Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stuff Sharers - Bendigo

I thought I would share a little something about a group I became a part of about 6 months ago. It's a facebook group called 'Stuff sharers - Bendigo' which is exactly as the name suggests, a group of people who give away, loan and share 'stuff'. It's a little bit different from a site like freecycle or buy/swap/sell, as I'll discuss below.

It began as a group of friends, expanded to friends of friends and has now grown to have around 700 members. Members are free to ask for items, or to post up items they are willing to give away. First to comment with a 'yes please' or similar, gets the item. There is no 'NIL' or next in line, but if the item doesn't suit, whoever received it can re share. Stories about the item being given away are encouraged, and photos of the recipient enjoying the item, or comments of thanks are sometimes posted on the group page.

So what is shared? During my time as a stuff sharer I have seen several families with urgent needs inundated with offers of household items and clothing, pets re-homed, chicken sheds built from scraps, ski gear lent out, 80's and Harry Potter party costumes gathered, surplus fruit, concert tickets, and advice shared. Recently a car was even borrowed for a weekend. Sharers seem more willing to let go of items of sentimental value knowing that they will be enjoyed by someone else, even if they are not personally known to them. Many items that would have otherwise continued to languish in sheds gathering dust have been given a new lease on life for this reason.

It has evolved into a community of like-minded and caring individuals, who largely do not know one another, but are willing to share rather than throw away or buy new. Sometimes friendships can form over shares, such as a much coveted haul of fabric, but sharers largely move about unnoticed, collecting items from pick up locations.

Here are a few photos of my recent stuff sharer experiences.

The boys in their 'new'  sleeping bags. I posted this as an appreciation photo.

Some wool for my granny squares.

And cute note that came with it.

A vintage suitcase the Mr D now uses on nights away. Well it used to belong to a Nun!

Miss J Parted with her beloved pink wardrobe (photo cannot be found now), in favour of a dusty (but more grown up) old desk as featured in this post here, where I repainted it and added the cotton reel handles. We've also shared our toys, baby items, and clothing, and have loved the joy others have taken in recieving it.

Just this week this pile of magazines, much loved and read by me, destined for the recycle bin, were eagerly recieved by a stuff sharer, who vowed to reshare them after reading. 

Perhaps you have a group of friends with stuff to share. Would you consider starting your own stuff sharer community? Or are you in Bendigo and feel this community could be for you? Come and find us on facebook.

How to make Doily Bunting - so easy.

I've have not been feeling great this week with a cold, and yesterday was the worst, so I took 15 minutes after dinner to make some pretty doily bunting with these lovely dollies I was given.

Then I had to choose what the hang my bunting off. I decided on the mauve ribbon. Then I cut the doilies in half.

And sewed them on. I used a fancy stitch, for strength, and because I can.

Then I bundled up a little package to give to a friend I'm seeing on the weekend. :)

Oh and look, my pantry is getting organised.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Making my way to a happy existence.

Sorry about all of my double posts lately, although I now have a computer I seem to be having trouble getting to it regularly.

Here's what I've been making lately. My crochet skills advanced a little and these are my first 2 squares. Very pleased with myself. They might be a little wonky, but it's a big achievement for me.

On the weekend I made some tin can lanterns to celebrate winter solstice, and we also had an amazing super moon here. Winter nights have been so cold and frosty, but the days are lovely and sunny. 

I made a new hot water bottle cover. I could not survive without my hot water bottle.

Oh and some socks were reunited with the help of the sock matchmaker. Hooray!!!!

 Today I started making Juliet a patchwork doona cover (duvet to some) using a bag of lovely fabric scraps I was given from a Mum at school. This was me cutting and laying out the pieces.

Also today, Little A and I made a countdown calendar for his birthday in 2 weeks time. He wrote in the numbers himself, and look what he got to do today.

It's cold, and I'm not a lover of cooler weather, so I have to add even more colour to my life to make up for it.

What have you been up to?

Things that make me smile.

Ok, so I've been op shopping again (blush), but there was lots of goodness to be found. You know how I love colour and fun, so here's what I picked up last week.

I needed a pot for soup, and how could I resist this? $5, and definitely something to make me smile during the cold winter months.

A willow canister (now my biscuit jar). I wasn't really sure if I loved or hated this, but I was very drawn to it, and couldn't resist it for $2.

Another happy glass, just 50 cents. I love it lots and lots.

Lastly, another granny blanket. Someone went to all that work. The kids love it. ($3)

So that's $10.50 worth of goodness there. Shared, treasured and enjoyed. :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A cottage garden bag

I got given a bag of fabric and old clothing and linens to go through recently before it went to the op shop. This skirt below was a find, with a couple of holes and a broken zip. I loved the ruffles, and needed a new bag, so it was obvious to me what I needed to do.

I cut it into the size and shape I needed. Big enough to fit a nappy, some wipes and a few snacks since I still have little ones. I used a vintage sheet to make the bag fully lined, and some scraps to make pockets and embellishments.

When I'm making a bag I try to think of all of the things about handbags that annoy me. So I have an outside pocket for my sunglasses, a little hook to hang my keys one, and an inside pocket for other things I need to locate in a hurry.

The inside.

Cannister crush, and a sign that all is good in the world.

I'm not generally a spiritual person at all, but a few things have happened to me recently that have really made me smile and think that Nan is trying to tell me something. 

We had some friends over for tea and scones on the Sunday before last, to sit in front of the fire at Nan's table and have a vintage afternoon tea. I realised I didn't have a little milk jug. 

