Kewl peeps doing kewl things: Our Social Fabric

Welcome to a new feature I'm adding to my blog, Kewl peeps doing kewl things. In my crafting and upcycling travels, I've met some pretty darn awesome makers. Whether it's making nifty stuff out of 'junk' or being part of making community happen, these are a few of the peeps that have inspired me. And I hope they'll inspire you!

Next up is the kewl and awesome non-profit Vancouver group Our Social Fabric. OSF helps recycle excess fabric from manufacturers, the movie industry and more. Through monthly sales, they put the fabric into the hands of creators in our community while helping divert still-functional textiles from landfills. Here's an eye opening stat...

Textiles are one the most common household items and represent a staggering proportion of the solid wastestream: approximately 16kg per person, or a total of 33,600 tonnes in Metro Vancouver in 2006.

Recently OSF moved into a new store space at 340 - 1275 Venables Street and it is filled with fabulous fabrics rescued from the landfill. I just had to check it out!

Thankfully they have signs directing you to the new space once you get into 1275 Venables Street.

It's a bright space filled with awesomeness...

You can find just about anything at OSF...

Loads of spools of thread. Sometimes you luck out with vintage finds... Thread on wooden spools. Perfect for upcycling once you've finished with the thread!

Tons of old gently used patterns to try out.

There's even upcycled fabric art on the walls. This one used lace, zippers and fabric. It's stunning!

The walls are filled with FAB upcycling inspiration like these burlap canvases with button letters.

And who knows! You may just run into a crafty, upcycling peep like my new BFF Denise from Hello Beautiful Textile and Ceramic Creations. Denise volunteers with OSF, crafts with 'junk' and works with Common Thread. She's kicking craft butt.

If you're a sewer, maker and/or upcycler ya gotta drop by Our Social Fabric. Their sales are a win-win - great prices, one-of-a-kind finds and they do good.


Celebrate Earth Charter Day on June 29th

There's a pretty awesome event coming up and yay - I get to participate plus craft with 'crap' with attendees. Life is good! Celebrate Earth Charter Day is a night of inspiration with art, music and connecting. It's also a chance for people to share information about projects they are working on that support environmental, social and economic justice as envisioned in the Earth Charter.

Join us on June 29th from 5pm to 9pm at Dudoc Vancouver, 100 - 1445 West Georgia Street. Get your tickets for this free event at www.eventbrite.ca.

Big thanks to Dudoc Vancouver for including me! I'll be there with my crafty peep Irina from Frameworq who will be hosting a clothing fix-it corner. See you there!


Home & DIY Superstar on Cut Out + Keep

Yahoo! Last week I was asked by Cat Morley to be a Home & DIY Superstar on Cut Out + Keep, an online community for making and sharing step-by-step craft tutorials based in Edinburgh, UK. Currently the site hosts over 50,000 amazing projects for every type of craft from over 100,000 crafters all around the world. My kookie crafting with 'crap' DIYs will be shared with a huge community of makers. Pretty darn kewl!

I'm in the process of gathering, prepping and writing 7 DIYs - one DIY will be posted each day. I feel like I haven't been too crafty these days but maybe this is just the inspiration I need to get me back into the swing of repurposing 'junk'!

Stay tuned for details! I hope to get my final DIYs to Cat this weekend then I'll let you know when they'll be featured. Before then definitely check out Cut Out + Keep!


Kewl peeps doing kewl things: Rick from Homestead Junction

Welcome to a new feature I'm adding to my blog, Kewl peeps doing kewl things. In my crafting and upcycling travels, I've met some pretty darn awesome makers. Whether it's making nifty stuff out of 'junk' or being part of making community happen, these are a few of the peeps that have inspired me. And I hope they'll inspire you!

My latest victim for Kewl peeps doing kewl things is Rick from Homestead Junction. I met Rick a few years ago and well he's pretty kick butt. Super genuine. passionate about what he does, into building community and making a difference. Find Homestead Junction at 649 East Hastings Street.

