This was originally posted on The Public Queue. In their words, "The Public Queue is a space for critically engaging culture, wrestling with ideas of faith, laughing at things and people, and provoking thoughtful conversations on ideas that are no longer solely property of the Christian churc...**read more**
Today is my birthday. I opened my eyes this morning and took a few extra seconds to lay there and take in the joy of it....anticipating the next several hours--hearing from friends, going out this evening AND eating ICE CREAM CAKE! I love birthdays. I probably have my mom to thank for that as she made a huge event of anything and everything that could possibly be celebrated and spared no expense when it came to her daughters’ birthdays.
As I got ready for work I thought about the places I’ve lived and the friends that are now scattered across states and continents. I thought about the card I received yesterday from my parents and the depth of love that they’ve shown me. What a beautiful life I’ve been given.
I got in my car and then heard the words from a radio announcer that 12 had been reported dead. Like anyone else hearing the news, I sat there for a moment wondering if I had heard correctly, wondering what the larger context was –who, where? When did this happen? My mind flashed to years prior hearing the news of 9/11, also in my car on my way to work.
As public radio does, the blip of information was followed quickly by the local station’s call letters, sponsors and other headlines of the day, “In 1969 on this day Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon...” I thought of Louis C.K.’s bit about how “Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy.” We are so wildly capable of glorious achievement, and yet today we face the realization of yet another willfully, pre-meditated act of unconscionable violence.
I thought about Ecclesiastes 3 and the recognition that the human experience is shades of dark and light—sorrow, loss, healing, peace. I feel acutely aware today of how difficult it is to experience those paradoxes and not be able to reconcile one with the other.
My heart mourns with those who have had loved ones tragically taken from them. May their hearts be comforted. My words feel so inadequate.
art piece by my friend, April Alkema
Today is my birthday. I opened my eyes this morning and took a few extra seconds to lay there and take in the joy of it....anticipating the next several hours--hearing from friends, going out this evening AND eating ICE CREAM CAKE! I love birthdays. I probably have my mom to ...**read more**
Did you know that the average American discards almost 70 pounds of clothing and household textiles per year? According to the EPA, textiles make up about 5% of the total U.S. municipal waste.*
Our great grandparent’s generation owned fewer garments, and instead of tossing worn textiles, they mended their clothing, tailored it for younger siblings or made it into rags and quilts.
We have obviously moved away from that culture of preservation and frugality.
We live in a time of fast-fashion-- which is a problem.
Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain writes, “Innocuous as they might seem when compared with plastic shopping bags or Styrofoam cups, clothing and textiles become garbage just like everything else when thrown away - and given our country's shopping crazed culture, discarded clothing is clogging up landfills at an alarming rate.”
Of course there are many ways we can reduce textile waste: most obviously by buying less, buying secondhand, buying things that biodegrade, or putting unwanted clothing back into the consumer cycle (e.g., thrift stores, clothing swaps, coat drives).
VintageRemade is part of a movement of designers that are attempting to reimagine “waste.” We make useable products from pre-loved textiles, so here's another way: donate your old clothing to us! Help us create momentum for the upcycling movement.
BEFORE: A western trench coat, some placements and napkins >>> AFTER: A crossbody bag
VintageRemade partners with an organization called WOW (Women for Orphans and Widows) to provide basic needs, education, job training and food for kids and women in the village of Njewa in Malawi. Your clothing donations will help us care for that community.
So what kinds of things can we accept? Suede, leather, durable wool, cotton, silk, etc. Things we regularly use: slacks, men’s button up shirts, sports coats, ladies dresses, skirts, pillowcases, sheets, place mats, cloth napkins, curtains, table runners, table cloths and upholstery.
Even if there are stains or holes, as long as there is at least a 10” x10” of useable fabric somewhere on the garment, we can use it.
Things we look for: unique patterns, colors and textures. Sometimes things that are ugly and hideous make gorgeous bags.
Things we cannot use: Clothes that smell like ash trays or litter boxes. We launder all of the garments, but there are some smells that you just can't get out.
If you have CLEAN clothes or textiles you'd like to donate and you live in the Los Angeles area, we'll gladly come pick-up your donation or arrange a drop-off. Please help us spread the word! For more details, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*5% of the total municipal waste= 21 BILLION pounds. See the 2009 EPA Municipal Solid Waste report here. The Council for Textile Recycling created a very easy to read chart here using the 2009 EPA report.
