Posts Tagged garden art

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!

Posted in: Stories about stuff

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Outdoor Cinemas, Flying Beds & Funky Junk at NW Flower & Garden Show

Flower and Garden Show Booth CollageDid you ever ride on a flying bed made from old stair stringers and reclaimed fir posts at the NW Flower and Garden Show? If you didn’t get a chance to see it in person, we had a suspended day bed from which to watch the movie screen on the side of the “house” with salvaged beveled siding. Cabinet drawers arranged around the bed were filled with various bedding annuals and perennials. An outdoor kitchen sported one of the much acclaimed “Big Green Egg” hybrid grill/oven/smoker and a nice used cook top. Random reclaimed rummagings were used for planters and a vertical pallet garden filled out the vignette.

The Flower & Garden Show seminars are always a big highlight, bringing experts on a wide variety of experts on gardening, plants, garden design, food and more.  We proposed two seminars this year and were chosen as two of the 85 speakers from almost 250 proposals.

Thanks to everyone who came out to see us at the Flower and Garden Show this year – it is always great to meet new folks and catch up up with old friends! We had a great time designing and building this booth – this year’s theme was an “Outdoor Cinema” in line with the larger show’s theme of “Silver Screen – Take Root”.

Eberhard Eichner, our master of REvision Division furniture building in Bellingham talked about making the most of small urban gardening spaces outdoor furniture and demonstrated how to build a planter box, bench seat and arbor

Jason Darling, our Education and Marketing Coordinator, presented an inspiring slideshow with photos and videos of creative planters, fences and screens, pavers and patios, arbors, sculptural accents, water features and weird old unidentifiable things. Everything was made from reclaimed materials and he even did some good networking, soliciting artists for our 12th Annual Recycled Arts Show.

Thanks so much to our friends at Seattle Urban Farm Company for teaming up with us on our booth at the Flower & Garden Show – and to Sutter Home & Hearth for loaning us the “Big Green Egg” grill/smoker for the outdoor kitchen – and thanks to Sky nursery for loaning us some plants too.

Posted in: Green business, Stories about stuff, Transforming the building industry, You can do it yourself

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Show Us Your Junk – 2013 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 12th year. Galleries this year include:

  • Blowing Sands Studio and the Laura Frost Fine Arts Gallery in Seattle (Ballard)
  • Allied Arts of Whatcom County in downtown Bellingham
  • The RE Store in Bellingham.

The Bellingham galleries will exhibit during the month of April. The Seattle gallery show runs from mid-April until mid-May.

You may experience wonder or amusement at people’s creativity and fabrication skills after seeing something like Jubilee by Julia Haack (above).

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 March 1, 2013 by 11:59PM for online submissions. Mail-in submissions must be postmarked by March 1 for. There is a $10 fee for submitting up to 3 pieces. Get all the details at the following links:

Call for Submissions for Seattle Recycled Arts Show
Submit your recycled art or functional design pieces to show at Blowing Sands Studio in Ballard. Deadline: March 1, 2013 by 11:59 PM

Call for Submissions for Bellingham Recycled Arts Show
Submit your recycled art or functional design pieces to show at Allied Arts of Whatcom County or The RE Store. Deadline: March 1, 2013 by 11:59 PM

Posted in: Recycled art and trash fashion, You can do it yourself

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The Salvage Path – a Side Yard of Repurposed Goods

James Taylor  has been with The RE Store’s Seattle field crew for over a decade now, helping to fill the stores with artfully removed and carefully preserved salvaged materials.  But as a self-avowed packrat (in recovery) and homeowner, he also has many pieces that have gone home with him – many still waiting to become projects too someday.   His side yard is one of those projects that will perhaps constantly evolve as he finds new treasures to add, but it a such a great spot of salvage inspiration and creativity – that we just had to share.

Literally almost every element of this eclectic and tranquil garden is salvage material.  As you can imagine, James does get a first look at almost all the materials that come into the store via our free salvage pick up services – and over time this has culminated in a garden full of treasures.  The pathway and edging (above, left) was created from Seattle brick and cobble stones – even the sand used for setting the brick was salvaged from a former concrete-counter maker neighbor of The RE Store, Dog Paw.  The weather vane (above, right) was taken from a job we did with King County removing houses in a floodplain.

