Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Make it Reusable: Contest Results

Here at the Reuse Centre, we are all about encouraging creative reuse of the items on our accepted-donations list, so we were thrilled with the entries to our "How Do You Make It Reusable?" contest. Each and every entrant produced something amazing from items that they found here. Several entrants submitted multiple projects, and we couldn't be happier to see such innovation and enthusiasm for reuse!

With so many interesting and unique entries, our team of Reuse Experts had a heck of a time choosing a winner. After much deliberation (and maybe a back-room brawl or two) we made our decision.

Nancy's Lucky Bamboo sure did the trick for her; we were all in awe of her fabulous felt crafting!

This little cutie has a detachable pot and bendable leafstalks. The outer surface is made entirely of Reuse Centre felt, and the shape is given by a bit of stuffing, a few pieces of cardboard in the pot, and wire in the stalks. Most of the piece was hand-stitched, and the brown growth rings around the stalks were glued on. From a distance it looks realistic and up close, and all of our judges were impressed with the level of detail and the obvious time commitment something like this must have taken.

When we asked Nancy how many hours she had spent on this, she replied "Too many!" with a smile and a laugh, and went on to say that much of the construction had taken place on a camping trip, in stolen moments when her youngest son was napping.

When Nancy came to pick up her prize basket, she was kind enough to bring along her winning submission and the book containing the pattern, which was chock-full of amazing and cute things to make out of felt. This blogger sure knows what she'll be making her niece and nephew for Christmas this year!

Nancy accepting her prize basket from Reuse Centre staff.
Of course, our contest would not have been a success without all of the amazing entries, so here, in no particular order, are the others if you missed them on our Facebook page:

Three art pieces by Rob:

We loved the innovation and imagination in these pieces, as well as the breadth of materials used!

Child's jumper by Natasha:

The perfect jumper for enjoying a booster-juice as big as your own torso on a hot summer day! We loved the usability of this submission and of course, the adorable model didn't hurt either!

Binky blankies and geocaches by Jody:
We loved the practical nature of these submissions, and the way that both are excellent scrap-crafts!

Thanks again to all our wonderful entrants for sharing with us!

-Sarah (Volunteer)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Summer Fun for Kids - or How Avocados Taught my Son to Sew

Looking for some quick, easy summer fun this month? Counting down the days until the little ones are more gainfully employed during the weekdays?

Go straight to the Reuse Centre, do not pass go, do not collect $200. This is the place, for child (and pocket) friendly crafty ideas with a recycled agenda so turn up, get stuck in, then chill out.

Today's genius idea? Teach your children to sew.

It's fair to say that I'm more than a little craft obsessed, and this obsession seems to have rubbed off on the smalls of the house.  With in-progress crafty projects in every room, I'm not the least bit surprised when my 18 month old daughter picks up a crochet hook and starts wiggling it in a ball of wool, or my 4 year old son demands to be taught to sew. Since necessity is the mother of invention, this mother got to inventing an easy sewing lesson with items from around my craft room ( almost all available at the Reuse Centre)

So how do you get started?

Grab some yarn scraps (even string will do)
Embroidery Hoop
Onion Bag/Avocado Bag/Orange Bag (anything net like)
Yarn needle or just holding the yarn between finger and thumb to get them started.

1. Pop the net over the bottom piece of the embroidery hoop, pop the top piece over and tighten as necessary to make the net fairly tight. Cut around the hoop leaving at least an inch all the way around the hoop.

2. Thread the yarn or string through the yarn needle, or for younger children holding the string or yarn between finger and thumb should work perfectly well and with no potential for poking themselves.

My son had never sewn before and with little or no instruction he got to work weaving the yarn through the holes.

It's safe to say that I won't be winning any awards for his finished article, but he learnt something new, he polished up on his fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination, and he had fun.

Since the yarn can be pulled out again and again, even this reuse-item craft is reusable.

Got some crafty ideas to keep children entertained over the summer holidays? Drop us a line or get in touch on  FB

- Emma (Volunteer)