Compost: The Garbage Disposal Nature Intended

Happy Valentine’s Day. Nothing says after-dinner romance like plates piled high, trash overflowing and someone screaming from the kitchen sink: “THIS PIECE OF SH*T GARBAGE DISPOSER ISN’T WORKING AGAIN!”

Why even waste time with a garbage disposer? Start a compost! Heck, ditch those nightly chats with the curb trash for a garden.

"Do I look like the Jolly Green Giant to you?"

So, you don’t have a green thumb. Guess what? You’ve got nine other fingers to pick up the slack! Roll up those sleeves because you’re bound to get down and dirty.

Now, let’s break it down.

Location. Location. Location.

No matter where you are and what space you have available, composting can be convenient!

Mountain Men and the Country Strong

Designate a cool, shaded area near your house. This will minimize travel when dumping your compostable waste.

Urbanites

If you have a small yard-patch, balcony or porch, pick an easily accessible spot away from the sun.

Apartment Dwellers

No outdoor space? No worries, read on for alternative solutions.

Not able to garden or compost?

Skip to the last section to find a recycling center that accepts and composts yard/food waste.

Say Yes to The Bin.

DIY

The most basic, inexpensive type of compost bin is actually a compost “pile,” a container-free, 8” deep earth bed filled with a fiber base (straw, newspaper, etc) on top of which you can pile your compostable waste.

If you are a beginner gardener and handy, building your own compost bin is probably the next most affordable, eco-friendly option. You can build a simple, wood compost crate with easy instructions from Earth Easy.

Ready-made

If swiping that credit card is as handy as you get, many types of ready-made bins are also available at your local home improvement store and online.

  1. The Fiskar’s Collapsible Eco Bin

    image

    This collapsible design provides easy set-up and allows earthworms to aerate your bin, helping speed the composting process. Fiskar’s bin comes with steaks to secure in ground, a wind-resistant lid and durable material that upholds the natural elements. This is ideal for those who have an open backyard or small yard-patch.

  2. The Tumbleweed Rotating Composter.

    image

    This Aussi is 100% UV protected, recycled plastic with a galvanized steel frame. It’s a bit pricy, but a sturdy, high quality contender for the serious gardener or landscaper. Simply spin the Tumbleweed once every few days and you won’t have to tediously toss with a pitchfork. It speeds up the composting process, while locking in odors and keeping out unwanted pests!

  3. Vermicomposting

    If you know Latin, then you know what that means: worms. Vermicomposting is perhaps the most unique, yet the most common composting technique - when combined with other forms of composting. Worms actually provide a self-sustainable method of aerating your compost. Plus, they dig it! If you can get past the ew factor, check out One/Change for an easy tutorial of how to build your own indoor worm composting bin.

    I didn’t insert a photo of a worm bin for fear of inducing nightmares, buuuuuut I did find this interactive game!

    image

    To learn more fun facts about vermicomposting, check out CalRecycle and play The Adventures of Vermi The Worm.

    Onto some options for those who are either cursed with two black thumbs, live in an apartment with no way out or just want to ride the green movement…

  4. The Bokashi Compost Bucket Kit

    image

    Anyone who searches for composting solutions in hopes of finding something as self-sustainable and affordable as possible, will of course end up finding it in - where else - Japan. This modern adaptation of an ancient method approaches producing compost by not even composting it. Based on old, traditional Korean farming methods, the Bokashi system ferments your food waste by alternating it with layers of bran and then compressing it all together. Check out the video demonstration from Bokashi.

    The Bokashi bucket has an air-tight seal and works anaerobically, providing some unique benefits. The main advantage is the ability to compost ANY food waste, even meat, fish, dairy and animal fats. It also circumvents much of the methane and other greenhouse gas emissions of traditional composting. It’s also quite small—you can fit it under your sink!

