Tag Archives: upcycling

red slate

The First Annual Shameless Self-Promotion Of Maison Steinbuchel Products

“I’ve said it before, and by gosh, I’ll say it again — don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.”― Emlyn Chand
Warning Shameless Promotion Below!
ShamelessYou know by now from my BLOG posts, that I have an on-line ETSY shop.  This is primarily where I market items I re-purpose from vintage materials.  This the Giving Found Materials Fresh Form and Purpose side of this website.  The other is the Giving Lost Stories A Voice BLOG content.  
Most of these materials come from the restoration and re-habing of historic homes.  We are careful to reuse all we can in the homes themselves.  However, inevitably materials and found objects remain after.  I find even the most obscure object can be remade – usually.
At the moment, there are thirty-five or so unique, one-of-a-kind

Shamelessitems I know you need!

 

  • It’s gift time!
  • It’s decorating time!
and my master packager-shipper is standing by to whisk these off to you in record time.
Shameless Reasons To Purchase Here
ShamelessDoes it help to know that the proceeds of these products go into the restoration maintenance fund for Maison Steinbuchel?  The idea is, if the material itself cannot be reused in the project then the proceeds from a sale can.
It helps to know that when you order multiple items, they are packaged and shipped as one to save on shipping?  We refund any and all overage on the calculated shipping done via the ETSY process and charge nothing for handling.
The fact that there is NO SALES TAX ?  In many cases that off-sets shipping.
Did I mention unique?  Handmade? One-of-a-kind?Shameless
Usually a story accompanies the product including information on where materials came from and how the re-purpose was done.  These are reflected in the description of each item but if you have questions I am glad to answer.
Examples of the products are pictured, but there are many more items in my shop.
and happy shopping from the comfort of your home.
Is there an item you particularly like? Please let me know by posting in the comments below OR in my ETSY shop simply make it a “favorite”.  

What Wreaths and Frames Add To Your Life

Bridges become frames for looking at the world around us. – Bruce Jackson
 Special seasons and events, like the approaching holidays, bring out equally special decor.  Floral arrangements, seasonal colors and items that represent memories of past celebrations are displayed. They are combined with updated items that are more than simple visual beauty.  They serve to pull special times from the past into this new celebration.
Two familiar forms support various vignettes:  the wreath and the frame.  Over the past few years they have become somewhat interchangeable in application.  But before demonstrating what I am referring to, lets explore the roots of these two forms.
Frames , Wreaths and Smiling Etrucstians
The word wreath comes from Middle English wrethe and from Old English writha, band.  Wreaths have a long and distinguished history, going back to the ancient  Etruscan 
civilization in Southern Europe.  I learned about this people when visiting the Vatican Museum in 1985.  One comment about this civilization that was borne out in the  artifacts is that:   “these must have been a happy peoples, as most representations show them smiling.” My husband and I got a giggle out of that as we looked over the various paintings and statues of these “smiling Etruscans”.
Wreaths came to be used as crowns representing various levels of honor, rank or even rule.  When placed on the final resting place of a loved one, it represents devotion for a life that has passed from this earth.  Today we use wreaths as decoration but in many cases represent an eternal presence in our celebrations.
Frames Function

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Leftovers In Madagascar

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“Don’t make excuses for not working – make things with the time, space and materials you have, right now” – Austin Kleon – Steal like an artist
 madagascar
madagascar In August 1993 I was assigned to a team of four to conduct a civil aviation assessment of the country of Madagascar’s aviation system.  The United States FAA had been invited, via the US Ambassador, by the Malagasy authorities to conduct this review.
These assessments are done on a reimbursable basis when it is
determined we can offer expertise not available through another channel.  It was a two week trip including travel to and from the assignment, so the majority of our time in country was spent taking care
of business.
We did, however, have a few hours to take in sights here and there (yes, I got to see lemurs in the wild).  One side trip was a trip over lunch break to the large local outdoor market along L’ Avenue de l’Independance.  It was massive.  We found some treasures to

bring back as gifts and remembrances.  As we walked back from the market, there were stray vendors along the street with their wares spread out on the ground.

