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May Volunteer Spotlight: Virginia Van Hoogstraten

The majority of the donations processing is done by volunteers here at the center. We’d like you to meet one of the special folks behind all this hard work. Read about why Virginia feels “volunteering at ACR has also made her more aware of needless waste” and why she likes volunteering at ACR!

Mixed media with old book pages, fabric, various paint & ink, and letter tile by Virginia

What motivates you to volunteer?
I love the people and the mission of ACR
Why ACR?
I was new to the area, and looking for a volunteer job. The 1st time I went to ACR as a customer, within minutes, I knew it was the place. It’s just so fabulous. It has been a great way to meet like minded people in the area.
How long have you volunteered with ACR?
3 years.
Are you more into the arts aspect of ACR or the conservation aspect and why? I have to say both. What’s better than making art out of something discarded?
Where else have you/do you volunteer?
I was a volunteer Master Gardener in Illinois.
What do you enjoy the most out of volunteering for ACR?
I really enjoy going every week, these people are my tribe. I also have blast co-hosting craft night every month. Being around other creative people is very inspiring. Volunteering at ACR has also made me more aware of needless waste in my own daily life, and ways to keep improving.
Thanks for all you do to keep our center looking amazing!

May Artist Spotlight: Sondra Primeaux

 

 

 

Sondra Primeaux

How did you start doing art and what is your medium?

I’ve been sewing most of my life, having learned as a little girl from my Grandma. In 2003, I was living in Fredericksburg, TX (I lived there a total of six years in between being an Austin resident since 1994) and had been playing around with blouse designs made from vintage/reused scarves. I was working at a popular clothing store there called Root and the owner suggested that I come up with a small line that I could showcase in an upcoming fashion show event that we were putting on at the store. I did and my small, handmade business took off from there. I’ve had a sales rep show my line at Dallas Market (pre-Etsy!), I’ve had an Etsy store, I’ve had pop-ups and have done outdoor markets, but now I mostly just sell on my site. It is a labor of love.

 

 

How does reuse play a part in your art?

Except for the occasional commission in which I may have to special order a particular fabric new, reuse fuels 100% of what I do. I’ve been collecting used and vintage fabric, trims and notions for twenty years and have a small studio in my backyard where I house it all. It plays the biggest part in my creation. I’m not sure if I would be a designer/seamstress without that element, that’s how much the joy of the hunt through places like Austin Creative Reuse and thrift stores means to me and my process.

 

What compels you to donate to ACR?

I was trying to think about when I first heard of Austin Creative Reuse and it was probably through April Kling Meyer who owned the fabulous Austin fabric store, Fabricker. I had bags and bags of scraps that I couldn’t bear to just toss and she mentioned ACR in a conversation we had once in her shop, pointing me to a contact person and location where I could drop them off. Since then, I’ve donated not only scraps but yardage of fabric I’ve picked up along the way but sometimes need to cull to make room for more. Because I’m so invested in reuse, I just think everyone should be reusing as much as they can. I’m just one person but I think that any and all small acts we do can be the thing to salvage our current environmental situation.

 

 

Where can we find out more about your art?

I have clothing items and handmade meditation pillows for sale in the Marketplace on my website, www.theunruffled.com. I am multi-passionate so my site covers all the things I do, including photography, art, writing and podcasting about creativity and recovery. I’ve recently launched a chance to work with me one-on-one as a creative mentor called Change Your Story and you can learn more about that on my website as well.

 

Thank you for having me, I’m honored!

Thank you Sondra for all you do to keep the ACR community growing!!

 

May Reuse and Rethink Challenge: Puzzle Pieces

 

 

 

 

 

Here is how the challenge works:

Each month we give you a new material for our Reuse Rethink challenge. This month it’s Puzzle Pieces – Puzzles may have gotten their start as portable maps, but they have since become a fun way to stretch your brain muscles. What other creative uses can you come up with using little puzzle pieces? 

 

Deadline: May 31st

Submission:
When you’ve completed your creation, please provide up to 2 photos of your art piece, your contact info and a short description of materials used. Your submission can be made in person at our center or in an email to rethink@austincreativereuse.org

Your creation should be made from Reused Materials  — all materials will be available at a low cost (as always) at Austin Creative Reuse

Winner will be notified and announced on social media, along with photos of their creation displayed in the center and on our website!

 

Come shop for not only your craft supplies but with a challenge in mind – (think Unconventional Challenge)

We hope you’ll take this months challenge!

Please feel free to email rethink@austincreativereuse.org with any questions. Good luck!

Find more inspo and ideas on our Pinterest Board!

School Supply Collection

 

 

April Volunteer Spotlight: Clyde Hoover

Clyde Hoover

 

 

 

 

What motivates you to volunteer?

I find that being of service is essential to my well being. I like the challenges that come my way and the personal growth that comes with them.

