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Make a Wrist Pincushion

How many different things can you make with a fabric sample book? So many! Last week, we made a homemade banner. This week, let’s make a wrist pincushion! You could make a ton of these with just one book, and your hand stitching skills don’t need to be at all fancy. Fabric sample books are 50 cents each at ACR, and we even stock them in our online store

August Reuse and Rethink Winner: Mimi A

This month, we challenged you to rethink the versatile slide carousel. We’re pleased to announce our winner, Mimi A! We were very impressed by Mimi’s ability to think outside the carousel and make it into something completely reimagined and new to us. 

Using a variety of reused and repurposed materials, Mimi created a lighthouse with a working light. “My family really likes this piece of art. My husband is creating a space for it to be seen permanently and my daughter-in-law said this is her favorite piece that I’ve created.”

With light off

With light on

Materials Included:

  • old lazy susan (base)
  • rocks from the yard and ACR
  • white rocks from Dollar Tree
  • glitter snow (from ACR for the path to the light house and just a few specs in the water)
  • Paint medium from Dollar tree
  • Mika powders (from old craft kits used for the water)
  • paint (from ACR)
  • paper scraps (from ACR used for the windows and railing)
  • slide show carousel (gallery – what the sailor is standing in/on)
  • inner piece of 2 slide show carousels (the piece connected to the gallery)
  • old foam paint brush (door)
  • paper cup for lantern
  • old tea light from a pumpkin decoration
  • old plant pots
  • boat, oars, and mermaid (from old craft kits)
  • lego sailor

 

Thank you to everyone else for your ideas and submissions! As always, your creativity inspires us!

September Artist Spotlight: Jennie Tudor Gray

How did you start creating art?

I am an Austin, TX based multidisciplinary artist, art and yoga teacher, curator, and social justice activist who is passionate about using the arts and yoga as a method of social change. I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with an All Level Teaching Certification from Texas State University-San Marcos. I have been creating art since I was a little kid for as far back as I can remember. It is always something that came naturally to me and I feel at my most sincere when I am creating as well as teaching others art, design, and yoga. Making art is the way I process the world around me. It is my life’s passion to share my love for art, creativity, and self expression with others.

 

What is your preferred medium?

To be honest, I rarely stick to any one art medium, but enjoy exploring as many different materials and processes as possible in order to deepen my own practice as an artist, as well as to better inform my ability to teach a wider variety of art styles and techniques with my students.

I have spent many years of creating intricate collages and mixed media works out of vintage and altered books, found objects, recycled materials

 

How does reuse play a part in your art?

I like being able to use discarded objects in my work in order to give them new life, reduce waste, and also draw attention to pollution and mass consumption. I think there is something special to be found in the pages and materials from old books and objects cast off by our consumer society. You do not have to spend a lot of money on art supplies in order to create meaningful and significant work. I love reusing materials because the media ends up becoming the message and helps tell the story for you. For the Climate Strike in 2019, my students and I made dozens of protest signs using all recycled materials and found objects and we bought no new materials.

 

How has your art adapted during the pandemic?

During the pandemic my art has adapted into making use of the materials I already have at home or am able to order online. The pandemic has increased consumption in some ways such as having dozens of brown paper grocery bags from curbside pickup, empty bottles of hand sanitizer, empty canisters of disinfectant wipes, and forced me to consider experimenting with these items in innovative ways. The pandemic has also impacted the way I teach art through remote learning. Since my students are spread out around the world and have a wide variety of circumstances and limited access to  supplies, we had to get very creative in our projects. I taught about the life and work of Andy Goldsworthy, who does site specific installations using only natural materials, like leaves, sticks, stones, and snow and students went out into their yards or a nearby park to create their own installations inspired by his work. I am also looking forward to creating wearable art with recycled materials and packaging from all the items we have delivered to us and having a “Trashion Show” with my students this year.

 

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

I found some amazing vintage jewelry when I was there including a groovy bakelite pendant with the profile of a young girl with a bouffant hairdo, as well as some unique rhinestone brooches. 

 

Where can we find out more about your art?

You can find out more about my art at www.jennietudorgray.com, on Facebook Jennie Tudor Gray, Artist https://www.facebook.com/jennietudorgray

Instagram and Twitter @jennietudorgray

For samples of work with my students, you can find it on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/msgraysartroom and IG @msgraysartroom and http://jennietudorgray.blogspot.com/

 

 

Life Cycle of a Donation

Have you ever wondered what happens to the materials that you donate to Austin Creative Reuse? Watch our video series, “Life Cycle of a Donation” to see the behind the scenes of how we process all those donations and get them into the hands of our creative community!

Make a Fabric Sample Banner

Handmade banners are one of the many fun things you can make with fabric sample books. The great thing about them is that the fabrics already represent a collection, so coordinating a color scheme/textile theme is easy! Follow these steps to make a unique fabric banner, which can be reused, repurposed, and rearranged! Fabric sample books are a staple at ACR, we always have a wide variety in store!
 
 
 

We’re Reopening!

When we closed our doors on March 15th, we thought it would be two weeks before we could reopen again. We had no idea that 5 months later, we would still be in the midst of a global pandemic, with no end in sight. The team at Austin Creative Reuse has been incredibly adaptive during these strange times – quickly opening up an online store, offering custom orders via virtual video conferencing, and hosting sidewalk sales multiple times a week. Despite all these new services, we know it hasn’t been enough to serve the needs of our entire community. After much careful consideration, we have decided to reopen the doors to our center on Thursday, August 20th

 

We know that not everyone is comfortable venturing out into public spaces, which is why we will continue to offer our online store with curbside pickup, and custom orders via Zoom. However, we will discontinue our sidewalk sales upon reopening. 

