Reuse, Repurpose, Upcycle

Cover of Rooms for KidsAfter an absolute age of gentle – and not so gentle – persuasion, I finally convinced Miss Missy that her room needed a serious tidy-up. Usually my suggestions were met with everything from tears to wails of “you’re ruining my life!” But suddenly, the other day, she agreed. No, I didn’t discover some marvelous parenting technique that brought her round to my point of view. Believe me, I’d share it with you if I had! No. It’s thanks to a minor incursion of ants. Thankfully, there were only about five ants and they were quickly dealt with, but they did persuade my melodramatic preteen that tidying up would be a good idea. (Perhaps if I’d found this book earlier, I could have saved myself a whole lot of bother!!)

While we were in the midst of liberating the floor from the deluge of detritus, and ousting the un-loved Barbies from the prime real estate they were inhabiting, I found a too-small, unworn, Nana-knit jersey. Now, Nana (bless her heart) is an excellent knitter, but she does have a bit of a tendency to knit what she wants to knit, not what Miss Missy would actually want to wear.  She also likes to make up her own patterns, with some  – ahem –  unusual results. The jersey presented me with one of those tidying dilemmas which have the potential to derail the entire process.  Nana (bless her heart) had spent time and money on this jersey, and it seemed wrong to just donate it (unwanted though it was). We had no sentimental attachment to the jersey, so it really didn’t belong in the attic pile. And since Miss Missy wasn’t going to wear it, it certainly didn’t belong in her dresser. If I had a little niece who wouldn’t mind wearing a jersey with a rather snug-fitting neck, I could pass it along, but unfortunately I’m a bit short on nieces (snug-neck-friendly or otherwise).  What to do, what to do??

Cover of DIY FashionistaNow, although I have not had much success in clearing the clutter in my corners of the house (you can read about my attempts here and here) I am making a concerted effort not to add to the clutter. I refused to let this jersey get the better of me!  And then I hit on the perfect solution. I would unravel it, and remake it into a shrug for myself. This would not only solve the tidying dilemma, but would be eco-friendly and hip too (upcycling is so in these days, right? …If taking a jersey and remaking it into another jersey counts as upcycling that is) And the colour would go beautifully with that favourite skirt of mine. Perfect!

So then I had to find a pattern.  I really like some of the patterns in these books, but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for.  So then I turned to Designer Knitting, Creative Knitting, and the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary for inspiration. And now, just a few short weeks later I, have a new shrug. And, despite doing almost as much un-knitting as knitting (being rather new to creating my own knitting patterns) I have to say I’ve very happy with the results!

Cover of Dozens of Ways to Repurpose ScarvesI think upcycling could be my new favourite thing and I’m already gearing up for my next project – this time I want to make a top out of a scarf, and I’ll be checking out this book for ideas.

  • Would you like to give upcycling a try? Check out my list for inspiration
  • Looking for ideas for your kids rooms? Try these books

Oh, and yes, I did get Miss Missy’s room sorted, and she’s actually happy with the results (well, mostly happy!)

Innovative collaboration and a Living wall

A great project between members of the Library Programme Design and Delivery team in collaboration with Department of Conservation and Fab Lab in Christchurch meant we could utilise our 3D printer to produce and contribute panels to the “Living Wall” project.

Elizabeth Guthrey from DOC.
Elizabeth Guthrey from DOC.

Various community groups and organisations such as local schools and businesses that have access to 3D printers have been asked to contribute panels to this wall. It will eventually be planted up with native plants and situated on the corner of Cashel and High Street in Christchurch’s central city.

Elizabeth Guthrey (the project leader pictured above) explains that urban green walls and roofs provide habitats for plants and animals, supporting nature in our city. They create shelter, shade and cool cityscapes for a more liveable urban environment for people. The proven positive effects on people’s wellbeing mean green spaces are a must-have in urban regeneration. This particular wall is tipped to be around 20 metres long and remain in place for around two years or more. The picture below provides an indication of how the wall may look when complete.

From the PDD team’s perspective, it is great to get involved in initiatives that contribute to our city’s regeneration and it has certainly been a fantastic trial for our little Makerbot 3D printer – which so far hasn’t missed a beat.

urban-living-wall-designBlog_post

Danny
South Learning Centre