    Bokashi produces a sweet-smelling, fermented waste product that can be put directly into your garden soil or brought to your local community garden. Throughout the process, you can use the leftover liquid byproduct to water plants or to clean household drains and pipes. This is the ZERO-WASTE composter!

  5. The NatureMill Automatic Indoor Composting System

    image

    All you tech-loving hipsters who want to go green, but haven’t the green thumb or space, look no further and click that link! Though the hefty $395 price tag may seem like it just virtually mugged you, rest assured you will get back every last penny in free time. You MUST read on about this discreet, does-it-all-for-you gadget.

    The NatureMill is sustainably made to be sustainable. Its compact design fits in a standard kitchen cabinet, but can compost food waste for a family of five. Made with stainless steel and recycled food grade polyethylene, this composter is built to be tough, yet only uses 5 watts of energy per month.

    A NatureMill composter recycles its own weight in waste within 10 days, diverting over two tons of waste in landfills over its life (How It Works, Nature Mill).

    NatureMill’s fun and approachable design allows kids to safely participate without worrisome parents, passing on the important responsibility of reducing landfill waste. Plus, it teaches them how to care for a garden! If that’s not saving our future planet, then what is?

    I saved the best for last in this section because the NatureMill has some really intuitive functions. It aerates your compostable waste with an internal air filtration system, eliminating unwanted odor. That means you can compost any type of food waste: meat, fish, dairy, you name it! It is the only dual compartment system, which allows you to access your usable compost product from one compartment, while continuing to collect more compostable waste in another. Just fill with your plate scraps, claim your compost prize, switch out the drip tray and you’re done.

    No pitch-forking, no tumbling, no worms, no noise, no odor, no mess…you’ll actually forget you even own one.

Keep Calm, Compost and Carry On.

Oh just picture everyone checking out their carts online, anticipating their new compost bins in the mail, ripping open their packages, deciphering complicated instructions and then, panicking as they suddenly realize…

"Wait a second, I don’t even know what or how to compost!"

If you decide to go with NatureMill or an anaerobic composting system like Bokashi, you can skip this section. If you are going the more adventurous route by using a traditional, outdoor compost bin, continue reading for types of food waste you can compost, exceptions you’ll want to avoid and tips that will enhance your results.

Getting the Most out of your Outdoor Compost Bin

Once you set up your compost bin, you can start collecting an assortment of food and yard waste to compost (What to Compost, Earth Easy). There are two basic methods to composting: hot and cold. A "cold" compost is when you collect food/yard waste into an outdoor pile, rotate it every few weeks and allow it to decompose over a long period of time (6-12 months). If you have ample outdoor space, want the least amount of maintenance and are in no hurry, you can simply stick to the cold compost method.

However, if you grow a year-round garden, a "hot" compost can provide a compost product with optimal benefits in a short amount of time. A hot compost requires you to collect food/yard waste with a carbon-nitrogen balance, allow it to build heat (hence its name) and rotate it every other day. Unlike a cold compost the carbon-nitrogen balance in a hot compost produces a finer, more desirable texture similar to black humus. It also aids in eradicating seeds and plant diseases, allowing you to compost more types of food/yard waste. Most importantly, a hot compost will leave you with a high volume of usable compost product. Check it out in this helpful diagram (Composting Materials and the C:N Balance, Deep Green Permaculture).

Hot Compost: The Berkeley Method

I will be referencing the Berkeley method (developed by the University of California, Berkeley), which produces a hot compost in roughly 18 days. To compost with confidence, follow the instructions below:

  1. Layer Brown Material

    Start with an 8” deep layer of brown material. This includes, but is not limited to straw, corn cobs, stalks, branches, dead leaves, ash (from wood and leaves), paper towels and napkins, cardboard and shredded paper.

    The fiber and carbon content from these brown materials will help drain moisture and aerate your compost.

    Tip: Chop up brown material to speed up the decomposition process.

  2. Add Green Material

    Next, add a layer of green material. This can be vegetable/fruit scraps, flowers, plants, weeds, grass clippings, ground coffee, tea leaves/bags, seaweed and more.

