Featured Artist: Andrew's Reclaimed Wood

eco friendly product for home
Andrew uses reclaimed wood and reworks it beautifully in simple and practical designs of items for your garden or home.

I especially love the succulent planter boxes made from old-growth reclaimed lumber which Andrew tells us has tight grain, nice patterns and colour finely sanded with a beeswax finish.  The holes are just the right size for easy transplant from a standard small pot. Looking at the products of his labour you can really tell he loves his work.

Andrew and his wife Melissa run the business from Seattle in the USA and they have an Etsy store where you can check out all the designs from beehives to pencil cups, soap containers, shelve and woodpecker feeders. "We build almost everything here using woods we source by dismantling and re-milling ages-old piers, fences, barns, and other structures slated for demolition."
See their blog for latest specials and more about this enterprising team.


At one with mother earth

"The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us.....That which we put into the ground she returns to us." Bedage

The native American Indians respected the earth, the sky, the sea and all living things. Their footprint on the earth was barely noticable. They lived in such a close relationship with nature and defined themselves by this relationship being in tune with the seasons and the rhythms of where they lived.  They saw a deep unity in the natural and the spiritual world. Their traditions, stories and beliefs connected them with the earth, the sky and the sea - even their names show this connection - Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, Fish Hawk, Princess Raven, Big Thunder, Ten Bears.. the list goes on.

Their "spiritual stories are deeply based in Nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, sky & fire." Read more about these stories.

Coyote attempts to get persimmons from Opossum in a traditional native American story

"We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees."  Qwatsinas  - Chief Edward Moody, Nuxalk Nation.


See more original photographs and quotes and learn about the history of  the Native American Indians at Native American Images.


Unique art idea - no paint or canvas

Living mosaic art from Succulents Galore

Maybe you can design your own succulent wall or table planter like the one pictured or maybe you would like to buy a kit.

There are long lasting cedar kits that come complete with 25 cuttings for planting, moss and soil.
The planter measures 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" and is 2 " deep. It has been designed to be planted and hung on a wall or fence. It also can be placed on a table as it makes a terrific focal and conversation piece. The kit come fully assembled. Instructions are included for planting the succulent cuttings. See more details...


Left over soup is eco friendly

Once a week I try to use up the left overs in the fridge and the best winter way to do this is a hearty, filling soup. This is great because it not only uses up the food that would otherwise end up in land fill but also because the left overs have been previously cooked the soup is ready and tasty in less than half an hour.
Obviously this recipe depends on your left overs but a few handy hints:
Meaty meals like spag. bol. give the soup extra depth and go great in tomato based soups,
Think of minestrone and add beans to left over veges or pasta.
Decide if you are going to blend your soup or not and if not make sure your food is in small pieces.
Potato, pumpkin and sweet potato help make a thick soup.
Don't be afraid of adding frozen foods.
Different stocks: chicken stock, vege stock, beef stock, tomato paste will suit different left overs.
Think of flavour blends and add a few herbs:

  • Italian add basil and oregano
  • Asian add lemon grass
  • Moroccan add cumin
  • Indian add curry

public domain image of vegetables

How I make the soup:
I like to start with fresh ingredients and usually fry up some garlic and onion first in olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes in the bottom of a large pot.
Then add some other fresh uncooked  finely chopped veges like celery and carrots and cook a further 2 minutes.
Add the liquid: today I used a can of diced tomatoes and some pasta sauce and then filled the rest of the post with water.
Add salt and pepper and stir.
Bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer while adding left overs.
I added green beans, sausages, noodles, 1 potato, and a piece of frozen roast beef straight into the pot.
After the beef had defrosted it was removed and chopped into small pieces and re added to soup.
Simmer for 15 minutes and serve with toast or crusty bread. It was delicious.

Observing nature

Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift. Albert Einstein.



Your local green space or own back garden can provide a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature on a regular basis. Wildlife can be found in almost any patch of ground and there are plenty of things you can do to give nature (biodiversity) a helping hand and do your bit – e.g.
  • Find out what plants and animals are already in your green space;
  • Plant nectar rich flowers, native trees and shrubs to support wildlife (especially bees and butterflies);
  • Create habitats for wildlife (e.g. wildflower meadows, wetland areas, bat and bird boxes, nooks and crannies for insects to shelter and breed);
  • Create a feeding and drinking station for birds
  • Start your own compost heap;
  • Cut out harmful chemicals and manage pests by encouraging natural predators;
  • Explore environmental issues such as growing your own food and supporting local produce


Original wall art that you could create

Repurposed vintage maps are used to create a beautiful one of a kind unique decor piece from ElizabethSt

The looping waves of paper create a flower-like piece of wall art. Perfect for the quirky collector, the travel enthusiast, the lover of unique art. Don't you just love the colour and the design? I also adore how it has upcycled the old maps.
I have seen something similar made by children out of cardboard rolls and thought this was a great idea for children to experiment with.


Keep your love of nature

 Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.     
Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
PAINTING: Cornfield with Cypress. 1888.