Strawberry Fair

Here are some photos of the group at Strawberry Fair

DSCN7525_4211Rod showing off some of the things we made

DSCN7540_4226Rod doing some tai chi (And check out our bunting up above them!)

DSCN7538_4224More tai chi

DSCN7532_4218Sarah relaxing

DSCN7543_4229People stopping to knit at the Knitter’s Arms

This is what the guys thought of their visit to the Strawberry Fair:

Rod Says:  “Dear Strawberry Fair I like going to the fair. I enjoy the strawberry Fair.  My favourite bit was doing tai chi.”

Sarah Says:  “My favourite part was the food.  I had chicken, rice and coleslaw.”

























A word from some of our members:

I’ve done a project today with Re-Creations.  Today I’ve done a lovely drawing.  It’s nice, and I had fun and enjoyed it.  It was flowers of different colours.  I like art work and have fun doing it.  — Luisa.

melted crayon flowers

I tried to make a heart, but it came out as a funny shaped one.  I enjoy what I’m doing and had good fun.  I want to do it again.  I made two pictures.  –Rod


Here are some of the finished pictures from our other members:

DSCN7420_4107 DSCN7414_4101

Exciting Photo Ops PLUS a tiny tights tutorial!

We’re still all about bikes at the moment, and we are just so excited about the stuff we’ve made over the last couple of weeks!  (Ok, the 26 cups of coffee we drank while making it may have added somewhat to the excitement.)  In any case, here are some fancy photos courtesy of our very own photographer (and YouCanBike-erSarah Pledger, and thanks again to the guys at Outspoken for donating their old bike bits.

ring pull and bike chain bracelets

Making clocks

upcycled bike parts

Chain ring clock (I so love this photo!)

Chain ring clock (I so love this photo!)

Outside of the group, I’ve seized the opportunity for a little at-home-upcycling as well.

Question:  What do you do when your five-year-old manages to put holes in every pair of tights you buy, within an hour of putting them on?

Answer:  Turn them into funky fingerless gloves.

tights into fingerless gloves

Just cut off both legs below the hole and cut off the toes.  (of the tights. Not the child.  Just in case that wasn’t clear.)  Then cut a small hole in the heel for the thumb to poke through.  fingerless glovesNext, photograph your child wearing her new gloves.  Throw in some vintage photo effects to hide the fingerprints on your wall and Voila!  Instant Hipster.  We now have maybe 12 pairs of these gloves floating around the house, which is good.  Because after putting holes in her tights, losing gloves is my eldest’s next best talent.

A quick word from one of our group members


Hello, my name today is “Tom Riddle”. I like to tell you what we’ve been doing today in our Team. Making bracelets from ring pulls, and clocks from bike stuff and cd’s. We will sell them at a craft fair to get money. When we have enough money, we will go to Nandos. (They have chicken.)

Creatures & Features!

Oooh, it’s been an exciting week!  Not just because of the closing Olympic extravaganza. And not just because I watched a 200 pound German Shepherd hurdle through my 8 foot fence in a desperate smash-and-grab attempt on foster dog’s squeaky toy.

For us, it’s been a big week because our Fairy Godmother in Berlin* has been waving around some magic pixie dust on our behalf and gotten us features!

If you check out our newest piece of flair over here ————————-> We’re wearing a “Roadkill Rescue” badge!  That’s right, baby!  Our Sweet Wrapper Lanterns  are sitting pretty on the front page over at Roadkill Rescue.  (Amongst a whole legion of other  kick-ass ideas which are well worth a visit!)

And if that wasn’t enough, It’s also sitting in the Craft section over atLove All Blogs. (Which, incidentally, seems to be just the app I need to keep all of my blog reading in order!)  These features make one thing clear:  Sheri from Awesomesauce & Asshattery has a lot to teach us about exposing ourselves to the wider public! 😉

In other news this week, we’ve been going nuts with wine bottle lanterns, including these creepy creatures:

Imagine those guys peeking out from your wine rack this Halloween!  Here are a couple of action shots from the group this week:


We’ll update with more photos when the lanterns are finished.  In the meantime, I’ve been road-testing a new online sales venue!  So if you fancy getting your mitts on some fancy bits like the ones I made for Wedstival 2012, come visit the shop on DaWanda, where more items are listed each day.  And stay tuned for our upcoming upcycling tutorials of wonder!



