Upcycle Innervation

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

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Railroad Spikes Re-Hooked

This weeks up-cycle piece was inspired by a few field trip outings I embarked on last year. I was taking a walking adventure along the new SMART rail train project still in construction behind Aroma Roasters.  While exploring I found several old railroad spikes laying in the rubble. They must have been pulled from the old track when the new construction began. On a few occasions after my discovery I stopped a worker to inquire and got very little information. On the day I found the spikes I used for this project, there were several more lying around. In my heart i left them hopping someone else would find one and be inspired like myself.

Discovering the spikes gave me the idea of a coat rack designed specifically for the  wall. Combination art piece and utility installation. On a field trip to Goat Rock beach off  Highway 1 in California, I found a mound of drift wood. It was impressively large, wish I had a photo for you.  For the next hour I search for the right piece. At the time I was looking for ascetics not practicality, something that I would later wish I had looked for  because, even though my end project was interesting and beautiful, it was middle  heavy. I choose the final piece because the spikes would evenly fit, with a good distance from each-other, however, it was like I mentioned before, a little to mid heavy and difficult to hang. I am still searching for the right hook to attach my rack, one that is not so large that it will take away from the ascetics.

The final piece still makes me proud and brings a smile to my face. There is a story in those spikes somewhere. Thousands of miles of train cars have rolled over them, bringing a story within it self. That is the joy of up cycling. Recreating with recycled media, one is giving new life to an old object. Every thing has a story that should keep on sharing, instead of landing in our Mountain Range Dumps.









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Pallet to Play Fort

When I put a call out to my community, about my blog, Upcycle-Innervation starting up, I told everyone I was searching for up cycled projects, completed or in the proscess of completion, to show case. My friends Scott and Sorel jumped at the opportunity. And I could see why instantly, when I went over to their house to take picture of their project. My first reaction was WOW, this is incredible and ingenious.

Scott has designed and constructed a play fort for his 2 boys, built from the frame of an old doll house and re-used wooden pallets. While in its finishing stage, one can see the quality and love for the project. Painstakingly, with hours of patients, Scott had cut, sized, sanded and fine fit ever piece of wood, including that which will become the outer walls of the fort. Made to mimic a castle fort, Scott hand carved/tooled the Pinnical watch tower which is flanked by two watch towers. Each tower is adorned with crow stepped gables that encircle their top platform. Stairways leading from each story, has been hand carved and micro fitted to perfect size. Each corner has the feel and look of a traditional wood fort ( see photos below). Landing between each tower, allow the boys ample space to play out any fantasy their hearts desire.

Pictures below, demonstrate the craftsmanship and skill Scott has put in to this project for his boy’s. This will be a treasured, loved and well played with toy for years to come. And the memories that will be built by helping dad build this fort and years of playing with it, will be priceless.

Extra bonus is Scott used reused materials, which cut down the price for a fort of this size and quality. The environment thanks him.

Being in the last stages of completion, I will showcase the final project when completed with anticipation.

Statistics vary regarding just how many million wood pallets now reside in landfills. Some estimates claim that as many as 200 million wood pallets are thrown into U.S. landfill facilities every year. Of those that find their way to the dump, over half were used only once before they were discarded. If ever there was a poster child for conspicuous waste, the wood pallet is it.











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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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Green House from the Past

I am excited that my first up-cycle expose’ is of my  dear friend Holly’s green house, which is a darling addition to her homesteading project in the works. The green house was built for salvaged windows from Recycle Town in Sonoma County, California and the door came from a farm-house whose origin is unknown. Built by a friend in the last two years, the windows  cover the upper and lower half of the green house, on three sides allowing for optimum sun exposure. Holly is proud of her green house, which she busies her self often, seeding and transplanting medicinal herbs and flowers for various gardens around the property. While I have seen the green  house before, I never knew the back story and creative use of material. Perfect example of taking materials  that would have made their way to the land fill  and instead constructed a sturdy and eye pleasing green house that will last many years.

According to letsrecyle.com, around 4.5 million tons of waste wood arises in the U.S. each year but only half of this is currently recycled, with the remainder sent to landfill.  They are reporting on the introducing and restriction on the land-filling of wood waste, with the aim of diverting the still substantial tonnage that ends up in landfill to better uses up the waste hierarchy and delivering clear environmental benefits. This diversion includes creating possibilities for reuse of scrape wood. Creating alternate uses could easily eliminate 1 million tons of  wood waste from our every growing land fills.

Holly’s greenhouse project contributes to eliminating wood waste. For more information  about building a greenhouse from recycled wood and up-cycling up yard and garden follow the link below.



Green House, Capturing Rising Sun

Green House, Capturing Rising SunDSCN4082