Sunday, December 30, 2012

Start the New Year with Savings

Beat the January blues with new a new crafting project to designed to challenge your mind and delight your heart. Upcycle and recycle unexpected objects to amaze your clients and fans.

For ideas and inspiration, here's a brand new Pin Board:

Remarkable Recycling by Beyond Junk on Pinterest

For savings, here's a wicked coupon at Beyond Junk for 30% OFF: JANJUNK

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Upcycling from Head to Toe

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Vintage Metal Flowers & Hand Cut Bullet Cabochons

Most of what I talk about here at Beyond the Junkpile is related to recycling, particularly with craft supplies. But as I employ recycled materials in my own work, I like to talk about my process as a designer too. Today's post was inspired by a question I received about how a particular statement bib was made. If you're curious about any material at Beyond Junk or any design at SleeplessStoryteller, please feel free to ask. Or browse my earlier how-to and tutorial posts.
  1. Salvaged Brass Wire
  2. Hand Cut Bullet Cabochons
  3. Chainmaille Rings
  4. New Chain and Findings
  5. Vintage Brass and Plastic Flowers
  6. Vintage Steel and Copper flowers

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bottle Cap Jewelry & Charms

I've blogged about bottle cap beads and charms before. Today, I just want to share my favourite new Pin Board showcasing the many uses of an often overlooked recycled bead medium.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Make Watch Part & Vintage Jewelry

A new feature here at Beyond The Junkpile, I'll be doing these photo breakdowns of selected pieces from SleeplessStoryteller, my other Etsy shop. Most of the pieces featured in these diagrams will contain hard-to-find or out-of-the-ordinary supply items. So I hope you enjoy learning about these oddities as much as I enjoyed making them.
  1. Brass Ball Chain
  2. Copper Motor Winding
  3. Small Wristwatch Plate
  4. Copper Angel Wings
  5. Carved Bone Moon
  6. Porcelain Doll Arms
  7. Brass and Silver Stampings
  8. Toy Soldier Goggles

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Real Recycled Electronics

I took apart a VCR yesterday. A giant old Panasonic that I've been meaning to put up on my work bench for some time. But this wasn't just any old giant VCR, this was the video cassette recorder that lived in my parents' living room for most of my childhood. I watched movies on sick days and weekends and summer holidays. We had slumber parties and birthday parties with movies we watched on this VCR.

I realized not only that VCR parts will be in shorter and shorter supply as they make their way into history (hopefully recycled), but that much of what I create and share has more history than its manufacturing footprint. Every computer hard disk has stored school papers and love letters and resumes. And the DVD and CD ROMs made possible everything from software installations to homemade home videos and photo albums.

So I'll be thinking about these things more often now as I work with recycled mechanics and electronics, both in my own work and destashing at Beyond Junk. I hope you'll think about these possible histories when you do your own recycling, if for no reason other than to warm up your imagination before you create.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Watch Parts, Computer Parts, Recycled Crafts

Some of you may not know this, but Beyond Junk is actually a destash shop, my second home on Etsy. At least it started out that way. But that's why you'll find so many watch parts and computer parts, as those are my preferred materials in my own work at SleeplessStoryteller's Bits & Baubles. Likewise, things like vintage toys and scrap metal - seemingly unconnected - find themselves side-by-side at Beyond Junk.

While I'm prepping for some (admittedly more exciting) developments over at SleeplessStoryteller, I wanted to share some of the more unique finds at Beyond Junk. These are items that are not only edgy, industrial, and of course, recycled, but I'm pretty sure you won't find much else like them in the supply world:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Recycled Bottle Cap Charms

If you love working with recycled bottle caps, my new style of bottle cap charms will be right up your alley. These caps have been trimmed and filed to remove the sharp fringe around the edge. They're also hand-punched and finished with a sturdy steel chainmaille ring. Most designs will feature contemporary micro-brew beers, but coolers and soda will make appearances as well.

recycled bottle cap charms

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Motor Winding Magic

I've been in my shop salvaging quite a bit lately, mostly computer parts. I've also been designing with bits and bobs from hard disk drives and DVD or CD ROMs. Although I've blogged about computer parts before, I wanted to chat specifically about motor windings today. These parts are some of the most fascinating and intricate of removable computer components, so I've worked with them regularly on the crafting side of things as well as offering them as supply items.

