DIY Wedding Delights

Weddings enchant and inspire! It's wedding season, and during the research for an article about creating ethical weddings, I found the most delightfully creative wedding-related DIY projects – in white, of course.

The cake was a tree.

So the bride wore bamboo…

…and carried antique buttons too.

Descending the stairs of no-frills…

...she danced all night in her handmade espadrilles.

Credits and DIY tutorials: Abstraction White Rose Georgia O'Keefe, Wedding Shawl via Purl BeeCake Tree - Pretty Chic Blog via CraftVicente Wolf for Elle DécorButton Bouquet - Letters4LillyEspadrilles - Between The Lines

Wood Lust To Wear

Let’s just say…moms like jewelry. All kinds. The glittery kind that sparkle in all its small solid rockness on a finger, and the kind that goes with the grain and celebrates the beauty of nature. Designer, Gustav Reyes creates these salvaged wood bracelets by repurposing wood from unusual sources: castoff baseball bats, and maple, walnut and rosewood pieces from abandoned instruments. Each bracelet is like a mini-sculpture. They are hand formed using a cold bend process, and finished with natural beeswax. Reyes' wooden pieces function as a reminder that the past, present, and future are intertwined.

Let’s just say…it’s almost Mother’s Day

"The desire to create is the vehicle by which we, as humans, extend our minds and souls beyond the limits of our physical selves." ~ Jewelry Designer, Gustav Reyes

Credit: Artful Home via Materialicious

Furniture: Forest-Friendly

Last month, Chronogram asked me to cover a story about the Wickham Solid Wood Studio in Beacon, NY. I just love sinking my teeth into this kind of assignment. Not only is Jessica Wickham's handcrafted furniture local and heirloom quality, it is sustainable in ways that give back without harming our at-risk forests. Jessica’s furniture has the ability to teach us how to tread carefully with our natural resources, and still create stunning products. Jessica possesses a rare combination of skills. She can look at a downed tree in the forest and see its inherent potential. From an ecological perspective, a responsibly-sourced tree becomes the perfect green building material. When I met Jessica, I was inspired by the respect she has for the rich wood grain and the natural shape of trees. With minimal processing (low or no-VOC stains), traditional joinery, and natural finishing techniques reminiscent of both Japanese traditions and Shaker sensibilities. Jessica has found just the right mix of  "process, poetry, and patience". Her functional pieces could be considered the exact opposite of the glut of mass-produced furniture we see in stores.

The woods around my property (left) may seem like a tree mecca, but a quick understanding of how forests have suffered, can illuminate the importance of sustainable forestry.

Since I’ve been brushing up on my earth science (haven’t used that term since my kids were in middle school) for my posts for the EDF's Moms Clean Air Force, I’ve learned that deforestation caused by air pollution, acid rain and other environmental hazards aids in the erosion of our forests. This has become a leading contributor towards the loss of biodiversity. Intact eco-systems provide an intricate web that controls floods, conserves oxygen, soil, insects and creates diverse habitats. While forests do regrow, when older forests decline they eventually lose more carbon to the atmosphere than they absorb, thus fueling climate change.

Whew, science lesson over. My husband Ted is an environmental planner, so I generally leave these types of granular discussions to him. But, I’m digging in and exercising my brain, as I discover the depth of environmental issues our children will inherit.

Once again, I’m noticing that if there is one thing that will get us beyond the planet's sustainability woes, it will be an eco-enlightenment that includes a lifecycle analysis of everything. With style and sustainability, artisans like Jessica Wickham are leading the way.

Credit: black walnut bench and headboard, Wickham Solid Wood Studio

Solutions For Living With Wood

At the beginning of the heating season, I'm all gung-ho about heating with wood. Hauling wood is exhilarating exercise, and the oh-so-toasty radiance of a wood fire is enchanting. After the initial infatuation wears off, I start grumbling about it…mostly, about the mess.

2 Problems, 2 Solutions:

Problem: There are splintery pieces of wood that gather around the stove which makes walking barefoot treacherous (and messy).

Solution: Remodelista presented a beautiful wall-mounted log holder via Skona Hem. Not only does this wood holder look handsome, it frees up floor space. While it may be an  inspirational solution, I can't read a word of Swedish, and there are no particulars of where to purchase such an item. Has anyone found an off-the-floor solution for the in-house wood stash?

Problem: This morning I piled up a few logs into my arms, stoked the fire, then ran out to have breakfast with friends. Someone commented that my jacket made me look like a porcupine. I looked down and there were spikes of wood embedded into the fleece. Geeze.

Solution: While writing Stalking The Wood Pile, I came across this DIY wood tote on the Whipup site. It’s stylish, functional and easy to make. The creator of the project was in the process of building a house and says, “I made this firewood tote to help move all the logs to the house site. This firewood tote sews up super fast, and will make carrying wood to your fireplace, or building a house just a bit easier.” Brilliant!

Download the DIY pdf instructions and CLICK HERE FOR MORE

Photo Credits: Rais, Remodelista, Whipup