Stories of Creative Reuse, DIY Guides & More

The RE Store becomes a fashion back drop for Frock Shop’s Lookbook

When asked why she chose The RE Store as the backdrop for her Fall 2014 Lookbook, Suzy, owner of Frock Shop (6500 Phinney Ave N), replied, “My husband and I have shopped at the RE Store for years. It was so inspiring, such a Ballard landmark, I chose it for the background before I had even designed Fall. I wanted something quirky to suit our vintage inspired looks, so perfect!” Our thoughts exactly.

The successful photo shoot explored the store from top to bottom in order to showcase the chic and vibrant clothes of Frock Shop.  It is always satisfying when local businesses can help one another out and this collaboration worked out wonderfully, as you can see above.

The Fall line at Frock Shop will be available starting in August and for wholesale inquiries: contact@shopfrockshop.com.

We wanted to give a big thanks Suzy, Frock Shop, and everyone involved with the fun photo shoot.  For Frock Shop location, hours and fashion go to: www.shopfrockshop.com.

 

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Treasures from an 1880s Bellevue Homestead

bellevue ranch collage

The Seattle field crew recently salvaged some architectural details and furniture (corbels, columns, mail sorting table, chairs, barrels can be seen in the above photos) from a barn on property that is one of the very earliest homesteads on the east side of Lake Washington. The original 20-acre homestead was established in 1884, located east of Yarrow Bay in Bellevue. The property has been in the current owners family since 1919 when their great-grandfather purchased it – now referred to as The “Ranch”.  The homestead first operated as a dairy and fruit orchard into the 1930’s. When the owner’s parents moved into the homestead as newlyweds in September of 1940, the property had been vacant or rented during the later part of the Depression.  Happily it had remained largely unharmed with much of the furniture, barn, and outbuildings intact.  As a young civil engineer, the current owner’s father began the remodeling of the old Victorian house after WWII that was originally building in 1880s, devoting the bulk of his spare time over the next 50 years to the eternal project of renovating the house for his growing family, then maintaining the property. The original homestead cabin remained on the upper part of the property as well until the 1990’s – and these architectural details we brought back to the store from both buildings had been carefully stored in the barn since the 1950s.  Come check them out!  

 

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Volunteer Finds Creative REuse in Off-cast Manufacturing Materials

Brandon McNamara, a Western Washington University student has been volunteering with The RE Store in the REvision Division for three months now on a weekly basis. He has worked independently and alongside Eberhard Eichner, Lead Designer/Builder of the REvision Division.  These crates are the first of many projects he plans to be involved with. Come find them in the Bellingham REvision Division showroom!  

crates and shelves

By definition, a crate is a slatted wooden case used for storing goods. These pragmatic crates allow you to do so with entirely repurposed materials. The wooden slates had previously been the rungs of ladders for bunk beds from a local manufacturer. The construction process was rather simple and straightforward.

  • The wooden slates came to us precut and finished
  • Holes were drilled into the slates and a jig was used to put the sides together
  • The sides were attached to each other using recycled screws
  • The bottom was then attached and then finished with light oiling

Thanks to Brandon for his work with us, and for writing the details of this piece!

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2014 Call for Recycled Art & Functional Designs

Recycled Art piece - Jubilee by Julia HaackOne of the harbingers of Spring is The RE Store’s annual Call for Recycled Art and Functional Designs. The RE Store’s Recycled Arts Show will bring fresh examples of fine art and useful things for it’s 13th year –  at Blowing Sands Studio and the Laura Frost Fine Arts Gallery in Seattle (Ballard). We won’t be holding our own gallery show in Bellingham this year, but sponsoring the great work of Allied Arts & the RARE recycled arts expo. You may experience wonder or amusement at people’s creativity and fabrication skills after seeing something like Jubilee by Julia Haack (right). You may question our wasteful ways after seeing pieces like Kuros Zahedi’s “A Glimmer of Hope” (below – represents only a small portion of the piece that took up an entire pallet) Recycled Art - A Glimmer of Hope by Kuros ZahediAnd we want to see whats been brewing in your studio, garage, or right on your kitchen table. We welcome submissions from Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia province. The deadline is February 15, 2014 by 11:59PM for online submissions. Mail-in submissions must be postmarked by February 15. There is a $10 fee for submitting up to 3 pieces. Get all the details at the following link: Call for Submissions for Seattle Recycled Arts Show Submit your recycled art or functional design pieces to show at Blowing Sands Studio in Ballard. Or just come and support Recycled Art at the show – opening scheduled for Saturday April 12th, 6-9p.     

