Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Andrew’s Reclaimed – Not One Tree, Not One January 19, 2009

Submitted by Marjorie of Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry – Manager of the Reclaimed to Fame Market at 1000 Markets.

The following is written by Andrew of Andrew’s Reclaimed – Reclaimed Wood & Garden Accessories

I have always had a fascination with woodworking. One of our most ancient crafts, it is simply amazing to me how far it’s come.

Let me tell you how I started on this journey into woodworking, and how a little resourcefulness and a bit of luck has brought my eco-friendly craft into our gardens.

It started several years back, when I had dabbled a little in woodworking. A little framing here, a bit of decking and fencing there. One sunny weekend I was helping out a friend of mine. He had recently purchased his first home, and was remodeling it. Where to begin? Well, he had decided that the outside would be the best start. He had already dismantled the deck in the back of the house, and was building a new one. All of the new framing and much of the decking he had already purchased, so there we began. Come dusk, when we were close to the end, we realized that we were going to be short on supplies, as the height of the deck was tall enough that it required a railing and balusters.

It wouldn’t have been such a challenge, except the project was on a tight budget. What to do now? That night it came to me. Months ago, I had helped a neighbor friend of mine take down his old barn. The neighbor had not had any use for this decades-old mossy weathered wood, but frankly, I would have hated to see it taken to the landfill. I think even then, in the back of my mind, I knew I would bring this precious wood to good use. I had de-nailed it, and stored it for later use.

Could I re-mill this old gray heap into useful material?

The next morning I told my friend about my plans for this lumber pile. “Couldn’t hurt, Andy”. This is where discovery began. We went back to the house, collected the lumber, and off we went to the table saw. Hours of sawing led to the unveiling of the beauty and durability of this old gray stack of boards. It was beautiful old-growth western red cedar. It looked and smelled wonderful. With the railing parts ready to go, we completed his deck, and he was so happy with it. It was just lovely. A better quality wood by far. Stiffer, stronger, finer grain, and full of color, from cocoa brown to fiery reds and orange. It looked just lovely against his stone gray composite deck boards. It was so rewarding, as I knew this railing was built without having to fell a single tree.

Soon after that, I started my research into the usefulness of cedar. I had no idea that there were so many different species and grades. The year previous I had built my own deck of ironwood, and as beautiful and carefully crafted as it was, I imagined how it would have looked, had I used reclaimed cedar. If a deck could be built from reclaimed cedar, what other possibilities were there?

I had always loved the beauty and strength of an arbor, and decided to plan and build one from reclaimed cedar for next spring, for our own garden. I had always admired the craftsmanship of the European garden arbors and pergolas and their history. I began collecting reclaimed cedar wood beams and boards that autumn. From old decks and fences to large demolition projects, I collected, sorted, planed, and stacked. Every time I planed, I was never disappointed. The color and sweet aroma of this fine decades-old wood has never failed to amaze me, and I just knew that there was real potential for this reclaimed wood.

Once my first arbor was built, I had a drive. Over the winter, I continued learning, and after having built planter boxes, trellises, and other items from the same gorgeous material, I wanted other people to see the beauty of this reclaimed wood, and how useful it could be. I wanted people to see that there are many ways to use reclaimed lumber, and that there was no need to throw it away or burn it. And that there’s another way to minimize our effect on our natural resources.

I remember the conversation my wife, Melissa and I had one day about how we could show people the beauty of this recycled material and how it can be “born again” into our gardens. Where could we possibly start? “How about a farmers market?!” By this time, I had completed several breathtaking garden arbors for neighbors, and I had also started dabbling in different designs, and had completed several custom orders. We applied for the local farmers market, and were accepted. As luck would have it, our first farmers market was a hit. It was so rewarding, the number of people who were fascinated with the beauty and eco-friendliness of reclaimed cedar.

During that spring and summer, between market days, I researched and designed, and began building a variety of useful items, such as the bat houses, Flutterbye Houses, and the A.R. Bee Keep. My goal was not just to build quality into eco-friendly garden structures, but to help others with their desire to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. One of my most important goals, one that I always strive for, is to always provide my customers with a high quality eco-friendly product.

Since my spring and summer of crafting for the farmer’s markets, I have had the pleasure of being a part of Etsy.com, arguably the very best hand-crafted venue. I will tell you, the very fact that I have been part of the eco-friendly crafts movement has been such a pleasure. Having satisfied customers is for certain one of the most important things to me in my craft, but more than that, bringing more knowledge of eco-friendly material, and eco-friendly ways of being, is rewarding beyond what I can put into words.

I am really excited to see where the new year will take my craft, and look forward to bringing new styles out of the old barn beams and into our little corner of the world, and becoming a greater part of the solution for our increasingly eco-friendly lives.

Visit Andrew’s Reclaimed at http://andrewsreclaimed.1000markets.com

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Artist Janet Nolan: The 10,000 Things November 1, 2008

“My sculptures are made from post-consumer objects—things we purchase, use up and throw away,” says artist Janet Nolan, who collects bottle caps, broken umbrellas and six-pack holders, mostly from the streets of New York City, to create her fantastical sculptures and installations. On display through November 6, 2008, in the garden of the Lesley Heller gallery, you have the see the waterfall wall made from 10,000 six-pack holders. It takes being green to a whole new, spiritual level. Get more info here.

 

Make a little keepsake box from vintage trims August 23, 2008

By Heather Lewis

This project is super easy and only takes about one hour to an hour-and-a-half. You will need the following supplies:

• Acrylic paint
• Paint brush
• Rhinestones, tear drop shaped glass beads and some type of plastic beads. Vintage beads work best however, if you can’t find those, any beads from the craft store will work (they need to be round like a doughnut).
• Little wooden box (I found mine at the dollar store). They have these at any craft store. It does not matter what size. Mine measures 4” x 4”.
• Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks.
• Water
• Paper towels
• Felt
• Scissors
• Seam binding

First: You have to paint your little box. Choose whatever color you like best. I painted my box a darker blue color and went over it with a lighter blue. Once the lighter blue was painted on, I took a paper towel and blotted the paint. This gives the box a bit of a weathered look. It turned out really nicely.

Second: You will take your little plastic doughnut beads and space them out on the top of the box before gluing them down. This will give you an idea of how many beads you will need for your box. Then you will glue those on with the hot glue gun one by one. This is a very tedious process however it’s the only way to do it. You will want to repeat this step on the top of each side as well. Once the doughnut beads have been added, you will glue on your rhinestones one by one. Again, this is a very tedious process but it’s the only way to do it.

This is what the box will look like once you have glued on the rhinestones and beads:

Third: You will take your rhinestones and teardrop shaped glass beads (can be plastic as well) and glue those onto the sides in the shape of a flower. My box only allowed for three on each side:

Fourth: You will cut your felt to the size of the bottom of your box. You will also need to cut two pieces for the inside top and bottom. Glue those on with the hot glue once you have determined what size the pieces need to be. Here’s a pic of the bottom of the box once the felt has been added:

Fifth: You need to add binding to all inside corners. I suggest taking the binding and gluing down each side you are working with until you have covered all sides. Once you’ve finished the binding, you will make four additional flowers on the inside top of the box. You will also add a teardrop bead to each inside corner:

WaLa! You have a lovely keepsake box:

You can find this box and many other handcrafted items at www.mattiereidchicago.com or http://mattiereidchicago.etsy.com. You can also click on the banner below.