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May 2014

Mind KEY / 2014 / May

Using trash in artistic gardens

Todays two artists love using reclaimed objects to add design and definition to their homes.  Check out their work and an open collaborative upcycle sculpture project being run by Danielle Barbour in Warwick, NY this summer. Stacey Monks While looking for do-it-yourself garden projects, Tennessee mother and crafter Stacey Monks was inspired by a dresser-turned-planter she found online. “Someone had this dresser in the garbage,” she said.  “We nailed it to the tree, shimmed on bottom, and… put a brace in the back and drilled it into tree so it doesn’t move.” The drawers are filled with perennial creepers that will eventually spill over the edges, using their root systems to hold the dresser together when weather begins to break it down.  She also left room to plant new...


Poptabs Purses – Weaving fashion from tiny shiny things

Upcycling can happen with even the tiniest of items.  Today, Rita Wilson of Poptabs Purses shares her fairy tale of creativity and the magic of tossed things.Poptabs PursesNow you can keep tabs on your purse          The Fairy Tale of a Pop tab“Once upon a time, I kept a cold, refreshing beverage secure in a beautiful, shiny can. One fine day, you pulled me, clinked a hearty ‘prost!’ with your friends, and I was part of the celebration.”Such is the story of the pop tab who led a fairy tale life… until of course, the can was empty.  Then the shiny pop tab was separated from its can and sent to the dark and frightening recycling center. “But one day, Poptab Purses came...

“Retrash” – Finding beauty in lost things

Today’s guest blogger, Nathan Devine has pulled together the work of 82 designers that create beauty from trash in his book “Retrash.”  Learn more at and**********************************************************************“Retrash” is a book all about trash.I remember going to the dump when I was a kid and being excited by what treasure I might find, and at the same time feeling saddened and confused by the amount of trash that was being thrown away. I feel the same way today as an adult as I did back then, and I want to do something to change all of this.I’ve spent the last three years compiling the work of 82 designers and artists from 20 countries around the world to show the beautiful and innovative things that can...


Art or Garbage: What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is defined as: “to process (used goods or waste material) so as to produce something that is often better than the original.’”Whether making use of old baby stuff (I once saw a crib-turned-kids desk that was amazing), or dumpster diving for unique items to turn into art, upcycling is becoming an incredibly popular way to not only reduce landfill, but to stretch creative wings and define oneself.Nathan Devine, founder of Retrash, a website and book devoted to finding inspiring ways to sustainability remembers being excited about trash even as a kid.“I remember going to the dump when I was a kid and being excited by what treasure I might find, and at the same time feeling saddened and confused by the amount of trash...

Divination as a modality of healing and growth

Divination is becoming more and more a tool for self development, healing and growth.  Most often it comes in the gentle form of intuition that health care practitioners use to guide them in their decisions. This is especially true of certain alternative healing modalities, but it holds water even in standard medical practices.  Think of the analytical character, House M.D., who relies as heavily on traditional medicine as he does his gut.  We use our gut when we need to make decisions with no right answer, with pro and con lists that are evenly balanced, or when we simply know something “isn’t right.”    Our intuition leads us to chose our profession, our partners, our homes.  We convince ourselves that we’ve made these choices because...

The magic of spring today

Merry Beltane!Today is May Day, or Beltane as some call it… an ancient festival celebrating the turn of seasons, life, warmth and fertility.  Whether you honor the ancient celebrations or not, it’s hard to deny the magic in the air come May.  Halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, Beltane represents things that are bursting into growth - the tiny seedlings are pushing out leaves, drinking in water and nutrients, and getting ready to flower.  Animals of all kinds are mating, the frogs’ chorus filling the evening air with their song, birds busily building nests, and insects filling their air with their humming buzz.  What new signs of spring are cropping up by you?Here on my mountain the dandelions are showing their furry...