Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Upcycling Beyond Seattle

Last week I returned from a "sister weekend" in Phoenix, Arizona with a very weak suntan but a greater appreciation of the word "culture".  Vintage items, of course, are simply a preservation of past cultures. My first thoughts during the drive to the hotel were about the bland landscape (minus a few cactii), the heat and the monotone way in which people decorate. Everything seems built around rock and clay.  Seattle is abounding in green and blue (and a lot of grey), so to see beige houses against beige lanscape was a shocker.

What I didn't appreciate that day was the reason why things are the way they are.  Native Americans know from wisdom passed down through many generations that the heat is abated with certain colors, that clay is abundant and regenerative and an easy material to work, and that Turqoise is a spark of  beautiful color against a parched background. So those things work into a very specific culture that is recognizable around the world as "Southwest". 

I had no intent to seek out vintage treasures in Arizona.  I hoped to enjoy some very modern conveniences like a pool chair, a beach towel, and a really cool grotto style pool. Not to mention some very nice looking bar boys!  But, as I stumbled upon some cool things I wished that my business partner, Cheree, could have been there to check it out with me. 

Wagon wheels upcycled into chairs!  I love the irony that a wheel, who's main purpose in life was to "Go" is now repurposed into a funtion of "Sit, Wait, Rest". Old Town Scottsdale.

Arizona license plates get a new life as purses.

My dressing room had a garbage can lid as a chair!

My favorite find--though not truly vintage, the basement bar had a "Speak Easy" feel to it with a stone-lined  stairwell and dark atmosphere.

Always keep your eyes never know what you will find!

Jill and Cheree

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