Blog

Welcome, Calder!

Austin Creative Reuse is thrilled to welcome Calder Kamin as our newest board member! Calder will be helping us develop strategic partnerships and on special projects. She has jumped right in by supporting our social media and marketing strategies, and advising us on online sales. Calder has been a long time supporter of ACR and a frequent shopper, sourcing materials for her latest artworks. Her work was recently featured on MSN.

Artist, educator and advocate, Calder Kamin transforms trash into beautifully crafted creatures and opportunities to reeducate our cultural perceptions of waste. She’s engaged hundreds of museum visitors through her public workshops and art projects including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The American Museum of Natural History. The i.d.e.a Museum, Utah MOCA, The Contemporary Austin, Women & Their Work and The DoSeum. Kamin starred in an episode of the PBS series Arts In Context and two Disney Channel commercials sharing inspirational messages about creative reuse. She has a background in art administration, higher education and city government providing professional development for artists. A native of Austin, Kamin is the Career Services Manager and Lecturer at the University of Texas, College of Fine Arts. She holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute.

She can be contacted at calder@austincreativereuse.org

Reuse and Rethink: Austin Landmarks Edition!

Deadline for submissions: April 30th

While we are all physically distancing at home, we’re bringing back an ACR classic – the Reuse & Rethink Challenge! This month, we challenge you to recreate your favorite Austin mural or landmark from any items (or people) you have in your home.

 

Guidelines:
♻️ All materials must be reused / found in your home.
🎨 The submissions will be judged on three qualities: creativity, workmanship, & use of other reused materials.
 Submissions for the month must be made on or before the deadline.

 

Submit your work for the opportunity to win a $10 gift card to enjoy at ACR when we reopen! 

Please provide up to 2 photos of your art piece, your contact info and a short description of materials used. Your submission can be emailed to rethink@austincreativereuse.org. Winner will be notified and announced on social media! 🧡♻️

 

Creative Cardboard

Cardboard is one of those ever-present, but often overlooked materials inside our homes. Rather than break it down for recycling, repurpose it by trying out one of these activities with your kiddo!

 
Cardboard Nail Salon

Does your kid love painting fingernails? Draw a hand on a piece of cardboard and let them go to town! They can experiment with different colors and designs, while you get to keep your hands clean.

 

Cardboard Stencils

Use cardboard stencils to get some fine motor skill practice in. Cutout different shapes and patterns in pieces of cardboard and have your little one trace them onto another piece of paper. Encourage them to mix and layer the different stencils to create a unique masterpiece! 

 

Cardboard Weaving

Cut long, uniform strips out of a piece of cardboard. Cut long strips of colored paper for your kids to weave using their own pattern.

Tags:, , ,

COVID-19 Closure Updates

Over the past couple months, Austin Creative Reuse has adapted to to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to update this page with the latest information.


May 26, 2020

A quick update about all the happenings over here at Austin Creative Reuse! Although we still remain closed to the public, our amazing staff has been working hard behind the scenes to get items posted to the online store and into your hands, piloting a personal shopping program, and figuring out what opening in a post-pandemic environment looks like. We continue to accept material donations, and in response to overwhelming demand, we are nearly doubling the amount of appointments available! Last week, we eagerly welcomed back our core volunteers in a limited capacity. We started allowing contactless pick up of projects they could take home to work on and bring back to the center at a later date. Finally, keep an eye out for exciting news regarding private shopping appointments! (Yes, that means getting ACR all to yourself!)

Thank you to everyone for your support, patience, and creativity throughout all of this. We look forward to seeing you again soon!


May 9, 2020

We’re delighted to announce that ACR is receiving a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program! Having this funding secured helps shield our financial losses over the past two months, which means we can breathe a little easier and make things happen on a timeline that we are comfortable with. We’ve made the decision to keep the center closed until further notice, and will re-evaluate that decision on a weekly basis. In the meantime, we continue to engage our staff who choose to work during this period and pay them full wages.

While we remain closed to the public, we are boosting the inventory available in our online shop and will be adding new items several times a week. We are also actively researching ways that we can expand the remote ACR experience for our community through virtual workshops, custom orders, and other exciting programs!

