Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Label Whore!


I thought I'd save just a couple sheets worth but it's gotten out of hand.

Several months ago I mentioned how wasteful the arts-and-crafts-store I work at is, throwing away TONS of recyclable material and company product, including unused labels to price merchandise.

Not wanting to be wasteful myself, unimportant/outdated paperwork was brought home and used as scrap paper. And each day, any partially used label sheets (which were to be thrown out) were taken home as well.

But every day that followed required me to print out more labels, inevitably leaving me with more unused portions of label sheets, so I took those home too....week after week, month after month.

Well let me tell you those labels add up QUICK!

I now have close to 100 full and half-sheets of blank labels! To be more precise, that's exactly 2,068 individual labels!!

Fuckity-fuck and super shit!

Labels, labels, labels!

Clearly I don't need this many but the OCD in me feels compelled to save them from the trash bin. Because if I got rid of the excess wouldn't I be no better than Corporate who ordered these to be thrown out in the first place?

Ughh!

What am I going to do with all of these?!

Visions of 1,000 labels "mysteriously" stuck to the store manager's car come to mind but something a bit more art-related would be nicer I think.

Any suggestions?

Oh, and if you need some labels just let me know and I'll send you a sheet or two....or a dozen!

30 comments:

R. Burnett Baker said...

Oh Dean, you make me laugh! "Fuckity-fuck and super shit". I've gotta use that one sometime!

I'm the same: Can't throw stuff like that away 'cause I'll "use it someday". yeah right......

Rick

sweet pea. said...

ooh ooh ooh ooh oohoohooh ooh ooh pick me pick me pick me!!! me me me me me me me me me me meeee!!!!!!!!!! *hand waving in the air frantically*
ok, even if you didnt pick me, ill still give you my opinion.. =P


ive always thought it would be the COOLEST THING EVER to cover a wwall or a room in paper, and use it as drawable wallpaper (i actually decided that im going to do this when i have kids one day. so they can draw on their walls with no worries of getting in trouble by anyone). but hey, labels work too. and after the whole wall/room is covered in individual labels, you could draw a mural or whatever else youd like to, and then peel off individual labels, and do whatever with them........ i really think that would be so so so so super cool :o

if you have the patience for it, of course.

naturgesetz said...

If you use only part of a label sheet for one job, how about using more of it on another job. Especially if you need no more than half the labels for a given job, use it for the one, and then reorient it to start at the other end on the next job. I've seen secretaries do that.

But if that doesn't work, then I guess the only thing is to revisit the question of whether throwing out the label sheets is truly wasteful. If there's no good use for them, then I'd suggest that it's not wasteful to throw them out.

I'll leave it to others to come up with anything useful to do with them.

Beyond that, my advice is, stop bringing home labels until you have a use for more than 2,068 of them. ;)

Konkbonckles said...

You could always write little inspirational/uplifting comments\notes on them, and try to surreptitiously stick them to people.. or maybe put them under windshield wipers(without being taken off the adhesive-backing part, so it won't stick to the glass).

They could be decorated up and used as bookmarks, or something

Brahm (alfred lives here) said...

Holy crap, that us a lot of labels!

Kudos to you fir saving them, every office I have worked in just tosses those suckers out.

No ideas on what to do with them though...

randuwa said...

Make a wedding dress! ;-P

David Allen Waters said...

jeepers, thats a ton of labels....well, I think some kind of live art would be cool, like you or someone covered in labels then photographed in different locals around the city :)

Bouncin' Barb said...

Dean...What about charity? There are some that have hardly any funding and would appreciate something like this. Call around to some and donate. At least you know it would go to good use. Just a thought!!

Mercedes said...

I wouldn't be able to throw them out either!! And I would not complain if these mysteriously showed up in my mailbox..

Genesis said...

Oooo i am first commenter!! Ok well wht you could do is
1. Usethe labels so SUPER organize you place
2. Get a giant piece of paper and put each label on it (you might need more than 1 sheet of giant paper) and use colorful markers to write your "colorful" ;D opinions on each labels and then you could decorate around the labels and on the paper, you could even ask you friends to help out!
3. 3 words. . . STICKY SPIT-BALLS!!!! talk about entertainment at work!!

...with ♥, Amber said...

So, upon reading this, I found myself saying outloud "how lucky!" you were have these lables. I am a label freak. I label EVERYTHING! ITs almost as if, without a label I could get lost, or I am lost, Or things get lost, whichever...

