frankly, I was skeptical to try these out but I’m glad I did. I often wake up perspiring from a hot flash—with this pillow absorbing the wet heat around my neck and face, I didn’t wake up and that was very cool. I also like to watch videos or read the Feng Shui By Fishgirl blog on my kindlefire at night in bed which often results in an uncomfortable crick in my neck. I tried the Charcolive Natura on top of a pile of regular pillows to keep my head in position– it definitely felt very supportive and I was not as sore the next day as I would be without this ergonomic solution. Be warned that the shifting pits make a crunchy noise when you move your head. For me, it is a natural”white noise” sound like a soothing rainstick. My boyfriend is more sensitive however and couldn’t deal with these “crunchy granola pillows” 🙂
I think the organic design benefits and environmental pluses of Charcolive pillows outweigh the negatives. These pillows are a more hygienic alternative to synthetic or goose down. Since they are designed to last –you “clean” them by removing the cover, shaking out the pillow and letting it soak up the sunshine outdoors for a couple hours every 2 months or so– they are a good deal and will not have the disastrous environmental impact that polyester filled pillows have. Good for health and good for the environment means good feng shui for all concerned.