    Avoid perennials and any diseased plants if you cannot maintain a hot compost. Seeds, insects and pathogens can survive and spread into unwanted areas.

    Eggshells are neutral but can be added with green material. Wash any eggshells to prevent Salmonella contamination.

    Meat, fish, bones and pet manure are not recommended as they can cause heavy odors which attract animals/pests, may contaminate food crops, and take much longer to breakdown in typical aerobic environments.

    Tip: Boost your compost with green sources high in nitrogen, such as clover, cowpeas, buckwheat and more. This accelerates the decomposition of slow-process brown materials.

  3. Maintain a Carbon-Nitrogen Balance

    Fill your compost bin/pile by alternating layers of green and brown material, keeping a carbon-nitrogen ratio of 25-30:1. This means layer with 25-30 parts of green material and then layer with 1 part of brown material, repeat.

    To ensure a hot compost, it is essential to maintain this balance for temperature and moisture control. Otherwise, the decomposition process can delay or mold, and other unwanted issues can form.

    Tip: Add more brown material if compost has a strong odor or feels too warm or wet. Add green material if compost feels too cold, dry or clumpy.

    Tip: Cover after each time you add more material to regulate temperature and drainage, which will prevent heat loss and excess moisture.

  4. Add Water and Rest

    Once your compost bin/pile is full, water the top layer until evenly wet. Allow it to drain to the bottom. Cover and let rest for 4 days.

  5. Rotate With Pitchfork

    Turn your compost over (outside in and then inside out) with a pitchfork or shovel every other day until it reaches a fine, soil-like consistency.

    This rotation provides oxygen. A hot compost is an aerobic process, which means it relies on oxygen to decompose your bin’s contents.

    Tip: Once your compost product smells sweet and reaches a “shredded” consistency, if desired, you can just use it as a mulch!

Filthy Rich / Black Gold

(You can tell this has been such a long post, when Justin Timberlake comes up on shuffle for the 100th time.)

Now that you have a finished product, you are probably wondering what to do with your “black gold.”

Share It!

For apartment dwellers with no garden/outdoor space or indoor plants to condition, you can always bring your compost to a local community garden or recycling center. Don’t know where to locate one? The American Community Gardening Association allows you to search for a community garden near you by zipcode (The Bi-National Community Garden Database, ACGA). And even if you wanted to just skip the whole damn composting process, you can find a recycling center that accepts yard and/or food waste via Earth911.

Get Dirty With It!

How you use your compost depends on whether you used an aerobic or anaerobic composting method.

Anaerobic Systems

For Bokashi and other anaerobic systems, you can incorporate your fermented waste product directly into your garden or potted plants by burying it in a 6” deep trench and then recovering it with the remaining soil. You can also add the fermented waste product to a worm bin or compost pile, if you want it to fully break down to a fine consistency. For trouble-shooting and other tips, check out Bokashi’s FAQ.

Traditional, Aerobic Systems

With the NatureMill and other traditional composting systems, there are different ways to condition garden and potted soil with your compost product. For instance, if your compost is a fine consistency, you can use it to “amend” soil that is poor in quality by increasing the amount of organic matter in it. Simply mix your compost into the soil, about 3” deep. For potting soil, try mixing your compost with natural additives like permilite and vermiculite.

If you’ve ended up with something not-so-fine, you can apply it instead as a “mulch,” about 3” above the soil surface. This will help insulate your plants, while still allowing elements to penetrate. The compost mulch will not function as a weed killer unless you blend it with traditional mulch.

Lastly, have a cup of compost tea! Compost tea is ideal for spraying indoor plant leaves to naturally remove dust and other allergens, while giving potted plants an extra nutrient boost. Just wrap your compost into a cheesecloth, secure with a knot, let soak in a container of water for one hour and then remove the compost tea parcel. Use the remaining liquid to directly water or spray plants. You can reference these guidelines for more info on how to use your compost in your garden (How To Use Compost, University of Florida).