I dont know of any arsty projects for you to do with them but look forward to seeing what you come up with.

oh and BTW, I agree they are very wasteful!

i'm a superhero i can like fly and shit said...

it reminds me of a project i heard about a while ago where someone sent out blank voice bubbles for people to stick onto posters so others could write words in them..

C. Alvarez said...

aaaaaaahahahaha! I understand, but you are too funny! Maybe you should repackage them and have a "paper sale" LOL

Kristen's Paintings said...

You could try something like FreeCycle where you give the stuff away to someone who wants them. Or donate to a charity like the Good Will.

I am sure someone who is unemployed has some resumes to send out.

There's a fine line between conservation and hoarding...

david said...

so now we learn youve been stealing office supplies....
thats grounds for dismissal mister.... hehehe...

i like very much the idea of them appearing mysteriously stuck to the store managers car.... but cover them in cheap glitter first...
as an alternative...
i suggest writing down exactly how you feel about this particular chain of arts-n-crafts supply stores on the labels and leaving them stuck to everything all over the store on your last day...
or arrange them in a colorful pattern ( youll need scissors for this) that spells out fuck you! or suck it bitches! and hand them out to customers as the come in to shop... or write little slogans on them that are offensive, in bad taste, and make outrageous claims about the whereabouts of "michael" and why, after that tragic incident with the plaster-of-paris he was never heard from again...
bwahahahahahahaha!!!

~ cheers... david

WOL said...

Do some pieces with words like: Guilt, Fear, Doubt, etc., in big block letters then stick "Clearance" stickers on them.

Guerilla complements: Print labels with. "You are beautiful." "You are special." "You are one of a kind." etc. and leave them in places where people might see them (but they aren't defacing anything -- like on a package or can of something in a grocery store. Cut them out without peeling off the backing (so they don't stick) and put them inside books in the library or a bookstore.

JuJu said...

I'm seeing some type of spring floral arrangement made from labels? Surely there's a piece of art waiting to happen?
Daisies?

Phoenix said...

You sure are in a sticky situation! Well, Dean... I'm sure if you wanted to, you could make a sculpture of some sort with all those labels. 2,068? Holy crap. What a waste! I'm sure there are some teachers out there glad to take a bunch. Hmmmm... I'm trying to think of some things you could do with them. Paper cranes? No,too sticky. Geez. I might know someone who would like a whole bunch, but she doesn't really need any more junk. I'll contact you if I get an idea.

Chelle said...

You can creatively wrap presents as you did before. You can make book marks out of them. See if you can make some sort of collage picture out of them. um.... That's all I've got for now. :)

n.lea. said...

i can think of so many cool things to do with those!!!

GayHermit said...

(delurking to comment)
Mr. Grey,
A few unused label suggestions.

-MicroArt palettes, either printed or hand drawn/colored. (Depending on your access to a computer, good color printer and ink supplies.)
{Having thought about this a bit, it might be really difficult to create artwork electronically in a label printer document. Still, this might be interesting/challenging to you/someone.}

-Use the labels to cover shipping packages for artistic embelishment, rather than repainting them.

-Take a blank piece of paper and start applying lables to it, in random or non-random patterns. This could be done to create 3D sculptural paper and/or you could photocopy the finished product at a contrast level that shows the label edges in detail.
(The photocopy idea could be used as a base for other artwork, just like the sculptural idea could.)
{Having a similar need to try to save what little of the environment I can/possible OCD and/or hoarder issues, I have actually done this one. One set of stickers that I used were the center parts of print your own CD labels. Haven't gotten around to creating artwork on top as of yet.}
[Question: Don't all artist/truly creative types have OCD/hoarder issues? ;-) Isn't that in the group by-laws somewhere?] (he,he,he)

-Actually use them for their intended puropose? (NOOO! Blasphemy!! How Dare you!!!) Take a partially used sheet and fill it out, {by hand if need be}, with addresses you normally mail stuff to or your own return address. (Probably just stating the obvious here. Might as well say it, just in case. This use could get easily overlooked in the attempt to wring creative uses out of the labels.)

-Depending on your amount of free time/dedication, you could use the labels to cover up various parts of the text on the scrap paper you have. (Create your own poetry, leave only vowels exposed or other such creative things.) You could create artwork over the results, either the original pieces or photocopies thereof.

