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One man's treasure is another man's trash
July 11, 2013 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Wretched Refuse is a blog mocking ugly upcyling projects.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants (27 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
THANK YOU. I love Etsy, and I love wine and in fact procure wine-related items from Etsy for a wine merchant, but when all of that "cork-coupage" started turning up on Etsy and Pinterest my thought was "son of Macramé... oh God run away, flee!"
posted by DarlingBri at 7:28 PM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


It is always upscale shit people "upcycle" right?

You don't see people decorating their homes with dry cleaning bags and chewed gum. Well, that is what I put on my windows to keep the wind out but I don't post that shit on instagram to be all like "look at me, I had gum and didn't share"

And those cork eyesores. "La di da, look at me, drinking wine with a cork. I like drinking cork wine so much let me show you my cork ring."

You don't see someone making a ring out of a bud ice cap.

That blogger is pissed about those books!

Fuckers cut up a copy of Anatomy of a Murder to make a bookshelf! They are worse than book-burners, at least book burners hide the evidence. These sick bastards kept the vivisected remains around and on display, like some kind of sick trophy. That is some book desecration Hannibal Lecter level shit.

I bet the blogger is like me and wanted to read Anatomy of a Murder, but now we can't.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:36 PM on July 11, 2013 [17 favorites]


I dunno I think maybe I'm not cut out for the internet, cuz these things seem pretty harmless to me and greeting folks' perhaps unsuccessful aesthetic endeavors with mockery and links to the folks' shit seems... a disproportionate response? I dunno. Like I said.

Ignore this.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:38 PM on July 11, 2013 [11 favorites]


this is a slightly less drunk-sounding and slightly more cruel Regretsy. Which makes it an upscaled Regretsy perhaps??
posted by daisystomper at 7:40 PM on July 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


I read a bunch of old entries on the site and thought the author rode a thin line between mean and snarky, but I was 100% with them on the ruining of beautiful globes into chalk painted spheres. Some old beautiful globes are gone forever as a result, sad.
posted by mathowie at 7:40 PM on July 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


I like this blog! The author of it shows good examples of upcycling as well as bad, and has the discriminating taste required to know the difference and the snark chops to riff on the items that don't pass muster. As some of you may know, I'm all for upcycling, but upcycling projects really should meet certain practical and aesthetic standards.
posted by orange swan at 7:42 PM on July 11, 2013


Does turning milk crates into bookshelves count as 'upcycling'?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:54 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I have to choose between terrariums and the 80s, I choose terrariums.
posted by chortly at 8:02 PM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is using an old CRT TV as a stand for your HDTV "upscaling"?
posted by not_on_display at 8:03 PM on July 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


It is always upscale shit people "upcycle" right?

You don't see people decorating their homes with dry cleaning bags and chewed gum


Family member of mine works for a company called Terracycle that upcycles a bunch of common stuff like chip bags and fruit juice pouches.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:13 PM on July 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


Family member of mine works for a company called Terracycle that upcycles a bunch of common stuff like chip bags and fruit juice pouches.

That's actually kinda cool.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:20 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


A family that we are friends with had a "waste-free" summer last year. If they couldn't compost or recycle stuff, they either sent it to Terracycle or made funky stuff out of it. The mother in the family made a skirt out of yogurt-pop packaging. It was pretty awesome, but probably the type thing that Wretched Refuse or Regretsy would snark about with their snarky snark. Anyway, at the end of last summer they had a half a paper grocery bag of trash. A family of five, including three young kids. So, they win, and snarky snark loses.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:28 PM on July 11, 2013 [16 favorites]


My friend works at a place called Reverse Garbage, that takes people's trash and then sells it to other people.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:29 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can they make me a Bud Ice ring?
posted by Ad hominem at 8:38 PM on July 11, 2013


Some old beautiful globes are gone forever as a result, sad.

Mikala Bierma mocked this sort of 'fupcycling' in DIY Bride - Upcycling
posted by stefanie at 8:57 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


As I understand it upcycling doesn't depend on "classy" materials and just entails making something new from otherwise wasted materials without completely disintegrating the materials in any sort of "real recycling" fashion. It's "re-utilization" beyond "re-use." Bags and wallets are what I hear about most and I'd imagine a lot of the products out there are pricey despite their humble origins, but I'm not certain.
posted by lordaych at 9:07 PM on July 11, 2013


Ad hominem: "Can they make me a Bud Ice ring?"

