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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Upcycled Beach Debris, Rolling out the Green Carpet




My Latest Upcycle

I loving reusing something that would have been just waste - so how about this:
When I ran out of nylon for my weed whipper, which isn't zero waste, but is better than weed spray around the house and garden, I spent ages hunting for a spare reel, but there was none.
Well we live out of town, so I looked around for an alternative - finding this lump of fishing nylon that we had picked up off the beach. It was the perfect diameter, so I wound it on to the reel - and it works perfectly well!

Putting beach debris to good use


Exciting developments on the local zero waste/ plastic bag free/ environmental front.
There has been a round of emails to gather all of those working and volunteering in these fields in Northland to get together to present a unified front.
There are quite a lot of groups keeping our beaches and roadsides clean, our events as low waste, reducing plastic bag use, helping our schools and businesses to reduce waste, encouraging small coastal towns to go single use plastic free, putting pressure on farmers and the government to clean up our rivers and working on better waste management in the North.
Isn't that fabulous? Watch this space.

As if that weren't enough! Yesterday, my favourite Bin Inn bulk store in Kamo, has decided to give all shoppers who bring their own containers a 5% discount, as well as giving away a free jute bag (with no plastic liner) to shoppers who spend over $50.
Then I stopped in at the Kamo butcher's to pick up my order (in my own containers) and I noticed that they have a huge roll of brown paper behind the counter for wrapping meat purchases. The lovely young butcher proceeded to tell me that he's turned into one of us - refusing plastic bags and receipts, and taking his trundler to the market. Change is a-happenin'.



Sunday, 19 February 2017

Upcycling a Painted Canvas

I have been waiting to find one of these in an op shop for a reasonable price...
so last week when I saw this little beauty for $4, I snapped it up.


I have been seeing pictures of things made with old canvases that so appealed to me - such as covered chairs and journals, and lots of bags.

This is the work of Leslie Oschmann - www.swarmhome.com

A journal cover by Swarm

You can see more here at atelierrueverte.blogspot.

I got to work yesterday to make my own version of a painted canvas bag, using some material from my stash for lining, and an old woven leather belt that never sees the light of day for the handles. 



I love how it turned out! It combines two of my loves - art and upcycling.
I'm not sure how well it will wear, but when it has finished being a bag, it will become a book cover.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Waitangi Day Celebrations

Waitangi Day is a national holiday here in New Zealand. It commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on February 6th, 1840. There has been much argument since then as to the meaning of what was signed away by the Maori, with there being a document that was translated for signing by Maori, not being of the same meaning as that in English. 
However, Waitangi Day around New Zealand is a day to celebrate family and the culture of New Zealand.
Waitangi is not a big place, but it is the home of the Treaty House and Flagstaff, plus a wharenui - Maori meeting house. 
Here's a quick video link from waitangi.org.nz that gives an overview if you want to get a mental picture.
Having an overseas visitor, as we did, is always a good reason to visit Waitangi on this day. 

It was a blazingly hot day, we've had no proper rain for weeks here, but it makes for a great summer.
Love the sun shade


We watched the waka,(Maori canoes) 








I got a video from my phone, wanting to catch the sounds for you, of the conch shells being blown and the calls as paddles are dipped. It isn't clear enough, but you get the idea.




This video bite of 3 seconds is the group preparing for the haka.



As well as entertainment on several stages, there were cultural groups, the NZ Navy band, markets with lots of NZ foods to try, like hangi and creamed paua, mussel fritters, flax ketes to buy.

All entertainment and buses were free. The buses are so that you can park a distance away and be ferried to and from your vehicle.

They had made a big effort to minimize waste, with much of it being biodegradable, and having volunteers manning the recycling stations to help people recycle everything correctly.

All in all, a fabulous day.