Motor windings come in an array of shapes, sizes, and colours, ideal for wire-wrapped pendants due to their size and wire composition. However, that's from an artist's point of view. Electricians, engineers, and other electronics professionals may feel differently.

"Electric motors are found in applications as diverse as industrial fans, blowers and pumps, machine tools, household appliances, power tools, and disk drives."
"In an electric motor the moving part is called the rotor and the stationary part is called the stator. Magnetic fields are produced on poles, and these can be salient poles where they are driven by windings of electrical wire."

- Electric motor, Wikipedia

Motor Winding Supplies

Motor Winding Designs

Friday, June 29, 2012

Working with Leather Scraps

Ever since Beyond Junk partnered with Rad Juli to offer recycled leather scraps, the response has been strong. Available in many colours, shapes, and sizes, I knew they had lots of crafty potential. But when they started to head out the door so quickly, I got curious about just how many uses these pieces have, beyond patching and decorating bags and jackets. So I've built a Treasury to showcase just how creative jewelry and accessory crafters can be with recycled leather pieces.

'Scrappy & Sustainable' by beyondjunk

Leather scraps turned into jewelry and accessories.

Bead & Leather Scrap Necklac...

Tan earrings - tan leather -...

Leather bracelet with chocol...

The Lotus Flower High Waist ...

Arrow Cuff -reclaimed leathe...

Vegetal leather earrings bea...

sterling silver, leather, br...

Pouch made from upcycled bik...

Bangled Beauties Trio (Afric...

Leather Bracelet Pieced Sect...

GYE NYAME (Genuine Leather H...

Leather Fortune Cookie Earri...

Leather Circles Bookmark - W...

Personalized Leather Matchbo...

Colorful Summer Bracelet Wit...

Dark Grey Leather Flower, Us...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Show Me Your Shop

It may not look like much, but my work bench and desk corner or 'office' is one of my favourite places to be. Especially since my hours are limited now to my son's naptimes and weekends when my husband doesn't work. On a rainy day like today, it's even more delightful to tuck into that corner of our basement shop.

Just out of the picture is another larger work bench I share with my husband and brother-in-law. And behind where I stood to take the shot is a wall of tool cabinets full of more tools than I'll ever need. I'm lucky to share a shop with a sheet metal technician and an electrician, especially since they're willing and able to give the odd tutorial when I'm trying a new technique or process. My guys are actually pretty helpful all around. The carpet in my corner, the pony wall behind my chair and the puck lights above my desk were installed just for me!

In other homes we've lived in, I've worked at our kitchen table and a desk in our spare bedroom. I briefly set up shop in a walk in closet in our last house. I've frequently strewn broken computer hardware across our living room coffee table. This shop is officially my favourite.

So that's the rundown on my current workspace, but I'm really interested to hear about your bench, desk, counter, table, or wherever it is your crafty endeavours happen. Is it your favourite place? Is it a work in progress? Do you have what you need to get your work done? Or are you yearning for one more tool or another square foot of tabletop?

Send me a link. Show me a picture. Comment here and tell me all about it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Design Steampunk Statement Necklaces

Today I want to talk about an effective way to add beauty and value to your vintage-inspired or steampunk-themed jewellery creations. Layering can be done with charms, stampings, enamel flowers, watch parts and more. Use bright colours, pastels, or all metal tones for varied effects. Coordinate with complementary beads and chain to enhance your colour scheme and solidify the theme of your work.

If layers sounds like something you'd like to try with your next steampunk or vintage design, all you need to do to get started is to choose a sub-theme, such as Victorian, Egyptian, western, nautical, sci-fi, spring gardens, or whatever imagery inspires your imagination.

I'm sharing a few supplies from Beyond Junk that can accent your creations, along with a Treasury of the best examples I found on Etsy. Enjoy!

'Lovely Layers' by beyondjunk

The best in layered steampunk-themed and vintage-inspired jewellery.

Steampunk Flower Neckla...

LOVE TAKES TIME antique...

Floral Vintage Collage ...

Vintage Collage Brooch ...

Vintage Jewelry Collage...

Octopus Necklace Octopu...

Aloha Splash Enamel Flo...

Horus Egyptian Falcon A...

Steampunk Necklace - Fr...

Pendulum of Time Steam...

DISCOUNTED - Birds Nest...

Nautical Pirate Steampu...

Tiny doll sweet shadow ...

Upcycled Vintage Animal...


Steampunk Brooch Eye on...