I could make you a bud ice ring but you'd have to come pick it up in my studio in gowanus and the only form of payment I take is barter for cruelty/gluten free and diner's club

Also there's an 18 month wait list right now
posted by danny the boy at 9:08 PM on July 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


My parents had friends from 30-something college that upcycled Corona bottles into bongs. AHEAD OF THEIR TIME! They also were into Ben and Jerry's and Fat Tire (with swing top bottles or whatever you call 'em) before they were cool. I was young and had no idea what the Corona bongs were for until years later when I watched a measured HBO special about teh drugz
posted by lordaych at 9:16 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who knew Bud Ice rings were so popular, as far as ironic jewlery goes they must be the mustache pendant of 2013. And who knew that diner's club still existed sure you can't take discover?
posted by Ad hominem at 9:16 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was pretty awesome, but probably the type thing that Wretched Refuse or Regretsy would snark about with their snarky snark

In fairness Regretsy would go probably only after her if she were trying to flog it for $200. Or tragicrafting it with an eagle and an image of whatever celebrity had just died.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 12:33 AM on July 12, 2013


Reusing trash that would otherwise go into a landfill is one thing. But I'm cool with the mean snark when people mess up perfectly functional stuff in the name of "up-cycling." Those globes? Those books? The endless shitty "cake stands" made out of perfectly good glasses and plates? The wrenches? That piano?!? Congrats, you turned something functional into lame wall decor that'll end up in a landfill eventually because no one can use it and it's ugly. If you don't want it, donate it to a thift shop, please.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:11 AM on July 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


Eh, I don't know, seems like she's pretty approving of actual cool design, like purses woven out of candy wrappers.

But yeah, what is it with those endless shitty "cake stands" made out of perfectly good glasses and plates? And then you're supposed to put hooks around them and hook your necklaces to them, or arrange your nail polish collection around them? All I see is a loud crash waiting to happen (look! I upcycled my bedroom and some unused nail polishes into a DIY Jackson Pollock!).

Not to mention that if you, sir, have so few necklaces/nail polishes that storing them on a shitty cake stand is a viable option, then you, sir, are just not trying. I sentence thee to watch any number of terrifying makeup storage videos because those always give me palpitations and I have to have a lie down for a while.
posted by tel3path at 2:25 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


...I was 100% with them on the ruining of beautiful globes into chalk painted spheres.

Whoa whoa whoa. I have one of these right here next to me and it is great for doing spherical geometry on.
posted by DU at 3:56 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


let me show you my cork ring.

Maybe you should keep that to yourself...
wait what
posted by Gordafarin at 4:20 AM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I upcycled my climate change rage into some terrific anxiety. It's really easy, guys!
posted by orme at 5:02 AM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh the tears to be shed over all these "perfectly good" globes! By "perfectly good" we mean, of course, almost completely useless unless we're specifically interested in the geopolitical situation in, say, 1972. And even then, most globes are actually of such poor quality that beyond a general "oh, yeah, that's the continents relate to each other" they serve precisely zero practtical purpose.

Snarking at bad design is all very well--though kinda pointless when it's just private citizens blogging their enthusiasms--but upcycling your mean spirited snark into bullshit sanctimoniousness about the precious, precious resources being destroyed by giving it a veneer of specious moral urgency seems, well, shabby.
posted by yoink at 10:15 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


unless we're specifically interested in the geopolitical situation in, say, 1972

I once spent a drunken evening trying to date a globe at the Atlas Cafe by the countries is displayed. We had a no Wikipedia rule. It was kinda of fun.

Normally I hate these sites, a bunch of a-holes shitting on everyone's effort and drawing attention to themselves while mocking the crafter's desire to share something they are proud of. Let me come over and wipe my ass with your kid's refrigerator art, while you're at it.

However, this site does take pains to show upcycling that is creative, environmental beneficial and displays excellent craftsmanship.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:44 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


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