Funky Fresh is now CLOSED

We're leaving this great page up as a resource for ideas and inspiration but the store is no longer open. Come visit our new project: Amuse - Modern Cottage Industry in Press Bay Alley on Green St.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

123 East State Street

123 East State Street, on the Commons, is a VAST space. 
 And even with all that Funky furniture, Funk Junk is only able to fill about half.  

In the coming months you will begin to see a lot more going on in the east half of the store.  It will be filling up with other businesses.  And here's the stellar news.... YOU can use that space too!  Half of the store is available for rent, for short term, or longer term regular events, sales, bakery stands, or artist showings.  Need space for a community rummage sale?  Maybe a holiday weekend art event?  Or maybe you were thinking you'd give a small coffee stand a go, and want to try out the scene for a month or two of Fridays? 

Anything goes!  And there are already events lining up to rent the space.  Including a Record Sale November 9-11th.  And The Art & Found Artisan sale on Black Friday (more to come on both of these events!)

The less than stellar news... The Commons is slated to have a complete overhaul, beginning in Februrary/March 2013.  Meaning- a demolition and rebuilding that will take almost two years.  During this time, 123 State Street will also be undergoing a complete overhaul.  The owner of the building is planning to tear it down and rebuild again.  Come these changes next year, Funky Junk will be relocating to a space yet to be determined. 

Until then however, Funky Junk is making the most of the building we have grown up in.  And if YOU want to share the space, give your own Art, small business, or event a go we would love to share 123 State Stree with you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Upcoming events

ANNOUNCING UPCOMING EVENTS and their swanky posters, not to be missed!!
 First ever Ithaca OKTOBERFEST!
October 27, 2012 on the Commons!

 Get your Beer steins while we've still got 'em...
Family fun for all on the Commons.

Say Trick or Treat at Funky Junk on October 31st!
Parade, candy, community, and more candy!

Black Friday Artisan Sale!
November 23 & 24, 2012
@ Funky Junk

This huge, under-used side of the store will be opened up for vendors to sell their handmade goods at a holiday sale!

Interested in selling your wares and participating in this local event?  Contact The Art & Found at
theartandfoundithaca[at]gmail[dot]com for more info.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Squares and Hearts

Be they squares and rectangles,
 or happy hearts,
taking the shapes of simplicity and plainness,

 the boring and blah forms,
and transforming them into
Funky Fresh fashion, and

brilliant bright boldness,
 is the beauty of Upcycling. 
Style comes in all shapes, but at Funky Junk it's the contours of character that makes these shapes stand out with vibrant color.

(These are both custom order pieces, and are not currently for sale. But there are loads of other shapes to Upcycle throughout the store!)

Friday, October 19, 2012


Volatile Organic Compounds.  VOCs.  Something you hear about regularly, but does anyone (but you extremely scientific amongst us) really know what they are?
According to Wikipedia, VOCs are "organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature."  What this means is that those Volatile Organic Compounds very easily and slowly over time leave their solid form, and begin to enter the gaseous form. They evaporate- from hard surface you can touch, to vapor floating around that you can breath in. 
This is all a well and good natural occurrence, if you are an outdoor plant!   Plants, fungi, and animals all regularly emit VOC's, which often register as scents, as a waste products. 
VOCs however, do not just come from natural sources.  They start out as solids in the human-made things we buy and use, and alter their state to seep into the air all around us.  They come from chemicals found in gasoline, dry-cleaned clothes, aerosol sprays, furniture, building materials, office supplies like printers and copiers, and yep, you guessed it paint, varnish, and wax.   
So, ok, now you know what VOCs are... But what's the big hullabaloo?  Paint with chemical solvents is made to be durable and with improved quality.  These paints last a long time and successfully protect the things we are covering.  

True, but it turns out that VOCs in paint (and other items) are more than just possibly harmful to humans, they are dangerous.  VOCs don't just jump out and attack you like a flu bug, rather, they are slow and steady, causing long-term and extensive ailments that are hard to pinpoint or deal with.
VOCs can cause humans to have headaches, eye, nose, and throat irritations, nausea, skin reactions, dizziness, and memory impairment.  Hmmm...  Some VOCs can also cause damage to liver, kidneys, central nervous or respiratory systems.  And then there are the VOCs that oh-so-slowly cause cancer.  (There is evidence that they cause harm to pets too.)
Get all those freshly painted walls, revarnished furniture, and new mattresses into your house, or try running a business that employs extensive paint use, in a small exclosed building space, and you are looking at sick building syndrome.  A combination of ailments that arise from living or working in a space with really bad air quality.  
Durable paint quality is nice, but perhaps our health is more important.
It turns out that some VOCs like formaldehyde, MTBE (in gasoline), and CFC (in aerosol cans) are highly regulated by the EPA, in industrial settings.  But there are very little regulations on the quality of personal, home air quality.  This means that it is up to you, the consumer to figure out what is safe, and what is not, and to limit your exposure to things that will harm you.   Lucky for you, Funk Junk is here to help.
Funky Junk believes in using NO VOC paint on furniture.  Hence, the current use and sale of CeCe Caldwell's ZERO Volatile Organic Compound Paints. There are NO "acrylic co-polymers, solvents, formaldehyde, ammonia, ethylene glycol or toxic heavy metals."  It has no chemicals in it, so there is nothing to alter its form and start seeping into your home's air the moment you are done with your Funky Fresh DIY project. 
This stuff is made from clay, porcelain clay, and chalk, blended with a water based solution. Even the waxes and finishes are VOC free.  (They are made from insect and plant sources!)

