Monday, November 7, 2016

Upcycle by Melinda Curtis

I am fascinated by the show Salvage Dawgs on the DIY Network. In it, a pair of Navy vets and their friends/family save parts of old buildings (or ships, trucks, planes...you get the idea). Anyway, they take these bits of "salvage" and some of it gets repurposed into tables, benches, porch swings, lights...You name it, they've made it into something new! (see bathtub swing below)


In my latest Heartwarming - Marrying the Single Dad - my heroine is an upcycle artist. Which means - you guessed it - Brittany takes junk and makes it pretty or useful again. This would be completely awesome to everyone if she didn't sometimes take antique car parts, which offends my hero Joe, an auto mechanic. Ah, shades of American Pickers and their love of Knucklehead motorcycles. In fact, she used a Knucklehead antique motorcycle frame to make a mermaid sculpture inspired by this:


I was so inspired, that when my husband cracked our toilet tank, I decided to upcycle it. That's right. I put a toilet tank in my back yard and planted flowers in it. (I was hoping my daughter-in-law would come paint something on it, but that didn't happen.)

And by the way, I'll be posting a Sit-Down Saturday soon, but I just wanted to give kudos to the Heartwarming staff, because I love the blurb for this book. It starts out with the header: A Man Called Joe (which is a line of internal thought from heroine Brittany).

Blurb: Building a new life for himself and his preteen daughter brings Joe Messina home to Harmony Valley. That and showing his town that the onetime bad boy is now a responsible single father. His first move is to get his grandfather's defunct garage up and running. Except now he's got the FBI poking around, and there's a beautician with her eye on the abandoned auto parts. An artist who's happiest turning rusty junk into sought-after treasure, San Francisco transplant Brittany Lambridge is making Joe think they can create something rare and special together. But he has unfinished family business that could jeopardize his fresh start. Is Joe ready to believe in himself as fiercely as Brittany's beginning to believe in him?

Have you ever "upcycled" something? Or thought about upcycling something, but just not gotten around to it? Would love to hear about it...

Melinda Curtis is an award-winning USA Today bestseller. She's got lots of releases in November - two from Harlequin Heartwarming - Marrying the Single Dad and A Heartwarming Thanksgiving - and a box set with all proceeds benefiting Diabetes research (yes, all proceeds!). And don't forget to check out A Heartwarming Holiday, a 99c box set with a 20% off coupon for your next Heartwarming purchase!



21 comments:

  1. It's a busy month for your, Melinda. Congratulations and best wishes for all your releases doing phenomenally well!

    As for "upcycling," does giving a little stone dog that was in one of the back gardens when I bought this house a new "coat" and keeping him in the garden count?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations on your latest release, Melinda. I love the blurb!
    I can't think of anything that I've upcycled, but I do remember hearing about some people in another country who used trash to make musical instruments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would have been my mother - the 1st/2nd grade teacher, Jill. LOL

      Delete
  3. Your book sounds fun, Melinda. I have a soft place in my heart for mechanics since my dad was one. I guess great minds think alike because my November book has a character who upcycles items and drives her friends crazy by stopping at every trash heap to look for 'treasures'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We should have done a promotion on how to create art from trash, Patti!

      Delete
  4. Mel, like Patti, my dad was a machinist and he also made things out of brass. For instance, we had brass elephants about 20 inches high that he turned into lawn sprinklers. Everyone who went past the house loved to watch them water the lawn. And he and my mom never threw anything away. They turned it into something workable. People aren't doing that so much any more. Kudos to those men on the TV show. And I just finished your book on the Single Dad. Loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Roz. Your parents sound precious

      Delete
  5. Mel, what a fun premise for a book. I love upcycled stuff. My 90-year-old father-in-law is a master at this. He comes from that generation where people fixed things instead of buying new so nothing is ever truly "broken" and if it is it can always be re-purposed. A lot of stuff he "upcylces" without realizing he's doing it, lol. Like Roz mentioned, people don't do this as much these days. I love the idea that it might be coming back around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My brother wants to upcycle, but he just kind of hoards :0

      Delete
  6. I think your Brittany might have to make a visit to Butterfly Harbor and help someone upcycle some stuff . Great post, Mel! Love that you turned the toilet tank into a planter. Nice!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love the sound of your book, Mel. A very elegant bathroom sink in a wooden cabinet that my neighbor had put out on the curb for trash collection is now a plant holder in my dining room. We also have a table in the hallway my husband created out of the remains of a boat washed up on the beach. Love the idea that something once loved lives on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great, Muriel! We need to upcycle more as a society and those things can still give someone pleasure

      Delete
  8. We bought a house in winter. When the snow melted, there was a canoe in the back yard. Twenty-six years later, it's still there. My husband wants to fill it with potting soil and grow vegetables in it. If we ever get around to that, it might be cool.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nope, never upcycled anything. I don't think, but reading this makes me want to. :-) The book sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wish I had the talent for upcycling! I love some of the things people do and post on Pinterest. I know someone who does upcycle furniture and turns trash into treasure. I love when she posts her pictures on Facebook. Congrats on a busy November. So many good things from you this month :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. You're post is too funny! When I was a kid, my grandmother used everything to plant flowers in. In our yard we had an old washing machine tub, a bathtub, a toiled and an old fashioned cook stove full of flowers. I was always embarrassed because I thought it made up look redneck. I had no idea she was way before her time. Now everyone is upcycling!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Although I don't think I've gotten around to actually upcycling anything yet, I enjoy seeing great creations by others. (I'm probably more like your brother Melinda. I hoard with the intention of upcycling.) People can be so creative. I like what your husband did with the toilet tank. Your new book sounds fun - I like the blurb. Congratulations!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have a one year old puppy. Anything I'd epicycle would have chew marks on it. I do love the bathtub couch :)
    What a great idea for a book :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I don't think I've done it, but I remember someone who had a beautiful black statue of--I think--the Madonna. It had once been white but the woman had "broke her so often she wasn't very pretty anymore." The closest I come is having pens and pencils in cracked cups. :-)

    ReplyDelete