Then a new op shop opened in Bendigo two days later, and of course I had to pop in for a look and there it was, a pink 1950s milk/cream jug the same brand as my plates from Nan. I don't know how many op shops I've been in over countless years looking for this 50s crockery like my Nan's but never have I seen a single piece, until after her death. Then I found the whole set of side plates, and now the jug, in the same colour that I happened to get from her. Definitely good op shopping karma. 

More op shop goodies from the Bendigo Baptist Community Care (The new op shop). A vintage paisley dress still with tags on for $2, some coloured pyrex bowls for 50 cents each, a gorgeous orange flowers vintage towel and a parka and bonds jacket for the littlest man in my life for $1 each. Lovely staff and the bargains were running out the door on day 1.

And here's some other awesome new additions to my pantry. Now I must get myself organised to get the pantry sorted. It will look beautiful anyway. 

Shared with

My outfit challenge is now complete.

Today is the last day of my outfit challenge, and whilst it's been fun, I can't wait until tomorrow when I'll be wearing something very comfy and daggy and NOT taking a photo of myself. (Complete with bad hair).

Day 26 - Handmade skirt, one of my favourite vintage floral tops and a 1960s mens dinner suit jacket. (complete with padded shoulder glory)

Day 27 - Having a day with my 8yo, just heading off to watching him play u9 footy then hopping on the train to Melbourne and taking him to see AFL footy. Wearing my grandpa's vest, my hippy market pants, and my vintage footy scarf. Yes I've had it since about 1980, when my footy team used to be good. 

Day 28 - I repaired this vintage dress that had worn through to a hole, by sewing on a piece of doily by hand. I think it matches so well with the dress. Worn with op shopped jacket.

And a little something extra.

Sharing a little something from my wardrobe. This vintage leather coat used to belong to my Grandma. She gave it to me when I started refashioning and she was moving into an aged care place and getting rid of lots of stuff. It's a couple of sizes too big for me but I like having it, and knowing she used to wear it. I just found her hanky, 20 cents and a met ticket in the pocket. It makes me smile thinking of her wearing it. She loved bold colours.

Day 29 -  I'm in the sandpit with my boys this morning wearing a vintage mint paisley shirt and op shopped jeans. Loving the winter sunshine.

Day 30 - Thank goodness! It's been fun but tomorrow I'm looking forward to wearing something daggy and NOT taking a photo of myself. I'm wearing a vintage dress which was refashioned a little by me, and an op shopped jacket. And new boots. These are not op shopped, but I do love them. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Vintage/Handmade/Op shopped outfits days 19 - 25

Day 19 - I bought this vintage dress at Cheltenham Salvos over 2 years ago, but haven't worn it. It seemed a bit out there. I was scared. But now that I'm wearing it, it's kind of awesome. The back of the dress is fabulous. I'll definitely be wearing it more now.

Day 20 - I'm heading off to the Bendigo Community Farmers' Market this morning so it seemed only right to wear my citrus skirt, purchased from Rosebud Vintage, with stuff shared free hand knitted vest and farmers' market bag.

Day 21 - Vintage dress refashioned by me and shawl borrowed from kids dress ups.

It's day 22. It's a long weekend and I'm staying home today. I'm wearing Yakka overalls that tell a story of a very special relationship. These used to belong to Pa (my grandpa). We had a very special relationship. He called me his 'lovely bubby' from when I was very tiny. He died 19 years ago and my Nan gave me this pair of his overalls. I still like to put them on and feel closer to him sometimes. Grandparents are very special people. Yakka overalls are clearly made to last.

Day 23 - Vintage shirt and skirt. More power to the flower!

Day 24 - Good morning! Cold and rainy here. I'm wearing a tunic made by me from fabric I found at the op shop and op shopped jeans.


Day 25  I'm wearing another vintage bodyshirt/shirt. It's hard to tell from the pic but it's covered in yellow and green crosses. With my denim skirt refashion, which keeps popping up because my vintage shirts don't match very well with anything else in my wardrobe. I Love these hill tribe boots.

 Phew! Now what to wear today???

Bookmarks, lost socks, winding down.

Well the good news is that I finally have a computer after weeks without one, so hopefully I can get myself back into blogging regularly. It's been a struggle!

Here are a few things we've been making at our place lately.

It's been wet and rainy, so on the weekend we made some bookmarks using cardboard boxes and fabric scraps. Aidan is getting so grown up now!

As usual the button sorting provided another hour of so of amusement. :)

A retro cubby was made using Nan's table. It's a great table for this activity. A feast was consumed inside.
I added a bit of Nan's kitchen under sink vinyl to my little kitchen corner of love.
I made a cushion from recycled materials and the tiny scrap of Sarah Kay fabric I found at the op shop a while ago.
Liam had to make something out of trash for school, so he made a stool from an electrical cable I found on the side of the road last year while I was out walking. I only picked it up because I didn't like seeing it there and was annoyed at the trades person who had dumped it, so I brought it home, and it sat out near the front door for a few months. Inspiration finally came. Liam was impressed, and so was his teacher, who let him sit on it for the day at school.

And lastly, my lost sock wall, with a little play on words, on a topic close to my heart.
My making has slowed down a little, deliberately, and I've been in two minds about it. I needed to slow down, to actually get some sleep and stop from going mad, but I do miss my frantic creativity a little. I'm still finding my balance. I've started yoga, and actually started reading a book again, and loving it. So I'm a little sad to be making less, but very happy to be learning to relax again, and loving the transformative world of books once again.