Tuesday, June 18, 2013

making changes: what 'handmade' means to me



Guess what! I have a slightly new direction for my blog and it’s about time. I’ve been holding a lot in and it’s time to let it out in a really good positive way before I explode. It’s all about making little earth friendly changes in my own handmade practice and hopefully inspiring others to think about doing the same. I’ve already started in my own little way by using almost all thrifted and organic fabric in my products. Sure, I have a massive fabric stash and it will take a bit of time to phase out anything ‘un-eco’ but I’m going to start making a more conscious effort.

I go to a lot of markets, mostly as a shopper or a looker or to say hi to crafty peeps. I also buy a lot of handmade stuff online. Sometimes when I’m looking around I feel like we’re getting a little further away from what I think is authentic handmade. I love finding the products where I can see little stitches, or a little bit of ink gone astray, a wonky edge on an item that is hand cut, even a dropped stitch makes me smile. And I’m happy to pay a little more for it because I know what went into it. And I know there’s something inside that person who made it that’s the same as what’s inside me. I want to profile those people in this little space and share their story.

I also want to learn more about materials and resources that can be used to tread more lightly on the earth. The thing I love about running the Brisbane chapter of Brown Owls is that lately we are almost always using up bits and pieces of scraps to make stuff. I love the dialogue that goes on during that process in the group about what could be re-used in place of something else. So I’m going to post more tips, tricks, resources, how-tos and more about what we can make at home, what we can re-use as well as a collection of resources for handmade businesses to be more eco-conscious.

Sometimes people ask me where the name edward & lilly came from. To be honest there was no thought put into it back in 2007 when I started this little blog. They were just my two favourite names. I never dreamt I would actually sell anything I made. It was really just my way into an awesome handmade community. I’d like to get back to the roots of what this space was originally intended to be and what the term ‘handmade’ means to me.

So how about it?

Are you interested in getting more eco in your practice?
Do you have an awesome earth friendly material or product that you use that you would love to share?
Are you already an eco friendly crafter yourself?

I would love to hear from you either in the comments below or email rebecca (@) edwardandlilly.com

Ok, I better get back to writing my new blog plan so we can get this show on the road!

7 comments:

MagaMerlina said...

Hi Rebecca! I'm fairly new to your work and I love it. It was a pleasure to read this post and can completely relate to what you say. I also love hand made and think of it as things with a soul. I'm trying to be more eco in my practice starting with using what I have before thinking of getting more materials or supplies. Only buy if it's absolutely necessary for what I'm planning.

yardage girl said...

I can't agree with you more :: I use as many eco/organic products as I can when I print, including what I print on and with. See you on Saturday! Nic x

Elle and Lou said...

Most of the materials I use are preloved or pre-used. It is important for me to show my children that not all that glitters is gold, and beauty can come from surprising materials and processes. I love your comments about wonky lines and bits of glue- not that I ever see wonky anything in your gorgeous work. Lynda

Pennie Wilcox said...

Hi Rebecca. To be honest, this is the first time I have read your blog. I have been following you on facebook for a while, and I love your little pictures! Just wanted to say that I think what you're saying/doing here is awesome. I also make little embroidered pictures, and use recycled fabric - mostly from op-shops, or old clothes of mine or my kids. I love that every piece is different, and that it's a much more sustainable option for the world - environmentally, and socially. Sometimes I manage to find good quality thread in op-shops too, but mostly I buy it new, as I feel it is important to use high quality thread, and brooch pins etc. Whenever I need to buy new things, I buy them from small, and local (if possible) business. I feel that this is just another way that I can better the world, in a social sort of sustainability way :) I'm fortunate enough to have found a couple of really great shops close to me. I know that some people aren't so lucky, but there are also some great stores online, which may not be local to you, but are still run by one person or family, instead of a huge enterprise. Hope that makes sense!
Good luck with your ventures...what you create is beautiful, and I'm sure will be just as so when it's 'eco-friendly'!!
Pennie xx

LK said...

Hi Rebecca, I totally identify with what you're saying and would love any tips and contacts for local suppliers. I am trying to only use natural materials and to get my supplies locally but this can be a challenge where jewellery findings are concerned.
Looking forward to hearing more!
Zoe : )

rabbit and the duck said...

I love this new direction for your blog! Looking forward to seeing what you share xx

Christina said...

Glad to see other fiber folks wondering these things. Sometimes it is hard to know where to start. I keep wondering if I could start using only fabric that was reused, or organic.