Sunday, December 1, 2013

My true love gave to me...

 ...a partridge made from recycled furniture??
Holiday songs echoing in my ears, I saw these and fell in love. Each little bird is re-crafted from a salvaged chair arm or table leg or some other discarded piece of wood. The artist is Lars Beller Fjetland from Norway. He was inspired to create the Re-Turned creatures by all the detritus in local dumpsters
Images from It's Nice That. Via Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pallet lamps

Everyone seems to be up-cycling pallets these days. While I like the idea, most of it ends up looking like pallets. These lamps from UK-based Factory Twenty One look so sophisticated you can't tell the source wood is so humble. 
The clever assembly (giant hair elastics?) and color fade (so on trend!) make them almost perfect. The icing on the green cake is that they ship flat-packed. Want one of your very own? Check out Factory Twenty One's Etsy shop.

Images from FactoryTwentyOne. Via Upcyclista.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

As the world turns

I went down the Pinterest rabbit hole and found this. I don't know anything about it except it was posted on Knithacker by someone (hopefully the artist?) named Elayne. Miss Elayne, if this is your creation, we salute your genius. Miss Elayne, if this isn't yours, we salute your excellent taste. I love this as is and I love the artistic possiblities of modern needlework overlaid on vintage globes. I want to see more. 

Off to google knitted globes....

Images from Knithacker. Via Pinterest.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Drill team

Donna McCollough takes vintage oil and gas cans and refashions them into cheerleader inspired dresses. I love how feminine they are, and the contrast between the rusted, industrial material and the dressmaker details. Seriously, are those darts at the bustline?
Images from Donna McCollough. Via Make.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 its cover

As our reading becomes digital and the paper book becomes obsolete, I'm seeing more and more artists using old books as raw materials. Brian Gennett is one of these, and his mosaics stand on their own as stunning works of art. It's not until you look closely at the details that you see the raw materials--book covers and end papers. Click through to his site for more furniture, objects, and even tile. Each piece is sealed with layers of poly acrylic.
Thanks to Design Sponge for highlighting this work.
Images from Brian Gennett. Via Design*Sponge.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Shards of glass

My beloved Oakland has a crime problem. As I warily parked my car in a neighborhood where the sidewalks sparkled with the evidence of previous car break-ins, I had a bad feeling. My instincts proved right, and I returned to my car to find my front seat littered with broken glass and the contents of my glove box. By the next day, the window was repaired, the car was freshly vacuumed, and I was moving on.
Going through this process, I kept visualizing all that broken glass and its artistic potential. Today's post features the work of Ellen Blakeley, who specializes in beauty made from shards. My favorites are the ones with images imbedded behind the glass. Enjoy.
Note to locals: Ms. Blakeley occasionally teaches at the Institute for Mosaic Art, if you are inspired.

Images from Ellen Blakeley (top = New Yorker tile; all others = Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy mural and details). 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Electric slides

Our local reuse center always has bins of vintage slides. I've seen other slide lamps, but nothing so fantastic as this Film lamp by Davide Groppi. They use LED bulbs and can be linked up to form long, candy-colored strings of awesome (or black and white, depending on your choice of slides).

Images from Davide Groppi. Via This Is Colossal.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Just discovered, Slate-ish, which is a triple green product (I just made that up--It's not a technical term.) 

  1. Slate-ish is made from construction scraps instead of new materials
  2. The source material (Richlite, Paperstone) is already an eco-friendly material, which builders and architects are using to gain LEED points in their projects.
  3. The company has a buyback program (or a buy program) where they will gladly buy your countertop scraps to make them into tiles.

The tiles look like slate, but are actually a combination of paper and resin, laminated and pressed into a solid form. The material is durable, often used in countertops and skateboard ramps. The tiles are cut from the scraps leftover from construction projects--sink cut-outs, oddly shaped corners, anything too small or strange to be useful. 

This might be perfect for our new fireplace, which has been languishing unfinished without tile for far too long. If I can only decide on a design--trendy hex, long strips, triangles?

Images from Slate-ish.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's a doggy dog world*

If you're a crafty DIY type, you should know about the amazing team and HomeMade Modern. They regularly post easy, well documented, and industrially styled DIY projects for you to add to that list of "I'd like to make that!" Fond of simple materials--concrete, plywood--they come up with some really interesting and modern shapes and provide enough detail for you to modify the projects for you own needs. In this case, easy instructions to size the cubby to fit your own particular size dog. Currently on their site they have several projects using faceted shapes, but I wanted to share this fantastic dog house.
I don't have a dog, but if I did, I would be so tempted to make this charming pet bed for him.

