July Artist Spotlight: Glenda Lee

July Artist Spotlight: Glenda Lee

Glenda lee











How does reuse play a part in your art?

Oh, a huge part! When I started sewing just over two years ago, finding ACR as a resource of fabrics and notions was a boon for me. There’s such a wide variety—quilting cottons, apparel fabric from wide-wale corduroy to slippery knits, upholstery.  Also, it was a relief to have access to cheap materials because it gave me license to mess up and play, which are important aspects of learning a skill.

For this interview, I surveyed my projects in the last year, and 54% were made from ACR; if I included other thrift stores and garage sales, 62% of my projects were made from reused materials. I was surprised by how high this last figure was, actually—but I felt good—it just goes to show that there ARE quality, unique materials out there, if you keep your eyes and mind open.

What compels you to donate to ACR?

Knowing that past-loved tools and materials will go to someone who will appreciate them—perhaps unleash more creativity! For instance, sewing has surpassed my knitting interest, and so I’ve unloaded lots of yarn, needles, and pattern books at ACR. Also, because Austin is jam-packed with artists, inventors, tinkers, and innovators, I know that whatever crafty donation I make WILL have another life.

Do you have a favorite ACR find? What did you do with it?

The first thing that came to mind was 3.5 yards of a luscious purple fabric that I paid $7 for. After I did a burn test, it turned out to be silk charmeuse, which starts at $25.00 per yard! I made a deep v-neck evening gown that I wore to a gala, and I felt quite proud to admit that I had made my dress to folks who complimented me that night.

I have to mention one more item, which is my Brother 1034 D Serger/Overlocker. One morning, I chatted with a sewing friend about whether I needed to get a serger, and then lo and behold, when I arrived at ACR, it was there. The machine was in great condition and the price was too, so I gleefully cradled it to my chest and practically skipped over to the cash register. Later on I learned that one of my sewing teachers, Tessa Gonzalez, who also repairs ACR’s sewing machine donations, had serviced that machine. She remembered that serger because it came with a how-to booklet that she wrote, and was in top-notch shape. This all felt like serendipity, pronounced sew-rendipity in my world!

Where can we find out more about your art?

You can find me @gleeheehee on Instagram, where I post my latest projects with a broad sprinkling of my other interests (cooking, baking, travel). I’m working on my website, www.gleeheehee.com , and that’ll launch by late this fall. I’ve also become active with two Meetup groups, “Sewing with Style “and “Sew and Tell”, who have regular gatherings for folks to share and learn about our craft. If you join us, you’ll find that I’m the chatty Asian chick.


It is a true gift to have you in our community Glenda! Thanks for all you do to help keep Austin creating!



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