November 17, 2010

So the big day is coming up: UpcycleSLO's Craft Extravaganza!
We are benefitting the Women's Shelter, and we have a contest for YOU!

Bring in any of the following items and be entered in a RAFFLE TO WIN a hand-made item by yours truly. You will either win a silverware caddy (perfect for camping, biking or keeping your silverware clean in your purse when you take your lunch to work) OR, a personalized cloth banner (come to the sale and you'll see what these are!)

WHAT THE SHELTER NEEDS: Diapers (size 3), pull-ups and wipes.    Also, with the holidays fast approaching food cards, Visa gift cards and even frozen turkeys or hams are always needed.
See you SUNDAY!

October 29, 2010

Change of Date!
Sunday November 21 will be our next sale

Come find out what the Eco Crafters of UpcycleSLO have been up to recently.

Unique Holiday Gifts!
1068 Pacific St (at Santa Rosa) Downtown SLO
9am - 1 pm

October 22, 2010

Experiments with UPCYCLED JEWELRY!

September 24, 2010

Saturday November 20 from 9am to 1 pm --- the next UpcycleSLO Craft Extravaganza.

Come find out what we've been up to lately.  Or let us know if you want to participate!
Details to come...

September 19, 2010

Just saw a cool YouTube video about a mom who makes capes for children at a cancer hospital.  They call them WonderCapes and I saw the video at  Also check out
I want to do this too! Or something similar.  And with UPCYCLED material sof course...
Ideas? Contributors? Beneficiaries?
Let's do something! Let's give back! Let's help out!
email me at

September 14, 2010

Slowly but surely UpcycleSLO is chugging along, meeting other creative types, pushing our boundaries of what it means to upcycle.
I want to meet someone with an idea of how to upcycle all the old couches students leave out on the streets!

We are planning a Holiday craft sale, date to be announced.  If you want to particpate write to us and tell us (details please) what you do, what materials you use and a little about yourself.  You don't have to be a uber-super-crafter with your own Etsy site. Just a creative person with maybe a few things to sell or simply show to the public, and the desire to meet others and challenge yourself to think outside the box, up the anty on your creativity, reuse what you find around you to create interesting new items.

July 24, 2010

Chalk drawings on the pavement made by resident and visiting toddlers are all that remains of the 2nd UpcycleSLO craft sale. I am so inspired by my companeras, my fellow crafters!  Jen, Erin, Careen and her sister, Melinda, Monica.....Thank you to the particpants and for everyone who came and bought something, donated some, or just came to say hi. 
We made over $100 to donate to the Women's Shelter!
Go to to find out how you can donate more.

KSBY came out to see what UpcycleSLO is all about. Check out the local news tonight at 6:00 (chanel 6, or to see an interview with your host, Sara McGrath!

July 9, 2010

Come one, come all on Saturday JULY 24, from 9am to 2 pm.
1068 Pacific St, corner of Santa Rosa, Downtown SLO
You will find creative items made out of buttons, pillowcases, fabric scraps, toilet paper rolls, thread spools and old jeans.
You will find jewelry, accessories, clothes, aprons, cards, kitchen and baby items, and more!

(Featured crafter Sara McGrath, designer of the above pilowcase skirt and toddler shirt: more work of hers can be seen at

 We are looking for more crafters using upcycled materials who want to come and sell their wares. Email for more info  

June 9, 2010

This Weekend...

Come to Chronic Cellars in Paso Robles for $5 wine and cheese pairings and a great art and craft fair. UpcycleSLO will be there on Sunday the 13th selling beautiful jewelry, cards, upcycled pillowcases into hip fashions, and more. This is a great way to get summer fashions, Dad & Grad cards and gifts, or whatever else without the guilt.

