For the love of Recycling

Last night it was The Creative Project Devon’s June meet up. I was lucky enough to give a showcase talk about how I reduce waste in my design work. I should mention this was after a fab talk by the Exeter Scrapstore, who filled me with joy that I can become a member and get some materials for me to enjoy with my toddler at home.

I also provided the raffle prize, which was a Reloved 52 Imagination Parcel. These will be sold in my etsy shop in the near future and are aimed at creative people. Inside the parcel is a selection of materials with no instructions and a card explaining that the materials can be used anyway you choose and that there are no rules! When they’re ready for general sale I’ll provide a link, but for now here’s a photo of what it looked like:

IMG_0005_2

The wider ethos of Reloved 52 is to keep stuff out of the landfill and give objects new life, so cutting down on waste and unecessary spending is very important when I’m designing.

In order to prepare for this talk I had to sit down and think carefully about how I achieve this and what processes I use. Having not previously thought about this, I found it very eye opening to write it down on paper.

What I realised is that I ask myself questions when I find I’ve got materials left over. How I organise those materials is absolutely key to my work as a designer.

I prepared a handout to go with my talk and I thought I would share it here on the blog too, as it might be handy for some of you lovely creative folks out there.

This is the Reloved 52 guide for creative people on how to cut down waste:

Reloved 52 – How to reduce and reuse your wastage.

I know that the word thrifty is not terribly popular these days but essentially this is my guide on how to get thrifty. It’s good for your business and the planet to cut down on wastage and find ways of making other products to be more profitable. This works for small independent businesses as well as your home life. If you’re anything like me then often you are juggling both anyway!

How to get started – these are the questions I ask myself when I find I’ve got wastage or excess materials from a project

  • What materials can I reuse for home or business purpose?
  • If I can’t reuse them can I recycle them?
  • If I can’t recycle them can I upcycle them for a different use or project?
  • Can they be stored for later if I can’t think of a use for them straight away?
  • Is there anybody else who could use the scraps if I can’t?
  • Sort into different sizes for easy access later on (especially with fabrics!)

What materials do you most commonly work with? Can you find a new purpose for your wastage?

Give yourself a challenge – make a project without any new materials – only stuff you already have. This is a great way to use up old things and flex your creative muscle. I try and do at least one thing every day that uses something up. It doesn’t have to be a big project.

Here are ten recent projects I’ve done lately to use up old stuff & keep my spending down:

  1. I used an old suitcase I had as teddy storage for my toddler daughter.
  2. I made a play kitchen out of an old side table, some yellow paint and some chalkboard paint.
  3. I used some old lace to make a new necklace.
  4. I made some fun art prints of animals out of excess handmade paper.
  5. I went through my wardrobe and am currently halfway through a huge mending pile – some clothes may be upcycled if I can’t fix them!
  6. I cut off the legs to my old maternity jeans and turned them into fabric boxes.
  7. I made floor cushions out of jungle fabric and used the leftovers to make matching toy hammocks for (yup you guessed it) more soft toys.
  8. I planted my seasonal herb garden in otherwise unused household goods (a broken handled teapot, bamboo noodle bowl etc)
  9. I needed new craft drawers so instead of buying them I painted an old small set of drawers I already had in a grey colour– actually I had two sets, the other one I painted in bright colours for my toddlers room.
  10. I used old vintage buttons from my collection to make beautiful rings.

Push yourself to come up with new uses for old things and soon it’ll become second nature. In fact you may have to stop yourself eyeing things up before they’ve outlived the original purpose!

Bonus Idea

Reloved 52 originally started as a blog to cut down spending on unnecessary items. These are the things I now ask myself before buying anything new.

  • Do I really need it?
  • Can I make it instead?
  • Can I trade with a friend?
  • Can I buy it in good condition second hand?
  • Can I buy it from a local indie or from fairtrade?
  • Can I afford it now, can I wait for a sale?

When I first started this process I found I would stop at the first question because I didn’t really need whatever it was. As the years roll by though, I find I naturally don’t want things I don’t need because I’ve trained myself to think differently about stuff.

Question your purchases, Question your rubbish bin! 

Happy thrifting 

Jessica x

Happy New Year

I know it’s been a really long time since I posted anything newsy or projecty, so here comes the new years resolution of catching up with it all! I  have got a good reason though I promise. As well as the general hullaballoo of just having opened the shop, I also found out I was pregnant in November and I’ve been struggling with fatigue and the dreaded morning yuck. But it seems the corner is turning and I’m feeling a bit more myself again!

SO Happy new year to all my lovely readers. As a treat for your well earned patience here’s a photo montage of my latest collection of accessories. I hope you enjoy and I’ll catch you on the blogosphere again v.soon!

