Kewl crafty community peeps ROCK

A couple of weekends ago, I got to see some of my FAV local crafty, upcycling peeps. There are so many great resources out there for upcycling, diverting waste, repairing... And for building your network when it comes to the local creative community.

Stop one was to the latest fabric sale at Our Social Fabric (OSF). OSF is in a new space that is lovely and filled with sewing awesomeness... Old patterns, notions, fabric, upholstery. You name it, they have it.

OSF is run by a team of super passionate volunteers. They are so fun, welcoming and helpful.

And they're starting to host workshops... Leah Price is a local reuser and recycler who has an upcoming freehand machine embroidery workshop coming up. Visit www.oursocialfabric.org for details.

Next up I visited Irina from Frameworq for one of her Textile Fix It / Clothing Repair Drop In events with special guest Heather from The Craft Lab at the Mount Pleasant Public Library. Irina sets up her sewing machine, threads, needles and more then guides people through simple repair projects. You show up, bring your own project and fix it - plus meet lovely new BFFs.

This is Michelle. We go way back... I met her at the book launch for 'Raw Crafts' at Book Warehouse on Main Street. She kicked butt at the Textile Fix It / Clothing Repair Drop In. Check out her nifty sashiko stitching! You can turn a rip or tear into a thing of beauty with some swanky stitch work.

I love all the neato people I've met through my whole upcycling, crafting and thrifting gig... Definitely check out Our Social Fabric, Frameworq and The Craft Lab. All super FAB peeps doing super FAB things!


Easy peasy home decor with thrift store mirrors

There two things I love finding at thrift stores that are perfect for your home decor needs... Frames and mirrors! You can find gorgeous pieces on a budget while decorating with green in mind.

I bought these two mirrors secondhand - the black mirror is from the North Vancouver Habitat for Humanity ReStore and the gold mirror is from the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Lonsdale. I had them sitting around and finally hung them up last week. I adore that they're the same dimensions yet have completely different looks.

They hang above my printer tray in the corner of my living room with a bunch of my travel photos.

Slowly but surely adding personality to my living room walls... Momentos, photos, mirrors, quotes...

Home decor is easy and infusing your style in your home can be fun... I'm big on an eclectic look and feel while refreshing the old and designing on a super small budget. We don't need new and we don't need to break the budget to create something that shows our personality and style. And that makes us love being in our space.

I think I'm done with adding to my living rooms walls! So happy with my kookie, crazy, one of a kind thrift store treasures. Why not try scavenging your local thrift store to find gorgeous mirrors for your place. You'll be surprised by what you can find!


10 things you don't need to buy new

Since moving into my current place, I've decorated and furnished my happy home with free stuff, thrift store finds or treasures from the dump. I've only bought one piece of furniture new with everything else being secondhand. Whether you have a tight budget, want to be green or are looking to make your place a bit eclectic and very you... These are a few of the items you really don't need to buy new or pay a lot for.

1. Frames
Seriously... You don't need to buy these new. Drop by your local thrift store - there's always frames of all sizes available. Large, decorative frames can be super pricey new so scavenge garage sales or thrift stores for funky frames.

I bought this frame from the Lions Gate Thrift Store for maybe $20 - this was extravagant for me! But I needed something a teeny bit regal for a friend's wedding gift. This is the photo they took for their wedding invitation. I felt a fun and thoughtful gift would be to frame it.

A couple of garage sale frames... One houses a print from District Dog Designs and the other is still waiting to be filled. I painted the frames - so easy to refresh a secondhand frame to make it new.

Use a secondhand frame as a pin board. I added stenciled burlap to this thrift find and made my own pins out of upcycled buttons.

Feature old photos, pictures from your adventures...

My wall is filled with photos of family, friends and travels...

Yup - you can tell I have a 'thing' for secondhand frames!

2. Glasses and mugs
Glasses, mugs or any other kitchen needs are available at your local thrift store for cheap. Mix it up... You don't need to match these things! And you'll luck out every so often finding something high end for a low end price. Score!

I love my collection of assorted mugs... I seriously have a dozen vintage Pyrex mugs! The best is finding those quirky cups. Maybe regift your find or use it for packaging up a gift.