*Before the pronunciation police get onto me, I know the traditional phrase is dog-eat-dog, but this is one of my favorite mis-stated cliches. 

Images from HomeMade Modern. Via NOTCOT.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Drink up!

This stunning Brazilian garden is further evidence that you can make beautiful modern design out of almost anything (even plastic soda bottles), provided you are willing to use enough of them.

Images from This is Colossal. Via NOTCOT.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Out on a limb (twig?)

Tricia found this great image on Pinterest, but the source link was broken. I managed to track down a credit (thank you Google image search) on a Czech website.

I don't know anything about it, but thank you Tomáš Vacek of STUDIO VACEK for designing such an interesting twiggy modern bench.

Image from Pinterest. Via Tricia.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tie one on...

Tricia has been doing some very cool weaving projects (details and photos to come very soon), and I've been succumbing to my weakness for chairs in need of love. I started to mash the two together and have been exploring weaving and chairs and reclaimed materials. In my website wanderings, I found some really lovely examples.

I'm headed in a more modern direction with my project, but there's something about these vintage chairs and woven necktie seats that warms my little Alabama heart. And when the color palette is restrained, the result can be sophisticated.


Update: After writing this post, I kept coming back to Alabama Chanin, who I blogged about a couple of years ago. Apparently I've fallen for necktie chairs before. At that time, there was something sentimental about it. This time around, I'm inspired by the pattern and texture. 

Images from 
1. ToolGirl Mag Ruffman 
2. Etsy shop preserved
3. Peter Russo Design

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tag! You're it!

Every so often you see one of those dresses made from something crazy (vegetables, pop tabs, AmEx gold cards), and they look good on the mannequin or in the fashion show, but they are more costume than real life. Then you see something like this, where an Aussie fashion designer turned an inside joke with her boyfriend into a wedding dress. 

In case you can't tell from the pix, the dress is made of bread tags. Not sure what those are? When you buy a loaf of bread from the grocery story, it's often secured with a little plastic tab that has the best-by date printed on it. Stephanie Watson and her boyfriend saved these each week. As their collection grew, they joked that when there were enough to cover a wedding dress, they would get married. Friends and family helped out, and 10,000 tags later, they couple was married, and the bride wore this. 

I think she looks radiant, and talented, and I love the sense of humor here. Best wishes! 

Via Ecouterre. Images from Constructing Nadine.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Line drawings in the air

Arik Levy WireFlow for Vibia 

One of the best things about the global maelstrom of images is that when people are showing off their new awesomeness in Italy, bloggers share that with the world. I find this piece so lovely, delicate, modern, and retro all at the same time.

There's nothing really green about it except the simplicity and minimal use of materials (and let's be honest, I'm not posting it because it's simple. I'm posting it because the design my heart go all a-flutter). 

File under inspiration.

Via Apartment Therapy.

Monday, February 18, 2013


As you know, I'm a sucker for a good cardboard project. Love these--so simple!  

Via Inhabitat.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lego frames

Giant wooden lego minifig? Yes, please!

Handmade, with beautiful packaging. Check the wood shavings, and the individually numbered feet! 

Images from Thibaut Malet. Via NOTCOT.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bird vs. Evil

There's a brilliance to this, and I would LOVE to know how they did this. In case you don't want to click through, here's the quick notes version: The took the basic handled water bottle and *somehow* re-molded it into a birdhouse. Somehow they managed to hold onto the opening. The resulting product is adorable. 

So, how do you feel about this if you think bottled water is one of the great evils, but you like birds? Who doesn't like birds? 

Images from Colectivo Darainha

Monday, January 28, 2013

These aren't Lincoln's Logs

Michael McGillis works magic with natural materials and extremely well-chosen paint colors (or, in the case of the stonework, plastic bags).

 If you live in Minnesota or France, you might be able to visit one of these in person. The rest of us will admire from afar.

Images from Michael McGillis. Via NOTCOT.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stone cold...bookmarks?

OK. I realize these aren't very portable, and most of you are using eReaders anyway, but for those of us luddites with books and a nightstand, how perfect is this for holding that spot where you just dozed off?

He even made a giant one for newpapers! Have you kids even heard of newspapers? 

Images from Mocoloco. Via NOTCOT.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

This little piggy

What's there to say. It's adorable, it's made of cork, and it lights up!

 Images from Corkway. Via Apartment Therapy.

Monday, January 14, 2013

760 bikes

Chinese artist and political dissident Ai WeiWei created this amazing maze of bikes and frames. Fast Co has a good explanation of the political commentary involved in linking 760 Chinese Forever bikes together to create a seeming perpetual motion machine. 

At the lab, we're just going to show you the pretty pictures....

Images & details from Fast Co Design.