Mrs Geach

xxx

 

Blue Velvet cuff with Cameo and aqua gems

Blue Velvet cuff with Cameo and aqua gems

Blue velvet background with pearl and marcasite jewellery statement alice band

Blue velvet background with pearl and marcasite jewellery statement alice band

Blue Velvet sets off this reloved marcasite brooch beautifully on this statement alice band

Blue Velvet sets off this reloved marcasite brooch beautifully on this statement alice band

Blue and pearl resin brooch reloved into this cute hair comb covered in mushroom ribbon

Blue and pearl resin brooch reloved into this cute hair comb covered in mushroom ribbon

Collection of handmade combs, some are buttons some are vintage jewellery but all are unique

Collection of handmade combs, some are buttons some are vintage jewellery but all are unique

1950's necklace reloved into a 1920's style hair piece, looks awesome with a flapper dress

1950’s necklace reloved into a 1920’s style hair piece, looks awesome with a flapper dress

Handmade felt brooches, all made with offcuts and end of roll trims to prevent wastage.

Handmade felt brooches, all made with offcuts and end of roll trims to prevent wastage.

The Reloved 52 Shop

So I thought it would be fun to share some pictures with you of the shop so you can see where my new home is and where I’ll be blogging from now on. Next week I’ll be catching up with my personal projects, so you will see a lot of new posts next week. Thanks all for bearing with me over the last month or so while I’ve been a bit quiet. Now I’m all settled in normal service can resume!

Frederick the reloved flamingoSmith-Corona TypewriterCoffee PotShop signchristmas windowThe window inside

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my new home! See you soon for project fun times

Mrs Geach

xxx

 

Project 15. . .

Silk Threads & Roses Poses

My Threads have lived in a wire basket for sometime. Not my best organisation I’ll admit. The threads have been getting tangled and I can never find the colour I need. So I decided to relocate them to something a bit more practical. The jewellery box is thick card but it’s lovely and strong and the inside is in great condition. I picked it up from a thrift store years  ago for pittance but never found a use for it. I like the pattern outside but the top is quite stained. Roll on the Re-loving. . .

Ingredients

One old Jewellery box

lots of silk roses

rustic peach roses (silk)

hot glue

a lot of thread spools

Method

 

That’s the end of the catch up marathon, thanks for reading, see you next week for project 16

xox Jessica xox

Project 14. . .

Pin Bored

I have an old office style pin board. It’s a drab grey blue and I’ve never liked it. So I decided to give it a re-loved spruce!

Ingredients

One old boring pin board

leftover thin green cotton fabric

red felt

hot glue

two old tape measures

silver drawing pins

Method

See you tomorrow for project 15, the last of the weekend catch up marathon!

xox Jessica xox

Project 13. . .

The good wife gives?

So Monday 1st October was our first wedding anniversary. Yay. So last week I combined the gift with my project, but I’m going to say up front, whilst the actual design and materials used to create it were things I already had or borrowed, I did pay to have it mounted and framed. However this was a gift and not for my own personal gain so I haven’t broken any rules but I still wanted to share this with you . This is what I came up with for the traditional paper gift for a first anniversary.

Ingredients

Red felt

Vintage Estelle Lingerie Catalogue

A lot of patience

Method

Usually I post tonnes of photos to explain the method. This time it would ruin the effect, so instead I’m just going to give you a  brief idea and let you marvel at the print in all its completeness.

First I cut out about 20 red felt hearts

Then I cut out 20 felt hearts within the hearts already made

Then I faffed for hours and hours trying to lay them in a heart on rainbow paper.

Then my very honest friend told me it looked like a gay pride flag, which is awesome, but not the look I wanted for my 1st wedding anniversary gift to my husband.

Then I got my hands on the centre page of an old lingerie catalogue and decided to combine the two, photograph it, frame it and present it to my husband. I told him that good wives give p*rn. He laughed and told me it was quirky. I think he liked it.

Hope you enjoyed this mildly naughty project!

See you tomorrow for the 3rd instalment of the project marathon weekend

xox Jess xox

Project 12. . .

Before I start an apology, things have been a bit manic over the last few weeks and though I've been doing my projects I haven't posted them. Instead of posting all at once, I'm having a weekend posting marathon instead, starting with. . .

Heartbreak Clutch Bag

My favourite going out bag. A 60’s chainmail white clutch. It’s a decent size unlike a lot of the modern ones, with a sexy slimline shape with an envelope style fastening. It broke. Which broke my heart. bad times. So how did I mend my broken heart (I mean bag), read on dear chums to see . . .

Ingredients

One beautiful but broken clutch bag.

An old pair of black beaded clip on earrings

one large art deco black button

one shiny diamond shaped button

I hope you enjoyed my heartbreak bag project, see you tomorrow for project 13 

xox Jessica xox