2017 has been full of eventful happenings for Upcycled Creative. Not only have we upped sticks and moved to a new and exciting premises, we've also entered some great competitions and collaborated with some awesome people. So it's time to have a little 'round-up' of just what's been going on over the last 12 exciting months.
It's the party season! It's time for us all to feel that festive cheer.
Over the next few weeks, we're sure that many of you will be attending Christmas parties and preparing for New Years Eve celebrations. Our homes and party venues will be full of pretty lights and decorations, food, drink and merriment. There will be the morning after headaches, stories and leftover vol-au-vents. Plastic cups, tin cans and glass bottles. The remnants of a good time had by all!
This is just a little reminder that what you may think needs to all go into the rubbish bin or the recycling unit may have another lease of life! Just stop and take a moment to think with some 'upcycled imagination'.
Could those celebratory bottles of champagne be used to create a stunning piece of lighting to add to next year's Christmas decorations?
After all... Christmas comes around each year, so why not have a special feature to add to your collection, instead of just your standard fairy lights.
Perhaps those few bottles of gin that were quaffed could be turned into the perfect, stylish and funky table lamp or ceiling light. Not necessarily just for the party season, but perhaps an idea for a gift or someone next year?
At this time, many of the well known drink brands bring out limited edition bottles, so why not make them into something special?
Why not check out some of our previous upcycled lighting creations from last years celebrations.
If you would like for us to help us create something bespoke for you, then get in touch with us today.
You can also find out how we'll be getting into the festive spirit, by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We love to get engaged in the celebrations, so if you find a 'leftover' that you might think would work for an upcycling project ready for next year then share with us your ideas.
Lightseekers is a creative social enterprise who specialise in cross-cultural education and deliver thought provoking programmes to low-income areas, where creative engagement is low and students are likely to experience exclusion and discrimination.
Recently Upcycled Creative collaborated with Kajal Nisha Patel on a project known as Art as Life, which took place at The Derby Quad. We contributed to a series of workshops, reflecting on art and craft production before the industrial period and the loss of artisanal skills thereafter. You can find out more about the project workshops here.
With a lot of hands on production we were able to work with a talented group of emerging young artists, to lead them through a series of activities. We looked at conceptual thinking, resourcing, discussions on art, and how we could all get involved to start making a change within communities where creative engagement and participation is low.
There were a total of six sessions that took place at the creative hub of The Derby Quad.
The first week was led by professional sculptor David Booth, where ideas were explored and symbolism considered. The second week led by our very own Lee Richards, was a great practical combination of workshops where Lee shared his knowledge, skills and passion of upcycling. Demonstrating how materials often discarded and left unloved, could be transformed into beautiful and useful objects such as furniture and lighting.
A fantastic way to spend some creative time with enthusiastic and talented individuals.
If you would like to see some of the final pieces of artwork, then selected works are being displayed within QUAD Extra Gallery Spaces between 29th September -19th November 2017.
We hope you'll be able to take a visit and see the results.
If you'd like to keep up to date with future collaborations and workshops that Upcycled Creative are involved in, then why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the most up to date news.
Until next time...
It's always good to approach a competition with a positive mindset, and that's what we've done with our shortlisting for the Blue Patch Business Award.
Of course, there are many businesses out there that deserve to win as they work just as hard as we do, but we'd love to be successful with this one!
We've been shortlisted for being part of a sustainable marketplace for UK design, ethical fashion, eco-furniture, green gifts, organic & fair trade food. Verdicts will be delivered by the judges in early September, so keep your fingers crossed for us.
If you're unfamiliar with what the Blue Patch Awards are, and want to see who we're up against, you can find out here. As it's a public vote you can also get involved in helping us to be successful, (if you feel inclined of course. We would love that and be ever so grateful!) All you need to do is just head on over to the voting page.
Ever wondered what paint to use to achieve that vintage charm?
For those of you that get great satisfaction out of doing your very own upcycling, you may have already used an Autentio paint to achieve that fresh vibrant look. It's a great chalk paint that's used to give furniture that vintage charm.