And here's Rick... He got all spiffy for meeting up. 

And he's wearing the jeans he fixed up for the DIY he guest wrote for TBD, Practical Pants Patching Project. Be sure to try his easy peasy repair project!

The people who work at Homestead Junction are awesome... Lovely people who know their stuff. Whether you want to know about canning, bee keeping or composting - they can help get you started.

And they have reasonably priced workshops! I gave an upcycled garden planters Crafternoon last year and loved it. Find their upcoming workshops at www.homesteadjunction.ca.

The store is filled with awesome stuff...

If you're a writer, you can always share your favourite DIY, recipe, etc in the Homestead Junction The Zine - Skills, Rants and Musings.

And here's my upcycled burlap hanging planter that I made for a DIY for the Homestead Junction blog. Loved the blog exchange and working with Rick. Even better - we found a happy home for the herb planter. Sharing is caring!

Be sure to drop by, say hi to Rick, take a workshop or pick up some supplies for a project. These guys are pretty rockin' and rollin'.


Crafting with my City of Richmond peeps

Last Sunday I got to kick craft butt with my super lovely upcycling peeps from the City of Richmond. These are the two that help me make upcycling magic happen - Emy and Vivian. They rock!

I collected old t-shirts from the thrift store, made samples and I was ready...

We had 10 very enthusiastic crafters join in - a few regulars plus new participants.

We created upcycled bags out of old t-shirts...

Plus easy peasy DIY jewelry with t-shirt yarn.

These ladies booked a craft date... Getting crafty with BFFs is da bomb.

Group photo - yay!

And this cutie patootie couple decided to spend quality time together and learn about upcycling t-shirts. They killed it!

We took a $1 thrift store t-shirt and added some funk to it. A simple refresh and it was done!

Here it is! Sleeves removed, neckline trimmed and the sides were given some bling. We ended up with a simple t-shirt refresh and a very happy model.

And that was it... One super duper awesome Crafternoon! We really had a blast!

thanks to everyone who joined me! I'm looking forward to my next date with the City of Richmond. We're making DIY paper that grows flowers and veggies on October 30th. Hope to see you there!


City of Richmond Crafternoon prep

Last weekend I was back crafting with 'crap' with my City of Richmond peeps. We upcycled thrift store t-shirts. An easy, fun and cheap way to relove discarded items. First I wanted to come up with some new projects... Last time we made t-shirt yarn then created macrame hanging plants. We also turned old t-shirts into headbands, cowls and bags.

First was collecting t-shirts... I bought a ton from the Salvation Army Thrift Store for $1 each. I chose patterns and a variety of bright colours that I thought would work.

Next was making t-shirt yarn then trying some simple DIYs like making t-shirt yarn jewelry. I used hemp to create an adjustable necklace then added strips of t-shirt yarn.

I also tested out some finger knitting using turquoise t-shirt yarn.

This was my Sunday morning gig... A yummy cup-o-joe, t-shirt yarn and then zen-ful finger knitting. This is the life!

I finger knitted a few rows to create a bracelet or maybe this could be a choker!

I then added beads to the ends and tied my DIY bracelet onto my wrist.

Yup - it's that easy! Next I need to try arm knitting! T-shirt yarn is pretty darn kewl...

I was now ready for my Crafternoon... Upcycling t-shirts into bags, jewelry, headbands, pillow covers and even wall art. Why not!


My project leader presentation for the NSG Summit

Here it is! My presentation from the Neighbourhood Small Grants Summit. My lovely friend Ruth took the video... Not the best quality but you'll get the gist of my NSG project - the joys, the successes, the need to work on things... It's all there. Plus my big reveal... I adore Vancouver Foundation and the NSG program.

Here are the slides... I used Apple's Keynote and infused it with snapshots from all my Crafternoons.

And that's it! It was a real honour to speak at the NSG Summit and share my story. Here's to making more community engagement magic happen together!