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August Artist Spotlight: Celina Ferencz

 

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

I’ve always spent my free time doing creative things such as sewing, making jewelry, drawing or crafting, but I fully embraced life as an artist studying art history in undergrad and then costume design years later in a competitive graduate program. That led me to a career in costumes where I get to do a variety of things with clothing and fabric every day. I worked as a shopper in New York and the exposure to amazing fabrics and trimmings available opened up my eyes and imagination to the endless possibilities of creating with fabric.

 

What drives your creative spirit these days?

In my line of work, I am always surrounded by clothing, either buying it or organizing it or dressing people in it. I’m also obsessed with fabric, so just looking at different patterns and textures gets my creative juices flowing. I’m constantly inspired.

For the past year or so, I have really gotten into designing and sewing for myself. After years of making things for other people, I’ve found it to be extremely rewarding to make special pieces just for me! I love the challenges of sewing and the sense of accomplishment I feel when someone compliments me on a piece I’ve made. It is so satisfying for me to make an article of clothing that I can wear to work no matter what challenging weather conditions or terrain we might be faced with, and feel like I’m wearing a functional, comfortable, cute garment (with pockets) that also fits me perfectly. I finally made it a priority to sew for myself and now I just can’t stop, momentum is driving me.

 

How does reuse play a part in your art?

I’ve always loved thrift stores and the concept of reusing and recycling. My first stop when looking for fabric is ACR and local thrift stores. Not only do I save money, help the planet and give life to something that would otherwise end up in a landfill, wearing a unique piece that has history, mystery and a story behind it really fills me with pride. Added bonus- I have much less guilt overall if the project doesn’t work out!

 

What compels you to donate to ACR?

Since I’ve discovered ACR, my fabric collection has really grown, but my storage area has not. I have gotten so many great bundles of fabric from ACR, I feel like I want to give back! Also, I just love the concept. Being creative and making art shouldn’t be an expensive endeavor, and I love that ACR makes that magic accessible to lots of people, while also providing a place for us to pass along materials that might not have been a perfect fit for a specific project but shouldn’t be thrown out. I love the feeling of sharing, inspiration and community that ACR provides.

 

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

Oh gosh- there are so many! If I had to choose, I would say it’s gotta be this amazing vintage green plaid wool that I grabbed on a whim. I made a unique coat and I absolutely love it and I’m really proud of my pattern matching! (pic included)

 

Where can we find out more about your art?

Instagram! I am at celinasews 🙂

I post a mix of current sewing projects, fabric finds, and pretty much anything sewing related, as well as behind the scenes moments from my costuming world that I think are funny, disturbing, surprising and real. People tend to think that the film industry is all glamour, but it is really hard work and there is so much that goes into costuming a show- it’s fun to share bits and pieces of that world when I can.

 

 

Tokens for Bags® Program Recipient

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are excited to announce that we have been selected as a recipient of the Buffalo Exchange Tokens for Bags® program from July through December 2019. You can now donate to us just by shopping at Buffalo Exchange . Instead of a plastic bag, the Tokens for Bags® program offers every customer who makes a purchase one “token” valued at five cents (the cost to produce a bag) to donate to one of several local charities selected by the store.

That means you can help out our cause just by shopping! The program has generated over $778,660 for hundreds of local nonprofit organizations since 1994 and has kept over 15.5 million plastic bags out of the environment.

July Volunteer Spotlight: Amaranda Hernandez

Amaranda Hernandez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What motivates you to volunteer?
I think it’s nice to give back to the creative community and help it grow.

Why ACR?
I found out about ACR while looking for a place to buy more art supplies in the area. Once I visited the center, I was intrigued by the whole concept of reuse and conservation. I got in touch immediately after my visit, offering my skills as a graphic designer. I thought that the idea of reuse and recycling of materials and giving them new life through art was great. I wanted to be part of this community and help them spread their message to more people.

How long have you volunteered with ACR?
I’ve been volunteering at ACR around a year.

Are you more into the arts aspect of ACR or the conservation aspect and why?
As someone in the creative field, I love the arts aspect. But the reason I started to volunteer was the conservation aspect. I always thought that a lot of materials had the potential for a second life and finding a center that promoted that was what urged me to join the team.

Where else have you/do you volunteer?
ACR is the first place I have volunteered!

What do you enjoy the most out of volunteering for ACR?
I think what I enjoy the most about volunteering, is coming up with concepts and graphics for a variety of things, from Facebook event banners to posters for the center.

