Posts Tagged ‘upcycling’

get your {fashion} fixx

December 8, 2011

I just had to take a little break from making toothpaste and body scrubs for this weekend’s holiday fair to tell you about this amazingly fun experience I had last night. As you may know, in addition to my love of herbs and natural body care, I love to remake things. Well, last night I got to play around with some tired old and moth-eaten clothes, remaking them into some fabulously fun frankensteined fashion (oh wow, who loves alliteration?).

Down in DUMBO there’s this hidden little gem of a place known as Metamorfixx, home and studio of Petra Hanson, fashion designer, artist, musician, and now teacher. She gave me and 2 other friends lessons on how to take our worn out duds and make lovely new ones using various techniques. Two of my favorites were the sew-free t-shirt knot and on the opposite end of the spectrum, the super industrial Merrow serger.

Petra shows us this cute tank dress she made using the knot technique.

I took a t-shirt Livi got from a stoop sale and an old moth-eaten sweater to make this get-up I call Björkenstein.

I found out about Metamorfixx from my dearest friend Livi (Olivia Cleans Green), after she went to an Evolver reskilling event where Petra demonstrated her fabric “fixxing” skills.

Livi doesn’t usually where trousers, but she loved the look of this tuxedo pants jumpsuit. She fixxed it by cutting off the legs and inserting triangle-shaped fabric where the old inseams were. In the back, for added flare, Livi used some blue satin from a formal dress she’s had in her closet for many moons.

So how can you get your fashion fixx? Get in touch with Petra. She’s now teaching small workshops like the one I attended last night. You bring the clothing and she supplies the notions and know-how. It’s *sew* much fun! (Yeah, I know I’m a dork).

my dad’s (local & upcycled) handiwork

January 20, 2010

For the last few Christmases, we’ve been taking advantage of my dad’s penchant for woodworking. The first year, he made us filing cabinets. The next, a TV stand. And then the following, a curio cabinet. While all of the pieces thus far have been beautiful and much appreciated, this year, he outdid himself.

Using locally grown and milled quartersawn white oak from Woodman’s Sawmill & Cabinetry in Long Valley, NJ, he built us a hall tree (kind of a funny name, but I guess it’s appropriate).

The lovely hall tree.

The back is even beautifully finished to conceal the mirror backs and hardware.

In addition to building us this great piece of furniture, my dad rescued a chifferobe from the neighbor’s trash. It turns out it was solid cedar, but whoever owned it before had painted it (!). My dad stripped it using a non-toxic soy-based solvent. And then he completely rebuilt it into this new cedar chest of drawers for my auntie.

He even fashioned the keyhole out of recycled tin.

Not bad, eh?

We’re a luckily lot to not have to depend on mass-manufactured furniture. On top of that, these pieces are instant family heirlooms, hand-crafted by my dad. (And I get to brag about it!)

blogging for greenopolis

January 11, 2010

I am tickled and honored to be blogging for Greenopolis. My first post may look familiar – it’s a rehash of the original Library of Trash post from early November. But just in case you missed it, or you wanted to see it in a new venue, here it is…

learnings for a new year

January 5, 2010

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

Taking the time to reflect back on 2009, I’ve realized that it was a very full year. I launched myself into so many different worlds: permaculture, food culture, crafting, Twitter, a new business endeavor, a renewed website. Along the way I’ve gathered skills and met some amazing people. Thinking back, it’s hard to believe that all of this happened in only one year (click on the pictures to visit related posts)…


Block printing

Jewelry making

Soap making

Glass bottle upcycling

Ricotta & butter making


Tweeting & meeting
I’ve met some amazing people & have had some great experiences because of Twitter

Brooklyn Food Coalition


So what will 2010 bring? Or maybe I should say, what will I bring to 2010? I’m not one for resolutions, especially at the beginning of a new year. I resolve to do things all year long, without really giving it a label. I try to have healthy expectations for what I can achieve. Here are a few things I have mapped out for this year…

  • A visit to Costa Rica
  • A learning experience in Milwaukee with Will Allen of Growing Power
  • The launch of a new endeavor – The Library of Trash (stay tuned!)
  • Blogging for Greenopolis & Aribra
  • Finding room to garden

I’ll be blogging about all of these developments as they happen, so keep your ear to the ground!