Thrift Madagascar Style

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easels

How To Turn A TV Stand Into Wooden Easels

Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage. – Julia Cameron
I have been working on my vision boards.  I keep them simple using foam core boards from the Dollar Store.  However, I grew tired of them sitting on the floor in the corner and falling over.  I decided I needed a couple of easels to put them on, so I consulted my go to idea place, Pinterest.
All I needed were three boards, a hinge and something to rest the pictures on.  I was pretty sure I had all I needed in my stash of reclaimed materials and hardware.  As I was letting the idea percolate, I spotted an old TV stand that had belonged to my husband’s grandmother.  We  used it for a number of years as a TV stand, but those days were gone.  The stand was was collecting dust looking for a new life.
Easels Made Easy
As I looked it over, I realized it had all of the elements I needed to make two nice wood easels.  No cutting needed.  I used every part of the stand except the shelf that was below where the TV sat.  The shelf will no doubt find a new home in another project.

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Leftovers – The Loaves and Fishes of Life

Using leftovers.  I enjoy re-doing and re-making things.  I always have.  Taking what I have on hand and making something useful again:
  • Whatever I might have in the pantry or frig becomes a one-time kind of meal.
  • Scraps of cloth become a comforter, pillow or something for the wall.  S
  • craps of wood become art, wooden trays or even furniture.
Things that began life as one thing are “up-cycled” into a new life.  So where did this tendency come from?
For me, some came out of necessity.  Using and reusing was a way of life in the world I grew up in.
  • Dad, an auto salvage operator took old cars apart.  They were scrapped out for usable parts and metal.   Some parts were refurbished and resold, others just reused as is on another vehicle.
  • Clothes were re-done and handed down.  If they were too worn out, the cloth was remade into quilts, comforters or some other useful item (remember cloth dust rags?).
  • Mom composted in the garden and turned grass clippings and leaves into flower beds (no pesticides were used!).
 Today, it is called being “green” by recycling, up-cycling and re-purposing.  For us it was being practical and frugal.  We were not poor, we just conserved cash for what only cash could buy and avoided waste of things and time.  In my small town there was retail, but not the Walmart kind of retail.  Many things had to be ordered through mail order catalogs or we made the occasional shopping trip to “the city”.
In addition, there was my grand-parents farm where nothing was wasted.  Even what did go into the trash was used as fuel for the stove.  Paper, bits of wood and anything that would burn would make it into the incinerator.  Along with some of the methods used by my parents, my grand-parent’s cows, pigs and chickens ate, in addition to their regular feed, vegetable and fruit scraps.  The dogs and barn cats  were glad recipients of meat scraps and bones (after they were boiled for broth, of course).  Bailing wire was the all purpose duct-tape for farm machinery (until a proper repair could be made).  Well, you get the idea.
At the same time, I do not consider myself “cheap”.  I enjoy nice new things.  I have some of the finest Irish China, French and German crystal and German flatware there is.  We only use it a few times a year and I do not feel one bit guilty about it.  None-the-less, that thing in me that is profoundly satisfied when an old object is remade and given new life is undeniable.  Aside from the practical aspects, there is actually a deeper root to all of this.
 Loaves and Fishes – Divine Leftoversleftovers
It is found in the two stories of multiplying loaves and fishes as told in the Gospels*.  In both cases after the multiplication had occurred and everyone had eaten their fill, Jesus had the leftovers gathered up and collected.  Why would the Son of God who had just multiplied food do that?  To show off?  Not really in his nature.  To give a sign to the disciples of God’s ability to provide?  Perhaps.  The answer is in the text/  Jesus said:  “Gather up that which remains so that nothing is lost.”  Jesus did not want to waste the leftovers!  Wow, what a concept.  God, who created everything, does not waste, even leftover bread and fish.

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