 

 

 

Why ACR?
I heard about ACR from a friend who is familiar with my artistic endeavors. She said that I would really like ACR and that puts it mildly. Going to the bucket room was like entering a toy store with the weirdest variety of stuff than I had even seen in one place. So I pretty much fell head over Converse high-topped heels for ACR.
 

 

 

Are you more into the arts aspect of ACR or the conservation aspect and why?
I am not a “soft arts”” type – I work with plastic, metal and wood. I have been involved with photography since I was a child – bitten by my mothers habit of taking pictures of her large family (11 siblings and uncounted nieces and nephews). I studied photojournalism for two years during my time at The University of Texas at Austin. I still love photography, and that passion has been rekindled because of ACR.
I have strongly believed in conservation for a long time (I was around for the first Earth Day, back when people could still be moved by the “this is all we have” photos of Earth taken by astronauts on the way to the Moon). My childhood experience with poverty and my Great Depression-era parents’ ethos of “use it up, wear it out, squeeze every drop out of it, and keep it just in case you might need it later” taught me that things do not lose their usefulness just because someone is tired of or grown out of it.

 

 

Where else have you/do you volunteer?
I am currently the webmaster for a local recovery organization, putting my technical skills to use in order to help others.
My wife and I (and our daughter, until she “teenaged” out of it) volunteer at Thundering Paws Animal Sanctuary, (which we can blame for most of the various feline inhabitants of our house). Scooping a room full of litter boxes then seeing cats lining up to undo what you just did is a lesson in not taking yourself too seriously.
We specialize in fostering stubborn semi-feral cats into snuggle-bunnies. It’s a lot of work but so worth it, as with any undertaking of value.

 

What do you enjoy the most out of volunteering for ACR?
There is the unbelievable diversity of what ends up on the donation cart. Along with the “usual” arts and crafts items (and office and fabric and patterns and light bulbs and power drills), there are some things I have not seen since childhood (that would be he 1960s for those of you scoring at home).
And I sometimes get the “first crack” at new stuff – getting a bit of something awesome on Tuesday night, and when I drop by on Wednesday afternoon, the rest is gone!
Above all it is the people of ACR. If I may dude-speak for a moment, “you gals are the best.” All up and down he line. The people of ACR totally believe in its mission – I have noticed that for many who volunteer it is not a past-time but a passion. And by the way, the passion is contagious and that is awesome.

 

 

Do you have any interesting or funny stories about something that happened while you were volunteering at ACR?
Though there have been considerable happenings with humorous aspects, what sticks with me is what I have learned, especially after becoming a Core Volunteer and “The Camera Guy Who Can Also Probably Figure Out What This Strange Doohickey Is Supposed To Be For” (spoiler: I can most of the time).
I have been used to being one of the “smart guys” – (that should probably be my official job title), but volunteering at ACR reminded me that I still have a lot to learn. Standing in the craft isle wondering where this fill-in-the-blank this bag of shiny things is supposed to go was an interesting experience in realizing how much I did not know. Talk about of being out of your experiential comfort zone!
I am grateful that my knowledge, experience and skills can be of service. I feel at home at ACR.

 

Thanks for all your hard work Clyde, we couldn’t do it with out you!

 

 

April Artist Spotlight: Niku Arbabi

Niku Arbabi

 

 

1) How did you start doing art and what is your medium?

 

I’ve always been a maker! I’m particularly drawn to everything fiber but also paper, color in all things, and the ephemeral magic of everyday objects. Most of my work is textile related, but I also like overlapping mediums and pushing at the boundaries of “art” and “craft”, perpetually exploring and experimenting.

 

For the past 10 years my creative practice and work as a teacher has been particularly focused on slow/sustainable fashion, modern quilting, embroidery, and textile printing, plus zine making, mail art, and (paper) collage and I find that they all inform and influence each other.

 

2) How does reuse play a part in your art?

Reuse helps me relate to objects more thoughtfully and creatively. They help me see a whole new world of possibilities in objects and the way we relate to them, and the impact they have and that we have on our world.

 

Reuse is an important element in my teaching practice because it’s one way we can make craft and creative communities more accessible, amplify more voices, and build a stronger community.

Reuse can help take pressure and risk out of trying something new so we can take that leap and see where it leads, and keep growing creatively.

Reuse helps energize the fundamental idea that everyone is an artist and that you don’t need a perfect tool to make good and important art, which is integral to my teaching and collaborations.

And it’s crucial to my life as I work to sustain as a freelance creative in a society that doesn’t tend to value or support that. Reuse empowers on so many levels!

3) What compels you to donate to ACR?

 

I’m definitely a maximalist, as a maker and as a collector. Donating to ACR helps me feel like I’m sort of keeping all those treasures and just loaning them out without actually having to keep all of it. I think of ACR as a temporary holding area for all of our supplies, so I can share my stuff, and I can borrow things back again when I need them. And I get to see my stuff go to a place that treats every object as a resource with possibility rather than trash.

