The things people collect

in art •  last year


An anonymous bag was dropped off at my shop, a donation for our free room space. 

What is our Free Room?

This room in my Recycled Gallery is a place of community generosity, aimed at encouraging creative re-use over landfill. It is filled with craft materials and useful resources that are unwanted or no longer needed by one person, but could be creative gold for another local maker. 

Everything in the room is free, the only rule is that people take only what they will use. I receive all sorts of wonderful boxes, suitcases and bags containing  a wide range of pieces, all freely donated to this space. It is interesting to see what people collect and hoard and to learn the diverse reasons people choose to donate their stuff to this room. 

This free room has done a lot for my shop. It sets a tone of giving and places emphasis on use over profit. 

It is not unusual for me to find a few donation bags at my front door, when I open the shop in the morning. It is fascinating to rummage through this. You truly never know what you will find. 

This last donation is indeed curious. 



I have no idea who it is from. Whom ever it is, they have been collection clothing tags, business cards and wool packaging for what could be an entire lifetime. There is hundreds and hundreds of tags. It is a crazy collection that showcases the change in fonts, branding and graphic design in packaging over decades. 



I have no idea what this box off paper could be used.  It would be a shame for such a diligently saved collection to be put out in the rubbish bin. Since putting it out in the free room, people have already been digging through it and taking bits home. That is what the free room is all about. 

Until next time, 

xx Isabella




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Oh my wife would love this, she collects all sort of things and then does art projects with our daughter, good way to recycle.

@bridgetbunchy Thanks for publishing this Charming instant in time for yourself. Upvoted.

Hi @brigetbunchy . . I have followed you and follow next post 👏👏

help i want earn as you are please give tips

oh man, i like stuff as much as the next person, but when it builds up too much i gotta clear it out. i've got a few junk drawers, but i try to keep them is misc. stuff and not let them get OUT OF CONTROL! (-:

Thanks for sharing this.

That's interesting - I wish someone would host a Free Room here.. :) I would probably be a good contributor!! Tags.... - actually I would have to admit I'm 'guilty' for that! (No, it wasn't me....! Lol...)

I do collect a 'few' - there are some well-designed ones with good material. Why? I always thought they would make good bookmarks, or the tag at the bottom of a windchime, that blows around! :D

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Love the idea of the cards being used as the tag for a windchime ackhoo. 🦋

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Yayyyy, hi Alison... in fact I am using one now; the old tag got a little dog-eared after hitting the window frame one too many times... :) Take care not to use too thick material or heavy or it won't work too well! :)) Cheers!

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I've been collecting business cards for years. I keep them for reference of both the card owner and also the different designs. And I do have a windchime in the garden, that I haven't looked at for a VERY long time and it most likely needs a new tag. Have a great day @ackhoo. 🦋

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I have tons of business cards too, but just as contacts. Here's the tag I used for the windchime - a simple affair... the top is a metal tortoise with a string down to the tag - And surprise... the tag is an Aussie brand tag! Can you see it? Something I received with a gift... :)

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Love the images and such an innovative concept Isabella. We have a place called 'Reverse Garbage' here in Sydney which is like an open warehouse floor, where materials can be collected for recycling.

I haven't been there for many, many years and presume it's still there as it was incredibly popular. Thinking: Your single room in a shop may expand into its own 'shop' in a very short time.

Cards like these would be wonderful in collage work. Resteemed. 🦋

There's a lovely post here about crafting with these sorts of items: https://steemit.com/art/@phoenixmaid/up-cycling-clothes-tags-and-vintage-papers

Maybe sticking the nicest on a frame. And make an other with brands papers to the "glory" of materialism and consumerism....

The Free Room is such a great concept! I have to admit that I have a lot of business cards and those perfume sample cards that I have hoarded over the years... perhaps it is time to put them into some creative use. Thanks for this very interesting and thought-provoking post :)