HURRAH!

You’re done! Or maybe you effed up and have to start over? Either way, the important thing is learning how much of a difference reducing your waste by just one trash bag a week can make in the grand scheme of landfill waste. You, little you, and your compost bin could be the insignificant detail (though I think you’re pretty damn significant) that prevents another Garbage Island from forming somewhere out in our oceans. So please: get dirty, mail-order some worms, have a mud fight…whatever it takes, just try this. You don’t need a green thumb, you just need a pair of wide open, green eyes and to take a look at what’s being thrown out around you.

Do your bit!

Happy New Year! fellow Tid Bits-ers and ettes.  Toot those horns, blow those whistles, rattle those noise-makers…

…just don’t throw them out, please.

All week, I have been thinking about re-opening this quite dusty blog and more importantly, contemplating what to offer as the first tasting of the New Year.  Anything and everything was on the chopping block.  When I say everything, I mean everything - from sustainable underwear to painting walls…in your sustainable underwear.  Once all these ridiculous ideas and their frivolities were cleared aside, I realized you’re not here tonight just for the dinner, rather the table conversation.

So here is what I have prepared for tonight’s gathering:

For 2013, I want all of you to start helping Tid Bits keep your unwanted household products out of your local neighborhood waste dump.  Tid Bits is now personally collecting the items below and will be adding more to the list as efforts progress.  Drop-off box locations are currently in the process of being arranged.  If you or anyone you know owns a local business in the Poconos/Northeast PA region and is interested in hosting a drop-off box, please email makeitatidbit@gmail.com.  

It’s very simple. Here’s how you can participate:

1. Start collecting the following items:

   - Spice bottle caps and sifters

   - wine corks (synthetic and natural), champagne (or other bottle) wire cages

   - CDs, DVDs, vinyl records and cassette tapes, intact or broken

   - guitar strings

   - flat cardboard boxes (not corrugated)

   - candy wrappers

   - chip bags

   - coffee bags

2. Pack as many listed items as possible into a reused or recycled box (no bigger than 20” x 20” x 20”).

3. Email makeitatidbit@gmail.com with your name and location (city, state).

4. Mail your awesome box to the private address provided to you via Facebook. 

   - Please Note: if you live in the Poconos/Northeast PA, I will personally pick-up your box!

   - As a thank you, each contribution will receive a 10% off coupon valid on any Tid Bits purchase

5. Sit back, relax and wait for your coupon to arrive (which actually won’t take long, thanks to Zee Internet).

So now, go!  Start pedaling!  Upcycle!