Funky Junk doesn't have all the answers to life, but we do have this one.  With No VOC paint you can Upcycle till your eyes turn blue... which, they won't, because there are no chemicals in this paint to irritate your eyes.  So, basically that means you can just keep on painting, get your kids painting, and not have one single worry that you are compromising your home, your health, or your air quality.  That's way more than Funky Fresh, that's just downright green.
Sources for this post are:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Craft 'In Areas

Art comes in many forms and styles.  Everyone is full of creativity, and when people get together to create, the combined energy is often exceedingly inspiring.  Sometimes all you need is a little space to nudge you to sit together and create. 

Well, now at Funky Junk you've got it.  The newly designated community Craft-In areas are open and available for groups to enjoy. 
The cushy red couches can be used for many things... A knit-and-chat club.  A creative writer's circle.  Perhaps an origami evening.  Photography share, poetry reading, cookie exchange...

 And the big brown table is for other kinds of creations...  A scrapbooking club.  A drawing circle.  Maybe a recycled art afternoon with a group of kids.  Beading, painting, wreath making...  Whatever art makes you smile, bring your goodies and friends and come do it at Funky Junk!

The space is FREE and open to any group working on arts and crafts. There is a sign up sheet for each area, to prevent the space getting double-booked.  If you know you want to use it, sign up ahead of time to reserve the space!

So get together, share the space, and create!  Funky Junk is looking forward to seeing your Art.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Marybeth Rosebrook

Marybeth Rosebrook is a Registered Nurse of 27 years, working here in Ithaca.  But when she's not helping taking care of our community and helping folks heal, she is creating fun and funky art to share.
"I have always loved being creative, whether is is decorating my home, gardening, painting furniture, or working on one of my lampshades or wreaths.  I love color, old fabric, antiques and anything vintage!  Creativity takes me away, calms me... I get lost in it... It is therapeutic."

"I can remember spending hours as a kid designing monthly themes with construction paper to decorate my bedroom!  My dad and grandmother were creative, my sister is an interior designer...  I guess it runs in the family!" 
"I would describe my artwork as one of a kind, fun, unique, eclectic...  I often use fabric that has sentimental value to me, such as an old pair of worn Levi's from thinner days, a quilt I won at the holiday bazaar while in Nursing school, or a shower curtain that hung in my mother's bathroom."
"I always look for the small beauties in life and tend to think outside the box.  Everyone has a story."
"Well, my sister calls me a gypsy, but I would describe myself as resilient."
Come check out Marybeth's work at Funky Junk!  She also does custom work, and would be happy to spend time with you designing an item out of that special old bit of fabric of yours, or her own fabric, buttons, lace and trinkets.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Funky Junk T-Shirts

Want to take a piece of the Funky Junk experience with you when you go?
Love American Apparel and their sweatshop-free products?
Need a gift for the visiting out-of-town friends to remind them of all those Funky Ithaca times?
Interested in supporting local screen-printing business Standard Art Supply?
Want to support Funky Junk's vision of an upcycled, recycled furniture, crafts and art in our community?
Want to make the world a brighter place?
Well then, get yourself a Funky Junk T-shirt! 
Funky Junk now has American-made, sweatshop-free, locally screen-printed, soy-inked, and uber-cool NEW T-shirts for sale.  You'll love them.  We'll love you in them.  And we all love what they stand for. 
Brighten up your fall with the colors of Funky Junk!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall Paint Party

Outside, the fall trees are creating colorful inspiration.  Inside, with the new collection of CeCe Caldwell's paints in the store, Funky Junk is creating stunning color too!  To give you all a chance to get inspired, Funky Junk is throwing a Fall Paint Party to celebrate these earth-friendly upcycling paints. 
The Details-
October 17th, 2013
at Funky Junk on the Commons
5-7 pm

Funky Junk will provide a range of 20+  CeCe Caldwell's colors, help in mixing new vibrant shades, and snacks for all.
You bring an item to paint, (no bigger than 24 by 24 by 24 - ie. lamp, side table, stool- or you can buy one at the store for 10% off that evening), the beverage of your choice, and your inner artist.
And to top it all off, CeCe Caldwell's Satin Finish!
The cost? 
Sliding scale of 25$-30$. 
Pay what you can, what it is worth to you, or what works for you.
 Sign up via facebook (the favored way to communicate), email, or simply by stopping in to the store.  You can even show up last minute at the door- all are welcome!  
Bright paints, experimental mixtures, time to get to know other paint lovers and CeCe Caldwell's paints, and a chance to get Funky.  It's going to be a fun evening!
Color your fall with Funky Junk and CeCe Caldwell's!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lavender light

Just shining a little light on things...

Brightened by the Funky fresh sheen of realized potential, color enlivens

what once was dim with dying flowers.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Karen Coleman

Karen Coleman is the epitome of the Funky Maker that we love to showcase.  She uses sugar and spice, and snips and snails to make creations that appeal to the kid in all of us.

"Fabric scraps, wool, buttons, and other shiny stuff have always appealed to me. I love the challenge of creating something from what others would discard."
"I hit pay dirt in terms of wonderful scraps when my daughter in law began her wool diaper cover business, GentlyMade, and had bins of boiled wool sweater scraps. At about the same time I retired from full time employment, I had time and tubs of scraps!"
"I am fascinated by the reaction of children to small hand sized and simple toys. I enjoy making safe, colorful toys that are whimsical and just for fun. I love that these little creations invite young and old play a bit."

"I am drawn to color, pattern and texture and boldness of putting them together. I would like to become a bit more adventurous in that area."

"I am absolutely positive and optimistic about life! My day is good if it included; some work, time with friends, outside time and a few items checked off of my to do list. I call a day fantastic if it included all of the above and time with my grandsons!"
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