There are also other paint products that you can use for any exterior projects you want to give that upcycled vibe and if you fancy giving your indoor walls a bit of a makeover, they have a range of wall paints too.
Upcycled Creative have been using Autentico paints for many years now, and we think they're great! So much so, that we've decided to stock them for purchase by our customers. We know that so many people enjoy giving old furniture a new lease of life, but without losing it's original sparkle, however, we still get asked for recommendations as to how this can be achieved.
For anyone that's never upcycled before, using the wrong paint for a first project can be enough to make you feel defeated and unsatisfied with the results. It can also be pretty devastating if you decided to get creative with an old family heirloom, only to wind up with a result that brings you to tears if the wrong products are used.
That's why we want to point potential upcyclers and those already getting in on the action to Autentico.
For the newbies of you out there, you may also be interested in the fact that we are currently putting together some furniture painting courses for 2018. We'll have more news on those in the up and coming weeks. We're really excited about them!
Keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where we'll share more information on these courses. But for now, if you are interested in seeing the range of products from Autentico that we have to offer, pop in to see us, or visit our website for more information.
Until next time...
It's on to pastures new for Upcycled Creative.
After spending a few years at our existing site, we decided that it was time for a change of scenery, so you will now find us located at Cromford Mills up near beautiful Matlock.
More space in our workshop gives us room to grow and get even more creative.
We are now located in a stunning world heritage site, with the countryside at our fingertips and surrounded by other creative businesses. It's a great location for a family day out, so if you fancy a visit, why not make a trip of it and come and say 'hi'.
Surrounded by such beautiful scenery really does help to feed creativity and spark inspiration.
We are settling in well and looking forward to seeing what Upcycled Creative has to offer to the visitors of the Mill, as well as our existing customers.
We've taken a few snaps of our new home, so you can get an idea of our set up, but why not come along and see for yourself. We'd love to welcome you through our doors.
For the gin lovers out there, and we know there are a lot of you, on Saturday 10th June it is World Gin Day! That's right a whole day dedicated to the 'love of gin'.
All over the world, lovers of the botanical quencher are celebrating with cocktails or just a straight forward G&T. Not that an excuse is needed for this delicious refreshment, but why not join in the celebrations?
Many bars across the UK are taking part, so you can expect some exciting concoctions on the drinks menu and if you would like to get involved yourself, you can find out how by visiting the website.
Of course, we'll be making the most out of the leftover bottles and getting a little creative.
You can see more of our bottle inspired lighting in our gallery
What's your favourite gin cocktail? Perhaps you like a specific type of gin due to the design of the bottle? There are so many on offer these days and with clever marketing the glass design is getting more and more creative. Which is great! It gives us more interesting items to upcycle!
You can get involved with World Gin Day on Twitter, using the hashtag #WorldGinDay. You can also share with us at Upcycled Creative your pictures of how you're celebrating the occasion @reupcycled or by visiting our Facebook page
Cheers everyone! 'Chin-chin'
Upcycled Creative are located in the lovely surroundings of Markeaton Park in Derby.
Our workshop in the Craft Village is a great place to come and visit. You can see what we are up to if you happen to be stopping by for a cuppa or an ice cream in the park cafe, or maybe visiting many of the other crafty businesses located in our lovely courtyard.
On June 17th/18th there is also another exciting reason to come and visit because 'The Big Bake' is taking place brought to you as part of The Great Food and Drink Festival.
For fans of The Great British Bake Off, this might be right up your street as there will be a few of the star bakers and winners attending to share a few demos.
You can find out more about it here.
We're sure that Markeaton Park will be 'abuzz' with activity during the event and we would love for you to pop in and say hello to us during your visit.
Maybe you could think about upcyling a cake stand for the occasion? I'm sure you won't walk away without a tasty baked treat, so why not create something fun to present your purchase on and then share with us your creations.
Hope to see you there...
On 19th March many people across the UK took part in 'National Clear your Clutter Day'
Households were encouraged to be ruthless and get rid of as much of their clutter as possible and perhaps in the process, make themselves a little bit of pocket money to put towards a holiday or even Christmas! (yes...we know it's early on in the year, but we know how it creeps up on us.)