Buying items sold from UpcycleSLO crafters means you are:
1) saving the environment by repurposing materials rather than perpetuating a constant cycle of producing new materials in an already over-abundant world
2) saving the environment by buying local products that do not have to be shipped all over the world to arrive in your hands
3) you are buying a unique, one-of-a-kind item that makes a statement against a mass consumer culture and also supports a local artist


Last week UpcycleSLO went to the SLO Women's Shelter to teach the awesome and creative ladies there how to make upcycled bags, children's dresses, and skirts from t-shirts. I promise to start posting some of the projects that we do here to help inspire you the way we did the Women's Shelter ladies. They had so much fun they have invites us back and we will be giving proceeds from our July trunk show to the Women's Shelter. Stay tuned for more...

Last but not least, my cousin sent me the link to an awesome! It is full of inspiration. I am going to add some of my favorite blogs to our list here on the blog so check some of them out.

Happy Summer Crafting!


June 1, 2010

Do you see all the evidence of creativity with fabric scraps?
We had a great time at the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts- creating our story quilt from upcycled materials and fabric markers. Erin was a lean-green-sewing machine, piecing together the squares as they dried. We grownups can never equal the unparalleled imagination of kids. Soon, Jen will have the rest of it sewn together and it will be displayed at the PR Library.

May 16, 2010

Now that the craziness of our Swap is over, we would like to give a special thanks to Cate Trujillo and Erin Scholl for their hard work and inventiveness creating the graphics for both UpcycleSLO and the Swap-o-rama-rama event.

Both of these creative and inspiring ladies deserve a big round of applause!!!! THANK YOU!
UpcycleSLO's Monthly Craft Night starts this coming Thursday, May 20 from 6-8 pm!!

Join us at The Sanitarium Bed and Breakfast, at 1716 Osos St, between Gus' Deli and Sallie Loo Cafe. We will start the series of monthly crafty soirees with a T-shirt Bag demo. Bring a t-shirt you are ready to upcycle, and your sewing notions. A sewing machine will be available as well as fabric markers to adorn your new bag that you can use for farmer's market, the beach, or future craft nights!

Invite a friend if you want, but please RSVP by Thursday morning if you will be coming, email or call Sara at 540-1673. A small donation of $3 will help UpcycleSLO stock up on sewing notions and other supplies for upcoming fairs and community workshops.

May 11, 2010

Upcoming Events

We have some great events coming up in the next month or so that you won't want to miss.

Sunday, May 16 from 1-6pm
Awareness Fair for Big Brothers Big Sisters @ Mitchell Park
Come by and see some of our collectives best, cards, clothes & more! All UPCYCLED!

Saturday, May 29 from 10am-6pm
Paso Robles Festival of the Arts @ Paso Downtown City Park
We will be making recycled story quilts and also selling our crafts! Website

Sunday, June 13 from 11:30am-5:30pm
Chronic Cellars Art Show @ Chronic Cellars in Paso Robles
Not only do you get to peruse and shop some of our awesome crafts but for $7 you get wine tasting, cheese pairings, and you even get to keep your logo glass! Also don't miss out on the live painting. Website

And stay tuned to the blog because I am going to try to find time here with all the busy summer gatherings and art shows to put up some inspiration for you all. Pillowcase skirts, earrings, and more... Plus I am going to start linking everything to the awesome sites that give us inspiration so you can share it with us. It's a great thing to be inspired and there is so much inspiration around us! Do you think I have worn out the word "inspiration" yet? :)

April 28, 2010

Swap-O-Rama-Rama spells SUCCESS!!!

I want to take a moment to tell you about the success of the...

