My sister-in-law gives the best presents. One year she gave me a milk frother and I’ve used it practically every day since.
This year she told me about the gift she gave her husband and I’m telling you — we all need to steal this idea! 📚
Her husband, my brother-in-law, is an architect and designer. He has a great minimalist sensibility. Below is a photo of the backyard of their home that he remodeled. Notice the footrest in front of the butterfly chair. It’s a used fireplace grate with a block of wood on top. I love that upcycled detail! You can learn more about him and his projects at Big Fish Design. He doesn’t have an Instagram account unfortunately but I hear his daughters are working on him to create one. 😉
So anyway my sister-in-law knows her husband well. She knows what he likes and what he doesn’t like. Her first thought was to buy him some gorgeous design books — but he’s a minimalist kinda guy. If she got a book he didn’t love he might feel obliged to keep it. What she decided to do instead was to borrow a pile of books from the public library and give it to him as a gift!
She curated a stack of hard-to-find architecture and design books (some through Interlibrary loan), then she wrapped them up and included the due date on the card. She arranged it so he got plenty of quiet time to enjoy them before they needed to be returned.
I mean … Genius, right?! Can we all do this for Christmas 2020?!
Think about roaming the stacks of your local library with a loved one in mind. It’s such a great exercise to think of a person you love and what they might like and then create a stack of library books that you think they might appreciate. And to take it one step further and get hard to find books from a college library through interlibrary loan is genius!
The only thing this idea needs is a good hashtag. Any suggestions? How about #libraryxmas or #checkoutxmas 🎄📚
For four years my friends and I have gathered together on Black Friday for a day of sewing. The day after Thanksgiving has become synonymous with shopping and sales and we want to transform it into a day about making.
We gather together in a rented gallery space and start the day by catching up with each other over coffee, tea, and Thanksgiving leftovers.
We sew for a full day — usually starting at around 9 AM and stopping at around 7PM. Originally we challenged ourselves to sew an entire outfit and wear it out that evening but over time we’ve loosened the rules. Some of us do mending and hemming projects that’s we’ve saved up all year.
Sewing clothing is really hard. We create an environment where we are surrounded with support and laughter. We push one another to finish projects that we might otherwise set aside. Because of that, the day is a mix of anxiety and laughter.
For this year, I decided to construct a dress out of secondhand scarves. I found it extremely challenging to work with this type of fabric but I pushed myself to finish. I guess I’m happy with the color and print juxtapositions but the construction is horrendous. 🙈
No matter what transpires on Make Friday, I am left with a deeper appreciation for what it takes to design and construct clothing and that helps me to be more in tune with what it should cost for a quality garment. It recalibrates me to make mindful choices for my wardrobe.
We’d love for Make Friday to spread. Start planning for next Black Friday. You don’t need to rent a space. You can work from home or gather with friends. And you don’t need to make clothing. Make jewelry! Make ceramics! Make whatever you want! Share your projects online and add the hashtag #MakeFriday so we can follow along!
Project Upcycle returns in March 2020 with its signature fast-paced sustainable fashion design challenge!
That means it’s time for the annual call to designers. Bring your creativity, skills, and fashion design know-how to the sewing table.
3S Artspace, Recovergirl (moi), and Goodwill Industries of New England seek to promote regional designers and sustainable fashion. If you are ready to meet other inspiring designers and put your design skills to the test, please apply to compete in the Project Upcycle design challenge, transforming secondhand clothing into a gala-worthy outfit!