When you decide to have a 'clear out' it can be a bit of an emotional experience. There are many of our possessions that we know we have no use for any longer, but just can't bring ourselves to get rid of them. Many of these items carry sentimental value and can often be shoved away in a cupboard because they are broken. However, throwing them away is just not an option, so what can you do?
Have you thought about upcycling?
Whatever size your personal treasure is, there is often a creative way to bring it back to life so that it's not just stuffed into the back of your loft, at the bottom of a very deep drawer or even in your garden shed.
Remember when we upcycled Rocky the Rocking Horse? We were able to bring a family heirloom back to life with a little TLC and creativity.
If you missed the dedicated day to clear your clutter, why not do it anyway. Not only is it cathartic to get rid of many possessions that you no longer need, it helps you find those hidden gems again that with a little love and attention, could be bought back to life and put to use.
Get in touch with us via our Facebook page or Twitter and let us know what you found. Is there anything that could be upcycled and made useful? Perhaps you were able to clear more clutter than you initially thought. We'd love to hear from you.
Until next time...
Sadler Gate in Derby is a prime spot within the city centre that we can proudly say shares a little of our Upcycled Creative flair.
Our next project took place on Sadler Gate at The Wonky Table restaurant. With a quirky, vintage atmosphere and eclectic menu, paired with friendly staff, this was an establishment that we were proud to be asked to design and provide for.
From the outside, you can feel that quirky ambiance radiating. Inviting you in out of curiosity...
Think the bizarre and endearing world of Alice in Wonderland and you've pretty much nailed exactly what The Wonky Table is all about.
To help create this feeling, we felt inspired to install the lighting upstairs with upside down lamp shades and also a few scattered lamp bases.
Below are our before and after shots of the upstairs dining area, which show just how much of an impact the topsy-turvy vibe has had on the overall design. You can see more images by heading over to our Wonky Table project page.
Dining at The Wonky Table is an experience not to be missed. It's worth checking out their eclectic menu and you can do this by visiting their website is http://www.wonkytable.co.uk
Also, check them out on Instagram too... https://www.instagram.com/p/BPI_J8RD7s5/
Next time you're in this beautiful, historical area of Derby, why not stop by for a bit of the unusual. Especially in the summer where their quirky garden ooozes with charm.
Take a step into all things strange and wonderful.
In The historic Old Blacksmiths Yard in the centre of Derby, a hidden gem awaits your visit.
If you've been out exploring the city, doing a spot of shopping or looking for a place to socialise then The Palfrey restaurant and wine bar may be exactly where you want to take a break, relax, refuel, recharge and rejoice.
Tucked up in the corner of Sadlergate, this beautiful building is home to one of the best eclectic food and drink menus in the city. If you're looking for a daytime pit stop or a perfect location to wine and dine in the evening then be sure to take yourself into The Palfrey for exactly that!
Upcycled Creative are proud to have been part of helping create the rustic and industrial vibe that we agree is just right for this prime location.
The first thing that strikes you when you walk though the door is the warm and inviting atmosphere, not only created by the friendly faces of the bar staff, but also by the clever use of ambient lighting that we love to provide using bespoke design.
Creating a water feature was also a fun way to inflict some creative upcycled flare. Using wine bottles and our love of scaffold boards and pallets, we think this design adds to the rustic charm of the downstairs bar area.
We don't have a picture of it up and running just yet, but if you happen to visit The Palfrey and get a great shot of it in action, we would love for you to share it with us over on our Facebook page or give us a 'tweet' on Twitter.
Now look away ladies...we're about to share another one of our creations but this time it features in the gentlemen's bathroom...
We've not left the girls out though, they have their own unique vanity unit. So ladies... if you are reapplying your lipstick or powdering your nose you'll be reflected in the bottom of an old whiskey barrel.
As you can probably tell, just like with all of our projects, we are really excited and super happy with the end results.
