When help comes along

We had a stall at The Eco Community Hub Zero Waste Festival in Pitlochry on a chilly Sunday afternoon – I did not have very high expectations, but they were exceeded on every level!

For a start, loads of people turned up – men and women, younger and more mature and, to my great surprise and excitement, they were actually interested in how I make things! I was so happy to share (there can’t be any business secrets when you’re trying to encourage the reuse of materials) because at a normal market people just gaze at me blankly when I try to interest them in how I turned a bra into a Christmas tree decoration or a shrunk jumper into wrist warmers, hats and scarves. It gave me such a thrill and has powered me up for at least another year. I even accepted my first commission for cashmere ear-warmers with felted adornment!

My husband came along (admittedly, he usually does) and was in charge of helping the children make milk container doves and I’m pretty sure I saw some “adults” doing it too. It’s very uplifting when children get involved and want to use something to make something else.

We also had with us my best friend’s daughter Rosa – she worked with children to make and decorate Christmas tree decorations from paper cake cups and sweet wrappers. It was bit chilly as she had to be right by the door but the kids loved her and she loved the cakes that were on sale (or should I say, in hand) all day!

John on milk container doves
Rosie on upcycling

With John and Rosa’s help I was able to take the time to talk to all the mums and dads who’s children were so entertained. There was also time to chat with the lovely Izzy from Remake Scotland, a community reuse charity and scrap store in Crieff which is the source of a lot of the materials I find a way to reuse – a fantastic place. There were also members from the Breadalbane Men’s Shed, a men’s health and wellbeing group from Aberfeldy, and even a woman who mends zips! Nest Creative Spaces is a Creative Community Hub and they were offering ‘make your own morsbag’ kits (replace plastic bags with reusable ones – http://morsbags.org) – and apparently their scrap store space in Blairgowrie is incredibly well organised!

Kaja Ekiert, organiser!

The help from family and friends was brilliant (thanks for everyone’s milk containers!), and the interest from people attending the festival was so energising.

Bring on the outdoor Christmas fair (Festive & Fun Feldy Market, Sat. 11th December) – we can cope with anything! This week we are also trying out another new fair for us at The Yard in Perth (Sun. 28th November). Will report back, assuming we can get through the wind and the snow…