Do you have any interesting or funny stories about something that happened while you were volunteering at ACR?
Since I’m usually working on the designs remotely I don’t have many stories of the center. But one amusing story was designing the donate poster that is currently placed on one of the windows. I had intended for the colors to be orange and turquoise. I doubled checked the files and it seemed like everything was set correctly before I sent over the final. When I actually saw it printed and posted on the window I was surprised to see that the turquoise had turned out a neon green instead! At least it matched the green dry-erase markers on some of the other flyers.

Thanks Amaranda for all you do to keep our center looking so great! <3

 

To learn about about becoming a volunteer click here.

 

 

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!

 

 

July Reuse and Rethink: Create a Fun in the Sun Hat

Reuse and Rethink presents a Made in the Shade Challenge: Create yourself a Fun in the Sun Hat for the Summer made out of reuse materials!

 

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 receive a $10 Gift Card to ACR. They will also be announced on our 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!

Deadline: July 31st

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

Find more inspo and ideas on our  July Rethink Pinterest Board!

June Volunteer Spotlight: Elizabeth Lundquist

 

Elizabeth working on a large floral donation we received

 

 

What motivates you to volunteer?

It is good for those capable to volunteer to help this world and make it a better place.

Why ACR?

ACR provides such a valuable service for so many reasons. It is a place to be able to donate craft
and office supplies. It keeps these items out of the landfill. And it is a very affordable place to
pick up craft supplies for something new. You can donate craft supplies to places such as
Goodwill, but I don’t see them out for resale so ACR does a much better job of getting the items
back into circulation. I feel better about moving on my supplies for crafts I no longer do.
Someone else can have fun with the supplies (at a very reasonable price). It then allows me to
feel free enough to pick up new (to me) supplies for a different craft. ACR is a wonderful place.

How long have you volunteered with ACR?

I have been an Open volunteer for about 9 months or so, with the last 3 being a core volunteer.

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

I am mainly on the Arts side of the house, but since volunteering there, I am learning more and
more about conservation which I find very interesting. Other volunteers talk about conservation
too on items not collected by ACR and I enjoy learning about that too.

Where else have you/do you volunteer?

Since retiring last year, I have also volunteered at Capital Area Food Bank.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at ACR?

Several things:
Love it when I hear what someone can do with ‘that thing’ and be creative with it.
Love it when someone finds an item that just makes their piece sing.
Very friendly staff and volunteers work at the center.
Love that we can shop the store on the days we volunteer.
Love that as we are sorting or packaging the donated items for the sales floor, we watch out for
items that might be of interest to the other volunteers or ourselves.
Fun finding items and then walking out with spending so very little.

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

My first volunteer day, I came across two people from my quilting past. Very nice, funny, caring,
creative women. Nice to see familiar faces. Then a few weeks later, another volunteer came up
to me and mentioned she volunteers with my sister at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center. Such a
small world !
I also liked it when a sequined long dress had been donated and staff member, Kat, was able to
wear it to the Holiday party. She is our designated model for clothes received.

 

Thanks Elizabeth for all you do to keep our center looking amazing! <3

 

To learn about about becoming a volunteer click here.

Half Off Buckets June 6th – July 4th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:::Half Off Buckets June 6th – July 4th :::

That’s just $2.50 for a 5 gallon bucket FULL of REUSE CRAFT SUPPLIES!

We encourage y’all to kick start your creativity this summer and stock up on some crafting supplies to keep the kids creative and happy!
Items from our bucket section have been used for multimedia sculpture, installation art, set dressing, and costume accessories to name a few! What will you create? Feel free to tag us and share your creations #AustinCreativeReuse

We have a wide assortment of goodies: wood pieces, wrapping paper, metal pieces, plastic things, fabric, sewing patterns, yarn, calendars, baskets, tin containers, carpet and fabric samples, office supplies and so much more – you just might find exactly what need for your next art project!

 

June Artist Spotlight: Kyle Hawley

Kyle Hawley

How did you start doing art and what is your preferred medium?
I started seriously pursuing art when my grandmother put a pair of knitting needles in my hands at the age of 5. Currently, I still love to knit and sew, but works on paper are my biggest outlet. Generally, I love combining multiple processes. I start with a photograph or sketch and then turn to printmaking for the final piece. 

What drives your creative spirit these days?
The three pillars of Letterpress PLAY are community, sustainably and PLAY. All of these are deeply meaningful topics for me to explore through my work.

How does reuse play a part in your art?
All of Letterpress PLAY paper toys are designed to create no mess and zero waste. My goal is to create an activity that is doable in a small window of time and the maker spends more time creating and less time cleaning up.

What compels you to donate to ACR?
ACR helps us tell new stories by way of already told or unfinished narratives.

Do you have a favorite ACR find? What did you do with it?
Places like ACR have always been at the heart of my creative process. My grandmother would take me to what she called the 5 & 10 and I would pour over the collection of unrelated treasures. I was weaving together a new story by wandering through the isles and taking in color, shape and typography.