{I'll stop here. Otherwise some of you may decide it might be a good idea to send some people with a nice white coat to find my cave!}
(Might as well answer this possible question here as well. Yes, I am usually this insanely creative. You now have an idea as to why the mainstream working world irritates me so much.)

If anyone else here would like to use the ideas posted here, feel free!

Later,
GayHermit

(contemplating whether or not to try and locate some of the stuff I have done, as I haven't seen it for a while)
{Copying this reply to remember some of these ideas for myself. Creating poetry using received form letters actually sounds intriguing. I'll be using a black marker to eliminate words as I don't have a supply of spare labels at the moment.}
(resuming lurking)

Koral & Nandy said...

How about doing a collage or mosaic of some sort...maybe in a public place where everyone can see? you know, kind of make people conscious of excess waste?

She Who Shall Not Be Named said...

You could fill the inside of your closet door with the labels; put a different word on each one. See how long it takes for them to decompose; use them to jam the labelmaker; label everything you own?
I have no more ideas.
That's interesting though. I can't stand it when there's waste like that, you should see our piles of recycled crap at our science camp.

Another Piece Of The Puzzle said...

what about doing a mosaic art piece with them? doodle on them, colour them, etc... and then doing a mosaic?

or donate them to a local school? a local church? many places have rummage sales and would use them in no time flat!

Dean Grey said...

Rick!

I'll use those labels one day, I swear!

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sweet pea!

A giant mural sounds cool!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

naturgesetz!

Unfortunately the way the printer is set up, once the labels are printed you can't reuse the sheet, even if there are still labels left.

I even tried transferring unused labels to another somewhat empty sheet but the labels don't re-stick once removed from the backing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Konkbonckles!

"...and try to surreptitiously stick them to people"

LOL

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Brahm!

I just can't throw them out!

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Randy!

Hardee har har

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David Allen Waters!

Covering a model entirely in labels sounds like a unique idea!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bouncin' Barb!

I'll have to start asking around and see if places need extra labels.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mercedes!

You might be getting some labels from me then!

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Genesis!

I like the idea of decorating the labels with markers!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

...with ♥, Amber!

I don't label anything at home but now I just might have to!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i'm a superhero i can like fly and shit!

Hmmm.....

Interesting!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

C. Alvarez!

A quarter per label? I'd make a fortune!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kristen!

I never heard of FreeCycle until now. I might give them a try!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

David!

"...and make outrageous claims about the whereabouts of "michael" and why, after that tragic incident with the plaster-of-paris he was never heard from again."

You big dork! LOL

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WOL!

I love the idea of writing on these and leaving them places but with the backing on! That way I won't feel like I'm vandalizing property.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

JuJu!

I suppose each label could be a flower petal if shaped in the right way.

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Phoenix!

A sculpture?

Perhaps if I kept building up layers of overlapping labels.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chelle!

Using them to embellish packages sounds like a wonderful idea!

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n.lea.!

Then let me know what they are, Nikki!

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GayHermit!

I like the idea about covering up parts of a word with a decorated label in its place.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Koral & Nandy!

A collage/mosaic could work!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She Who Shall Not Be Named!

Thanks for the suggestions!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another Piece Of The Puzzle!

These blank labels need COLOR!

And yeah, I'm sure the local schools here could use some of these.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I appreciate everyone's ideas on what to do with all of these labels!

-Dean

n.lea. said...

Dean,
I would totally cut the labels into sheets and an make colages and flowers and pretty butterflies and fill the gift boxes with them. Make the gift box the work of art with all the pretty mosaics all over the boxes.

I would color them and make picture frames with them.
and book marks and address lables in my own little home made address book.

Phoenix said...

I know I already commented, but I have another idea! (especially since the last one was a joke...)
You could do something great for April Fool's day with them! I don't know! Cover someone's car with them
Ooooohhhh...
This is the mischievous me.
I don't know! Have fun with them. Make some type of nametag/label collage...
Who knows, right?

David K Small, artist said...

I vote doing the car !

Kristen's Paintings said...

I think vandalizing isn't the right thing to do.

Dean Grey said...

n.lea.!

Nikki, I love the idea of cutting the labels into squares!

So many here have suggested doing a mosaic and I think that's a good place to start!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Phoenix!

Mischievous!

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David!

That's because you're not the one that might get caught!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kristen!

Agreed.

I'd never vandalize other people's property. It was just a joke. No worries.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks to all of you!

-Dean