 

Health and safety has always been at the forefront of our decision making process, and we’ll be taking several precautions to minimize risk and exposure for our staff, volunteers, and you – our loyal customers and supporters. 

 

If you are feeling ill, caring for someone who is ill, or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID in the past 14 days, we ask that you postpone your visit to ACR.

 

  • Limited Hours: We’ll be open during the following times:
    • Mon – Wed: CLOSED
    • Thurs & Fri: 10AM – 8PM
    • Sat: 11AM – 8PM
    • Sun: 12PM – 6PM
    • Curbside pickup will remain available from 10AM – 4PM, 7 days a week
  • At-Risk Shopping Hour: We will reserve an hour each week specifically for those who are at risk.
    • Sat: 10AM – 11AM
  • Limited Entries: We will limit the number of customers in the center to 20 people at a time. Entry will be first come, first served. If we are at capacity, you will be asked to queue outside the center in a socially distanced line.
  • Masks Required – No Exceptions: In the best interest of everyone’s health and safety, we are not allowing shoppers in without a mask. We understand some people may have conditions preventing them from being able to wear one, however, we have other ways to access our services through online shopping and custom orders. For a nominal fee, we’re happy to pull together items for you to pick up curbside, in order to minimize your risk and exposure.
  • Contact Tracing: All customers will be asked to provide a name and email address or phone number upon entry. We value your privacy and will only use your contact information in the event of a known exposure.
  • Other Health and Safety Measures: Customers will be required to have their temperature taken and sanitize their hands prior to entering the center. You will also be required to keep at least 6 feet of distance from others while shopping inside.
  • Material Donations: We will continue to accept donations by appointment on Wednesdays, and walk up donations will be accepted Sundays from 12PM – 6PM. Donations outside these times will politely turned away.
  • Frequent Cleaning and Sanitation: Prior to reopening, we will have a professional sanitation company perform a deep cleaning of the center. We are also sanitizing surfaces and high touch areas at least twice daily and providing frequent hand washing breaks for our staff and volunteers.

 

We are eager to share our new space with you! Our appreciation and gratitude goes out to each of you for your patience, support, and understanding during this time. We’ll see you soon!

Make Champagne Cork Mushrooms

Pop! Magic is always in the air at ACR! In this easy tutorial, see how to transform the everyday champagne cork into a tiny garden treasure! These mushrooms can also be added to party settings, or festive gift bags, or in doll houses (think of them as little tables). Have fun with it!  Bags of champagne corks are a staple at the center – grab one today!

 

 

Another Way to Use Stencils

Before you decide stencils aren’t your thing, consider another way they could be used. With stencils as a guide, you can make so many unique decorations for: cards/invitations, garlands, stickers, labels, name cards, gift tags, journals, collages… Stencils at ACR start at just 10 cents and we have drawers and bins overflowing with them!

  

August Volunteer Spotlight: Betsie Eikenberry

Betsie, in one of her favorite garments made from ACR fabric!

What motivates you to volunteer?

I’m very passionate about making a big difference in small ways.  If everyone pitches in where they can, we can make a big difference together. 

Why ACR?

I think it’s very important to be mindful about our consumerism.  We live in such a throw-away society, that we’ve forgotten that things can be reused and repurposed.  My family really enjoys searching for and finding new-to-us treasures, it’s almost like a sport!  So it seemed natural to volunteer for an organization with reuse and repurpose at its core.  I want ACR to continue to be a resource in our community and volunteers are needed for that!

How long have you volunteered with ACR?

I actually went to volunteer orientation almost exactly a year ago!  

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

I would say that I’m into both equally.  I made a commitment in 2019 to sew or knit as much of my own wardrobe as possible in order to circumvent the ready-to-wear clothing industry.  As a whole, it’s a very wasteful and environmentally harmful industry.  ACR has been essential to that endeavor, I get the majority of my fabric here!  So really, the two aspects are intertwined for me.  

Where else have you/do you volunteer?

My other main volunteering gig is on the Board of Directors for Austin Humanists at Work.  I am the secretary and I also manage our inventory and donations.  We help people experiencing homelessness by providing them with personal care items, undergarments, warmth items and other things, no strings attached. 

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

I really enjoy spending time with like-minded people who also enjoy making and creating with thrifted items.  But I’m not going to lie, I really love spending time with all that beautiful fabric.

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

Well, I roll fabric at home while listening to murder and true crime podcasts, so there’s a little bit of weird energy in each roll of fabric!  

July Reuse & Rethink: Marker Caps Winner!

Congratulations to this month’s Reuse and Rethink contest winner, Lucas, C! The challenge this month was to make something out of marker caps and eight year old Lucas created an amazing, infinite marble maze. Here’s how it works:
 
The two boards overlap and you start in the red section and at the end of the first board, the marble falls onto the second board in the green section. Here, you follow the path to the little hole in the corner in the blue section. The hole is aligned with the starting point in the red section.”
 
His mom says this project is a real winner with all kids and he has been eager to challenge all kids he meets to do the maze. We’re very impressed with your creative use of marker caps and appreciate that your creation is able to bring joy to others. Enjoy your ACR gift card!
 
 
Thanks to everyone else who participated! Your entries inspire us!
 
 

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2005 Wheless Lane, Austin, TX 78723
Center Hours:
CLOSED Until Further Notice
Curbside Pickup, 10am-4pm, Daily
Tel: (512) 375-3041