The planters are all components that have had former lives as wash basin or a mop sink (above left and right) – items that were dropped off at the store from folks that had already used these items as something other than their original tasks – giving them 3 or more lives at least (now that is the kind of re-use commitment we like to see!).  And a stone whose former role was as an address marker, turned on its side (above, center) makes for a perfect seat in the center of this garden to take it all in.

Every last detail has a salvaged past – from the hose stand-offs made out of andirons (that someone made out of railroad track – not pictured) and homemade targets (above, left) to a bench created from sandstone pulled from a retaining wall in the Denny Regrade, piled with bocce balls and shot-puts salvaged from a high school job.

A creative fellow for sure – he has recently added the title of Designer/Builder for our Seattle REvision Division to his role – giving him the license to create the objects for places beyond just his yard as he plucks material from the jaws of the landfill.  Come check out some of his recent creations!

Posted in: RE Store Rockstar Project, Stories about people, Stories about stuff

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Salvage Garden Fun at Village Green Nursery

Scenes from Village Green Perennial Nursery

In the White Center neighborhood of West Seattle, there is a little woodland garden oasis called Village Green Perennial Nursery.  This nursery also happens to be a great place to get ideas for reuse garden projects as well.  There are all sorts of great reuse and salvage projects at this garden center to inspire you – but there is one in particular which they submitted as a RE Store Rockstar project.  Two volunteers, David and Crystal (who also happens to have been our amazing intern at The RE Store in Seattle – Thanks, Crystal!), built the tables using pallets and stop sign posts that are scattered throughout the grounds of the nursery as plant displays.

Pallet and stop sign tables

David partially deconstructed the pallets, removing the 2x members.  Nail removal was a little more difficult that usual, since they had been placed originally with a nail gun, but otherwise a pretty straightforward process. Vera, the owner, received the parts used for the table legs through a neighbor barter trade.  This neighbor stopped by and offered to trade her a couple red and white posts from stop signs and a metal, glass-top table for an old telephone (a 1950s crank telephone).  Crystal chopped the legs to 24 inch lengths and they nailed them into the pallets.  David screwed the legs into scrap pieces of wood for extra bracing.

Anything could get planted at Village Green - a Radio Flyer on the left, cedar rain gutters on the right

Other re-use and salvage project you can see at Village Green include:  We really like their planters made from reclaimed antique bee boxes, and there are planted wire spools and metal chairs, reclaimed honeybee hives from a farm up the road, and “a bowling ball that floated into its current place during a rain storm – honestly – I swear!” Vera says.

The bowling ball floated in during a recent storm to take up residence

Learn more about this urban farm, including events, at Village Green’s website:

Posted in: RE Store Rockstar Project, Stories about people

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Fall harvesting in the RE Patch – food and reuse

The RE Patch community garden and demonstration site is enjoying it’s first harvest season.

This urban pea patch lives behind The RE Store in Bellingham, as a part of the The RE Store/RE Sources/Sustainable Living Center compound. It is a fertile and food-bearing example of creative reuse and volunteer elbow grease, guided by the good folks at Bellingham Urban Gardens and Homestead Habitats.  Crucial support has come from many local businesses. Since its first work in April, the patch now sports:

  • eleven garden plots build from salvaged lumber
  • a permaculture native forest edible garden
  • a rack of edible mushroom logs
  • arbor and picnic bench made from reclaimed building materials by The RE store’s REvision Division
  • a rainwater cistern pilot demonstration system with a 900 gallon capacity, thanks to the City Of Bellingham Public Works Department
  • compost system and tool shed

There are currently 3 plots available so contact Jennifer Fredricksen, the RE Patch coordinator, via phone at (503) 528-4664 or via email at

 Thanks to all our sponsors and volunteers

City of Bellingham Public Works

Tree Frog Farms   •   Cascadia Mushrooms,

Growsource   •   Cloud Mountain Farms

Plantas Nativa   •   The Gardens at Padden Creek

Sunbreak Nursery   •   Shelterbelt, Inc.

Sunseed Farm   •   Treemendous Plantworks

Whatcom Conservation District   •   Joe’s Gardens

The Garden Spot   •   Earthworks Tree Service

DeWilde’s Nursery   •   Starkenburg Shavings

Bakerview Nursery & Garden Center

Posted in: Stories about stuff, Things you never knew about The RE Store, Video posts, Why blog about The RE Store?

