2017 Neighbourhood Small Grants Summit

Last week was the 2017 Neighbourhood Small Grants Summit. If you've received a grant or been part of the advisory committee - this is the event for you! It's informative, inspiring and gives you the chance to connect with other NSG groupies and the team behind the program.

I love the summits! I get to connect with my community building peeps and be inspired by other project leaders.

We had a guest speaker over lunch. This guy is kind of a big deal when it comes to community building. John McKnight is the guy behind Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD). He's based in the USA and was traveling for another conference close by so he popped in to give a short presentation. He's super lovely!

There were tons of wonderful attendees at the summit. They had 8 speakers including project leaders and partner organizers that discussed their relationship with the NSG program. The presentations were inspiring and showed such a range of what can be done with a small grant!

I saw old friends and met new ones! It was a room filled with people wanting to make a difference.

Thanks NSG and Vancouver Foundation for an amazing day! You guys help make awesomeness happen!


Mom's Day Crafternoon at NVCL

A couple of weekends ago, I hosted a Mother's Day Crafternoon at the North Vancouver City Library. It was the quietest workshop we've had in ages. We had 30+ participants compared to our usual 50+. With so many fun, free events happening in North Vancouver it wasn't a big surprise!

I had 25+ tin cans and 40+ plastic bottles to upcycle... Ya gotta prepare for the big attendance just in case it happens! We made planters and other kewl projects out of 'junk'. I also had cardboard for gift tags, etc.

Here's a new participant who brought her Mom and grandparents along. She also won one of my samples and was the winner of Jose's latest origami masterpiece.

Here they are together... Jose is always making the workshop participants happy.

This is his latest creation... It's stunning!

We had a bunch of new crafty peeps pop in to make upcycling magic happen. These guys made planters with one side being the happy face and the other side being the grumpy, growly face.

It was a small group but a rocking group... We crafted, we sparkled and we made awesomeness for Mom. Here's to our next Crafternoon at NVCL - dates TBD. Stay tuned!


Upcycling awesomeness with tin cans and pop bottles

For last weekend's Mom's Day Crafternoon at the North Vancouver City Library, I collected tons of pop bottles and tin cans. I wanted to upcycle them into planters for Mom. A fun DIY with lasting power. So I had to track down pop bottles and tons of tin cans.

My parents collected a bunch of 2 litre plastic pop bottles for me. I wasn't sure I had enough so I decided to go through the recycling at work and collect big tin cans. I gathered 20+ tin cans from the recycling with my coworker's help and I was good to go!

My favourite find was a big can for tuna. There were loads of bigger tins... I was set!

I took them home and cleaned them. Here's my wall of tin cans.

And I bought a few plants from Dykhof Nurseries for my sample projects - 2 succulents and 2 basil plants. Perfect!

First was painting my tuna tin can...

A few coats of white then gold then a stencil was the plan.

Here's my refashioned tin can. I was ready to get planting!

I decided to add a plant marker for Mom. A cardboard round from Urban Source with scrap paper, adhesive letters and a felt heart. Easy peasy and so darn cute!

Here's sample 1 done!

I love succulents! I hope to make more of these tin can planters. They look awesome!

Next I repurposed a plastic pop bottle into a Charlie Brown planter.

I thought the planter was perfect for one of my basil plants. I added rocks in the bottom but you could easily use an X-Acto to create slits in the bottom for drainage if need be.

I painted the bottle then drew on it with a Sharpie and sealed it with Mod Podge. I then added ribbon and a button for embellishment.

Next was another tin can sample DIY. I went with a bright blue acrylic paint and added hints of glitter paint. I also wanted to incorporate tile samples from Urban Source.

These are sparkly and lovely!

I glued the tile samples along the top of the tin can then planted my other succulent. It's kind of funky this kookie planter.

Upcycling tin cans and pop bottles into planters is so darn easy and they look groovy! I suspect I'll be making more of these this summer.