Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Instructable Christmas

Christmas Celebrations?
Do it yourself with reused goodies -You've heard the mantra from everyone on Better Homes and Gardens to Grassroots and school teachers, not to mention our lovely selves!

Here are a few awesome Christmas projects for the kids at home, the kids at heart, and the too cool for school to get you started these holidays.

A super simple idea to bring a designer touch to your christmas wrapping - without spending ridiculous amounts of money.
Brought to you by How About Orange

5 options to cutting down a live tree - from investing in a potted tree to cardboard and drift wood trees. Our favourite is the random objects tree. We've got plenty of random objects at The Bower!
These ideas from Crafting a Green World

Make your own great Christmas ornaments this year! Dig into these Christmas ornament Instructables for some helpful methods involving origami and other methods. None of it is too difficult and before long you'll have something new to add to the tradition.
From instructables

DIY CD Snowflake Ornaments

This could either be the best way to break a paper shredder or the most awesome extreme craft... You tell us!

Now you've got the ideas, bring that shopping list down to the Bower!

We've got magazines for gift wrapping and origami, cds for $1 ea, gift boxes for 20c each, christmas baubles for 10c each, DIY plaster ornaments ($2ea) and the fantastic Bower Reuse Christmas Tree to inspire your own creation this year!

Friday, November 5, 2010

November News

The November Newsletter is out there in the ether.
Normally we'd post images of it here, but we're experiencing technical difficulties so
Click here to download the PDF.

Go on - click there. It'll change your life!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Creative Enterprise Hubs

Yesterday we were privileged to hear Marcus Westbury speak about creative enterprise hubs, and how he has created precisely that in Newcastle with the Renew Newcastle Project. Such is his success that The Lonely Planet named Newcastle number NINE of the top ten cities IN THE WORLD to visit in 2010.

If you see this man, anywhere in your travels, you must buy him a beer.

Why? First he had an idea about regenerating the town centre of Newcastle.
Then he got out of bed, got fired up, and got others fired up. Then he set about brokering deals in which owners of disused and empty buildings in the CBD granted access rights to 'initiativists' - budding artists, craftsmen and people with projects but no place to put those plans in to practice.

Each initiativist that was linked with a space went in, overhauled it in the cheapest, simplest manner possible - Claiming items from hard rubbish, mixing paint remnants in to crazy custom shades, and generally championing REUSE. And then they used that space to work, dream, sell, network and ultimately build their careers.

(Image from Renew project Make-Space - click for more info)

At The Bower we see a lot of you picking up odds and sods for ingenious and inventive artworks, DIY projects and shoestring makeovers, and we know all too well that lack of space is what prevents a lot of people from making their projects bigger and more challenging.

Many of our consignees work out of their loungeroom or in the open air (challenged by this wet wet spring!), so it was more than inspiring to hear Marcus talk about just what is possible when you give a red hot go. Renew projects are popping up around australia, and the model built by Marcus has been adapted by Arts NSW - you can read more here.

So, as I said - Buy this  man a beer.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Upscale Your Upholstery Weekend

One of the coolest things about my job with The Bower is getting people excited about the possibilities that come with reusing, renovating, and repairing things. Waverley Council have set up a fantastic series of events to inspire their residents on precisely this topic in the areas of furniture, clothing, bike maintenance and even Nanna and Grandpa Skills - more about those last two next time.

This past weekend a very generous member donated her time both days to help me help a mob of excited soon-to be upholsterers on their projects.

We saw a huge variety of furniture from dining chairs to arm chairs, telephone tables and piano stools - not to mention a wide array of fabrics from The Salvos, Reverse Garbage, old designer fabric swatches and much much more.

We'd love to be running more of these closer to home (The Inner West) but we need teaching space with solid tables and preferably a roof - although we hate to be so fussy about these things! Check out some of these projects and get inspired!