Jo Wallcraft has come up with one bright idea.
For the past few months, the Esquimalt resident has been turning old light bulbs of all sizes that would normally be thrown in the garbage into tiny works of glass art.
Wallcraft and her six-year-old twin step- daughters use acrylic paint and glitter to paint anything from killer whales and starfish to more Christmas themed designs such as Christmas trees, snowmen, Santa Claus and reindeer on dozens of old light bulbs. She then gives them away to friends and family.
“I just needed to find a creative outlet. I just like to create things that inspire people’s lives and make them happier. This is one way that I’m doing it,” said Wallcraft, adding they’ve painted more than 70 light bulbs so far.
It’s a project that came to Wallcraft after a devastating discovery.
In 2009, Wallcraft discovered she had a brain cyst. Though it was small, it was not symptomatic. However, after a cat scan three months ago, her symptoms became apparent. She began to have dizzy spells and would lose focus in her eyes, forcing her to leave her job as an interior designer.
She is currently waiting to see a neurosurgeon in Victoria to have the cyst removed.
With time on her hands and two twins to keep busy, Wallcraft came up with the idea to both be creative and keep light bulbs out of landfills.
In December, she put an ad on UsedVictoria.ca asking for people to donate old light bulbs or Christmas tree lights. Since then, she has collected more than 1,000 bulbs donated by a single person, with a number of others who are interested in donating their old light bulbs as well.
“I wanted to do as much as I could to pay it forward. There’s been a huge response which is amazing,” Wallcraft said. “I was brought up to make things nicer than what I got them. Mother Earth is number one in anyone’s books because if you don’t have her, you don’t have anything.”
Now, Wallcraft plans on painting the light bulbs, putting them in packages of up to 12 and selling them.
Part of the proceeds will go towards families dealing with brain health issues.
To donate light bulbs to Wallcraft’s project email firstname.lastname@example.org.