Saturday, May 9, 2009

Creative Reuse for Mother's Day

When Mother’s Day weekend comes around, parking lots of liquors stores and produce stands are filled with florists and people buying last minutes Mother’s Day gifts.

I am usually one of the people buying single and dozen roses for my mother, aunties and God-mother. However, last year, I started making my own flowers out of ribbons and candy. Additionally, I also began creating my own cards with different arts and crafts materials and supplies. Not only is it homemade, it is fun to do! In the past I would buy my supplies from Michaels, but things have changed since the Compact Challenge started. I have discovered an amazing find: East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.

After eating Korean BBQ on Telegraph Ave (Berkeley) last weekend, I was too full to seat in my car and drive so I decided to take a walk down the street. It was then that I stumbled across the East Bay Deport for Creative Reuse. This store uses craft items that people donated, and resells them at an extremely low price. You can find so many cool materials to paint, draw, and sew. Since I do not have a picture of the store here is a youtube video of the place

The store is actually a non-profit corporation with the mission to get people to reuse materials. They gather and redistribute “reusable materials for education, arts & crafts, and a wide variety of other creative projects” (East Bay Depot). Here is their website where you can read more about them and their goals East Bay Depot's Website

It is a fun place with so many supplies to find and bring home; most of all, it’s cheap! For my Mother’s Day gift I bought:

  • 3 blank craft paper
  • 5 Hallmark envelopes
  • 3 ink stamps ((sold by pounds (8.00 dollars per pound))
  • 3 different color glitters
  • 1 dark blue lace (2 yards)
  • 2 ribbons (4 yards)

The grand total I paid for these items are 5.32! I am pretty sure this price is impossible to find at Michaels and JoAnns
With these items I was able to make my mom a rose kiss candy boutique and a card, which totaled to less than 10 dollars.

I was able to create something new out of something old. Honestly, a lot of people would not be able to tell that the bouquet I made is made with old supplies. Our society is one that values new goods for it gives us more status than owning something old (Kawamura, pg 92). In connection with fashion, consuming “new” fashion is important for those who have the wealth and resources. People’s ability to keep up with the trends allows them to maintain their status in society. Trend keeping is something that the U.S is very fond of, and our society seems to be dictated by trends. Young kids in school make fun of peers who can not keep up with the fashion trends. Lately, schools have changed their dress codes to uniform. When this occurs, store in the surrounding areas changes too. Store managers make sure to contact their buyers to purchase more uniform in the right quantities and colors to fit the school requirements (NBC News). Kawamura said, “Production influences consumption, and consumption influences production” (pg, 92).
As for me, I am following the green and reusable trend! When it comes down to it, cheap is good and if going green and reusing means I can spend less and still get things done, why not? Plus I can put a smile on my mother’s face while I’m at it.

Phung Kim Vo
(blog # 2)

Kawamura's Fashion-ology

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