Smash Books & Upcycling

Reusing became renewing became recycling became repurposing became upcycling.  Sort of.

Actually, each of these are simply names for doing something new or different with something old or used or originally designed for another use.   Each are probably unique in application, though.  I smugly threw them all together but I know there’s a difference between reusing and recycling for example.  I can’t think of an example right off the top of my head, but I’m confident there’s a difference.  This is only possible because I’ve seen art.  And I’ve seen Art.  I’ve heard music… and I’ve heard…

So, Amelia came in to ask if we could go and purchase a Smash Book. I wondered what this product might be — no, I really wondered what this product might cost!  I think, Don’t jump to conclusions about this item… it’s probably not what it sounds like.  And then Sara reminded me she’d gotten one for her sister.  Hmmm, again I think, it really must not be anything at all what I’m imagining. So I thought I’d look up just what a Smash Book is.  And then I see a new word I’m not familiar with:  Upcycling.  Trying to give respect, I think, there must be a reason they’re not saying “recycling” or “repurposing.”  So… Wiki.  Yes, that’s where I often turn when I hear or read something unfamiliar.  Or forgotten.  In this case, unfamiliar.

I’m not even so last year on this on.  Apparently, there is a 1999 book,  Upcycling. According to Wikipedia:

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

The first recorded use of the term upcycling was by Reiner Pilz of Pilz GmbH in an interview by Thornton Kay of Salvo in 1994.[1]

We talked about the impending EU Demolition Waste Streams directive. “Recycling,” he said, “I call it downcycling. They smash bricks, they smash everything. What we need is upcycling where old products are given more value not less.” He despairs of the German situation and recalls the supply of a large quantity of reclaimed woodblock from an English supplier for a contract in Nuremberg while just down the road a load of similar blocks was scrapped. In the road outside his premises, was the result of the Germans’ demolition waste recycling. It was a pinky looking aggregate with pieces of handmade brick, old tiles and discernible parts of useful old items mixed with crushed concrete. Is this the future for Europe?

So, reusing old or other materials and give them greater value.   As I read this I think to myself, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and value is in the hand of the buyer. And then my imagination sort of went on a journey… and began to think of the gazillion possibilities.  Well, at least hundreds!  It’s a scrapbook, it’s a journal, it’s a collage, it’s a collection… it’s a Smash Book.  Or whatever other name you’ll assign to the creation.  I mean, there are often dual purposes for words.  Just consider the word smash!


Here are some more Smash book ideas and instructions:
Altered Fantasy’s Upcycling blog-posts in this series.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6


May you always be blessed. ♥ ps

2 thoughts on “Smash Books & Upcycling

  1. Ouida, I love hearing from you. It sure sounds like Jubilee is a wonderful girl! You got what I meant about things being renamed and still being journals! :o) I’ll bet her work is lovely and I sure hope she saves them as mementos of days gone by for reminiscing in her older years. I love that you encourage her so. :o)

    Happy day to you, with love. ♥

  2. My daughter Jubilee has been doing this for a a few years. She calls it a journal though. She cuts out pictures from magazines, photos or pastes letters in there from friends. She sketch things that interest her or write story ideas that come to her throughout the day – AND NIGHT!!! She goes through a couple journals a year – last year she had 4, I believe. I let her carry on as she wishes. She is not hurting anything and it is fun to see drawings that she did from her younger years, as well as see how her writing and thought process has changed over the last few years. I guess I will have to show her the video and tell her how “hip and cool” she is. 🙂 She will smile and carry on just as she has always done. I love it when children don’t care what the world is doing. They just walk in the direction they know they are destined for. If they are pointed in the right direction then this is a very good thing! I am so very blessed with these children God has given me.

    Ouida Gabriel

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