Finally, drumroll please…we will restart accepting material donations next week! We understand many of you have been busy cleaning out craft closets, decluttering, and learning what you can live without throughout the past several weeks. We can’t wait to take those items in and find them a second home! Donations will be accepted by appointment only and this will be strictly enforced. No walk up donations will be accepted. Please read the new instructions carefully and be sure to look over our donation best practices and lists of items we accept and don’t accept prior to bringing your items in.


April 28, 2020
 
For the safety of our staff, volunteers, and community at large, we are continuing to NOT accept material donations at this time. We are making adjustments to our donation policies and procedures for the wellbeing of everyone in the Austin Creative Reuse community. We ask for your patience as we navigate this new normal together. Hang on to those donations, we will make an announcement once we’re ready to accept them! In the meantime, remember to check out the lists of: Items We Accept and Items We Don’t Accept, pre-sort them, and put them in a container you’re willing to donate as well. Do not leave donations outside of the center!

April 24, 2020

You asked for it, we listened!
We are very excited to announce that ACR is now open for online shopping and curbside pickup! At our new online shop, you can find tutorial kits with supplies and instructions to create unique pieces of art for the whole family, highly sought-after items such as sewing machines, and mystery grab bags full of miscellaneous goodies to bring the ACR experience to you. We are currently only offering sales of the items in our shop – but don’t worry, we hope to expand our online inventory soon. 

All orders must be picked up curbside until further notice – please read the pickup instructions carefully at the end of your checkout.


April 18, 2020
 
Here at Austin Creative Reuse, we take the safety and health of our staff, volunteers and customers very seriously. ACR will remain closed to the public throughout the extension of the City of Austin’s stay at home mandate, which goes through May 8th. However, with the governor’s new executive order that allows online sales and curbside pickup for retail establishments, we are researching different ways that ACR can offer sales in a limited capacity.
 
We are currently planning for how and when ACR can responsibly reopen once local, state, and national restrictions have been lifted. Please note, some of our policies and procedures will change regarding volunteering, shopping, and donating materials at the center. We appreciate everyone’s patience, flexibility, and understanding as we navigate this new normal together!
 

April 14, 2020
 
ACR will remain closed until further notice. On April 13th, the Board of Directors voted to continue paying staff for hours worked at home through May 11th. 
 

April 1, 2020
 
Due to the City of Austin’s stay at home mandate, the center will be closed to the public, staff and volunteers until at least April 13th or such time as the order has been lifted or changed and recommendations have been made to open businesses again to the public. 
 

March 25, 2020
 
Here at ACR, we pride ourselves on transparency. We want our community to know that we are doing all we can to help those affected most by the center closure, our hardworking staff. During an emergency board meeting held on Tuesday, March 17th, the following was decided:
 
“While the center is closed, ACR will continue to offer hours to staff who wish to work. We have provided take home opportunities to employees for the duration of the stay-at-home order mandated by the City of Austin. We would like to emphasize that working during this time is optional. There will be no impact on long-term employment at ACR for any staff who choose not to work during this period. ACR is committed to offering full wages to employees who work or are scheduled to work through Sunday, April 12, 2020. We will endeavor to give you as much notice and transparency as possible in this rapidly changing environment. We continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC, WHO and local authorities.”
 

March 15, 2020
 
After much painful deliberation, we have decided to be proactive and close ACR to the public, effective 8PM tonight through Sunday, March 29th. We did not make this decision lightly. Our mission, first and foremost, is to divert materials from the landfill. However, we did not feel that it was socially responsible to continue accepting donations at our center. Eliminating that piece of our operations while continuing sales feels like we are not staying true to our mission. Therefore, closing temporarily is the right choice to ensure the continued health of our volunteers, staff, and shoppers. We will actively monitor policies and directives at the local, state, and federal levels regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and will adjust accordingly, if needed.
 
ACR is a small non-profit comprised of a large volunteer community, and 11 paid staff members. While this closure will have an unknown effect on our livelihood as an organization, we are committed to ensuring that our staff have the opportunity to continue working if they so choose. Closing to the public will allow our staff to practice safe distancing, proper sanitation protocols, and limit the number of people coming in and out of the center. During this time, the staff will be working to organize the center and make it even better than before! 
 
