Upcycle Innervation

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



Switching gears slightly, the conversation of this post is dedicated to up cycling water. How do we take the water we use and re-use it to create something of quality, specifically while living in an apartment. Climate Progress has blogged extensively on California’s drought, its climate impacts and solutions. This is the scenario myself and millions of people  live with. Attempting to live inline with my sustainable ethic, apartment living  has forced me to become creative with my water use in the spirit of not wanting to waste a precious resource.

Water conservation has become routine, becoming an ingredient that make specific parts of my life blossom, like my flowers and patio garden. Peeking out  my front door you’ll see beautifully constructed redwood garden boxes, growing, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, drought tolerant herbs, and a salsa garden that spices up my culinary creations. Caring for my garden is gratifying, however the watering is a challenge. The challenge is one I place on myself, because  most apartment complexes  pay for the water, which perpetuates an attitude of its free, so why worry about its conservation. Several tenants have stated emphatical, their disinterest in conserving water, going about life using it as if in endless supply. While I wont make this a political posting, I’ll say at some point politics will step in when excessive water use is statical applied to rental increases.

Scattered though out my apartment are houseplants and ferns which need watering twice a week. When I include the patio garden of edibles and herbs, the need for watering becomes constant.

How do I conserve

1) Each morning I make an important cup of coffee via my french press (favorite staple).  Cleaning a press can be challenge, since coffee grounds are not meant for the disposal. I could scape them out and toss in rubbish, but that’s waste full. Each time the press gets rinsed, the outside plants get watered with the coffee grounds, which benefit the soil, however this cannot be done every day because grounds are acidic for the soil. Plants get a rotating  feed and watering and the off days the ground go in to my apartment compost.

2) This one might be a bit extreme some folks, smilingly I say, it’ll make for close quarters. While showering I leave a watering pail in the tub, designing an elementary catchment and grey water system. This is the simplest way to water plants using a grey water. Since I use all natural and chemical free product, there is no worry of poisoning my beloved plants.  The one flaw in my system is the lack of catchment in the shower. But it’s still a simple way of using grey water and not retrofitting anything permanent, especially since living in an apartment makes that difficult.

You may be asking what this has to with up cycling and what am I repurposing. My plants are my are benefiting generously from my repurposing water. Water is a natural resource that gets wasted on daily basis. If I added up all the gallons of water conserved and reused, I’d respectfully say it’s about 100 gallons a month. Imagine this on an exponential level, the per apartment, per gallon savings could make a dent in the water loss to water save ratio.

for other ideas on apartment living and conservation, check in to the link below.



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Miniature Magazine Collage



To gage the artists skill, is to observe the multiple facets and media they create in. Jody Stein does just that, works in many medias designing incredible works of art, that embody up-cycleing. This weeks expose’ of miniature magazine collages, are a product of great quality. Stein has taken magazine pictures, disposed of their content and re-created art that displays color and texture.

Not being a professional photographer, the images below do not do the artwork justice or represent its true visual impression . The time-consuming process of separating the art from the  magazine picture, involves creating lengths of ad paper and repasting them over and over again, the end result being the photos below. I love that Jody has once again reused the items in her life to create art, instead of throwing them away.




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Ground-Score Sculptures II

Jody Stein has done it again, creating intricate, one of  a kind, masterful “Ground Score Sculptures.” Her latest series, positioned as an army of art below, are created and erected  from discarded scrape metal fragments, pencil reminisce and plastic pieces that once were the innards of some random technological device.  Recently, Stein expended her art studio, which inspired these new creations. I am the lucky one, getting to feast my eyes on these treasures first hand and then getting to share with you the fruits of Steins artist design.

Within each piece of media that  “Ground Score Sculptures” are created from, tell a cycle of stories. Some how this media has become part of Steins’ sculptures and  what she artistically does is retell the story. Her fingers are nimble and skilled at fine detailed work. Creating miniature works of art, she is often designing with tiny fragments and slivers of media.

Each sculpture uniquely joins, symmetry, balance, design and color, creating something of wonder. I have often ask Jody how she knows pieces of media will fit as through they were one . Her answer, “the pieces talk to me, I just know.” What impresses me most is the physical balance she creates in each sculpture.

Pictures do not do Jody Stein’s ground score sculptures justice.  They are meant to be experienced up close, at eye level. Having both a front and back side to each sculpture, viewing the circumference, demonstrates the intricacy  and  detailing Stein has captured in each, one of a kind piece.

I must add the Jody in her own way is contributing to a microcosm of sustainability and up cycling, taking something ( discards from our daily lives) and creating something of quality and value.

Email Jody at