Providing an establishment such as The Palfrey with our upcycled creations and lighting is something we thrive on as a business. Please check out our other projects and commissions.
Next time you feel a thirst for a glass of something from the grape or the grain or perhaps the need for a casual bite to eat, then stop by The Palfrey where there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Cup of coffee? Tasty sandwich? Slice of cake anyone?
If you're visiting Derby for business or pleasure then without a doubt you're going to be there at a time during the day that falls upon a mealtime. Whether it be breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or early dinner time, you're going to want to visit Oliver's to satisfy your thirst or hunger.
We're not just saying this because we recently helped get this lovely New York Deli style eatery looking as great as it does with our upcycled creations, we genuinely enjoy the culinary delights on offer. So next time you're in the city, take yourself in for a tasty treat.
Whilst you're at it, take a look at the work we've done to help contribute to the ambiance of the place.
The first thing we hope you'll notice is the warm and cosy atmosphere. Lighting contributes significantly to creating the perfect ambiance, and so our main feature lights made from iron pipework give off that overall sense of industry, without making it seem 'cold'. In fact it's quite the opposite!
Even when it's cold and rainy outside, you only need to pop inside Oliver's to feel warm, relaxed and right at home. When you pass from the outside, you can feel the warmth radiating from the inside, out.
We also created some great places for storage and display using upcycled scaffold boards, adding to that vintage style but also adding a rustic feel. Again this helps contribute to bringing that all round outside/inside vibe. There's something for everyone to associate with.
This has been such a wonderful project to work on, and we're sure that Oliver's will continue to make it's customers feel just as warm and welcomed as we did during the installation.
So next time you are in the area, stop on by for your favourite hot drink, a sandwich, or treat yourself to a slice of one of their amazing cakes! (Our favourite was the mojito cheesecake). Grab a paper from the horseshoe paper rack creation and take some time out from your day.
The final result is one we are really proud of here at Upcycled Creative and we are really pleased that everyone at Oliver's is happy with the result too.
You can see more examples of our work at Oliver's in the commercial gallery.
Also, if you'd like a touch of our creations for your own home, you can check out the online shop on our website and bring that little bit of upcycled creativity into your daily life.
It's great to team up with a company you can trust!
When it comes to the satisfaction of our customers, it's not just in the result of the final product they have purchased or perhaps an item they have entrusted into us to give a new lease of life, it's about the overall experience.
It's about the selection, the purchase and of course, the delivery.
How often have you been excited about a purchase, await it's delivery and found yourself disappointed?
Perhaps it's not arrived within expectations, it's damaged or you've not had a great experience with customer services? It can leave a bitter taste in your mouth and take the shine out of your special purchase.
It's so important to us here at Upcycled Creative that the whole experience when you turn to us with your custom is one of satisfaction and excitement. After all, we like to think of our creations as special and so therefore our customers are special too and deserve nothing less than special treatment.
We decided to team up with DHL back in May 2016 to ensure that our customers would have peace of mind when it comes to the final part of the purchasing process. This part is where we hand over a product that we've put our love, time and attention to detail into, so we want to make sure it's in good hands for the final leg of the 'journey'. That it arrives with our customers with the same TLC that we put into it.
DHL are a partner of #SBS (Small Business Sunday) a small business incentive idea created by Theo Paphitis of which we are proud to say we are winners. You can find out more about our winning story here.
When we attended the event back in February 2016, it was great to meet with the DHL representatives and to commence our business relationship to where we are now in partnership.
DHL is located right next to East Midlands Airport and so therefore gives us a great opportunity to ship our products all over the UK and internationally.
We want to make your experience of investing in an upcyled creation the best it can be. We deliver on creating items you'll love, DHL deliver on delivery!
Back in September 2015, just one month after Markeaton Park re-opened following a £3.5 million refurbishment. Upcycled Creative took on a small unit within the newly renovated craft village at the heart of the park and both have gone from strength to strength.
We started with a small unit and quickly progressed to a larger one, which we now call home after lots of hard work and elbow grease. The unit is unrecognisable from when we first took it on. We have some great neighbours and the craft village is fully occupied with a diverse range of skilled, quality makers and designers.
