Pack Rat is one angry dwarf…and don’t forget our black t-shirt.
Imagine if you still lived life like you were in the second grade. Your boss denies your vacation request? Demolish him on the 4-square court. Know your multiplication tables up to 10? You’re a freaking genius! Have a blue foil star. And you glued a stack of popsicle sticks together in one fire-hazard sized pile? Instead of sad and slightly disturbing, it’s artistic. Looking at the stash of reclaimed art supplies at the Materials for the Arts warehouse in Long Island City, NY brings back those grammar school feelings of standing in front of the open art closet–big possibilities. MFTA opens their art and crafts treasure chest to artists and groups who need cheap or free swag in order to make their creative vision a reality. For 31 years, MFTA volunteers and staffers have been saving perfectly good arts supplies from the landfills and playing matchmaker, pairing them with the appropriate causes. Their warehouse is a veritable candy land of paint, glitter, yarn… So, actually, maybe not so much like a land made of candy, but definitely as good. Just seeing it will make you feel like a kid all over again. And knowing that a bunch of schools benefit from the MFTA resources, means that they’re helping today’s kids have that same kind of excitement. So support them how you can. Live near by? Volunteer: firstname.lastname@example.org
However, unlike second grade, if you eat the paste there will be repercussions. You know who you are. Actually, depending on the kind of paste you ate, maybe you don’t.
Pack Rat is currently using the Sword of Omens’ Sight Beyond Sight function to suss out how long the lines at Target are
I am in love. I know, I know, you guys must get tired of me swooning every day over a new artist/blog/etc. But I can’t help it! There’s so much good stuff out there to see. Today, via Junk Creation blog (which I also adore), I came across Craftynest and the home stylings of Monica Ewing. Her low cost, recycle-based projects are the bomb diggity. (Remember when people used that phrase? Oh 1999. What were you thinking?) I was especially taken with her very smart, very chic modular bookcase made from salvaged drawers. It seems that I’m always passing dresser drawers in my many roadside scavanges, and this is an excellent idea for how to repurpose them. And she is not only inventive, but helpful–as she has supplied a how-to on her blog for copy cats like me. Take a gander at the before and after below.
First off, let me congratulate Bonnie from Seattle for winning our Birthday Scavanger Hunt! Bonnie correctly identified the hidden links in our November issue of the magazine. She will be receiving her very own copy of the book, Handmade Nation: the Rise of DIY, art, craft, and design. Yay Bonnie!
On to other news. I apologize for the spotty blogs, but I gots me a j-o-b and learning the ropes has taken up a lot of my energy. What? You thought I did Pack Rat full time? Not a lot of money to be made in free magazines, people. At least not yet. We’re refering to my job as an “investment strategy” for now. But I’m starting to get into the groove, so hopefully postings will go back to being regular, or at least semi-regular
And finally, what you all really came here to read: today’s internet gem is this cassette tape wallet tutorial. Blogger Rachel keeps her blog, Chezlin full of her comings and goings in the craft/college world, including this inspired creation. This adorable little wallet and matching change purse (made from recycled bits, just how we like it) bring me back to a time when hair was big, jeans were tapered, and G&R were all the rage. No, I’m not talking about just yesterday, I’m talking about twenty years ago. And I can’t wait to gut my busted Debbie Gibson tape and make my own.
Pack Rat’s never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you
I love, love, love Netflix. $4.99 a month and you’re guaranteed mail? Not just any old mail, but movies? What’s not to love. You go to your mailbox and voíla, instant entertainment. But if you are as obsessed with recycled craft as I am (and chances are if you’re reading this blog, you’re the tinsy bit obsessed), and you are a Netflix member (and if you’re not, I STRONGLY recomend you become one a.s.a.p.), then the perforated red rectangle of paper that must be torn and tossed with each movie drives you nuts. I am always trying to figure out what to do with that darned little piece of paper. Well now, thanks to Netflix Origami I have some great projects to start on. Just what it sounds like, Netflix Origami provides you with a series of origami projects that you can make from those aforementioned red scraps of paper. What’s even better, typical origami requires a perfectly square piece of paper–but the projects on the site have been modified to allow for the rectangle shape of the Netflix cast-off. So instead of junking those bits, make boxes, swans and more and get your full value out of that $4.99.
Yes that’s right cats and kittens. Over the weekend Issue #6 of Pack Rat hit the virtual news stands and lets take a quick look at what you can expect from this new issue. We’ve got recipes for tasty cranberry sauce and refreshing face toner, tutorials for a hot embroidery project, a classy bracelet, an elegant necklace, a look at the new Museum of Art and Design in NYC, a retrospective of our early work, reviews, contests and so much more! Download it for free, give it to your friends and family for Thanksgiving, wallpaper your home with it, and just go buck wild!