We care about our community and understand that during these uncertain times, creativity and artistic expression are much needed. Be on the lookout for inspiring digital content from us! We also encourage you to stay engaged remotely via our Austin Creative Reusers group, or tag us @austincreativereuse to show us what you’re working on. If you have the capacity, consider making a financial donation or purchase an online gift card to use once we re-open.  
 
These are strange times. Take care of yourselves, and take care of each other. We will keep you updated via email and our Facebook page with any developments. 
 

Tags:, , ,

Learning with Plastic Lids

 

Plastic Lids are a Great Learning Tool!

Whether you notice it or not, most of our households consume lots of things with plastic lids. Those lids add up! Hang on to them and consider using them for some of these fun, interactive lessons!

 

Alphabet and Letter Recognition

Write lowercase letters on each cap and have your little one line up the lids in alphabetical order. Try playing with color – vowels in one color, consonants in another.

Take this one step further by writing uppercase letters on the lid’s corresponding bottles or pouches. Have your little one match the upper and lowercase letters. 

 

Counting and Number Recognition

Create number cards with whatever you have laying around the house. Place number cards down and have your child stack (or pile) lids behind the card.

 

Pattern and Color Recognition

See the cards linked below for patterns your child can replicate using colored lids.

Lid Pattern Cards

Tags:, ,

“Trash to Treasure” – Creating at Home

Color Matching

Collect small objects that you already have lying around the house, including those that may have ended up in the trash! Have your kids sort them by like color. Get creative with the sorting containers!

Cardboard Shapes

Cut cardboard into different shapes and punch holes into it. Use extra shoelaces, yarn, or string to weave through the holes, creating fun shapes and patterns. This can also be used as a tool to help learn how to tie your shoes!

Homemade Ring Toss

This homemade ring toss game is great for kids of all ages and it’s fun and safe for both indoor and outdoor play. Form pipe cleaners into rings, and use either an empty paper towel roll, or two toilet paper rolls taped together as the base. Use your imagination to figure out how to stand up your paper towel roll!

Tags:, ,

March Artist Spotlight: Janis Bergman-Carton

 

Janis Bergman-Carton

 

How did you start making art?

In my bedroom on a TV table when I was about 7 years old, messing around with anything I could put my hands on. More than once I clogged the plumbing in our house with plaster of paris. I thought I would be an art major in college but didn’t then have the fortitude to deal with critiques of my work (part of it I now understand was not yet having words for what I experienced as a young woman being told by my all male art professors that my work was “too personal”).  Anyway, after 25 wonderful years teaching art history I now am thrilled to circle back to where I began. 

 

What is your preferred medium?

It’s always been about texture for me. Clay, mixed media, and mosaics. 

 

What drives your creative spirit these days?

Everything, but I’m particularly interested in memory and place in art- evoking memories of absent loved ones or the historical and material textures of place. I have an ongoing project now called the Texas Cotton Series.

 

How does reuse play a part in your art? 

It plays a big part. Because I am interested in expressing connections to people and places over time, what feels like deep history and memory, I’m always searching for things or pieces of things that appear to have been well-used and well-loved in the past.  ACR is a treasure chest.  

 

What compels you to donate to ACR?

The idea of creatively recycling items more typically thrown away is magical. And the community ACR has created in such a short time of people of all ages and backgrounds is a big draw for me.

 

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

An amazing sample board for porcelain colors from the 1960s with 12 tiny cameo heads. The heads show up in memory vessels I make. 

 

Where can we find out more about your art? 

Website: janisbergmancarton.com

Instagram: @bergmancarton

 

 

“With Great Space Comes Great Creativity”

After Weeks of Preparation, Ready to Open!

Just a Few of our Volunteers, Board and Staff

That quote comes from one our many community members upon seeing the new and improved Austin Creative Reuse Center.

