I have one thing to say about about the Upcycle Exchange. Actually, I have a few things to say, but I’m going to start out with they know how to throw a crafty party. Just in case you haven’t heard about this awesome shop, The Upcycle Exchange offers the St. Louis creative community post-consumer art and craft supplies at pay-as-you-wish pricing. They also offer credits for in-store material drop-offs.
Are you looking for some amazing vintage fabric, yarn or ephemera? How about some frames, painting supplies or even photo equipment? Do you have any supplies stashed away that talented makers could transform into something amazing? Go check out the wish list to see what the Upcycle Exchange carries and collects!
This past Friday nite instead of having the monthly Crafternoon at Fusion, we decided to go to the St. Louis Etsy Craft Party. Sponsored by Etsy, the local ShowMe Etsy team and the Upcycle Exchange, the party was “A Global Celebration of Meeting and Making.” It was so much fun hanging out, meeting new people and trying out some things that I don’t normally do, (I actually sewed! and the turn out was great!)
So, what does one do at a Crafty party? Well, first off we drink beer (or wine I guess, if that’s what you’re into) and make crafts. The theme of this years Global Etsy Party was “Wish You Were Here” and each party was encouraged to do crafts that related to their city or region. Thank goodness we don’t live in… okay, I was going to make a joke here, but I’ve got nothing. Let me just tell you about our crafts.
Inappropriate name tags, you know because it’s easier to chat when you know who you’re chatting to. One of the great things about starting off with your name coupled with an expletive is that there’s nowhere to go but up. There were some truly awesome embellishments on those tags too.
Next up was the homebrewed hops pin. If there’s one thing St. Louis is known for, it’s the Arch. But if we were pressed to name something else, it would be that St. Louis is the home of Anheuser Busch, makers of classics like Bud Lime, Natural Light and Busch. We take our beer seriously here, so we made pins out of felt hops to wear our pride boldly.
I’m not a native St. Louisan, so I don’t understand their pizza, and I don’t really get Toasted Ravioli. Sure it tastes good, but it’s an awful lot of trouble. All that aside, it’s another thing that we’re known for, so we made Toasted Ravioli Hand Warmers. This is where my undeniably pathetic sewing skills came into play. Lucky for me, I was in a room full of ladies who actually knew how to set up the machine so I didn’t end up in the corner crying.
Finally, we made Wee bound books using chip board covers, upcycled maps and pamphlets and scrap paper. If you’ve never made a Japanese Stab Bound book, you should give it a try. They’re super easy and fun, and make great handmade gifts. One of the girls was getting autographs and contact info in her’s to remember the nite. What a great way to use a miniature handmade travel journal!
We all had a great time, and I’d like to wrap up by saying thank you to Autumn and the crew of the Upcycle Exchange for putting together a great party, and for all the other things you all do for the St. Louis crafting community. Even though I always have to find change for parking meters when I come to the city to see you all, it’s always worth it.
Writer Jeffrey Johnson
Stay-At-Home Dad and freelance Illustrator, comiker, crafter and urban homesteader. Jeffrey and his wife Amy work together at Fusion as Handmade Family, making back to basics toys, gifts and decor for growing families. You can find his work and personal blog at www.handmadefamily.com or around the web as redherringjeff.