Workshop prep for Saturday workshop
Starting a series of gift wrapping workshops at Castle Makers maker space on Saturday November 30, again on December 11 and then at Moss Park Market on the 14th as part of a holiday clothing swap. This is super on brand for us... up-cycling, making something beautiful and reusable from second hand fabric and clothes that ALSO prevents waste- it's double, maybe triple karma - plus a good antidote to Black Friday. And they are so pretty.
Hope to have a few people out this weekend... the ghost of posters past are not encouraging, there are a lot of staples full of former dreams on the local bulletin boards.
Also, I've been contemplating the multiple approaches we are offering to the same idea of reusable wrapping solutions, even in this one location. Our host, Castle Makers the shop, is doing its own version of reusable wrapping, by offering eco gift wrapping to shoppers on Mt. Pleasant on Thursdays and Saturdays, starting next week. Shoppers can also buy their own fabric wraps made from up-cycled fabric in the store, for the same price as a our workshop. Humans are funny, but same goal achieved in the end.
All I know is that it is fun to try all these different bag ideas. Hope other people feel the same.
Exciting day! We have set up the bones of a new Winter Clothing Free Shop in a TDSB middle school. The school has 100+ students who belong to families living in a refugee settlement shelter, and for many this is their first winter, so we are doing some neighbourhood cross pollination.
The school hosting the Free Shop was identified through a friend, the settlement worker at our kids' former elementary school, Mehrraz. She loved the Winter Freecycle we had at our elementary school (started by WIP members in 2013) and the amazing community support we had with our rummage sales/swaps over the years following, and noticed that not all the schools she worked at had this. The Free Shop school hosts don't have the same kind of parent support but they have enthusiastic staff and students. The staff got so excited about the idea of the free shop that they solicited donations from staff before we arrived and got student ambassadors to set up this fabulous space in the former library at the school! (Don't worry, they have a bigger better library now)
Our contribution: You can overthink this whole donation redirection thing, so we are trying to keep it simple. We started a clothing drive at our former school, and took the clothes donated so far, plus last year's lost and found remains, my son's outgrown jacket and a bunch of signs and went out to meet our contacts to set up a Winter Clothing Free shop- the rest of the donations going forward will be part of swaps on the 5th and 12th in the donor community, with the good quality remains post swap donated here.
We also brought experience and signs, along with donations and suggestions. Those kids are, frankly, much better at folding than we are, so we sorted out shopping zones, and added our donations- it is amazing what you can get done in half an hour. They are planning some shopping "events" over the next couple of weeks and we will revisit the space after the 14th of December. We left them with a T-shirt bag sample, they can make more for shoppers.
They will need more adult sized winter gear but this is a good start and looks great.
Hey makers! We are doing two more workshops at Castle Makers in 2019! We have to change our gift wrap workshop from this weekend to November the 30th from 11-1pm. The other workshop opportunity will be midweek on a Wednesday December 11, either 3-5 pm of 6-8 pm. (You should be able to click through these links to the eventbrite page) On both days we will be making reusable gift bags and furoshiki style wraps, supported by an eco gift wrapping service that our host Castle Makers will be offering to local shoppers in Mt. Pleasant Village- synergy!
We were going to do an ornament/decor making workshop this weekend, and we will still have a station to make an upcycled craft but we think bags and wraps will be more useful and matches our fabric reuse mantra more directly. so let's get together and do an easy thing that can make a big difference in the post gift waste pile.
Please RSVP if you can come either as a volunteer or participant! Eventbrite links above or in the calendar on our homepage.
Waste and Beauty
We lost a visionary and inspiring part of our collective and our community this past weekend. Renata taught us how to raise cleaning sharing volunteering and swapping to an art form and will continue to be a muse in our clothing swaps and community events. There are many photos of her at work in her namesake garden in the Davisville Garden Website and she has been present either in body or spirit for all our clothing drives, Winter Free shops and swaps and brought them up and made them better. She had a dream of having the Spring swaps be beautiful events, hosted outside, and because if her they are always a place of dignity, equity and joy. Everyone walks away looking better and feeling great, thanks to Renata. She was an amazing human and will be missed from this earth.
and so it begins...
Eco Fair at Wychwood Barns
We went to check out the eco fair at Wychwood Barns looking for ideas and connections. Found the envioronmentalist in residence at the Richview Library- great simple ideas for reducing, some easy alternatives to packaged goods, I came home and put the lavendar we harvested last week in a jar to infuse vinegar, I will bring to our Home workshop on Wednesday the 13 of November.
Also volunteer groups connecting green groups, reusable dish washing station, and this group of paper shredders who have invented this disposable cup stacker for offices/schools/shops... they will collect bags of coffee cups from your hub for $40 a bag (less if they collect other waste from you) and shred and package it for recycling with other "Mixed office paper"
art experiments turning waste into beauty