Happy Birthday to you, Dr. Seuss!
I am very aware that there are probably about 5,000,000,000,000,000,000+ other blogs posting about Dr. Seuss today.  Without doubt, he is that awesome of a writer, artist and person.
But that’s not why I am dedicating this post to Dr. Seuss.
When it comes to books, I have the visual attention span of a little kid.  Exaggerated scales, bright colors, simple shapes and silly, made-up words.  That’s it.  I don’t want complicated, hidden meanings or realistic images.  I don’t want to read about real life, I want to read something that comes alive.  In the wise words of Spoon, “gimme fiction.”  I am 25 years old and that hasn’t changed. 
Go in my closet (here, you’re going to need this torch) and you’ll find my teeny tiny book collection that houses the basics: Seuss, Dahl, Silverstein, Carle, Burton and Rowling.  These writers don’t seem to be so concerned with real life either.  In fact, they make fun of it.  And I understand why.  Look up the beginnings of almost all of these writers and there in big font is a common theme, "IT’LL NEVER SELL."  Whether consciously so or not, the work of these accomplished artists repeatedly illustrates a certain motive to defy that annoying barrier that most of us today can now thankfully replace with what we know as artistic license.
Dr. Seuss tells stories that are more personal than teaching right from wrong.  He shares with us a life learned through struggle - and sometimes, unfairness.  He channels the triumphant power of courage and persistence, in the most inspiring, sing-along manner.  To me, this post is about something that personal.  
For the past several years, I have found myself stuck somewhere between can’t and never.  Professionally, I felt like I was slowly being caved in by shadowy figures who didn’t really believe in me.  I kept ping-ponging between their criticisms of “that’s art” and “that’s not architecture.”  They made me a thinker, but no longer a believer.  I had gone in at 18 loud, proud and crazy.  By the time I got out, my work had succumbed to the expectations of cold, functional realities and was lost of my identity.  Wasn’t long after I felt like I too, was no longer me.  Personally,  I also felt trapped by a strict confinement to fit a certain mold: graduate, find a job, make money, marry, have kids.  What do you mean you are not just going to do architecture after all? What else was that $90k for????  Again, I had to face cold, functional realities.   I’m sure this may upset or offend some, but I owe those the truth.  Every part of me felt like it was turning gray and fading into the background.  With the worries of pleasing everyone else but me, I was invisible.
Enter Dr. Seuss.  I remember a specific day in August of last year I had gone into a local bookstore to purchase a special birthday gift for someone.  I had previously done all the extensive research and my visit was supposed to be a quick, one-stop shop.  I ended up sitting on the floor going through piles of Dr. Seuss books until I was finally escorted out the store at closing time.  The way in which the bright colors of Seuss’s characters popped against gray and subdued backgrounds made me fall in love with his books all over again.  It made me fall in love with me all over again.
I had gone home and started drawing.  The next few weeks I was trying all kinds of (both old and new) things: painting, writing, dancing, making jewelry, collaging cards, running, yelling, etc.  I didn’t stop.
Dr. Seuss made me come alive. This is what I found so crucial to all of a sudden drop everything and get my coloring pencils out.  I couldn’t draw heavily enough in this post how much those huge letters pictured up above spell out the greatest advice I’ve come across in a long time.  To think I found it all for just the price of $14.95 goes to show you that how much money you make means nothing.
P.S. The fact that spell-check recognizes “Suess” wraps up just how important he is to adults as he is to kids.  If you haven’t already, visit Seussville.

Happy Birthday to you, Dr. Seuss!

I am very aware that there are probably about 5,000,000,000,000,000,000+ other blogs posting about Dr. Seuss today.  Without doubt, he is that awesome of a writer, artist and person.

But that’s not why I am dedicating this post to Dr. Seuss.

When it comes to books, I have the visual attention span of a little kid.  Exaggerated scales, bright colors, simple shapes and silly, made-up words.  That’s it.  I don’t want complicated, hidden meanings or realistic images.  I don’t want to read about real life, I want to read something that comes alive.  In the wise words of Spoon, “gimme fiction.”  I am 25 years old and that hasn’t changed. 

Go in my closet (here, you’re going to need this torch) and you’ll find my teeny tiny book collection that houses the basics: Seuss, Dahl, Silverstein, Carle, Burton and Rowling.  These writers don’t seem to be so concerned with real life either.  In fact, they make fun of it.  And I understand why.  Look up the beginnings of almost all of these writers and there in big font is a common theme, "IT’LL NEVER SELL."  Whether consciously so or not, the work of these accomplished artists repeatedly illustrates a certain motive to defy that annoying barrier that most of us today can now thankfully replace with what we know as artistic license.

Dr. Seuss tells stories that are more personal than teaching right from wrong.  He shares with us a life learned through struggle - and sometimes, unfairness.  He channels the triumphant power of courage and persistence, in the most inspiring, sing-along manner.  To me, this post is about something that personal. 