Or repurpose your glasses or mugs... I went through this phase of using secondhand mugs as happy homes for succulents. Why not!

A creamer or Japanese tea cups can be upcycled into plant containers in a jiffy.

3. Candle holders
Yup - you can find candle holders of all sizes and styles secondhand. I turned these into photo holders by upcycling a wine cork.

I love this brass candle holder. I think I paid $2 for it.

I painted and shabby chic-ed a pair of metal candle holders and upcycled them into jewelry organizers/holders.

Or you can just use them as candle holders like these cement ones from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

4. Furniture
Buy kewl furniture for cheap at a garage sale, thrift store or find pieces in an alley or at the dump. Why not! I paid $15 for this teak coffee table. It took me an hour to refresh the finish... Total dealorama!

My free cabinet from a coworker - new drawer pulls, new finish... Totally awesome!

The open cabinet and chair were also free...

You can easily take something secondhand and make it pretty again. These were super easy to restyle - a simple refinishing job on the wood then an hour or so on the new upholstery. And I may have spent $20 in total for both chairs, the fabric and miscellaneous supplies.

Get the word out... Family and friends will gladly give you their no longer wanted 'stuff'. This teak chair was gifted to me by a friend...

I refinished the teak then reupholstered the chair... I spent a bit on the fabric just cause I wanted something funky. What a difference!

Sometimes you may want to paint a piece... Veneer is hard to bring back to life. I tend to not paint wood furniture but in this case I shabby chic-ed this dresser then updated the drawer pulls. The dresser was $4 at the Gibsons Recycling Depot. The drawer pulls probably cost $100 since they're brass but totally worth it!

5. Mirrors
Mirrors can be expensive new. Secondhand can save you money and you can really find some awesome mirrors of all shapes and sizes. I found these at the Habitat for Humanity Restore and my local Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Not even sure where I got this one... I refreshed the paint and hung it on my wall of kewlness.

Mix and match... Another awesome thrift store find! I stained the wood, sealed it then hung it.

My free mirror from a coworker. It had a silver leaf finish so I muted the silver with a wash of white acrylic. The sides are a solid white. Then I sealed the finish and hung it. It's so darn gorgeous!

I love the details... This had to be one expensive mirror but not for me!

Another free mirror... Frames, mirrors... Such great pieces for decorating your walls!

6. Boxes
Boxes, containers... What have you... These can be found at any thrift store for very little. I love these Polish gift boxes. The one in front is super funky! Use them to store your own stuff or as a reusable gift box.

I found this at the thrift store for a $1... Love the box but not the top.

So I Mod Podged tissue paper to the top... Why not!

It's a very sparkly box now that is perfect for storing something super precious.

Another secondhand find... An easy way to give a friend some jewelry. I painted this and added a decorative paper to the top. All in all maybe it cost me $0.50.

7. Vases
I'm not big on fresh flowers but that doesn't mean I don't have a collection of vases! I've found all sorts of swanky vases for free or cheap the past while. Here are two I have in my kitchen...

Here's one I used for a DIY I wrote awhile ago. I added rocks and pussy willows to it. I added bling to my thrift store vase by using old jewelry.

8. Coasters
Not sure if people use coasters these days but you can get them for super cheap secondhand... And you can find funky coasters like this set of teak coasters. I've found teak, felt and cork coasters in my thrifting travels.

Or these glass ones with a wood base and lovely design...

9. Tea pots
More home decor fabulousness to be found while thrifting are funky tea pots. I have a few tea pots that I've found over the years... From high end to run of the mill. Here are the two I use regularly.

Someone paid a bunch for this one...

This is my recent tea pot purchase... But I didn't buy it for tea.

I bought it for a succulent that was in need of a swanky new home.

10. Art
Art of all kinds can be found secondhand... I upcycled this clip board from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in North Vancouver. I stenciled it then clipped a lovely card to it.

You can frame old cards, hang funky plates...

Or make your own art to feature in your place.

Why not print your favourite travel photos and frame them in a thrift store find... Or frame your own drawings, quotes, etc.

And that's my most recent list of upcycling, crafty, thrifting awesomeness. Hope you enjoyed it and found it inspiring. I'm off to find furniture to relove. I'm on a roll!