Wedstival 2012: A week in Photos

OK, in the week running up to the event of the year (Olympics, pfft!  Wedstival 2012 is where it’s at!) we have no time to write a proper post.  But we’re so proud of what we’ve all achieved that we have to share it!  So enjoy these and rest assured there are lots of stories, tutorials and news coming up when the big day is done.

These are some custom upcycled photo frames for the photobooth (before and after tutorials coming later):

This is an “old tin sign” for the photobooth, made from an upcycled baking tray.



Upcycled bottle lamps:

Chair garlands are clearly a serious business:

Teapot planters trying to soak up some sun:

repurposed teapots

And my favourite so far, the teacup wine glasses!

teacup wine glass, repurposed chinaAnd all these are only the beginning!  This is going to be the coolest wedding since ours!

(Kidding actually.  This wedding is much cooler than ours was!)

Upcycled Wedding Progress!

OK, so it’s been a bit of a whirlwind the last few weeks.  We had the Jubilee.  We had parties. There was Euro2012 and the Ravelympics drama.  And the Olympic torch passed through.  But don’t start thinking we’ve been distracted by all the excitement.  Oh no, our little fingers have been busy getting ready for Wedstival 2012– our very first upcycled wedding!  So here comes the photo recap of what we’ve been up to:

We went out in search of materials to upcycle into wedding decorations.  At Emmaus we found some inspiration right away in the form of a giant Audrey Hepburn portrait.  Her flawless beauty and classic, graceful style helped the team decide exactly what they were looking for:

“Breakfast at Emmaus”.  But after that, it was all serious business.

No, really, it was tough work.  Our main objective was to find unusable fabric that we could upcycle.   Torn curtains, bedding full of holes, and stained tablecloths were our mission. (Just the kind of stuff every bride wants at her wedding!)  It couldn’t be just any old rags–we had to find rubbish fabric that would match the wedding’s colour palette.  Actually, the pressure was so intense, that

we were knackered and had to break for lunch.  Outside.  In the grounds of a beautiful cathedral.  With puppies.  It’s just as well we rested, because we had to carry back heaps of supplies to make lots of cool stuff, like:

Singed fabric flowers.  (Hooray, more pyrocrafting!) We also need to make lots of

chair garlands and bunting.  Sure, it looks easy enough.  But remember, we’re making loads and loads of them!

Mass production means spending a lot of time doing repetitive tasks and making piles of stuff like this:

So, how do we cope with the long days full of repetitive work?  Well, we chat a lot and exchange our news and stories.  We work as a team and set up assembly lines with everybody contributing what they do best.  We make jokes and have many, many cups of tea and coffee.  And last week we had some help from these guys: 

Ahh, Goonies.  I know, I know, it’s a tough life.  And tomorrow is going to be even tougher.  Because while we work our way through around 80 metres of bunting, we have to decide between Pirates of the Caribbean and Night at the Museum.  Sigh!  The Pressure…

An Awesomesauce Project Update

Well kids, if you’ve been keeping up with our recent activities, you’ll know that last week we got an awesome parcel from Sheri of Awesomesauce&Asshattery and Mensch T’s fame.  It was a lovely and thoughtful gift for the members of Re-Creations Wednesday Group in Cambridge.  And I was all

and then so was she, and then the whole love-fest carried on over in the Regretsy forum where warm fuzzies were shared and it was generally agreed that the situation was awesome and that we were all kick-ass individuals of the highest caliber.  And then…

Yesterday I got to deliver the bags to the group.  And boy were they thrilled!  There were no tears (at least not initially), they checked out the bags and loved that they had their names on them.  But what really got them was the notes Sheri included with each bag, commenting on the work in their gallery!  I noticed a couple of people with itchy eyes at that point–the pollen count must have been really high…  And then, since no good deed goes unpunished, we got straight to work on a couple of cool bits of swag to send over to Sheri in Berlin.  Here’s a gratuitously smiley photo:

If you look closely, you can see I’m holding a super-duper specially made Awesomesauce Jar Lantern, that’s going to be wandering over to Sheri as soon as I break open my piggy bank for postage!  (But I’m not telling what else we made for her because we want it to be a surprise!)