In total there are eight other businesses based in the village including Paint a Pot, Derby Stained Glass, Studio in the Park, Lilac Joinery, Matthew Morris Furniture, Original Monkey, Cocoa Tabby Chocolate Shop and Sew-n-Jo. With so many talented crafters in one place it is the perfect place to pick up a unique gift.
The craft village is not just home to great businesses; it’s also becoming a well known venue for events, we’ve enjoyed outdoor theatre and are looking forward to the craft village hosting its first ever outdoor cinema events later this month. The action doesn’t stop with the arrival of winter either; plans for Family Festivities at the Park are already taking shape.
It’s fabulous to see Markeaton Park become a regional park attracting visitors far and wide, other activities at the park include Footgolf, Mundy Play Centre, Pitch and Putt, Tennis and Ball Courts, Rowing Boats and Pedalows, Cricket, Train and large Paddling Pool.
Having our business based at the centre of this bustling, beautiful park has been really beneficial for us and the development of Markeaton Park has certainly helped. It’s good to be part of it.
Pop in and see us; we are open Tuesday – Sunday 10am till 4pm.
When you are given the responsibility of adding a new lease of life to an item with sentimental value, it's an honour to share the experience with the owner. After all, they are putting their trust in you to create something that will rekindle their love, without losing any of it's original charm or nostalgia.
Lee, our Creative Director was delighted to work on such an item.
Parcelforce competition winner Stacey Syson of WhiteBeam Photography recently had her childhood rocking horse upcycled into a stylish and fun table. You can read a little more about the transformation and see some pictures of the progress by visiting our previous blog post here.
The rocking horse (we nicknamed him Rocky while he was here with us) is now back with Stacey, and we're really pleased that he's settled back home.
"Thank you so much for giving my rocking horse a whole new life! It was awful seeing him get neglected. I'm happy to say he is now in good use."
We asked her if she could share with us any fond memories she had as a child, so she provided us with this photograph. After all, an image speaks a thousand words.
A potential jockey in the making at a young age? No, Stacey went on to become a talented photographer and we hope you'll head over to her Facebook page to find out more about her work.
Here's an example. A shot of the Rocking Horse as he used to be...
It's been great to work with Parcelforce on making this 'little fella' into a rekindled treasure and we look forward to many more competitions in the future.
Of course, a huge thank you to Stacey for letting us take care of such a sentimental item.
Until next time...
You may recall that we were involved with another competition with Parcelforce over the Bank Holiday weekend where we were giving away two or our awesome creations to lucky winners.
They have now been picked at random and are making their way to their new homes.
Collette Alexander is the lucky winner of the drum table. She runs a chocolate business in Wigan, which at present she runs from home. However, in a few weeks time Collette is excitingly opening her shop where the drum table will feature as a central decor piece. We can't wait to see the final look, so we'll be following Luisco Chocolate via Facebook to see just how she's getting on.
Blake Szemruk has won the pair of lamps. Blake has a Barbers shop in Stoke and he will be creating a new lighting look with our upcycled light sources. We can't wait to see what they look like on the shop floor so we'll be following Blake's Barbers on Facebook too, where we hope to see a few photos of our lamps in action.
It's been great to team up with Parcelforce again, and we look forward to future competitions. If you'd like to be in with a chance to enter, then keep up to date by following us on Twitter @reupcycled
Until next time...
How did you spend your Bank Holiday?
If the weather was nice in your part of the world, then I'm sure a little outdoor activity was on the agenda.
For many of us, our immediate thoughts fall to a nice flame grilled burger on a BBQ, a few refreshing shandies and a gathering of your nearest and dearest. First sign of some sunshine on a bank holiday weekend and supermarkets make sure their shelves are stocked in readiness for stampede!
There's a large percentage of us who like to get out in the garden, mow the lawn or tidy up the flower beds.
Perhaps you just like to escape with an activity? Bike strapped to the roof of the car and off you go for a bit of an adventure, tent packed and you're at one with nature for a few days.