For the past several years, I have found myself stuck somewhere between can’t and never.  Professionally, I felt like I was slowly being caved in by shadowy figures who didn’t really believe in me.  I kept ping-ponging between their criticisms of “that’s art” and “that’s not architecture.”  They made me a thinker, but no longer a believer.  I had gone in at 18 loud, proud and crazy.  By the time I got out, my work had succumbed to the expectations of cold, functional realities and was lost of my identity.  Wasn’t long after I felt like I too, was no longer me.  Personally,  I also felt trapped by a strict confinement to fit a certain mold: graduate, find a job, make money, marry, have kids.  What do you mean you are not just going to do architecture after all? What else was that $90k for????  Again, I had to face cold, functional realities.   I’m sure this may upset or offend some, but I owe those the truth.  Every part of me felt like it was turning gray and fading into the background.  With the worries of pleasing everyone else but me, I was invisible.

Enter Dr. Seuss.  I remember a specific day in August of last year I had gone into a local bookstore to purchase a special birthday gift for someone.  I had previously done all the extensive research and my visit was supposed to be a quick, one-stop shop.  I ended up sitting on the floor going through piles of Dr. Seuss books until I was finally escorted out the store at closing time.  The way in which the bright colors of Seuss’s characters popped against gray and subdued backgrounds made me fall in love with his books all over again.  It made me fall in love with me all over again.

I had gone home and started drawing.  The next few weeks I was trying all kinds of (both old and new) things: painting, writing, dancing, making jewelry, collaging cards, running, yelling, etc.  I didn’t stop.

Dr. Seuss made me come alive. This is what I found so crucial to all of a sudden drop everything and get my coloring pencils out.  I couldn’t draw heavily enough in this post how much those huge letters pictured up above spell out the greatest advice I’ve come across in a long time.  To think I found it all for just the price of $14.95 goes to show you that how much money you make means nothing.

P.S. The fact that spell-check recognizes “Suess” wraps up just how important he is to adults as he is to kids.  If you haven’t already, visit Seussville.

Re:Up

Today I strolled my cart through the jungle of supermarket chaos known as ShopWRONG.  I noticed sticker labels such as “eco-friendly” and “all natural” and the always obscurely capped percentile “recycled” (like 55.5847387483% post-consumer waste). Seems they have increasingly crept their way onto the packaging of basically every product - from trendy to generic.  The disgruntled designer inside me couldn’t help but ragingly knock down the entire household cleaners/detergents aisle.  Luckily, my super-hippie, alter ego swung through on a vine just in time to swoosh all observing shoppersby to the magical, self-materializing book/magazine aisle conveniently stocked with the co-authored revelations of William McDonald and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.

Alright, that didn’t really happen.  The book is real though, you can find it here.  Please do.

It seems more people are unknowingly getting tangled in the weeds of smart marketing and not understanding the basic instincts of “going green.”  The cop-out commercialism takes with recycling (née downcycling) is keeping innovative concepts in design underwatered and their blooms depreciated.

Tid Bits is still a new-born brand to me.  I have yet to graduate from a beginner’s level of entrepreneurship.  Better, I have yet to even learn 0.1% of how to plant this business’s seed and nurture it beyond more than just a slight shade of green. Like every other average consumer, I too have been misled and taken by today’s survival guide for everything automated, mass-produced and regurgitated, and my business is just learning to cultivate its own path.

The stick up my ass in regards to today’s environmental talk is that consumers are only taking away the emphasis on materiality and technology.  Whereas, the benefits founded by environmentalism can only really begin with greener methodology. 

But enough soil, now for some fresh water and light.

The left, hipster side of my brain finds beauty in the “handmade,” in its limitless possibility.  How we classify the way we make things and the thinking behind how things can be remade can really make for some beautiful relationships between art and function.  The personal touch of a hand on a material that has already been touched millions of times by strangers, is the most oxymoronic, yet inspiring art form to me.  Thinking of how to minimize through repurposing what we consume not only outshines what recycling can perform, but also renews our working attitude with a fresh sense of creativity, identity and spunk.  A material can be limited by its form, but when separated from its intended function, it can create something entirely new.  By new, I do not mean in quantity, but in quality, something unique that has never before been done. 

