Trashy Tuesday The Best Junk Upcycle and Upcycle Artists

Dumpster Diving Diaries, Le Junque

Trashy Tuesday The Best Junk Upcycle and Upcycle Artists

Welcome to Trashy Tuesday.  We talk nothing but trash around here.  Only the good kind of junk.  The kind you can actually pick off the street, out of a dumpster or in this post, even off an ocean floor.

I have the best job in the world.  I love nothing more than finding a good piece of junk and transforming it into something new.  Even better is sharing that love of upcycling with others.  I absolutely love upcycling old junk with 100% Natural Debi’s Design Diary DIY Paints.    Through my job I meet the some of the most amazingly creative people and artists.  This past week I was able to hang out with our newest retailer in Reno/Sparks Nevada, Shabby Chic Boutique.  We had an amazing new retailer training on Saturday.  

We used old pieces of furniture and broken odds and ends to paint and learn with.  But the best part was getting to know a group of people who love taking something ugly, old, left for dead and giving it new life with DIY  Paint Products. 

I had been in Reno to also work on a fun upcycled project with my friend Sam Sprague from Micano Home and Garden.  Sam has a truly one of a kind store.  Everything in his store is upcycled, hand made and unique.  Sam makes Vintage Industrial Chandeliers from sheets of Corrugated Steel, rope and wires.  Here is a really cool one Sam made.

We started making one of these Chandeliers for me to take home.  To change the look of the ropes, we soaked some of them in all natural DIY Dark and Decrepit Liquid Patina, then even mixed in some DIY Paints Little Black Dress  to change the color on some on some of the ropes.

After I finished my day of training at Shabby Chic, time to head home.  I stopped by Micano Home and Garden to pick up my Chandelier and a few other upcycled goodies. Sometimes there are coincidences, and sometimes there are amazing magical moments where all your creative cosmic stars align and you have a magical meeting with others out there, junk upcyclers.  Creative souls who see the world’s left overs as raw materials waiting to be transformed.  Not one more thing to throw in a landfill.

This is what happened to me.  And it was AMAZING.  As soon as I got out of my car, Sam was ushering me into the courtyard to see something you never even knew existed.  One of his friends Jim Moffit of Twisted Steel, makes, get this…..Fire Pits from old Decommissioned US Naval Bombs!  

Sam’s friend and artist Carlos Martinez of Los Ink was helping Jim out.  A customer of Jim’s had commissioned a Day of the Dead Fire Pit design. Carlos had chalked the whole design out, which would then be cut with a Plasma Cutter by Jim and turned into a Fire Pit.  This is what it will look like after.

And as if that wasn’t enough coolness of upcycling and artists converging together, another of Sam’s artist friends Craig Johnson of Knots and Bolts Industrial Furniture was there, discussing a new line of lamps and lighting fixtures he is making from Industrial Pipes and Upcycled Barn Wood.  

Only a true Barn Wood geek like myself would be impressed by the full load of Barn Wood and Beams Craig had proudly shoved into the back of his pick up truck.  Truly, it was a thing of beauty.

Carlos and Sam were working on a new mural for the side of Sam’s building.  When I left, they were just getting started, but if you check out Micano Home and Garden or Los Ink on Facebook you can see the really cool transformation.  

For just last Saturday, a little moment in time, I felt like I had stepped into the coolness club of junk and artists.  I had spent the day with my Tribe and it was ending with a big blow out of mind blowing Junk and Art amazingness.  Thanks again to our amazing new retailer Shabby Chic in Sparks, Nevada and artists that helped make my day of training them a complete joy.  Thanks to the super cool convergence of artists at Micano Home and Garden.

I picked up a few good pieces of junk this week myself.  Stay tuned for next week when I share more Trashy Tuesday and Dumpster Diving goodness with you.

In the meantime, hope you have the Trashiest week ever.  And may you find nothing but goodness down in a Dumpster.


  1. Fonda Rush

    Your link to shabby chic is broken. It goes to when it should be something like I think that’s the correct address.

    I was also wondering about Rachel Ashwell’s affiliation with the Shabby Chic brand. It seems to me it is a copyright term that belongs to Rachel Ashwell and no one else can use it. Any ideas on that? I just looked it up on Wikipedia, and there was no mention of Rachel Ashwell at all…very odd. But, when I entered Rachel Ashwell, she is linked to Shabby Chic Brands. Oh, well… I was just wondering if the term Shabby Chic was a trademark or a copyright, and there may not be a definitive answer. BTW, the word “redux” was mentioned, which reminds me of you!

    It looks like things are going wonderfully for you. Enjoy!

  2. Ashley McNeil

    That chandelier was not made by your friend Sam… It was made by Divine Discoveries lighting! Did she share that information with you? My name is Ashley, and I am the one who created the rustic rope light fixture.


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