art swap

May 20th, 2010

There is a fantastic store in my neighborhood that hosts an art swap twice a year in their backyard. It’s just what it sounds like: you bring some art making stuff you don’t want and take some things you do. There are rug hooking kits and mat board and broken lamps and weird little rusty bits and bobs. This year we even scored some pool noodles. I love it because it is so random and so neighborly.  We always get enough paper and markers to last us until the next swap. I was excited to find some dot matrix printer paper (nerd!) for making banners. Remember how many banners we used to make with that stuff with the letters made out of lots of little letters? If you don’t know what I’m talking about you are far too young.

My daughter found that odd wooden bear along with many, many little treasures. And I found a nice stack of knits. After kids clothes week I’m feeling more confident working with them, so I’m sure there will be even more 90 minute shirts and leggings in our future. Anyone know of any good kids clothes patterns for knits (I don’t have enough fabric for anything for me)? I also found this cardboard tub with a metal rim that reminds me of ice cream in the summertime and though it’s sure to get broken in this house I brought it home anyway (along with some snazzy sewing patterns).

I’m really trying not to bring more shit into the house, but I think art supplies should really be an exception–for the kids and for me. And I’m happy to say I brought more things to the swap than I took away, so we are still have less total.  I did find two Taro Gomi coloring books at the thrift store yesterday that I bought. I have been coveting them for quite a while now and I never expected to find them at a secondhand shop. They were a couple bucks each with only a little bit of coloring in one. I think I’ve used up my thrift mojo for while with these.

Speaking of swaps, Melissa over at tigerlily tinkering started a crafty barter marketplace that I think it a fantastic idea. You post about what you want to make, look around to see what other people are interested in making and then see if they would like to trade.  It’s fun to sew little things, but really how many hot water bottle covers does one person need?

Posted in thrift.

24 Responses to art swap

  1. I just sewed my first top for B using knits this morning. (I’m still stuck in day 4 of your lovely swap…LOL). It’s so different from using woven cottons but I can see the possibilities.
    Your stash looks great – I’m very interested in those coloring books…
    Have a great day!

  2. oops, not swap, but challenge…I’m a ditz, what can I say?

  3. beki says:

    oh gosh, just the mention of that printer paper brought back a flood of memories!

  4. Simone says:

    I am sewing from farbenmix patterns ( The instructions are German but they are eagerly trying to get everything translated to English as well. They have step-by-step photo instructions for each pattern and I love their patterns. Sometimes their style is a bit too much, but I like the inspiration I take from it!

  5. Katie says:

    I’m not sure you have them in the States (or if that’s even where you are) but in Australia there is a pattern company called KwikSew who make lots of basic knit patterns for adults and kids. Not complex, not trendy, but super easy.

  6. christina says:

    I love the idea of an art swap. I actually proposed the idea to some friends about a year ago but have yet to actually organize the thing. maybe this summer.

    great find with the Taro Gomi books. they are a must for birthday gifts these days.

  7. Alix says:

    This is sucha good idea

  8. Wanett says:

    That swap sounds like a great idea!!
    And I TOTALLY remember dot matrix paper, lol
    I loved going to my aunt’s job to print endless banners and steal pens ;o)

  9. Jacqui says:

    I’m casting around for good tshirt/knit patterns too (can’t wait for Oliver + S’s to come out!) and I’ve been eyeing the Ottobre Creative Workshop 301 pack that has a variety in various sizes or straight from them

    Your mention of the dot matrix paper brought back such memories! The sound of the printers, the fun you could have with a handful of the hole strips from the sides, the way it used to fold down into a neat pile from the printer if you printed out enough… good times good times! But I wouldn’t give up my ink jet for one though :)

  10. I have those same books and you got a deal! Nice going.
    Karen and I are releasing the “Tee for Two” raw edge raglan (knit) pattern for this Fall line (July). Interested in testing the pattern?

  11. Melissa Q. says:

    Wow. Thanks for the great shout-out! The barter was small but GREAT FUN. I love the art swap idea and I’m very jealous, wish I still lived in Madison. I must say I conquered by serger last night and it is entirely because you motivated me to sit down and figure it out. I can’t wait to try out the 90 minute shirt. Thanks again. Your blog is fantastic.

  12. Beth says:

    that art swap you went to sounds fantastic! such great thrift finds too. I always feel the same way about ‘thrift mojo’ if I go to a thrift store and find really awesome stuff, i always keep popping back in thinknig I am going to keep hitting the jackpot!

  13. Sascha says:

    Dot matrix! Yeah. I love that quirky bear.

  14. Stephanie says:

    Nice score! I found two unopened packs of Mr. Sketch markers at the thrift store this week. I’m feeling pretty good about that too.

  15. britt says:

    i love those two books!! we rent them from the library and then i photocopy the pages for my kids to use. i have even used a few in class with my students for story creation. works wonders.

  16. cheryl says:

    This sounds like such a fun event!

  17. Sigrid says:

    Although they look rather dull, I have had great luck with the Quick Sew patterns especially the basic ones like this:

    They always include good tips for sewing with knits, and they are simple enough to alter extensively.

    So jealous of art swap and no, you can’t have enough paper in a creative household.

  18. Wendy P says:

    SO jealous of your Taro Gomi score. We’re big fans ’round here.

  19. Anja says:

    This art swap is the coolest idea ever!!!!!
    LOVE the wooden bear!
    You lucky people :o)

  20. samlamb says:

    love butterick 5153!

  21. wendy says:

    I just firstly have to say that your blog is one of my top five faves at present. You are so inspiring!
    I thoroughly enjoyed your Kids Clothes Week and anxiously await the next. The neighbourhood swap sounds great, too. Some people just ‘get it’ and then follow their instincts.
    P.S. I mentioned you in my blog today as a thankyou. ( I dont see me tiring of it anytime soon)

  22. can’t. wait. for. multikini.

    and three cheers for Melissa’s barter swap–I’m a participant there and can confirm that it is super fun to “shop” from other crafters’ specialties and share some of your own.

  23. Ebony says:

    :) I know what you mean about bringing too much stuff into your home. Its amazing how a little bit here and there ends up being a massive stash taking over your house! Love your blog.

  24. Ariel says:

    oh my gosh, no way! i just bought “doodles” after lusting after it for a while; how lucky to find them at a secondhand store! i think i might prefer a lightly used copy, just to see other people’s drawings! great find, lady! <3