Maybe... and this is the one that we relate to, you want to do something a little more creative. You want to find something a little old, a little tired, a little bit in need of some TLC and give it your attention for a good 3 day weekend to bring it back to life?...
You want to upcycle!
Of course you want to upcycle, who doesn't, it's loads of fun and it has some great benefits too. We thought we'd share with you this blog post from The Hip Horticulturalist with the reasons why many of us turn to upcycling.
Upcycling has become a trendy way to turn trash into treasure, however, it’s so much more than just a cool way to decorate your garden!
Below are five reasons why upcycling is so important in today’s world…(Read more here)
We are now a few months away from our next Bank Holiday break, but that doesn't mean you can't get involved in a little upcycling at any time.
If you are new to turning your junk into something joyful, or if you are a keen upcycler with many projects under your belt then we would love for you to join our creative community on Twitter @reupcycled and facebook.com/upcycledcreative
Until next time....
After the success of our collaboration with Parcelforce in their upcycling competition, we've decided to team up with them again to give two lucky winners a chance to get their hands on one of our creations.
Our pair of lamps are a perfect addition to any bedroom, living room, dining room or wherever you'd like to show them off. Look closely, can you see what they are upcycled from?
We're also giving away a pretty awesome drum table. A perfect resting place for your morning coffee or even one of our other table light creations.
There's no time to waste if you want to get involved as the competition ends at a minute to midnight on Monday. So if you'd like to make your bank holiday extra special, head on over to Facebook and check out this post on Parcelforce Worldwide's page to be in with a chance. You'll find the terms and conditions of the competition there too.
If you'd like to find out more about our creations and further involvement in competitions, then why not follow us on Twitter @reupcycled, Share with us your own upcycled efforts, we'd love to see your creativity unleashed.
If you've been following our last few blog posts, you will know that we've teamed up with Parcelforce for their upcycling competition. An opportunity for a lucky winner to have an item receive a little TLC and a new lease of life.
It's always a pleasure to see what was once loved and cherished but perhaps over the years neglected, have a bit of a make over.
There will be no more hiding this little beauty in the attic or shed, we're pretty confident that the owner of this awesome rocking horse will enjoy what we've done to give it some life back for years to come.
So here's the big reveal...
Lee, our Creative Director here at Upcycled Creative has given 'Rocky' new purpose. Not just to bring a smile to the face of the competition winner, but also as a useful, stylish and fun table. Ideal as an attractive piece for a main living space for those who like to embrace the inner child, or, if there's a youngster(s) in the household, how perfect would this be for a place to sit at and get creative. There will be no other 'homework space' like it.
It's been fun participating with Parcelforce and we hope that in the future, we'll get an opportunity to turn one persons junk into another persons treasure.
It's arrived! The winning item in the Parcelforce upcycling competition has finally come through the doors of our workshop and we're eager to get working to find the hidden beauty in this rocking horse that's ended up looking a little tired and neglected.
Many of us have items in our homes that are full of sentimental value and nostalgia, but we just don't know what to do with them to bring them back to life. It could also be down to the fact that we are a little apprehensive about giving them a new lease of life, in case our creativity goes drastically wrong.
This is where Upcycled Creative teamed up with Parcelforce to give a lucky winner the opportunity of having their cherished item revived by a professional.
We have had a few ideas as to what to do with this little fella, but we'll keep them to ourselves as we would hate to ruin the surprise for the owner. However, we would love to hear your thoughts and creative ideas as to what you would do with a fantastic piece such as this one. Do you have something similar lurking in your home that could do with a little TLC and upcycling 'love'? You can share with us via Twitter @reupcycled.
Keep an eye on our blog as we will be sharing with you the process of this transformation over the next few days.
We hope that Parcelforce will continue to hold further competitions such as this one in the future to really help give a few more forgotten treasures a new chance to shine and maybe inspire a little creativity to us all. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed @parcelforce and Facebook page for future opportunities.
Now it's time for us to turn this Rocking horse into a.....