Technology Detox

this is where I will be unplugged, ahh.....

Dear Readers,

This week I am taking my annual break as a camp counselor on Lake Erie. Since we do not allow our campers to use any tech devices during the week, I am doing the same in solidarity. Try it for a whole day once this week. Go to the beach. Lay in the grass. Have drinks with friends. It's amazing how stress free the world can be when we unplug....

Restfully, Buenahelena

PS. No cheating here. I wrote this days before I left and scheduled the post ;)


Buenahelena and TED's Excellent Adventure

There are days when I can't find any motivation, but TED never fails to inspire me to do more and be more. TED is a non-profit group that hosts talks from the greatest minds in the world on technology, entertainment and design. The TED website offers videos of every talk FOR FREE, a great brain boost in under 20 minutes.

I just watched a recent talk by David Byrne (of Talking Heads) about architecture's effect on music development. Like any of these talks, the core concepts can apply to any form of creation. In this talk he asks whether or not we create with a context already in mind. Here he's talking about musical creation, but this completely fits with art. What do I create for galleries versus what I create for Etsy versus what I create to teach my students? A good thing to ponder as a long summer waits...
David Byrne: How architecture helped music evolve | Video on TED.com


Repurpose or Upcycle?

I'm rethinking my shop, item and tag descriptions for Buenahelena. The debate is between repurpose and upcycle. All the green words are hot right now, so I thought why not share the definitions to help others equally unsure.

Many people often interchange repurposed, upcycled and recycled in their descriptions, but there are subtle differences...

  1. Repurposing: The act of giving something with one purpose another useful purpose. The item itself usually doesn't change, but is given a new context for use.
  2. Upcycling: The process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products that are better quality or a higher environmental value.
  3. Recycling: The processing of used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials and reduce energy consumption. This usually means the quality of the product stays the same or is downcycled, that is of lower environmental value.
(Definitions courtesy of Wikipedia)

With this knowledge I am considering just what my products are. For example I have vintage button rings and earrings. The buttons aren't useless per se. The buttons aren't necessarily of higher quality now that they are on rings. They are in a different context though, so...repurposed? Another example is my vintage cocktail napkin coaster sets. The napkins could have been used as is, but with the protective vinyl they can now be used again and again without waste, so...upcycled?

What do you think? What do you do yourself?


Giveaways and Sales

It's the end of the school year. My students are in panic mode, I'm grading, selling goods at the Bird House this weekend, and doing a giveaway. Am I crazy? Yes. Isn't that life when you are living it though?

Recently, I was contacted by Cricket of Cricket's Daily Fix about having a review and giveaway on her site. She runs a great blog that reviews upcycled, recycled and generally earth friendly products for home and family. It's sort of a consumer reports for green goods. I really dig what Cricket is about so I sent her samples and she posted the review and giveaway just last week. Want to enter? Visit this post in the giveaways section. The deadline for entries is June 19th, and then I will send the lucky winner a pair of espresso cup soy candles.

Also upcoming: This Saturday, June 12th, I will be selling my origami crane earrings at the Bird House on Monroe Avenue for their Home Bazaar open house. My long time friend Liz manages the store which sells great products for bird owners, watchers and lovers, and she thought why not try some bird jewelry. I am also sneaking in some matchbook notepads featuring birds. Stop in for a visit!