 

4) Where can we find out more about your art?

Find me at my website www.xostitches.net and @xostitches on Instagram

Upcoming Events

Thanks for all you do to help keep Austin creative and crafty!

 

 

 

DIY birdhouses out of recycled materials

Happy Spring!  You can turn almost anything into a birdhouse.  Use a clean empty container and decorate as desired.  Here are some great examples.  Check out ACR for your decorating supplies!

 

Making a Donation to ACR

We want to share a friendly reminder and request to please only donate materials during our open hours of operation or by appointment. This allows our staff to screen donations in person and ensure we are taking in materials on our accepted items list and redirecting other items to appropriate organizations.
Please do not leave donations outside the shop at any time.
Thank you in advance for your help with this!

 

 

 

Austin Creative Reuse collects clean and reusable supplies for the creative community in Austin.

Please follow these steps when making a donation to ACR:
1. Make sure we accept what you have. Check out the lists of: ITEMS WE ACCEPT and ITEMS WE DON’T ACCEPT.

2. Bring your materials during our open hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 10 am to 8 pm or Friday and Saturday 10 am to 6 pm or Sunday 12 pm -5 pm. WE DO NOT ACCEPT DONATIONS ON MONDAYS or TUESDAYS.

3. Make an appointment if you have more than 4 bags or boxes. Give us a call at (512) 375-3041 to schedule a drop-off.

4. Bring your donation in a box or bag you will leave with us. We do not empty donations into other containers

5. We reserve the right to reject any donations, and will look through your donations before accepting – the more organized your materials are, the quicker we can get you in and out.

6. We will give you a tax receipt and that good feeling that comes with supporting your local creative reuse nonprofit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Reuse and Rethink Challenge: Keys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

keys

 They carry stories with them, and they can be used for their utility and beauty in all kinds of craft projects. Keys are beautiful in both texture and shape. Check out some of these cool reuse projects using keys here. Then come shop for your keys at the center, they are 5 for $1!

Here is how the challenge works:

Each month we give you a new material for our Reuse Rethink challenge. Deadline: Tue. April 30th

Submission:
When you’ve completed your creation, please provide up to 2 photos of your art piece, your contact info and a short description of materials used. Your submission can be made in person at our center or in an email to rethink@austincreativereuse.org

Your creation should be made from Reused Materials  — all materials will be available at a low cost (as always) at Austin Creative Reuse

Winner will be notified and announced on social media, along with photos of their creation displayed in the center and on our website!

 

Come shop for not only your craft supplies but with a challenge in mind – (think Unconventional Challenge)

 We hope you’ll take this months challenge! 

Please feel free to email rethink@austincreativereuse.org with any questions. Good luck!

Find more inspo and ideas on our Pinterest Board!

March Volunteer Spotlight: Blessing Taclobao


Blessing Taclobao

What motivates you to volunteer? Partly the drive to spend my time in productive ways, partly the knowledge that this doesn’t have to be solitary or self-centered, and partly the opportunities to both expand my existing skillset and interact with a wide variety of people.


Why ACR?
I chose ACR because I knew I could put my skills to work right away: identifying & pricing art supplies, coming up with new possible ways to utilize them, organizing & maintaining our available space, and of course doing some literal heavy lifting. Beyond that, the fact that ACR ensures that art supplies remain easily accessible to Austin’s creative community really struck a chord with me and I felt that contributing to this undertaking was the right thing to do.


How long have you volunteered with ACR?
I’ve only been here since last September, but these six months have already been fantastic and I look forward to many more with ACR!

Are you more into the arts aspect of ACR or the conservation aspect and why?Definitely the arts side, if only because I have significantly more hands-on experience with making art. That being said, the more I learn about the finer workings of ACR’s conservation efforts, the more fascinating that side becomes to me. Seemingly everything can be diverted from the landfill one way or another, e.g. utilizing scrap fabric for insulation or creating closed supply chains with schools so that teachers have a place to obtain or donate supplies.


Where else have you/do you volunteer?
I don’t currently volunteer anywhere else, but I spent a few summers volunteering at the education department & butterfly garden at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, TX. Like at ACR, there was never a shortage of tasks to take care of; unlike at ACR, most of those tasks involved running from one side of the zoo to another and/or getting very messy very quickly.

What do you enjoy the most out of volunteering for ACR? I love hearing what our customers plan to do with the supplies they buy, because their answers vary so widely and it’s great to watch them light up when they talk about their projects.


Do you have any interesting or funny stories about something that happened while you were volunteering at ACR?

On the second day of orientation, I was sorting through a box of loose rocks and found one that looked like a chunk of Himalayan rock salt. I licked it to be sure, only to find that it was actually a piece of candy that had found its way into the box.

Thanks for all you do to help ACR Blessing!

6406 N. IH35 #1801, Austin, TX 78752
Hours: Wed/Th 10am-8pm, Fri/Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm
Tel: (512) 375-3041