Upcycle Innervation

Introducing the world of re-purposing material and creating a product of quality

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Floating Crane Mobile

Origami ( the Japanese art of decorative paper-folding) has always fascinated me. From a distance I would admire and secretly covet elaborate deigns and styles. Part of my embarking on this Up-cycle blog, was to have the opportunity to put my crafty intentions into action. An origami project was first on this list. So…

Last weekend my dear friend Jody Stein, creator of ” Ground Score Sculptures” and myself got together and created the MOST fabulous Floating Crane mobile using paper from old magazines and twigs from her back yard. Being a first timer with origami, I was grateful to have a pro as my guide. Jody was patient when demonstrating each fold necessary to allow for the step by step process (she would make a great teacher). Especially, since working with the slick, glossy and heavy magazine paper was unforgiving. A later challenge would be finding the center of gravity when the cranes were strung up on a twig because, each crane’s weight was different do to the ink not being uniform for each page. With our finished project being a little off-center, we decided the asymmetrical look gave the mobile character.

Flipping through magazines, we choose pages with a particular color theme, red, purple and sparkles from large-scale jewelry ads. Attempting to guess at what the finished crane would look like was difficult because, we were un-sure where the pattern would land on the body or wing. Throwing caution to the wind, we allowed for artistic mystery to take over. The result was a unique pattern formed from the fashion ads, that in their own right are pretty snazzy.

Each square was measured and cut by hand, which took about 15 minutes. Folding the cranes took longer than expected, since I was practicing the, learn as we go method. We made 9 cranes, based on a  3/4 tier design Jody drew up. I have searched high and low for a HOW TO link, with no luck. This is a Jody original. However, listed below are links for instructions on folding origami and string mobiles. Have fun and remember it’s about the creativity and up cycle. everyone’s project will have  different result. Enjoy.

At the end of post is a sweet 22 second video of the Floating Crane Mobile









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Belt Buckles ” wear-able art”

This week I’m more showing off, than show casing an Up-cycling project. Over the last few years, I’ve been creating belt buckles, each unique, do to the media used to design the front facade.  Never knowing what the end product will be, each piece is unique, making it “wearable art.” Catering to the lover of uniformity, abstract and relief designs, these buckles are sparkly, matte, metal cold and swede, just to descried a few directions my designs take. My studio is over flowing with media of all sorts, like batches of buttons, watch parts, keys to doors that no longer exist or made for that matter and costume jewelry, just to rattle off a few media sources. One of my favorite places to hunt media is at Pick-in Pull junk yards, especially for car emblems and shattered windshields. It is amazing the relief deigns the shards of tempered glass creates. Never at a loss for media, since I use material that would once have been on a one way trip to our ever-growing mountain ranges called Land Fills.

Granted, my canvas, being belt buckle blanks that I purchased new, makes my designs not completely 100% up-cycled. But I have found it difficult to find reused or thrift store buckles. Having spent many hours searching the second-hand nooks and crannies of Sonoma Co., I am left to believe that fashionistas, like myself , hold on to old buckels. Many times we buy them as a personal character purchase, at least I do.

I have selected for this blog a few simple designs created from, computer parts, shoelaces, leather stripes, junked beaded curtains (gold stars), metal used to insulate a car carburetor, sequins and fabric. They all reflect a colorful, fun, sparkly theme. I like to create streams of one of a kind, similar design themes. Custom designs are a specialty. Many friends have brought personal trinkets that they wanted to re-create into something new, different and wearable, makes for a fantastical story, wrapped in sentiment.

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Fabric-mache’ Hanging Ball Lamp

Ever few weeks I get pampered at Mira of Beauty Spa, owned and operated by, Juliette Bellefeuille. She has created a elegant and relaxed environment in which to luxuriate and rejuvenate one’s self in health and beauty. Her mission;  to “Enhance peoples natural beauty.” This is done most impart by her skills, added with furnishing and esthetics, which to my thrill and delight I learned Juliette created with an up-cycleing theme.

Hanging large and bright above her waxing table is a circular globe light. Having a circumference of about 5 1/2 feet, you can imagine the impression it demands. Spreading soft white light about the room, Juliette’s lamp is not only efficient, but lovely.

Juliette fashioned this lamp from every day items that would have ended up in our landfills. Made from recycled mosquito netting, they were once curtains and rope used to lash board signs together. She started by creating a homemade mixture of plaster of paris from flour, sugar and water. By blowing up a large ballon to create a frame and sizing templete. She spread the mosquito netting on the ballon and using the plaster of paris ,painted the netting on to it. After painting on several layers, the lamp sat in order to dry, for 2 days. Testing for firmness and structure strength, the ballon was popped, leaving her with a perfect circle, seen in photo #5 un-illuminated.

Her biggest challenge was hanging the lamp and still maintain its beauty and structure, while producing light. The lamp was hung by, Re-using old x-mas ornament hooks, you know the ones that end the season in a tangled mess and land in the rubbish (they are recycle-able  in our single stream recycling system in Sonoma County).  However, our brilliant Juliette hung her Fabric-Mache’ Lamp elegantly from a tile plaster ceiling, which delivers soft, and strong light.

At every turn, even my pampering time, I am reminded of the ingenuity of up-cycing.  Thank you Juliette Bellefeuille for sharing your project with me and the community.

DIY Link to make your own Ball Lamp



5222 Country Club Drive
Rohnert Park, Ca. 94928
(next to the Firestation)




Glass Bottles Illunminated

Glass bottle lamps are a brilliant use of a product reused as a  craft media. Generally, we find our selves re-cycling glass, but by up-cycling we continue the evolutionary story for that container. By eliminating the energy resources needed to melt down glass during the re-cycling process, we take out of the equation enough glass to fill  tractor trailers that could stretch from New York to Los Angeles and back! The beauty of Glass containers is that all shapes and sizes can transform in to something fantastical like a side table lamp, hanging lanterns and bottle shelves.

In my travels, this little gem of a lamp caught my eye, at my dear sisters house.  She had received it as a gift from work. I thought the idea that some one made all their employees (20 plus) wine bottle lamps was incredibly inspiring and caring. How easy and industrious is this project; your up-cycling a medium, eliminating glass from land fills and BEST YET, Instead of fighting with strings of Christmas lights in the holiday season, put them in glass bottles or jars.


Link to additional DIY glass endeavors.



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Ground Score Sculptures

As Jody Stein,

travels the paths of daily life, she keeps one eye forward and one eye to the ground constantly scanning for treasures. Treasures in the form of trinkets and street debris, that if they could talk would tell a story. These treasure become re-storyed in Steins miniature sculptures  On the many occasions I have walked with Jody and she  finds a “Ground Score” , her reaction is priceless, as she asses the artist possibility in that object. Her “Ground Score,” a phrase she coined when referring to sculpture media finds, will be mixed in to her amassed collection of objects. They sit in assorted size bowls, and platters, looking much like the painters pallet in a studio, waiting for Stein’s creative and ingenious hand to recreate their story.

Stein is drawn to the possibility and potential  in ground score finds like, a sliver of colored plastic or a metal fuse that once acted as a residual current device. Now through the  steady and creative hand of  Stein, the current is recreated in a ripple effect of artistry and creativity valued in up-cycling.

Cleverly, one can see in these photos, that compare  Stein’s sculptures to a classic penny, the unique and delicate size of her creations. When fashioning and constructing her ground scores, Jody say’s the pieces talk to her. “Intuitively I know the particular placement that will balance and anchor the sculpture.” One can not survey and study these sculptures without amazement to detail. As if each piece was meant for the other, like a puzzle.

For more information, contact Jody Stein at


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Ground Score Sculptures