As you look the new issue over, remember that we are always looking for more writers. If you have a craft project, article idea, or review that you are just dying to do, check out our submission guidelines page. We would love to have you contribute.
And wait, there’s more! To celebrate the magazine’s first birthday, we invite you to be part of our Birthday Scavanger Hunt. All through out the new magazine issue , we have hidden hyperlinks that lead to other fun websites. By hidden, we mean that they are disguised as regular old text, no highlighting, and no underline. The only way to tell that they are links is to hover your cursor over them. If it is a hyperlink in disguise, your cursor will turn to a pointed finger, and a box will appear with a web address. Go through the magazine and try to find all of the hyperlinks (there are 11). Once you’ve got them, send us an email at info at packratmag.com (choose “Birthday Scavanger Hunt” for the subject line) and let us know what page they’re on and to what website each one links to. On December 1st we will have a drawing and the contestant’s whose name is pulled out of the hat will win a free copy of Handmade Nation: The Rise of Art, Craft, and Designby Faythe Levine and Courtney Heimerl. We’ll be notifying the winner via email. Please, only one entry per person.
This is all very exciting! And as always, check back here often for more of the best money saving and craft advice available.
Pack Rat has seen birds do it, bees do it, and even educated fleas do it. So let’s do it, let’s fall in love!
Yeah! another fun recycle craft (our favorite kind) coming at you. This one is courtsey of Elsie Marley. What to do with those large tin cans of soup/Juicy Juice/etc.? Why not turn them into handy around the home organizers? Just whip up a couple of minimalistic cozies with the tutorial that Marley provides. And she offers an assortment of embroidery patterns for both kitchen and art studio designs. You’ll clear your counters and workspace in no time!
Well, well, well. You’re back again are you? Looking for a brand new way to stretch your dollar, to turn your trash to treasure? I knew you’d come back, they always come back when they see what kind of clever websites I feature here at the Pack Rat blog stop. And you’re in luck, today is no different. So please, direct your attention to RePlayGround. Their motto is “embrace your waste,” which I love, and the site is full of groovy ideas and tutorials. Take a gander at their ceral box wallet, pictured below. I also dug their paper tube fruit stand. And, because they clearly are wearing some smarty pants, they’ve come up with the wise notion of selling kits and tip books full of even more bright ideas on how to put your garbage to work. A great stop for some quick ideas.
Well, ask for recycled craft blogs and you shall receive them. I came across two different blogs that occupy opposite corners of the recycle movement spectrum. One called The Visible Trash Society, the other is Haute Nature. Visible Trash Society takes a look at what artists in this country are doing with refuse and waste. They scout out a lot of street art and side of the road finds, like the picture of street artist’s Joshua Allen Harris’s Air Bear below. Most of what they hone in on is perhaps more “folk art” where as Haute Nature, as the name implies is the more high end, sheeshy poo poo version of recycled crafts. Both are fantastic sites for inspiration, and Haute Nature actually has some d.i.y. tutorials, like the one for this dollar bill koi fish pictured below. I don’t know about you, but I’m endlessly facinated by how people can reinvent waste into something people want to see. I also love thinking that the art materials people are using have a history, a past, some kind of story. So, check them out. Compare, contrast and over all, enjoy!
Okay, so I know I’ve been awol recently and I’m sure you’ve all be struggling to find the will to live without my sage words of advice (JK) but I’m back and the reason for my prolonged absence and subsequent return is that I’ve been working diligently on producing for you all (or y’all where appropriate) issue numero quatro of Pack Rat. This issue we help the Earth in the spirit of Earth Day by doing what we do best: recycled crafts and lots of them. We also talk with jewelry designer Becky Houle, a.k.a. The Vicious Kitty, look into what this whole letterbox craze is all about and, with the help of Cat Morley from Cut Out + Keep make our own letterbox stampers, hit the thrifts for some inexpensive crafting supplies, and just about a zillion things more. Head over to www.packratmag.com/zine to get in on the action. I missed you all and I’m glad to be back. Happy crafting!
Good afternoon friends. So glad you could join me here at the Pack Rat Corral, where we rope up the best darn D.I.Y. finds this side of the Mississippi (and across it, too). Today’s great find is about Geekware, a line of recycled tech crafts made by Acorn Studios and more specifically artist Nicola. Fun treasures range from circuit board earrings, keyboard key rings, and (my favorite) the CD clocks. She also has a fantastic blog about recycled craft and techy-nerdy craft which I found to be completely addictive. And, a fun projects page with recycle d.i.y. ideas like a tie coin purse, or an empty CD tower bagel carrier (just take a look below). This is a terrific stop to get inspired.