Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mungo visits Eastside Showroom....

... and finds loads of gorgeous refurbished mungo in full effect! We were totally dazzled by the beer tap... see it at right of the first photo... which I foolishly thought at first was a real periscope from an old submarine, until my husband clued me in... it's an old milk jug turned upside down. Halved wine casks store the wine, and there's countless other fascinating little details... I believe much of which is the very definition of steampunk... all the furniture and design was done by the owner, Micky Danae Spencer (more of her work can be found at and she was even sitting at the counter when we visited and was totally friendly and welcoming.
This place totally knocked my socks off, and TO BOOT, all the food was sourced totally locally! We didn't eat there, just had a beer, but we will be back. I can't tell you how tickled I am that this place exists on our very own East 6th Street... what a lucky girl am I. For more about Eastside Showroom visit

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oh. My. Lord.

Well you know me and how excitable I am but this really is something to shout about. I can't even believe it... and in Luling, TX, to boot, a mere hour away from me! You can betch yer bottom dollar I'm gonna go out there in the next few weeks and confer with this fine fella. Thanks SO much reader Angel for turning me on to this!
I'll just let Brad Kittel explain this in his own words... and now without further ado... Tiny Texas Houses:

My goal is to show people what can be done with a concept I call Salvage Building, thus what you see is 99% Pure Salvage. That means that everything from the doors, floors, windows, lumber, porch posts, glass, door hardware, and even the siding has been saved and re-used to create houses that we hope will last for a century or more. I believe that there are presently enough building materials sitting on the ground to build much of the next generation

of housing. All it takes to make it so is pure human energy, spirit, and the desire to build something that will last for several lifetimes.

I also believe we don't need as much space as we have become accustomed to in this country. Therefore I have created Tiny Texas Houses to demonstrate just how

great it can be to downsize our

carbon footprint, simplify our lives, and live in a house with a soul that will be energy efficient as well as beautiful. Please join me for a tour of what we can create from what so many have chosen to throw into landfills. After a generation of having it all and wasting so much, perhaps it is time to consider keeping it small and preserving what we have before we waste more of our limited resources. Please check back as I unveil my ideas for a simpler world built from the past with the best trees we ever grew, the best hardware we ever made, and the best ideals we once had when we lived life in a different way.

No Impact Man

Monday, August 24, 2009

Big Box Reuse Review
Amazon Best of the Month, December 2008: From Kentucky to California, the construction of tens of thousands of big box stores over the past few decades has transformed the American landscape. What happens when one of these stores goes bust or moves to a super-sized retail center a few miles down the road? Right now communities across the country are confronted with the challenge of repurposing these enormous physical structures, their acres of parking lot, and the accompanying network of roadways. Intrepid artist and writer Julia Christensen traveled all over the United States to discover the surprising story of how some of them have creatively met that challenge. Big Box Reuse--an appropriately big, square book--describes in words, photographs, and building plans the reincarnation of 10 former retail behemoths into facilities ranging from an indoor raceway and a Spam museum to a health center, library, and charter school. In each case study, Christensen documents and reflects deeply on the big box transformation with respect to each locale's particular socio-economic, political, and cultural history. Big Box Reuse presents "outside the box" thinking on American culture and commerce, community activism, and savvy and sensible redesign of our built environment. --Lauren Nemroff

Sunday, August 23, 2009


What happens when you combine a crowd of bored and potentially unruly teenagers with a bunch of timber slabs and scraps from the local saw mill over two weeks in July? Hutopolis, that's what.

Gosh, that just makes me want to flat-out bawl. Just a bunch of stuff that was going to be thrown out anyway, and can you imagine how fun and absorbing and enriching that was for them? Hot damn. Makes me want to build my own little -opolis right this very minute.

Clothes Swap!

And speaking of fabulous re-use occasions, I was lucky enough to get to go to the fabulous annual Back-to-School Clothes Swap that Kathie and Bernadette of Future Craft Collective launched last year. What a beautiful, beautiful, very beautiful thing... not only is it so very useful and common-sensical and FUN to swap clothes rather than buy a whole new wardrobe, but they've even instituted a whole new element that makes it ten times cooler by having on-site silk screeners and seamstresses there to tailor and customize the clothes of the past into YOUR clothes of the FUTURE!! Isn't that so AWESOME?!? And all totally and completely for FREE?!? I tell you , in our brave new world, this will be happening everywhere, all across the world, to the great joy and inestimable financial savings of all.

