A well received festival

I’ve got to send a shout out to the folks who organized last weekend’s highly successful JunqueFest in Webster City. What a fabulous turnout more than 3,000 people by some accounts and lots of different vendors displaying an almost unimaginable amount of creatively re-purposed goods.

It’s interesting the types of materials that the vendors used in their creations. Who could have imagined that an old ladder would make a great rustic bookshelf or an old bucket, sprinkled with rust, could become a charming planter. Hats off to those artists for being able to imagine what “could be” from what many would consider cast-offs.

I stayed for a couple hours last Saturday, not only covering the event for the DFJ, but also out of curiosity. As I wandered through the booths, I kept finding more and more intriguing articles. Many of them I couldn’t envision in my own home, but I certainly could understand the appeal. There were many things that would look great in a backyard retreat or a garden spot. Planters, bird baths, stepping stones, barn wood transformed into benches, tables and trellises. We’ve been plotting out how to make more out of our fenced-in backyard at our new house and I think that there were some ideas that might work for us.

This whole trend of recycling and transforming used materials into something new goes hand in hand with the living “green” philosophy. I’ve been a fan of that for some time. We try to be very conscientious about what goes in the trash and what goes in the recycling bin at our house. Now, I find myself looking at things and wondering, “Is there some other way I could use that?” We’ve taken milk jugs and cut off the top to make a scoop for the dog food bin. The part cut off with the capped opening, makes a great funnel.

The Kendall Young Library has a great series of craft sessions that involves upcyling. The organizers there have some terrific ideas for re-purposed items. There’s a session of the DIY Club this coming Tuesday. The best part is, they provide all the materials. You just have to provide the hands to make the creation.

The library also has some pretty good resource material for creating other recycled arts and crafts at home. I think I see a couple of projects in my future.

So, once again, congratulations to all involved in the fun and successful JunqueFest. It sounds like plans are already forming for the next festival of junk. Hopefully the trend will continue and interest will remain high for this decorating craze. Just another great way to bring people to our community.