Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Recycling Keyboard Keys

'Crafty Keyboard Keys' by beyondjunk

Have you noticed how often we go through clunky plastic computer keyboards? Crafting with keyboard parts starts conversations about recycling, fashion, and more.

Apple iNecklace - Sterling S...

Keyboard Function Key Clock ...

Black Computer Keys, Flat La...

Keyboard pushpins are Black ...

Recycled Keyboard Necklace /...

104 Computer Keys - Full Key...

Pause for a Break Computer K...

5 Ivory Vintage Keyboard Key...


scrap keyboard keys

Little Pile of Computer Keyb...

Control Alt Delete recycled ...

YOU CHOOSE Any Two Computer ...

Recycled Laptop Keyboard KEY...

12 Black Keyboard Special Ke...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Are Raw and Eco-Friendly the Same in Gems?

I've been developing a serious crush on rings, pendants and other designs that feature uncut, rough or raw precious gems. You'll find some seriously edgy yet stunningly beautiful designs out there, so if you haven't searched for 'uncut' or 'raw' while browsing the interwebs, I highly recommend it. Start with Google Images.

I know many of these stones have a lesser ecological footprint as they don't undergo cutting or polishing, but I expect most were still mined. What gemstones, raw or otherwise, can qualify as a 'green' choice? So I thought I'd do a little research and see if I could get a clear answer. Most searches for gems and gemstone mining bring up commercial sales. A bit frustrating, but I finally consulted Wikipedia directly.

As with other mined metals, the gemstone mine and the practices it employs are as varied as the gems themselves. To be sure you're using an eco-friendly stone source, you need to investigate the mine it came from. Surprisingly, lab-created stones may be the most environmentally friendly choice, but you won't get that endearing, rough-hewn look.

I now have an improved appreciation for the additional research and sourcing done by fine jewellery artisans who go the extra mile to provide eco-friendly recycled (whenever possible, non-mined) stone and metal sources.

Here are a few amazing examples:

image from VKDesignsJewelry


image from SSMDesign

Recommended Reading: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Green.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Reclaimed Wood Table Wishlist

I've been lusting after a dining room table made of salvaged wood for the past few years, so I thought it was time to put a wishlist here on the Junkpile. Putting my dream reclaimed wood tables all in one place won't produce the floor space or the funds required to bring one home, but aren't they lovely to look at? I think my next Treasury wishlist will look at recycled modern chairs. Just a hunch.

'Reclaimed Wood Table Wishlist' by beyondjunk

If you've been daydreaming about a reclaimed wood table as long as I have, you'll love browsing and lingering through this breathtaking list.

Spann Dining Table - Reclai...

Desk/Table made of antique r...

Rustic Reclaimed Wood Dining...

Beautiful Reclaimed Wood Din...

Gorgeous Reclaimed Wood Dini...

Reclaimed Wood Dining Table ...

Vintage Reclaimed Wood Dinin...

Reclaimed Wood Dining Table

Reclaimed Wood Dining Table ...

Reclaimed wood dining table

CARILLION Reclaimed Wood Kit...

Reclaimed Dining Table

SALE - Reclaimed Barn Wood D...

Handmade Farmhouse dining ta...

Mid century modern style din...

Furniture - Dining Table - W...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Egg Carton Flower Craft

My son brought home a handmade flower from day care recently. (Well, really the day care sent it home; my son is too young to craft just yet.) But I still love it and I wanted to share it here on Beyond the Junkpile. It's an easy project that's a fun way to recycle with your kids.

You'll need:
Cut up your egg carton to separate each egg cup into individual tulip shaped pieces. Poke a hole in the centre of the egg cup at the very bottom of the well. Cut leaves and a gift tag sized rectangle from a piece of construction paper and cut one or two pieces of ribbon 3" to 5" long. Set aside paper pieces.

Pull the pipecleaner through the hole and create a knot on either side of the egg cup. Once you've secured the flower portion, add your leaves and tape them in place.

Decorate your gift tag rectangle with the artist's name, or dedicate it to a special recipient. Punch a hole in the paper near an edge, ideally where there's no artwork. Tie the tag to the pipecleaner with the ribbon.

If desired, decorate your flower with a little paint and add a few pretty stickers to your name tag. You could absolutely customize this project to suit your own tastes and available supplies.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Why Do I Craft?

I ask myself this question constantly, and for many reasons. The answers are varied too, and I'm sure this is the case for many other artists.

Sometimes I wonder why I put so much work into something I don't actually have to do.

I have to feed and care for my son. I have to go to work. I have to put one foot in front of the other every day. But nothing and nobody forces me to do the extra work of running Etsy shops. (Or writing novels, for that matter, but that's an entirely different post.)

Sometimes I wonder what sparks the ideas that float into my mind and latch on with such force that I'm compelled to bring the image to life.

I could be more discerning and only create the very special necklaces, pendants, rings and earrings that I personally want to own and wear. But instead, the urge to create prolifically is so strong I prefer to send them out into the world to make room for the next creation.

Most of all, I wonder where this is all going. I'm not really trying to replace my day job, although many other crafters and writers intend to do exactly that.

I don't know how long I'll make jewellery. I don't know if I'll always be a writer. But I hope both parts of who I am last for many more years. And I hope that when I no longer enjoy these pursuits, I will give myself permission to let them go.