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Filtering by Tag: upcycling

Tuesday Ta Da!

LeAnn Stephenson


I am not, intrinsically, one of those people put in this world to meet deadlines.  Despite this handicap, I persist in trying.  I missed the reveal for the DIY upcycled champagne lamps on Makers Monday.  So, I thought I could try and save face and sneak by with a Tuesday Ta Da post to show you how they turned out, but unfortunately I committed to a four day show out of town last week and simply didn't finish what I started.  This serves as a brilliant illustration of how I've made a much closer acquaintance with over-committing than I am entirely happy with … 
So, basically, what I'm saying is … I got nothin.

Perhaps I can get my "To Do List" done by next Monday!

Photo courtesy A Pair of Pears



Internal Vision: Aleksandra Nogina & Crafthunters

LeAnn Stephenson




Seems I have a new crush . . . the recipient of my infatuation is a blog called CRAFTHUNTERS. The creator and editor of CRAFTHUNTERS is Aleksandra Nogina.

Only a year old, launching in May of 2011, the sight is dedicated to the craft world: here you can find cool crafthunters’ pics, some fresh and simple DIY ideas from across the craft stylish universe and, of course, meet the most talented craftsmen on the planet.

Noginas' goal is to discover some new names in the craft universe and dish on what she loves, desires, and admires. It's a ideal blog for those of us whose style is defined by an internal vision.

P.S.: To become a crafthunter read here.   Follow her on Pinterest here or like her Facebook page here.

The video above is just one of the many brilliant things that I found on her site. I keep being surprised by how ordinary things can transform into . . . Well, watch for yourself how to wear a shirt . . . . .

Happy weekend!

Video courtesy  CRAFTHUNTERS

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Grafters: ¡el grupo!

LeAnn Stephenson



It's Grafters day on the blog. And today, I have a whimsical piece by a group of designers and craftsmen with a passion to create and influence the world around them called ¡el grupo!.



This playful piece of street art, entitled Moustache Rides, is a see-saw built for waiting customers at East Austin's El Chilito taco stand. The see-saw was built from discarded phone booths and lined with rhino liner, a covering typically sprayed on truck beds for weather protection. The sunglasses and seat backs are made of wood that is burned using a weatherizing process called "shou sugi ban," which is a process traditionally used on Japanese homes. Sugi is known as Japanese cedar, but it's really more of a cypress and it is burned to resist rot and fire.



This is the first project by, a creative collective recently formed in Austin, Texas, as part of The Pay Phone Revival Project back in November of 2010. They have a blog where you can go for more info and photos about the process.



Great fun and very Grafter-esque!

Photos courtesy Nicolas Rivard, ¡el grupo!, and The Pay Phone Revival Project

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Grafter: Frederique Morrel

LeAnn Stephenson


Hi Everyone, welcome back to my Grafters series. If you missed the two previous posts I featured Shannon South of reMade USA and Carolina Fontoura Alzaga. Today I would like to introduce you to Frederique Morrel.


I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of taxidermy. It just seems a bit gross and gory. But that was before I discovered Frederique Morrel˙s marvelous work. Her sense of humor gets me initially, and then the upcycling element or "decycling," as she puts it, grabs my attention next. I so enjoy her work. It makes me giggle and stand in awe. She's truly an original!


Vintage tapestries are gathered by family and friends to fit fiberglass taxidermy molds that have been injected with expanding foam. Realistic details such as teeth, tongue, hooves and ears are finished with resin or latex and then airbrushed. Real antlers, discovered by her "horny" husband, are fixed to the head and then the entire mold is covered with the vintage tapestries.


The special ingredients and materials she uses tell stories of simple and ideal happiness. These enchanting heirlooms have elevated taxidermy to a new level and I would love to have one of her works in any part of my home! Hope you are as taken with her as I am!


This is Frederique Morrel.  She began this quest after being troubled by the fact that her grandmother's needlework was discarded when she passed away. Ever since, she has been obsessed with the idea of making them come back to life, obsessed with the redemption of her grandmother's ardent work.




And this is Aaron Levin.  He is the guardian of the Frederique Morrel brand. He is often on the lookout for rare tapestries.  And together this power couple has taken on the task of re-enchanting the world. And, in my opinion, the stories told through these marvelous works of art have more than accomplished that goal.


Every piece is one-of-a-kind.



Meet Tony and Eva.

Images courtesy Frederique Morrel.

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Eco Art Youth Recycling Contest

LeAnn Stephenson



Unfortunately, I just learned of this a few moments ago and the entry deadline is today but, I had to let you know about a great event shared with me by a reader after reading today's Grafter post. Eco Art Youth Recycling Contest, to quote the reader that shared this with me," This is where young grafters are at work!"

According to their web page the Rodeo Austin's Eco Art Youth Recycling Contest gives students the chance to revitalize recycled items to create a work of art, a functional piece or anything else that showcases innovation through re-used materials.

Here are a few of the contest details:

•  Eligibility: Open to any Texas student 5-18 years of age. No school or organization affiliation required.
•  Individual Divisions: 5-8 years of age, 9-13 & 14-18
•  Team Divisions: 14-18 years of age, minimum of 2 or maximum of 6 students per team
•  Entry fee: $10 per entry
•  Entry deadline: February 15, 2011

The entries will be displayed March 24th from 10:00 AM - 07:00 PM. I'll have to get back with everyone about the location.



 Photos courtesy Rodeo Austin and Rodeo Austin's Eco Art Youth Recycling Contest

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Grafter: Carolina Fontoura Alzaga

LeAnn Stephenson



If you missed my first post on my new Grafter series featuring those folks that have a talent for making something out of nothing, no biggy, you can go back and read it laterLast week I featured Shannon South of reMade USA and today I would like to introduce you to Carolina Fontoura Alzaga a  multidisciplinary artist with a penchant for re-purposing castoff materials.

Carolina Fontoura Alzaga upcycled lighting designs are a step above the rest. At first glance I thought that maybe one of the components looked a little bit like a bicycle rim and then slowly I started to realize that the beads were not beads but bike chains! Inspired by Victorian chandeliers, DIY culture and bikes, the bike chain chandeliers designed and made by Carolina start out as anything but artistic but end up exquisite works of art.



She combines the elegance of a Victorian age with discarded bike parts resulting in a stellar example of grafter art, as well as upcycling done right.



If you are a Grafter or know of someone who is please get in touch with links and photos of your creations.

Photos courtesy Carolina Fontoura Alzaga and Re-Nest.

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