And if that wasn’t enough coolness for one day, Luci over at Idle Hands Yarn wrote this feature about us on Love 2 Upcycle–The Etsy Upcycling Team Blog.  As a result, lots of cool people have stopped by to visit our little corner of Etsy, and lots have stayed for a cup of tea and a chat!

While all of this has been going on, the team has been incredibly busy.  We had to finish off our bottle top door mat, which turned out pretty cool. (It also feels amazing when you stand on it in socks!)

And the rest of the time, we’ve been getting ready for: (drumroll, please) a wedding.  Not for any of our team–that ship has long since sailed for Jacqui and I.*  But a near and dear friend of the group has asked us to do upcycled wedding decorations for her very special day, and we are soooooooo excited!  This might just be the most fun we’ve had yet!  So if posts are running a bit thin over the next few weeks, don’t worry.  It won’t be because we’re slacking off and putting our feet up over the summer– we’ll be out there somewhere in Cambridgeshire, working all of our fingers to the bone!

*however, if Robert Downey Jr. should become available, we would take the situation into consideration.**

** You don’t necessarily need to mention this to our respective spouses.

In which additional fun was had with bottle tops!

Well, in a week fraught with technical difficulties, it looks as though I may (at last) manage a post!  Wednesday group-ers came back from holiday this week, with energy to spare.  Which was good because (as you may remember from this post) we had around a thousand plastic bottle tops prepped and waiting for them!

bottle top craftsHaving already washed and dried them all*, we set about sorting them by colour.  Our first project was a simple one, inspired by this Urban Capping gallery on Fvue.  So everybody had a go at making bottle top flowers:

bottle top coasters, upcycled bottle top coastersSweet! The flowers are simple to make, by drilling holes in the bottle tops** and lacing them together.  Now, the urban capping guys made them for decorative purposes, but we’ve found that they’re quite functional as well.  Check it out:

upcycled bottle tops

Cute, and supporting my caffeine habit–just the kind of project I like!  But we still have a few (thousand) bottle tops to work with, so we moved on to something a bit more complex:  a doormat.  First we set about arranging the tops in different patterns.


We went for the love heart pattern (courtesy of Mr. Rod, of course) and got to work. First, we needed to drill 4 holes in each top.  (and of course we had gone and gotten creative with the angles, making it much more complicated!)  Then we threaded each row together, tying them off at the ends.  After that, we  ran the string through each column, making a sturdy mesh.  It’s a work in progress, but you can see the partially completed doormat here:

We’ll finish it off next week, before we get to grips with the next BIG thing.  Fancy a clue?  Well, check out these (amazing, stupendous, epitome of awesome) fly curtains!

*bottle tops are often surprisingly icky, and sometimes require scrubbing out with a toothbrush. Especially the blue ones.

**drilling holes in plastic tops will result in a dusting of tiny plastic flakes which embed themselves into all of your favourite crevices.  Safety goggles and mask are advised. 

Help! We need your ring pulls!

Ok everybody, if you remember a few weeks ago I posted about the materials that we are collecting for our Cambridge group to work with.  Well, we have a more urgent update!

One of our group members, “Jack” (you can check out his bio on our About Us page) has an idea.  An ambition, if you will.  And we’re here to help him realize it.  He wants to make something special, something bigger than anything he’s tried before.  I don’t want to give it away, because he wants it to be a surprise.  But I can tell you this:  We’re going to need a lot of ring pulls.  Many, many hundreds of ring pulls.

Unfortunately, the task of drinking that much fizzy drink / beer / energy drink is more than we (and our bladders) can take on alone.  We need your help!  If you drink canned drinks, take off the ring pulls before you recycle the can.  When you have a few saved up, you can either drop them off at Buchan Street Neighborhood Centre or pop them in an envelope and post them to us at:

Re-Creations Project
77 St Peters Road
Upwell, Cambridgeshire
PE14 9EJ

We’ll be collecting from now untill the end of June.  If nothing else, it’s an excuse to treat yourselves to a beer or fizzy drink!  It’s hot outside–come on, guys:  Let’s get drinking!

And if you fancy doing something stupendous with the rest of your can, check out these tutorials!  Gingerbread Snowflake makes a butterfly mobile , and CraftStylish shows how to make sweet flower pin all from cans!

ETA:  Or, holy awesomesauce, batman–Check out this Grist article! That girl is a new upcycling hero!