Friday, January 30, 2009

Martin's rescued alarm clock

Our own Martin Leugers sends in this fantastic alarm clock he built, all from reclaimed materials. He rescued an alarm clock from the 80s and gave it new life as this very modern creation that makes use of several items that had piled up around his workshop.

Project includes
- One hideous thrift store alarm clock
- Scrap from a PSL (parallel strand lumber) beam
- Toggle switch from a sales sample kit
- 4 rubber feet (OK, those were new)

This one is from his personal collection, but Martin is available for custom work.

Image from Martin Leugers

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Inspiration: Doilies and Daisies

Caitlin Holcomb makes stunning lampshades using vintage and found needlework (doilies, vintage lace, etc.). The daisy chain shade is nicely refined, and the bouquet shade has a dizzying, crazy, organic aesthetic that is completely charming. What a wonderful use for all those homeless scraps of needlework crowding thrift stores and grandma's cedar chest! If only I had seen this before I went the White Elephant Sale, I might have a pile of doilies at home right now destined for a project.

However, you don't have to DIY. Caitlin's work is lovely and affordable and for sale in her Etsy shop.

Thanks to Apartment Therapy for the tip. Images from

Thursday, January 22, 2009

(Treasure) Hunting elephants in Oak-town

I'm trying to live a little lighter on the earth, but the truth is, I like shiny new things as much as the next gal. One of my favorite guilt-free shopping treats is Oakland Museum's White Elephant Sale. Fantastic bargains on recycled goods, and all the money goes to the Oakland Museum of California. The volunteers have lovingly organized all 96,000 sq. ft. of the warehouse into 17 different departments, from furniture to clothing to artwork. I have a doctor friend who stocks up each year on crutches (for her patients recovering from knee surgery) and other medical supplies for her clinic. In years past I've scored upholstery fabric for recovering our antique chair (monkeys with umbrellas, for pennies per yard), a retro wooden child's scooter, and some crazy plank of wood with about 32 faces drawn on it--It's cooler than it sounds. Now the hunt is on for a beater bike and some vintage Pyrex mixing bowls to replace our plastic ones, which are at the end of their life.

The preview sale is this Sunday, and the March sale is in a few weeks. Parking is tricky, but the Fruitvale BART station is just a few blocks away, and they run a shuttle on sale days. For more details and donation information, check the WES website.

Preview Sale: Sunday, January 25
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Tickets are $12.50 in advance or $15 at the door.

March Sale:
Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Admission is free

See you there! I'll be the one with the Pyrex bowls and something strange and wonderful from the artwork section.

Upper image from The Shopping Sherpa's photostream on Flickr
Lower image from the Oakland Museum

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Finger pointing: Recycled fluorescent tubes

The worst thing about most green blogs is the way they all point at each other. Can't we generate some original content? Well, SF Green Labs is just starting out, so there will be a little pointing. All I can promise is that we'll be really honest about it. Thus, here's the first "finger pointing" post. From Inhabitat, this fantastic lamp made (by Canadians!) of those so-hard-to-recycle fluorescent tubes.

The original is designed and produced by Castor Canadensis (and is for sale on their website). In our own twist, this is a super-easy DIY, especially if you work in an old-school office building with a steady supply of spent tubes. Just ask the building maintenance guy or gal to hook you up.

Image from Inhabitat

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inspiration: Recycled traffic lights

As a glass artist, I'm a sucker for any kind of brightly colored glass objects. Check out these pendant lights made from reclaimed traffic signals. As municipalities go from bulbs to LEDs, these glass lenses are pretty easy to find (check ebay or your local salvage yard). I have several I scored off ebay a few years ago. These beautiful "Stoplights" pendants are from Greenlight Concepts, a local SF company that makes modern lighting from the discarded traffic lenses.

If pendants aren't your thing, they also make some striking lamps. Prices are reasonable, from $90 to $300.

Image from Greenlight Concepts