Monday, September 17, 2012

Moving Over to Wordpress

I've been hemming and hawing about moving this blog from here to a WordPress site for months (years?) now. True to form, I researched the pros and cons, thought about it, researched some more, played around with WordPress, debated, researched and then just absent-mindedly abandoned the idea. Something brought it all back to mind a few weeks ago and I reopened the process. Today I was in between the playing around with WordPress stage and the debating stage when it hit me that I'm just wasting more time--I just needed to do it.

So, it's done. This new encaustic obsession doesn't seem to be going away and putting everything under the adaptive reuse brand seems a bit wonky. Along with moving over to WordPress, I'm coming out from behind the brands and going with the one thing that seems to connect all my interests--me.

Please head on over to my new blog at I'm going to keep this one parked here for now, but probably won't be adding content. The new blog is pretty bare bones, but I guess that's the nature of new.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Retro Saucers Return!

I haven't made any of these in a long time, but WinkSF out in San Francisco specifically requested a batch. I had forgotten how much I really like these little UFOs! I had also forgotten what a pain they are to photograph. It's one of the reasons I stopped carrying them on Etsy. It's almost impossible to find an angle that really illustrates their three dimensional nature. They are also very swingy--which is great when you're wearing them, but lousy for still photography.
Since I was in saucer making mode and the holiday season is right around the corner, I just went ahead and put together a bunch. If you remember this old style and have been missing them from my line up, let me know what colors you're looking for and I'll shoot you some quick pics. Since we're in Sale mode here at adaptive reuse, I'm making them all $25.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Up! August Edition is Now Available

The current installment of Up is now available
Purchase upcycled jewelry at deep discounts! 
Discover fun classes you can take this Fall! 
Learn how to make your own upcycled tiered jewelry stands! 
Refresh your friends with delicious summer beverages!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Prints on Wood

I'm still plugging away at painting in between bouts of jewelry making. Looking at the small body of work I've created over the last few months, I got this crazy idea I should apply to the upcoming Blue Genie Art Bazaar with both my jewelry and paintings. How's that for insane?! I'm not sure I'll get in with either, but just in case, I want to be prepared with something interesting for the show.

After thinking about it for a while and looking at what other folks are doing, I finally decided to just suck it up and do what seems to be working for them. If you know me, you'll know it pains me to do things this way. Why on earth would I copy a perfectly good model when the opportunity to reinvent the wheel is right there?!  Often my inherent obstinance bumps up against my deep-seated need for efficiency. But since I didn't have any better ideas on this one, efficiency won out. Well, almost.
I had some small prints left over from WEST and asked my across the street neighbor and (Bookcase Store owner!) if he could help me out with some wood scraps. He did better than that--I had 50 5.5"x5.5" blocks of wood on my doorstep in two days. (It really is all about who you know.) So that was it. I had the wood and the prints so all I had to do was order the dry adhesive and get to gluing! But not so fast. As I was standing in front of my bench with a paper print in one hand, a fresh block of pine in the other and a vat of clear encaustic medium right in front of me, inspiration hit. Could I just adhere the prints with the wax medium? I'm here to tell you--yes, yes you can.

I have to say, they look even better than I had hoped. If I do get into Blue Genie, I'm going to have to work on my production times a bit, but I am getting better with each one. It's a bit tricky to get a smooth, even adherence to the wood, but I think I'll get the kinks worked out as I go along. In case you're wondering, I haven't completely forgotten my upcycle-y roots--each block features a can tab as the hanger.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Come Flea Tomorrow!

The "Christmas in July" edition of The Austin Flea is upon us. Come on out to The Highball tomorrow, Saturday July 7th from 11am to 5pm. As always, some of Austin's best and brightest designers and artist will be out showing off their latest creations. Here's a little peek at some new pieces I'll have at the show:

I'm also excited to have my good friend Tony Redman as a booth neighbor. He will be there showing off (and playing!) his amazing new cigar box guitars. These instruments are each completely unique a feature bits and pieces of interesting upcycled details. Many of them even contain surprises on the inside. If you have a musician in your life, these playable art guitars are the perfect one-of-a-kind gift. To really appreciate them, they have to be seen and heard, so be sure to stop by. The Highball will be super chill and they usually have a good drink special or two. Hope to see you tomorrow!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


The last few weeks have been even more spastic than usual. School year schedule morphing into summer schedule, a brief trip out of town and just general life craziness have all converged to make for very little work time. I haven't painted much since before WEST because I was busy making jewelry for Creatures and a wholesale order for a new shop in San Francisco. I've also signed up to teach a metalsmithing class for kids in the fall, and have found the planning process strangely engaging (read: time-consuming). I don't have ADD, but I think I might be gaining a bit more appreciation for what it feels like.

