Category Archives: Recycling

The Find: Factory 20

From JH:

the find: factory 20

1940's lloyd's of susses boardwalk high-back metal chairs, $600 each

Factory20.com is an online antiques resource based in Sterling, VA that stocks an incredible range of good, old things. They’re expensive, but judging by the looks of the site, I suspect they’re in excellent condition (or, if scuffed, scuffed in all the right places). Inquire and purchase via email, and Eric, who runs the place, will deliver your furtinure when he’s next in NYC.

the find: factory 20

early 1900's french ladies writing table, $900

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the find: factory 20

1890's art nouveau mahogany side table, $1,600

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the find: factory 20

dutch flaring spindle chairs, $780/pair

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the find: factory 20

vintage buoys, $55 each

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the find: factory 20

vintage bread crate of architectural hooks, $175

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Filed under Aspirational/Inspirational, Find & Fix, Raw Materials, Recycling

All I Want for Christmas is A Compost Bin

From JH:

My rule is this: If you’ve cleared Labor Day you can start thinking about what you want to give and get for the holidays. Personally, I like to ask myself the following questions to determine what to put at the top of my list:

1. What do I want, but don’t necessarily need?

2. What do I want that I don’t want to spend my own money on?

3. What object/deed/accoutrement would improve the quality of my life, and also the quality of someone else’s life?

My answer to all three this year: A compost bin. Really, it’s about time. And though it’s not something that the beautiful borough of Brooklyn makes easy, it isn’t so hard, either. What’s more challenging is deciding which one to get. I’ve pretty much settled on the less-laborious “tumbling” variety, but in that category there are many choices…and sizes. Here are the ones I’m considering:

Mantis 4000-00-002 Compost Twin

mantis 4000-00-002 compost twin; $500

The Cadillac of composters––The Mantis Compost Twin is a beauty, no? But maybe too much for my modest urban garden?

:

back porch compost tumbler; $242.50

back porch compost tumbler; $242.50

I found this one at PlanetNatural.com, which has a most extensive selection of organic garden and greenhouse supplies. The size of this one is perfect, and the simple design appeals most to me. Plus, it yields finished compost in 4-6 weeks.

:

Tumbleweed 100% Recycled Plastic Compost Bin; $189.00

tumbleweed 100% recycled plastic compost bin; $189.00

Yes, it’s a big, black blob, but it’s made from 100% recycled plastic and it’s on sale here.

Variations on these three bins are also available at BackyardComposters.com, probably the most helpful site I’ve found so far. I’m going to have to think on it (and consult with JB, who will no doubt have an opinion), but in the meantime, I’m pretty sure that I want this kitchen compost keeper to store my kitchen scraps in between trips to the main attraction:

grip-ez satinless steel kitchen compost keeper; $35.50

grip-ez satinless steel kitchen compost keeper; $35.50

Clean, simple, sturdy. It’s useless without a mama compost to unload into, but I’m tempted to buy it right now!

Do you have a compost bin? If so, please share. I’d love some recommendations.

p.s. Into composting? There’s a blog for that: TheCompostBin.com.

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Filed under Raw Materials, Recycling

Urban Ore EcoPark

From JH:

an aisle of old french doors

an aisle of old french doors

The Berkeley, CA equivalent of New York’s Build It Green! NYC is a place called Urban Ore, where used and salvaged housewares––everything from doors to faucets, electronics, and tools––are on sale at good prices with hopes of getting a second chance at domestic bliss. To be honest, pretty much everything in this giant warehouse and its adjacent scrap yard requires re-purposing, re-painting, or re-finishing of some kind, but the potential is overwhelming. I had the pleasure of visiting when I was in the Bay Area this past weekend (thanks, TB), and what I found was wonderful, the collections especially:

metal doorknobs

brass and enamel doorknobs

:

salvaged bathtub feet

salvaged bathtub feet

The weathered bathtub feet would make really beautiful bookends, I thought, but because they were so heavy (oh, so heavy, and I was carrying-on back to Brooklyn), I opted instead for a set of travel-friendly porcelain drawer pulls, to replace the rusty ones in my kitchen. Just $20 for 17:

mid-century porcelain cabinet handles

mid-century porcelain-and-brass drawer pulls

Urban Ore, 900 Murray Street, Berkeley CA; 510.841.7283; http://www.urbanore.us

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Filed under On the Cheap, Raw Materials, Recycling, Reimagining

The Handmade Greenhouse

From JH:

recycled bottle" greenhouses"

recycled bottle" greenhouses"

I know that it looks totally janky, but it works. Simply cut an old plastic bottle in half, fill the bottom half with soil, plant your seedlings, and cover with the top half of the bottle. If you have trouble fitting the top half into the bottom some, just cut a few slits along the edge of either one. Instant greenhouse! Remove the cap for easy watering access, or just to let the plants breathe a little. Above, those are tomatoes that I transferred from the cheap Jiffy box––they’ve outgrown their peat pellets, but they’re still too fragile for the real world. 

new tomato plants

new tomato plants

 

austin red pear tomato

austin red pear tomato

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Filed under Do It Yourself, Gardening, On the Cheap, Raw Materials, Recycling, Reimagining, The Growth of a Garden

Cupboard Curiosity: Honey

From JH:

When DW sent me this picture that she took at Waid Apiaries in Interlaken, NY I nearly flipped. It’s the most delicious things I’ve seen all week! What is it about honey that I find so comforting? Maybe it’s its glowing, fiery color. Or the fact that it’s a superfood.

waid apiaries' golden offerings

waid apiaries' golden offerings

 

*buying local honey is always best. Check your local farmer’s market for a variety near you.

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Filed under Gift Ideas, Recycling, Simple Syrup

It’s Called Rigging

From JH:

Anything that DW and I do that we’re too hurried, or lazy, or excited to install, or align, or assemble perfectly we refer to as “rigging.” It comes from the more, um, technical, “jimmy-rigging,” and the trick is to make makeshift look amazing. Don’t be confused, it’s not about doing a half-ass job, but about being clever and resourceful and creative. I’ll be honest––this is something that DW and I are usually pretty good at (in part because we have to be; hiring someone to build comparable things can be expensive).

One of the best examples of rigging I can find is the bedside table that I constructed out of mirrored boxes ($40 at the flea market), hardcover books (priceless), and a piece of weathered decking that JB and I found on the sidewalk during our very first week in Brooklyn. Because it’s held up for more than a year-and-a-half already, I’d say it’s been a success:

the "rigged" bedside table

the "rigged" bedside table

Personally, I like that the mirrors reflect my Madeleine Weinrib rug…it makes the table appear as if it’s floating. Now, if only I could figure out a way to remove the radiator (but that’s another post)…

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Filed under Do It Yourself, On the Cheap, Raw Materials, Recycling, Reimagining

Flower Re-Arranging

From JH:

the full bouquet

the full bouquet

There are times when floral arrangements are appropriate. But at home? Personally, I think they’re too formal. My favorite way to remedy the overly fussy arrangement: Deconstruct it. Take it apart. My method is simple––I put similar flowers together in modest jam, milk, and honey jars (which I’ve cleaned and saved after using their contents), and scatter these smaller vases throughout my apartment. Believe it or not, from this one arrangement, I was able to get the following four. Here, for my coffee table:

rcoffee table

coffee table

Ranunculus for my dresser:

dresser

dressing room

Orchids for my bedroom console:

console

console

And a mix of French and Parrot tulips (my favorite) for the living room:

living room window sill

living room window sill

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Filed under Recycling, Reimagining