Austin Creative Reuse moved to it’s new 11,000 sq ft home at 2005 Wheless and we could not be happier (or more exhausted)!  Our new Reuse Center is big, beautiful and completely reinvents the shopping experience.  We have so many plans for the future and will be offering more programs and services to our community.  

Austin Creative Reuse could not have done this without our dedicated staff, volunteers, and board members.  Next time you are in the center, be sure and say “thank you” to the staff and volunteers you meet. 

We would like to sincerely thank the following individuals and businesses who helped make this happen.

Realtors:  Max McDonald and Kristi Simmons at Aquila

Contractors: Green Building Energy Services LLC, Wally Colvin, JWL Electric, Elite Systems, North Loop Signs, and Stripe It Up

Short Break then Back to Work!

 

Making signs

Move In

Setting up Fabric

Game Ready

Welcome back to Austin, Rebecca!

Rebecca Stuch and Amber Scardino

First sale at our creative reuse center in September 2015

Cory Skult (left) and Rebecca Stuch

Cory Skuldt welcomes Rebecca back to ACR, January 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Austin Creative Reuse is excited to welcome Rebecca Stuch, our founder, back to Austin.  It was with Rebecca’s steady hand and complete dedication that we finally were able to open Austin’s first Creative Reuse center way back in September of 2015.  We grew a lot that first year with much of the credit due to Rebecca’s relentless promotion of ACR and the help of the solid business practices put in place by Rebecca.

Rebecca joined the Peace Corps a few years ago and  spent  two years in Moldova working on Community and Organizational Development, as well as traveling throughout Europe and Asia.  She’s back in Austin for a few months reconnecting with old friends and what had been her baby, Austin Creative Reuse.  It seems we are all experiencing big changes with ACR’s move to a larger location and anticipated growth.  With that, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to leverage Rebecca’s experience with  business development as well as her understanding of our mission to bring her onto our staff as our Transition Manager.  This is a temporary position created to help us with the move to a new location and the departure of our Interim Executive Director, Cory Skuldt.   Rebecca will help guide our organization’s growth as we add more staff, programming and services.  Rebecca will also be spearheading our search for a permanent Executive Director.  We couldn’t be more excited to have Rebecca onboard.  Look for her around the center and be sure to say “hi and welcome back!”.

February Volunteer Spotlight: Eleanor Schorre

Photo Credit: Lisa Hause Photography

 

What motivates you to volunteer? 

I’ve always enjoyed the community that is built around a volunteer organization. A place created by so much giving – of time, appreciation, care, and of course donations – is rarely a bad place to be. 

 

Why ACR? 

A thrift-type store for craft supplies?! I was hooked as a shopper immediately. After shopping for a bit, I noticed that there might be some need for organizing help, which is something I love to do! 

 

How long have you volunteered with ACR? 

I started volunteering in early 2019, so just over a year.

 

Are you more into the arts aspect of ACR or the conservation aspect and why?

I came in primarily for the arts aspect, though I’ve always enjoyed finding reuse through art and creativity. I grew up surrounded by artists and creatives of all sorts and I’d gotten out of the creative mindset somewhat because life happens. Through ACR I’ve found that spirit again, as well as a newfound appreciation for conservation and reuse beyond the usual recycling programs. 

 

Where else have/do you volunteer? 

I currently don’t volunteer anywhere else but I spent a lot of time in college volunteering for Autism Speaks. 

 

What do you enjoy the most out of volunteering at ACR? 

Sorting and organizing mainly – seeing all the donations that come in also exposes me to so many things I’ve never seen before and allows me to learn about new types of craft and new uses for ordinary things.

 

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

I started volunteering shortly after I got engaged. Many things I found at ACR showed up as decorations at our wedding, most importantly the majority of the ribbon for our 5’ by 7’ ceremony backdrop.  A lot of the things we used either have been or will be re-donated, but I’m keeping that backdrop!

 

Thank you, Eleanor, for all that you do to help Austin Creative Reuse continue to grow!  Interested in joining our volunteer community? Visit the Get Involved section of our website today!

2005 Wheless Lane, Austin, TX 78723
Hours: Mon/Tues Closed, Wed to Sun 10am-8pm
Tel: (512) 375-3041