Where can we find out more about your art?
www.letterpressplay.com

ACR Road Trip: Reuse Centers Around Texas

 

Over Memorial Day weekend, staff and board members of Austin Creative Reuse got a big dose of inspiration. We visited two amazing nonprofits with conservation and reuse missions. We brought home fresh ideas we can implement here, a stronger network of reuse centers in Central Texas, and a new appreciation for our awesome team and everything that makes ACR.

 

We also brought home 800 lbs of graduation tassels…why? Read on….

 

 

 

 

 

“Fill a Classroom Not a Landfill”

Our first stop was the Welman Project in Ft Worth.  Welman was born back in 2008 when Vanessa Barker saw a massive load of “instant snow” heading for the landfill at her first job (New York fashion show producer) and diverted it to her second job (pre-school teacher). After moving back home to Texas, she and her childhood best friend Taylor Willis co-founded the Welman Project and have been on a mission to “fill a classroom, not a landfill” ever since. A true labor of love, Welman Project is fueled by dedicated volunteers who sort and re-distribute materials in a 1500 sq. foot warehouse year round – with no air conditioning!

Much like us, they spend lots of time sorting materials and coming up with creative uses.  Welman provides all materials to educators for FREE, and expenses like rent, utilities, staff, and donation pickup are funded primarily by grants and individual donations.

Just recently, they’ve been able to grow their staff to 4 people, allowing them to serve many more educators and significantly increase their programming.  Welman is *only* open to educators, who register with their credentials when they come to “shop” the free stuff.

 

 

We heard tons of great ideas from Vanessa and Taylor. They:

  • …have repurposed a school bus for material pick up and distribution
  • …create curriculum and supply materials for 45 after school programs
  • ….loan our party supplies, displays and event materials
  • …host a “tailgate” party attracts over 100 educators (with 300 more on the waiting list who can’t fit into the parking lot!). Teachers load up their cars with classroom materials while enjoying donated bbq and beer.
  • …received two 18-wheelers full of graduation gowns and tassels.  If you see bins full of tassels at ACR, now you know why!
  • …have been best friends since pre-school. Awwww <3 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re excited to implement some of these ideas, and inspired by their educator focus. We’ll keep brainstorming about how we can do more for teachers – while maintaining our mission to serve *everyone* who wants to creatively reuse.

 

Follow the Welman project on Instagram and Facebook. If you’re in the Ft. Worth area, support them by volunteering.

 

Pioneering Creative Reuse in Denton

SCRAP is one of the first Creative Reuse Centers in the US. Started in Portland (well, of course!), SCRAP now has centers in Humboldt, Ann Arbor, Richmond, Baltimore and Denton.  Scrap Denton works a lot like ACR:  they take donations from businesses and individuals, sort, package them, and offer them for sale in their center at a fraction of the cost new.  

 

We loved SCRAP’s appealing displays (and envied their bright, spacious center environment!). Programming was also a real inspiration here. They’ve got a lovely workshop space up front where they host:

  • Summer camps
  • Birthday parties
  • Workshops for adults and kids
  • Craft meet-ups
  • Gallery shows

We’re looking forward to increasing this type of programming when we have a in-center workshop space of our own.

 

If you visit Denton, you will feel right at home and find lots of great materials in a bright, spacious environment. SCRAP Denton, just like ACR, is powered by lots of volunteers who come in to bring the value back into these materials.   Check out what they’re doing on Facebook and Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reuse Collaboration  in Central Texas

We are so thoroughly impressed and inspired by both of these amazing organizations.  We hope to collaborate with both of them in the future -you never know when two semi-trucks full of creative reuse materials will show up at our doors, and it’s nice to know folks who can share the bounty :). We plan to keep the ideas flowing by hosting a quarterly call with our new friends, and hope they’ll visit us in Austin soon to meet more of you!

 

Thanks to all of our loyal customers and volunteers for your patience while we closed for this mini-road trip. It was so valuable for members of our team to spend time together away from the busy center. We came back with gratitude for everything that makes ACR so special, and renewed energy to keep growing conservation and reuse with our awesome community here.

 

June Reuse and Rethink Challenge: Film and Reels

Film Reels

Re-purpose old Film and or Reels into unique items!

We currently have a whole box of these pictured here for 25 cents each! Maybe you’ve been starring at a box of old film in you closet just waiting for a good use – now’s your chance to have a little creative fun!

Some Ideas: Gift Bows, Ear Rings, Mixed Media Art, Hand Bags and even Clothing!

 

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 receive a $10 Gift Card to ACR. The winner will also be announced on our 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!

Deadline: June 30th

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

Find more inspo and ideas on our Pinterest Board!

 

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