Somewhere in all that mess I carved out a couple of hours and managed to come up with a new design. An actual new design--the kind of new where I thought it would be cool and then did it all within the same hour. Usually I get an idea for a new design and it sits in the back of my brain for weeks or months waiting until I remember to actually try it out. It never feels so new that way. Here's my new, new idea:
After making a dozen or so of these little blossoms, I realized they looked a lot like something else I've played around with recently:
I think this is why I'm hoping to keep up the painting end of things--for the cross-pollination that happens when your brain is working on new ideas. Clearly, working in one medium long enough (too long?) makes it easy to get stuck or start feeling stale. Changing up the tools and media naturally encourages your brain to make new and different connections. Some might even call it playing.

Was I trying to make metal versions of these little line drawings? Not consciously. But obviously some tiny outpost in my brain had accepted the mission. Anyway, I know flowers are cliché enough to be almost banal, but--dang it--I like flowers and I'm enjoying making them for now.

I've put a few new earrings in my Etsy shop and I suspect I'm going to be working on various iterations until I'm bored with them. That's Rule No. 9 from Austin Kleon's "Steal Like an Artist."
RULE No. 9: Be boring. (It's the only way to get work done.)
What do you think about flowers as a motif? Are they so overdone they're completely lame? Is there still any artistry to be wrung from the theme? I thought there might be a raging online debate on the overuse of flowers in art, but an extensive Google search turns up nothing, so I guess I'm good to go!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

First Thursday

Just wanted to remind folks in the ATX that it's First Thursday this week on S. Congress. I'll be stopping by Creatures in the afternoon to drop a bunch of new work with them. Be sure to pop by the shop if you get down that way. They are constantly adding great new pieces--super cute dresses, fun t-shirts and they always have some of the best shoes in town.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

200th Sale--Free Earrings

While tidying up a bit in my Etsy shop today, I noticed that the package I just mailed away was sale No. 199. Seems like a good opportunity to celebrate a bit by giving away a pair of earrings (customer's choice) to buyer No. 200. Will it be you?

Monday, May 14, 2012


I've been playing around with encaustics for a while now, but recently I forced my own hand. I've had this idea that I would paint in my "free" time, yet, amazingly(!), that free time never materialized. I got a few small experiments out here and there, but nothing ever amounted to more than that.

A few months back, WEST (the brand new west-side version of EAST) was announced. Since my friend Holli was planning to participate, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to join her and a great chance to show only encaustic paintings. The fact I had NO (zero, zip, nada!) finished encaustic paintings didn't really register at that point. With five days left before the show, I'm officially and publicly acknowledging my foolhardiness. However, in the face of adversity and in acknowledgement of those earlier brave souls, we press on!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mini Maker Faire This Weekend

Be sure to leave some time in your busy ATX weekend schedule for a visit to the Maker Faire this Saturday, May 12. (512!) It looks like a great lineup of makers and vendors at the Pine Street Station location. I'll be there for a bit wandering about and then later (1pm) in my official capacity leading a workshop on, you guessed it, "Turning Old Tins Into Jewelry." If this doesn't inspire you, maybe one of these will:

Monday, April 30, 2012

freeArt ATX a Success

I can't believe how long it has taken me to report back about our freeART day. It doesn't seem like life has been any busier than usual, but apparently it has been.

Monday, April 16, 2012

freeART Today!

It's National Arts Advocacy Day today, so we'll be downtown in a couple of hours handing out the lovely freeART so many of you donated for the cause. Here are just a few of the amazing pieces sent in.

Monday, March 26, 2012


It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Too gorgeous to be inside, really, but several creative souls did stop by to make some beautiful art for our project. Here are a couple of quick pics.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Come Make freeArt Today!

We're all set up here and ready to make some art. If you can, stop by and join in the fun. Need the address or directions? Just email me and I'll get back to you asap.

Monday, March 19, 2012

freeArt Making Meetup

We're still working on our freeART ATX project and thought it would be fun to round up a bunch of people to make freeArt together. We're going to open up the house this Sunday (March 25) afternoon from 1to 5ish. We'll have lots of 6" x 6" paper, plenty of collage items, some paints, colored pencils, markers and just about anything that might be construed as an art supply available for your creative needs. If you have some favorite things you would like to bring along for art-making, please do.

I hope you can round up some folks and stop by for a while. If you have kids who would like to join in, be sure to bring them along. Need the address or directions to the house--just shoot me an email.