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Peter Wagner with an upcycled Whymcycle.
Peter Wagner with an upcycled Whymcycle.

An Invention and Upcycling Contest



In Davis at Square Tomatoes, June 1st



 



Square Tomatoes Crafts Fair, a monthly festival with over forty
food and craft vendors and a jazz band, is holding an Invention and Upcycling
Contest.  Five Davis stores, the local
Sierra Club, Cool Davis, and the Chamber of Commerce have sponsored the contest
for a $50 prize.  The fair and contest
will be held Sunday, June 1st from 11 to 4, in Central Park (3rd
and C Streets) in Davis.



           Why
have so many stores and nonprofits come on board?  Because an
invention and upcycling contest is an idea whose time has come.  The
invention part of the contest honors regional creators.  The right
invention, like Professor Andy Frank’s hybrid-electric car, can change the
world.   Upcycling is a form of invention available to
anyone.  Upcycling saves resources, reduces the waste stream, and
best yet, it’s downright fun!  Other means of saving resources
involve a certain amount hard choices and self-sacrifice, but upcycling is more
like a treasure hunt.  



            Upcycling
means finding a new use for a product headed to the landfill.  It
means installing a shelf in a beautiful dresser that is missing a
drawer.  It means saving computer circuit boards from e-trash and
cutting these surprisingly attractive pieces into jewelry.  It means
finding a new way to restyle a T-shirt.  The June 1st fair
will have a display of contest entries and an idea board with images of common
items that can be reused.  Examples of upcycling can be found online
at Pinterest.com/sallyozma/ on the boards “Upcycled,”  “Refashioned,”
and “Invention & Upcycling Contest.”  People who want to enter
the fair can find instructions online at SquareTomatoesCrafts.com.



             Along with a
display of contest entries, the fair will have an Inventors’ Café with comfy
chairs next to the food and coffee booth.  A Scissors Wizards
Clothing Clinic will be at the fair with sewing tools, second hand clothes, and
advice.  The wizards will restyle clothing and show visitors how to
refashion what’s too small, too big, partly ripped, or downright boring. 



             People
new to upcycling can find an “Upcycling Idea Book” at Hibbert Lumber with
images of what can be done to transform old items into
furniture.  Few people know that a suitcase with four legs attached
can become a tea table with storage space, or it can be stuffed with pillows
and made into a dog bed.  Filing cabinets, the curse of the waste
stream, can be restyled into anything from boudoir to
sports-and-den.  With spray paint, Modge Podge, and comic book covers
applied to the drawer fronts; a filing cabinet can be the pride of the
den.  



           Upcycling
includes restyling clothes.  With the right restyling, men’s shirts
can have more lives than a wily tomcat.  Boheme Hip Used Clothing has
a photo called “Add Africa.” A large man’s shirt can be transformed into an
African tunic by removing the collar and adding contrasting yolk and
cuffs.  A suit coat or cardigan can be transformed into a folk jacket
by cutting out the collar and adding a strip of fabric around the neck, front,
and cuffs.  The Boheme and the SPCA Thrift have ideas books showing
twelve ways to restyle a T-shirt.  Acres of landfill space are
sacrificed to clothes dumped for being boring, badly styled, or
unflattering.  Trim, lace, contrasting fabric, and new buttons can
save the lives of many fashion failures.  Clothing with styling that
is too terminal to be saved by major surgery, prayer, or even a queer eye can
be transformed into stuffed animals, purses, or a braided rug.  The
Scissors Wizards at the June 1st fair will help visitors with
ideas.



            Beyond
clothes and furniture, almost anything can be upcycled, repurposed,
refashioned, or redone.  Upcyclers have cut the tops and bottoms from
an aluminum soda cans, pressed a design into the metal, and refolded the sheet
metal into functional decorative boxes.  Jewelers take broken china
dishes and cut these into pieces used for jewelry.  What is the
ultimate coup in upcycling?  Upcycle vegetable scraps.  The
base of a celery stalk or romaine lettuce can be regrown into more
food.  The ultimate in upcycling is diverting a dresser drawer from
the landfill for use as a planter to grow new vegetables from old kitchen
scraps. 



            Reuse
is always there waiting to be discovered.   Check out the
website, or better yet--bring an entirely new idea to the Invention and
Upcycling Contest.



 






 

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