Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crafty Profiles: The Wooden Bee

It's a sunny Sunday and I have another Crafty Profile to share! I'm very pleased to introduce you to Bee who operates The Wooden Bee with her husband Kyle from their home in Florida.

Just for Beyond the Junkpile readers, Bee is offering a 10% OFF sale! Keep reading for more details and samples of her work.

Shop: The Wooden Bee
Goods: household decor items made from recycled wood and other repurposed materials

Beyond Junk:
How did you get started as a crafter? And what got you interested in working with recycled wood?

The Wooden Bee:

I have loved crafting for as long as I can remember. As a young child my grandma taught me how to cross stitch and I fell in love with the act of giving something handmade to someone. In elementary school, I made hair bows and accessories. Yearbook class and scrapbooking hobbies took up my teenage years. In college, I had a part time job working for a jeweler and artist. I just have always gravitated toward crafty situations.

I had the opportunity to work with recycled wood when I married the son of a cabinet maker. After learning a little bit more about the industry, I was astonished to learn about the excessive amount of waste it generates. We would burn the leftover moldings and pieces in the family fireplaces but it just wasn’t enough. Through the cabinet shop and a network of installers and builders, we started collecting wood and hardware from new home construction waste throughout the state of Florida.

Beyond Junk:
What inspired you to open an online store?

The Wooden Bee:
My children inspired me to open the online shop. Last summer I decided to take our hobby seriously, in hopes to be able to continue to stay home with my two young daughters a little bit longer. The Wooden Bee became an official eco-friendly business and our online shop followed shortly after.

Beyond Junk:
Aside from using recycled matieral, is your work environmentally friendly in any other way?

The Wooden Bee:
Well, recycling materials is the purpose of our business. Beyond wood, hardware and our sustainable supplies, we recycle plastic lids and containers for painting and staining. We use recycle shipping materials when available. Our invoicing and paper supplies like business cards are made from 100% recycled paper. I even use the saw dust from the sanding process for composting in the garden.

Beyond Junk:
Tell us a bit about your plans for The Wooden Bee.

The Wooden Bee:
Oh, I have lots of plans for this coming year! We have already been making improvements in our studio. We are hoping to reinvest into our little business making the future more productive and profitable. We will be expanding our Sustainable Supplies portion of the business. It’s amazing what can be saved and kept out of the landfill with just a little effort and creativity!

We will also be venturing into the world of recycled paper. If there’s one thing we love as much as wood it is paper. We love turning our junk mail and office paper into recycled paper creations!

One of my favorite things about planning for The Wooden Bee’s future is… I can’t! This year I will have to follow the wood. If it is moldings we find, we will make coasters and trivets. If it is cabinet doors, we will make bulletin and chalk boards. Each batch of salvaged, sought after materials, is unique and exciting!

Read more about The Wooden Bee on their blog and Facebook page. And now for the SALE at The Wooden Bee, just for being awesome enough to read this blog!

Enter Coupon Code BEYONDJUNK to receive 10% off your order. Offer expires March 20, 2011.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Breaking Bad Habits at Beyond Junk

Some of my favourite television shows involve something dark that excellent writers make us love anyway. In Breaking Bad, our hero manufactures a heinous narcotic. Or in the case of Dexter, we have a show that relies on our affection for a serial killer.

But if you're reading this blog, Beyond the Junkpile, you're looking for the scoop on recycled craft supplies. So what makes dark TV relevant? Think of gigantic retailers selling buckets of beads and findings and and charms and scrapbooking kits to the many keen crafters that are joining the ranks of independent artists on Etsy, Artfire, other online marketplaces, or even starting their own shops. Self-sufficiency! Forget the carbon footprint, right? Hmmm.

When I started to focus on using recycled supplies in my own handmade jewellery, I started to lament the purchase of all mass produced items. It was a bad habit I wanted to break. So I started getting all supplies I couldn't find at flea markets and swap meets from other Etsy sellers dealing in recycled goods. But it wasn't enough.

I thought, what about all these little plastic bags? I knew I could buy bags from a craft megastore as well, and it would just be a little bad. But if those nagging little details bother you as much as they bother me, you'll love making the switch to BioZip.

In addition to recycling the small supply bags I already have on hand from other purchases, I'll be shipping recycled computer parts, watch parts, and other recycled items in 2x2 and 3x4 inch biodegradable bags from BioZip.

BioZip bags, photo courtesy of InTheClear

Naturally, I've purchased these from another Etsian, Dana at InTheClear. Whether you're in the market for your own bags, or want to feel a bit better about sustainable and recycled supplies, I high recommend heading over to her store for a quick peek at these clever biodegradable bags.