Did you know that the average American discards almost 70 pounds of clothing and household textiles per year? According to the EPA, textiles make up about 5% of the total U.S. municipal waste.* Our great grandparent’s generation owned fewer garments, and instead of tossing worn textiles, they me...**read more**
Finally, finally I'm makin' time to get these pictures posted! The Renegade Show in San Francisco in December was VintageRemade's first time doing an event outside of LA, so that was pretty exciting. It felt like a step forward. AND it was tons of fun because my dear friend April made the road trip with me. She actually lives near Fresno, which is about four hours north of LA, so I made the first part of the drive solo and then picked her up for the rest of the trip. I mention the drive only to share that during that time I was alone, I somehow got on the wrong freeway and literally drove for almost an HOUR without realizing it. Not sure how I managed to do that. In my defense all I can say is that it was dark and I was on the phone. Thankfully the friendly men smoking outside the casino in Rosamond, CA got me back on track.
April and I got to San Francisco a day early and were able to hang out some in the city. She and I both have a deep appreciation for all things artistic, so naturally we went to the SF MOMA. Here's April taking a little break.
Saturday our day started bright and early.
We shared a booth space with Lisa of Zelma Rose. She makes an assortment of vintage inspired goods, so we felt like our set-ups really complimented one another. Here are some of her necklaces and other goodies:
Our booth neighbor was Oh So Milla. The designer, Camilla, hand knits these one-of-a-kind necklaces. Each one takes hours to make. So much detail.
Besides these lovely ladies, there were a few designers that caught my eye. Yes & Yes makes jewelry from upcycled books.
Pretty fun, huh?
Another person doing upcycled jewelry that i loved was Mukee.
Earrings from Skateboard decks. So many great colors and designs to work with.
We absolutely had a blast. It was a great turn out, and San Francisco showed us so much love.
Can't wait to go back! ALSO! Lisa of Zelma Rose interviewed me for the IndieMade Blog. Check out her post here.
Finally, finally I'm makin' time to get these pictures posted! The Renegade Show in San Francisco in December was VintageRemade's first time doing an event outside of LA, so that was pretty exciting. It felt like a step forward. AND it was tons of fun because my dear friend April made...**read more**
2011 was a really big year for VintageRemade in so many ways. it was our first full year of doing shows-- which meant lots of learning along the way. we were experimenting with bag designs, display set-ups and what kinds of shows to do. typically we did one or two shows a month. in december we went full bore and did three back to back weekends of saturday-sunday shows. first up was Unique LA, then Renegade LA and last one was Renegade SF. here are some of the highlights from Renegade LA...
oh hello, friend = all kinds of of adorable. besides jewelry, they had lots of fun odds and ends that i found myself desiring simply for their cuteness. exhibit A:
tape dispensers made from cassettes. my friend kate goes crazy for all things miniature, so she would have loved this:
more cuteness.. careful it bites makes these little monsters:
the artist, kelice penney calls it mythical taxidermy. yes.
for the photographers and musicians in your life, couch sells handmade camera and guitar straps. they are really well made and they had a huge selection of different colors and styles.
another fun find was wood ties by wood thumb (made from reclaimed wood).
no doubt these serve as interesting conversations starters.
urban craft center was there offering free sessions throughout the weekend.
i loved this vendor's old fashioned peddler-esque set-up.
cuckoo clocks by black forest works.
we shared a booth space with Heather Arndt who works primarily in ceramics. here are some of her bottles and tiles.
i really liked her stuff and as we got to talking over the course of the weekend, she shared about her fine arts background and showed me pictures of some larger sculptures and paintings.
one of my other creative ventures, is curating art for vacant storefronts in Pasadena. it was really great timing meeting her because right after the show I had a space that became available, and I was actually able to install several of Heather's pieces. if you're in the area, it's at 600 E. Colorado Blvd.
pictures from the Renegade SF show coming soon! xo
2011 was a really big year for VintageRemade in so many ways. it was our first full year of doing shows-- which meant lots of learning along the way. we were experimenting with bag designs, display set-ups and what kinds of shows to do. typically we did one or two shows a month....**read more**