And speaking of Future Craft Collective, have I told you lately that I love them? They are so incredibly brilliant. All summer long they had a weekly tutorial over at, and the ideas were so so good. I hate to diss, but for a year or so now I have been waiting with baited breath for Amanda Blake Soule's book Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures. Absolutely LOVED her first book, The Creative Family. This second one, I was surprised to find a little 'meh'. Especially after all these brilliant, innovative, fun and outside-the-box projects each week from FCC. They will have a book someday I'm sure and it's going to knock everyone's socks off. My breath is now baited!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Messenger bag

This is so cool... it's a no-sew messenger bag made by ironing together plastic bags! It seems really simple to make... I'm excited to try the fusing plastic process.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I was just checking in at the wonderful reuse blog Give Me One Good Raisin and heard tell of a completely Mungo-esque business in London called Fabrications. Be still my beating heart! This woman takes the castoffs bits from local businesses and transforms them with a plethora of textile skills ranging from tatting to knitting to sewing and more. Check out her space... isn't it divine? She teaches loads of classes on all of the above, and above all else what brings tears of joy to my eyes are the wonderful and fun ideas and events...
the Rethink Rubbish kits for sale, the "Not Another Rubbish Christmas" gift wrapping service during the holidays, and the Wool-n-Dance,
..."The “Wool-N-Dance” is a dance floor with a difference - it's slippery and wet!
Dance to the rhythm of live music and fuse 100% British wool fibres into a giant carpet underfoot in all weather conditions.
Get moving, exercising and doing serious work but most importantly enjoying it!"
So fabulous... this is really the spirit that I want Mungo to have. Not grimly staving off environmental armageddon by making do and doing without, but enjoying what we have and using it all with creativity, ingenuity, community, joy, brilliance, festivity, revelry!


This is so cool. After accidentally leaving a book out in the rain, Hannah Lobely stumbled upon this new approach to working with paper. She takes old catalogs, phone books, and other unwanted books and creates them into a block of wood-like material, and then shapes them using woodworking tools. Beautiful....

Found at handmade charlotte.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fantasy Mungo locations

OOooooOOOOooooooOOOOOooooo.... I don't know if it really serves any purpose to start salivating over locations at this juncture but I just photographed some buildings over here on the east side that I've always lusted after... Both of them are actually occupied. But aren't they so BEAUTIFUL lookin'? And so ideal for our purposes. They're both huge and inviting with great style and even a loading/unloading area, and land/open space attached, too.

Strangely enough I just realized that I have seen them both used as locations on Friday Night Lights, too.
That second building has the most beautiful lemon yellow/ aqua patina of weathered and worn away paint. My husband and I have always commented on how much we love that building. It's Mungo-riffic!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Jon Bok

I just found these images of Jon Bok's amazing pieces in this book, Lost and Found: Decorating with Unexpected Objects, but of course he's got a website too. These dressers are done over with can lids and license plates and detergent boxes and bottle caps. The one in the second picture, with a face, those drawer pulls are made with chrome-trimmed Cadillac tail lights!

All this amazing stuff and more found on thanks for the heads up, Bernadette!

The gentle art of tea bag folding

... I tell you, there is a use for everything in this world, it's amazing! There are sites and sites devoted solely to the art of folding the little wrappers from whence you pluck your tea bag every morning. OK, I think most of the pictures on the site are made with origami paper, but it really is called tea bag folding and it's a fab use for those little foil squares, which you chuck 365 of into the trash each day if you have a cup of tea each morning, 730 actually considering there are two squares to each bag... 16, 060 actually if you have two cups of tea a day... OK the numbers are really getting astronomical here, have I convinced you yet? You could make some truly awesome art, just click here to begin.

And then there's Netflix origami, too....

Saturday, August 1, 2009

For the aggro among us...

... what better way to channel that rage and rawr energy than the Cardboard Tube Fighting League in SF. Start one in your own hometown... we all need an outlet and it looks like a lot of fun.

LOVE this...

... and can't wait to make one of my very own. An ultra simple skirt made out of two T-shirts. From the looks of it even someone with my Neandrathal-like skills at the sewing machine would be able to whip one up in one evening. Instructions are here, and thanks once again to the omniscient Rachel Hobson!


These shoes made from felted wool sweaters, are the dangerous kind of adorable that might tempt you to have one, two, what the heck three more babies just so they could all be shod in these, the cutest shoes on earth. I think I will have to buy a pair for the tiny human who lives in my house, but which? How on earth could I choose? They're all quite seriously to die for. From Wooly Baby.