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An “Art Gallery” of Salvage at the Flower & Garden Show

flower & garden show display 2014

Once again, we’ve had a great time designing and building our booth for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show (February 5th – 9th at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle).  This year our booth’s theme is an “Art Gallery” in line with the larger show’s theme of “Art in Bloom”.  Our linear booth is filled with salvage garden and furniture ‘art’ pieces and random reclaimed rummagings used for planters.  Our window wall, ‘lean-to’ drawers and gutters as planters, and wall of doors fill out the vignette.  Thanks so much to our friends at Seattle Urban Farm Company for teaming up with us on our booth and plant wrangling - and thanks to Sky Nursery for loaning us some plants too.

The Flower & Garden Show seminars bring experts on a wide variety of experts on gardening, plants, garden design, food and more.  Our REvision Division designer/builders, Eberhard Eichner and James Taylor were chosen to do a demonstration today (Wednesday, February 5th, 6:15p at the DIY stage):  High Art From the Junk Pile, Inspiration for Using Just About Anything.  

Come check out the demo, and see us and the booth for inspiring salvage ideas or to discuss your projects -  it is always great to meet new folks and catch up up with old friends at the Flower & Garden Show!

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Benches Make Good Readers

village books childrens section benchFor a few days only the REvision Division showroom at The RE Store in Bellingham will exhibit a bench that soon will be installed at Village Books in Fairhaven.

It will serve as the reading bench in the alcove of the children’s book section.

Made from the head board of a queen size bed as back and with more bed, table and stair parts for the seat and understructure it forms the base for imaginative mind travel for readers of all ages.

Vintage lettering, numbers, cut-outs, building blocks and surveyor’s measuring poles make up the detailing.  It was custom ordered by Paul & Kelly of Village Books and will celebrate the partnership between our two organizations. An article and picture in the spring issue of the Chuckanut Reader will follow.

Come, check it out at The RE Store in Bellingham, or see it at Village Books after it is installed there early February.  Be a reader, be a re-reader – read it on a re-purposed bench!

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Many Thanks to the Volunteers of Fall 2013!

The RE Store couldn’t do as much as it does without the help of volunteers and students.  We’ve had an especially good crop this fall at our Bellingham store and wanted to take a moment during this holiday season to highlight a few we are thankful for:

sally and susan

Sally Hileman and Susan Marshall (above) are regulars at the Fountain (restaurant across the street) and after sitting and sharing some coffee looking out towards our building they decided that our landscaping could use a face lift, which they swiftly volunteered to do.  These ladies were a ton of fun to have around, and plan on coming back this spring to continue to maintain and add to the flower beds.

professional communications students

The students of Professor Diane Blietz-Hertberg’s Professional Communications 318 class were tasked with studying our communications within the workplace.  This project included a report about our internal communications, a Safe Lifting Techniques report, and creating a bathroom vignette window display for us.  Students involved in the project: Ali El-husseini, Samantha Stahle, Jennifer Conn, and Chad Spady.

 Jenrri and Greg

Jenrri Hough (above left) is a long-term volunteer that has been awesome helping with many things around the store, and Greg George (above, right) has been our much appreciated paint guru of late.

Thank you so much to these volunteers and students, as well as the countless others not named here but just as important, that have helped us in 2013 in both Bellingham and Seattle!  For volunteer opportunities, contact our stores here.

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I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas…

Tips for a more sustainable holiday season from our  intern extraordinaire, Diane Lawrence

The holidays are a wonderful time centered around family, cheer, and the idea of giving. Moving away from our consumerist mentality and focusing on these key values, we can also be more conscious of the holidays’ effect on the environment. Did you know that Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve? That’s a lot of excess waste! To help eliminate this waste and to conserve our natural resources, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to keep in mind during all the festivities this holiday season:

snow_trees_and_barn

DECORATING

  • Decorate with LED string lights – they save 90% more energy than incandescent lights and will last up to 100,000 hours
  • Set your lights on a timer – turning on the lights only once it’s dark will avoid unnecessary energy use
  • Use bows and garlands instead – replacing lights with this energy-free option will cut back on your electricity bill and the planet will thank you


CHRISTMAS TREES

  • Use a real tree – artificial trees consume energy and petroleum based materials during production, plus real trees have that authentic pine smell!
  • Compost your tree – they are a great source as mulch after the holidays


ENTERTAINING

  • Donate excess food to the food bank (if possible) – the holidays tend to mean lots of leftovers, help someone in need instead of throwing that extra food away
  • Send invitations and holiday letters via email  – save a tree by sending your holiday mail digitally this year
  • Use your finest tableware – instead of disposable plates and utensils, which will reduce waste and make your table look festive
  • Lower the thermostat during a party – the body heat should be enough to keep you warm!