I am a firm believer that when we work within tight constraints it doesn’t force us to work our way around them, it inspires us to create our way outside them. 

It’s our responsibility to treat those constraints as a wall to bounce off new ideas and practices.  I am constantly infatuated with the idea of what else a material can do.  Sometimes when looked at for the hundredth time, something so expired can all of a sudden seem so beautifully reborn.

Here are a few artists (designers, makers, thinkers, etc) who just amaze me with their keen eye for the beauty buried under all that is too carelessly wasted and their graceful hand for making us want again what was unwanted:

1. Trash Unleashed by M.C. Langer

You are obviously not human if you don’t get an upright kick out of M.C. Langer’s “roboplanters” like this one, Vanilla Ice.

Vanilla Ice

Or this insanely rendered toy, VibroMantis.

VibroMantis

His reuse of used and broken parts from everyday objects make for some whimsical, yet exquisitely refined toys, accessories and other functional forms of trash art.

2. Fused Plastic Bags by HFRDesigns

What I love about this project is the play on “upcycled.”  Here it is both translated as a functional process of the material and also figuratively, as an upscale redefinition of the object.  A plastic bag becomes an upgraded handbag, genius!

I also admire that every detail is purely constructed from a single material.  The product constantly redefines the function of the material by manipulating it to form each part.

3. Bike Furniture Design by Andy Gregg

Saving the best for last, I cannot stop clicking through the image gallery of reused bike creations from furniture designer, Andy Gregg.  Not only do I once again enjoy the upcycled execution of material from part to whole, but I really appreciate this guy’s sense of ergonomics.  He makes it look like we have been using bikes for the wrong purpose.  The uncanny resemblance of a wheel-chair!

…and this coffee table.  I can’t even go there.

So now go, scavenge through those trash cans, attics and time-warps.  Remake yourself!

Tonight’s Special

For an analog person, this blinking cursor is as daunting as flipping the open/closed for business” sign.  Welcome to Uninhibitid, your Friday night reservation with the inner workings of the mind behind Tid Bits. Tonight, I’ll be your server.  This is my first time plating, so please pull your chairs back a little as I pour the starchy waters from my noodle for you all, my ever-so-patient-and-hungry guests.  Food is finally on the table (or for the tech savvy, tablet).  Get comfy, loosen those belt notches and dig in.

Dobar tek!

Tid Bits

As spring is fast and steadily approaching next month, bright colors are creeping their way onto every designer’s drawing board.  Well here, Tid Bits isn’t done with winter just yet!  Going back to basics and some model-making roots, this year’s jewelry, cards and art are shifting their focus from color to line, shape, form and space.  You can expect to see lots of intricate cuts, high contrast, texture and movement.

Here are some previews of a new card collection in the making.  It might just be inspired by my late night visits with June Divided and Alec Henninger - among other personal struggles and triumphs - but there is no mistaking the reoccurring theme of a “raw edge” that keeps being carved into this year’s works.  New items will be about a much more abstract, industrialized visual than previously accustomed.  There will be a distinct dialogue between light and space, technique and artistry.   

Light and shadow will come to play a big part…in everything.

Layer-upon-layer techniques in combination with different textures will bring some interest to minimal shapes and forms.

Believe it or not, many overlays of intuitive sketching (and trace paper, a shitload of it!) are refined to achieve the blended relationships found in each pattern.

Are you sick of black and white yet?  Subtle colors will be used, specifically, to accentuate different 3D qualities.  Lots of neutrals, earth tones and subdued pigments.

How could I forget about whimsy?!   I still want to keep everything lighthearted and fun, so there will be many hidden, quirky details choreographed to bounce some life and warmth back into each piece.

Welp, it looks like we are all out on tonight’s specials.  I will leave you with some appetite leftover for next time’s food for thought.

Thanks for dining here and enjoy the rest of your evening!

Laku Noc.