When I visited Japan and went to shrines, gardens, and other 'tourist' sites, I was always given a pretty entrance stub with Japanese kanji, photography, or artwork on them. I saved the neat ones and brought them home with me where they have been sitting inside a box, virtually untouched for the last 10 months.
I have dozens of these, but they're not materials I use in my own art. I don't really need to keep them, and I am not about to just chuck them in the recycling bin or put them in the blender to make into handmade paper. They are far too gorgeous for that.
So I jumped on the etsy business techniques and materials forum and explained briefly what I had then asked the question, "Do you think there's a market for them here or should I just recycle them?"
Who knew that when I decided to virtually liquidate my collection of what on etsy falls into the category of "ephemera," that I actually could! I put two sets up for sale and within minutes - minutes - they sold.
I started the thread and it was still going 7 hours later, even after the collection was sold out.
Multiple people commented and said don't recycle them! Post a picture! I am very interested in them! List them!
So, I did. They flew off the shelf, leaving me wishing I had more.
I don't know why I thought of it, maybe because Mr. Field Notes and I went on a cleaning jag in the office recently, or because I realized I was never going to use them and collage artists might.
I had to share the experience with Mr. Field Notes' dad, who took us to Japan. He told me Japanese tourists just throw the stubs on the ground, littering the exits of the shrines. He plans to collect as many as he can find on his next visit there. I am so fortunate.
Believe me, I am even more excited to go back to Japan now that I know how valuable the garbage is!