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Salvage Materials Transformed into Fun Garden Art at The Purple Bench

When Lynn Cushway built the little out building on her Oak Harbor property in 2002, she had no idea that it would eventually become The Purple Bench – Antiques & Gardens shop.  But as this creative lady retired last year, she realized that all her years of collecting antiques, recycling materials and creating beautiful landscapes had an obvious intertwined outcome, and she began her business in June of 2010.  This unique shop carries an array of refurbished and repurposed antiques and items for home and garden.

Best of all are those unique items that she creates herself.  She says that inspiration usually comes from the item itself that she has saved from going to the landfill.  She has transformed everything from culvert pipe and oak barrel metal bands to claw foot tubs and watering cans.



“Orb” was created with metal bands from collapsed oak barrel planters, old glass or metal doorknob, metal rod. The bands were drilled with hole at either end. A 36″ metal rod was inserted through the bands, leaving enough at top for a finial ( i.e. door knob) and enough in the bottom to stick “Orb” into the ground.





The “Bubbler” Fountain was made from a piece of concrete culvert pipe.  It is about 4’ tall and the pump sits in a hole dug in the ground covered with a pond liner.  There is a piece of PVC pipe running up the length of pipe through a recycled plastic butter tub which contains glass beads.  The water fills the tub and spills over the sides.


“Watering Can Fountain” spills into an old 4’ claw foot tub (you can see the sprinkling water if you look hard).  The pump is in the bottom of the tub and the hose runs through the waste holes and is buried in the bark.  The hose runs up the back side of the purple bench through a hole in the watering can and down in the spout.  In the background is an old manure spreader.   The “Patio Labyrinth” is a combination of recycled bricks and flat rocks creating a labyrinth design.   “I saw this done at a shop in Coupeville using whole and half pavers” Lynn says “You can find inspiration anywhere you look around!”

"Watering Can Fountain" and "Patio Labyrinth"

Do you have a RE Store-inspired project to be proud of?  Please, show off & share your story!








Posted in: RE Store Rockstar Project

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Illuminating recycled art and design with style

Alana Coleman's lamps

Works by Alana Coleman, displayed in The RE Store's Recycled Arts & Fashion Show

Guest post by Alana Coleman, artist, designer and bright shining light

I have always loved the old gas outdoor street lamps the kind you see in Europe. But I didn’t have a yard so I decided to create one I could use inside my home. I found some old style light fixtures in an antique shop and went home to make my own indoor gas style post lamp. It turned out so beautifully that a friend suggested I create and sell them as a business.

Recycled parts were used to create an antique-looking gas light originally because I discovered all the lights I wanted to create were antique and needed to be constructed from old reused lighting parts. My focus did not begin with being a green business.

Semi Horn by Alana Coleman

"Semi Horn" made from metal semi horn and Lamp parts, glass shades

So what started out to be a home lamp redesign project to create a post light for inside my home grew into a small lighting business and then morphed to include garden art and other imaginative items, based off of reclaimed pieces and parts.

I started doing The RE Store Bellingham’s lighting window in 2009. I wanted to show what could be created by mixing odd and ends with old lighting parts, inspire people to reuse old lighting instead of buying mass production new fixtures, and to sell my art, and repair services. So on a gray rainy Bellingham day sparkling lamps, elegant fixtures and garden art entice passerby’s to enter The RE Store to look closer at the glittering lights, get ideas for their projects and absorb the warmth within.

"A Leg Up" lamp by Alana Coleman

"A Leg Up" lamp by Alana Coleman

I redesign and rearrange parts to create new lighting and invent new vessels for lights to live in through the recycling of old lighting and found objects. I love that I’m dedicating my time and vision to creating a greener world. I’ve found my passion!

Posted in: Green business, Recycled art and trash fashion, Stories about people

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Old Friends and New at the Flower & Garden Show

So great to see old friends, and make new ones at the NW Flower and Garden Show this past weekend!  The RE Store crew busted out an “Inside Out” display garden in just two days, with the wonderful plant help and chicken wrangling of Seattle Urban Farm Co.  A special thanks to them – and to all of you that visited us!  Those coveted items that were in the booth – ceramic flue tiles, and the arbor, just to name a few – are back at the Seattle store, and ready to find their way to new homes.  Come use your coupons for some new yard elements – and happy garden planning and planting!

Posted in: Stories about stuff, Things you never knew about The RE Store, Why blog about The RE Store?

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