GIFT GIVING

  • Do a Secret Santa exchange – reducing your gift giving to one person saves you money and allows you to focus more on one special gift while also reducing the total consumption of your family
  • Give battery free gifts – the EPA estimates that 40% of all battery sales occur during the holidays, keep these hazardous materials out of the landfill by giving a gift that doesn’t require batteries
  • (and our favorite) Give a gift made from reused or recycled materials – or make one yourself! Look for materials down at The RE Store to create a thoughtful homemade gift – or give a gift certificate to The RE Store for that person on your list in need of home project materials.  

Thanks to Diane for all her work with us this semester!

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Serendipity at The RE Store

IMG_2212We love a little serendipity here at The RE Store – and we recently had one of those moments at the Seattle store where just the right item was no longer needed in its home at the exact moment that it was needed in a new place.  Our crew backed up the truck to the store from a day in the field, and unloaded a set of French doors from a 1909 West Seattle house.  The door set was still leaning on the back edge of the truck as Bruce, the owner of Comstock Apartments – a 1909 building on Queen Anne – walked into the bay of the store in need of some doors, with the exact dimensions of this set that just came in. He wanted to keep with the original look of the apartment and building – and found it here, just off the truck! As many of you know, and our door sections can attest, most anything built in the Northwest before the mid-last-century was not of a standard size.  So to find the exact size, from the same year/era building at that moment must have been fate.

You never know what might be waiting for you – come to either store to see if that hard-to-find item is here!  

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World’s Market Waste IS a “Local” Resource

by Eberhard Eichner,  REvision Division Lead Designer/Builder at The RE Store in Bellingham

This is the season where even the best of us can get bit by the shop-and-buy bug. It is also the season for reflection. These two, seemingly contradictory endeavors can go together, when our thinking/shopping habits include the notion of “repurpose”.

When our trees are cut, and ships are loaded with them for far away countries whose economies with cheap labor manufacture ready to assemble furniture components and other items to send back to us – we have also shipped off the pride in our own ability to craft and build. That can suck us down into depression. Not only for the loss of our jobs and skills and the undervaluing of theirs; or for the exploitation of human and environmentally resources globally; but also for the ultimate waste that happens when we consume to excess. What a burden we have taken on in believing we have a duty to consume new goods in order to spike the graph of limitless growth! Even when we shop sincerely for the things that make us functional, cozy and secure (a basic human need!) – what is happening to all the stuff that doesn’t make quality control anyway, that isn’t of consistent stain color, hole pattern and size, or just ‘outdated?

You may be boarding my thought train now, headed for the landfills in those same denuded hills or, more cynically, another way of “outsourcing”- sending the now jettisoned flotsam by barge to more “disposable” locations. But wait! There is a station called “Repurpose”, where we can stop this train wreck in the making and divert it’s direction to a more viable goal.

Repurpose is the grown-up sibling of Recycling. Though recycling is a respectable way of saving our planet and resources by properly disposing and regurgitating our wastes into “new-and-raw-again” materials for production, it is still quite energy and resource intensive.  Repurposing is the way of direct conversion that increasingly can be seen in our communities. It’s the growing trend of artisans, craftspeople, manufacturers and do-it-yourselfers to turn the waste of our market economy, including the “global”, directly into imaginative re-uses by simply converting the components with no or little alterations into new items of stunning beauty. We honor the efforts, resources and energies spent. We continue the story of making, rather then trash it. We have fun!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And it is done here, locally – yes, jobs and the “stuff” -  case in point is a load of imported, yet orphaned parts from an Asian furniture manufacturer once designed to be bed headboards, rails and drawer fronts. Now they are REvisioned by virtually no cutting or refinishing into bookcases (photo above), stand-up desks, storage shelves and for “new” components to hall benches and more at The RE Store.  These and more can be viewed on The RE Store’s website galleries.

‘Tis the season, alright, to reflect on what we consider waste, how we can use it as local resource and turn it into good, for good.

Get inspired to do your own re-creations.  Shop local, shop repurposed.

 

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