Upcycle: Copper wire candle holder

You may have seen the recent post dedicated to my scrappy tree and handmade ornaments (copper himmeli and twig-and-wire trees). This copper candle holder was made at the same time. I was inspired by the metal taper holders I've seen here and here. I liked being able to find a new use for a mason jar. And upcycle a little plastic sample bottle at the same time! Read on for the instructions...


An App that Helps Us Upcycle - Too Good to Be True?

Have you ever wished there was a way to get in touch with people who had items you could use in your upcycling projects? Ever had a bunch of stuff at home that you had to throw out, but wished you could upcycle instead? Did you know that a few years ago, there was an app that promised to help upcyclers do just that? And another one looking for funding right now!

The app was called Cora, and it was supposed to be “your mobile app for a lower impact life”. Cora promised its backers the ability to search for items they wanted to get rid of or upcycle, and then presented them with ideas for new projects, or connected them to people in their area who were looking for the exact items they were trying to get rid of. Similarly, the app also promised to help users find items they needed in their projects, making projects inexpensive and hassle-free. Did it seem too ambitious? At the time, it didn’t. There had been a massive movement towards upcycling then, and an even bigger shift into mobile technology. Gaming Realms, the company behind Total Gold, said that there were 1 billion smartphone users by the end of 2012, and this number has continued to grow. 

With the app relying heavily on upcyclers willing to share their ideas and used stuff, the most difficult part about implementing Cora was getting upcyclers to sign up for it. They did and it funded. But, more than two years later, Cora has yet to surface. The team behind the app have, however, released Trash Backwards, a web app that does most of what Cora promised to do. But the web app is poorly designed, has limited accessibility (only available to 6 cities in MA and WA), and is, well, a web app, - not the mobile app that the upcycling community had been hoping for. Was it all too good to be true? Cora wasn’t the first app that tried to bring upcycling to mobile phones. A few months after their project closed, Create Change was launched on Kickstarter too. Alas, it didn’t get funded. 

Now there's GiftMe App. This is a mobile app currently crowdfunding through Indiegogo. With 19 days left to fund, they aren't close to their target. And I know they're committed - they've contacted me many times via different channels and I'd love to see their idea come to life. What do you think? Are you willing to fund a mobile app for upcyclingDo you use any apps to help you upcycle?

Disclaimer: This article contains a sponsored link. I do this now and again to help pay the bills and allow for free promotion of great ideas like GiftMe App. Thanks for looking!


Free! 2015 Owl Lover's Calendar

Woot! It's that time of year again. Now in it's fifth year, the 2015 Owl Lover calendar is live. If you don't know about this lovely offering from My Owl Barn, click through and take a look. Over 40 artists are participating this year. You get to pick and choose and create a completely customized, printable calendar. FREE. Use 12 sweet illustrations for an owl-loving kid. Or keep the whole thing earthy and real. They make beautiful holiday gifts so go get yours asap!


Upcycle: Copper Himmeli and Twiggy Trees

I tend to be a fake-tree person. This year, while contemplating getting a real one for my four year old, things took a different turn. We spotted a pile of fallen branches and agreed they might make a fun tree. So I ended up with the mess pictured below ... 

And once I stripped a lot of branches off to "make" the tree, I wondered what I could do with them. Which set off the spree of DIY ornaments below! All quite easy to make. I've linked to tutorials and inspiration.


Inspiration: "I didn't throw it away..."

Happy December! Today is the launch of the I Didn't Throw It Away Blog Train. Hosted by the wonderful Agy Lee of Green Issues by Agy, we're trying to unlock the reasons why we keep certain things yet readily throw away others. Is there a story behind every item that we keep? How do we form that special connection with them, and why does it last so long? 

Every day from today until mid January, one blogger will share with you the things that he/she has kept for over 20 years, the stories behind them and why it wasn't thrown away. My post will go live early January. Find out what Agy's held onto and follow along  :) 
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