First Annual Swap-O-Rama-Rama 
Due to our sponsors, donors, and tireless volunteers we were able to not only save over a thousand pounds of clothes from being wasted when there was so much more life and potential within them, but we inspired 200 people to reuse their clothes in many different ways. These people learned how to turn an old pair of pants into a hat, learned to use the sewing machine (some for the very first time), and got hands on experience with a screenprinting machine. There were so many great local crafters available working with the attendees and workshops available. Everyone who we have spoken with since felt so empowered and cannot wait for the next one. I am even receiving requests to do it in 6 months rather than a year. We will see. :)
My favorite moment was when I got a chance to sit down with a girl of 8 years and make a skirt with her. She had never once used a sewing machine before. As much as I am catering my events to adults, seeing the kids who are so receptive to this lost art get excited about sewing really excites me. It makes me believe that new generations will adopt sewing as a way of life and be more likely to create rather than consume. The message is for everyone. I encourage you to e-mail me, comment on this blog or any of our other forms of social media and let me know your story of inspiration or your favorite moment at the Swap-O-Rama-Rama. Also, check out the links below for both the media that covered event and wonderful pictures that document what a great time was had by all.
I have to send a special thank you to Rob Appell who brought out 9 sewing machines for everyone's use and spent the whole day tirelessly helping people create. Also a huge thank you to the media who featured us. We were in The Tribune, The Mustang Daily, Dave Congalton Radio Show, and Fox News came to the event. Also Information Press will be running a story next month so check that out.
Last but not least, I will include some numbers here for you so you can fully grasp the success of the event.
  • Swap-O-Rama-Rama made a $1578 gross profit and a net profit of $1074. Our main expense was the venue but were helped out tremendously in this aspect with the $350 we received in event sponsorships so thank you to all of you.  Our main expenses were the venue, printing, and craft supplies so next year we will be looking for specific sponsors to cover the costs or donate these items so that more money can go towards EcoSLO. This is an amazing first run and and I am overwhelmed with the success of it all.
Peace, Love, and Crafts!
Jennifer Alexander
Event Coordinator for Swap-O-Rama-Rama



April 13, 2010

4 Sleeps Until Swap-O-Rama-Rama!!!!!!!!

Wow! Just 4 days. Can you hardly believe it? I can and I can't. It seems like I have been working on this event for awhile now but then again this thing, my baby, has seemed to have grown and taken on a life of it's own in such a relatively short time. I don't want to prematurely congratulate it's success but I feel we are ready, I feel the community is ready and excited, and I feel confident that everyone will enjoy this event for the purpose of which it was created. To be empowered and inspired to create more and consume less.

The community seems to have embraced this event. People calling me for tickets are telling me how they have heard about it within every group they hang out, not just one. They hear it from the media, from facebook, at the coffee shop and because all their friends are seeing it there too they are hearing it from all their friends. The media has caught on and both the Mustaing Daily and The Tribune will be running stories about it this week. And an Information Press reporter will be there at the event so that he can write a post-event story. If nothing else comes out of this event, it has been worth it for me anyway because it has given me the opportunity to network with so many amazing people in the community, find awesome resources and collaborative personalities that exist here in San Luis Obispo, and it has allowed me to spread the word of UpcycleSLO which was one big reason of doing this event.

I still hope to raise a good deal of money for EcoSLO and grace everyone with a fun and well-organized event that they will want to come back to again next year. Some highlights of the event are:
  • The Cottonball of Morro Bay will be on hand with 10 sewing machines for the attendees to use
  • Yudu Screen Printing machines will be available to experiment with
  • Awesome workshops including a Basic Sewing & Tension Workshop, Accessories Galore, and Pillowcase Possibilities
  • Jewelry making, knitting, scrap-use, spinning, and quilting tables where you can sit down and learn from the experts
  • Kid's Hour from 2pm-3pm - Kid's get a chance to turn themselves into "Upcycle Superheroes"
  • A drawing to win prizes such as local gift certificates, gorgeous recycled hiphugger bags, jewelry, a jewelry making class for you and your friends, and more
  • And the Fashion Show begins at 5. Get up and show your talents, see local talented artists and their upcycled apparel, and learn where you can shop for great recycled clothing all over the county

April 12, 2010

Check out all the great things you won't want to miss!

April 5, 2010

Swap-O-Rama-Rama's New Sponsors

March 15, 2010

We're on Twitter! Follow us for information on upcycling and sustainable design.

March 2, 2010

Swap-O-Rama-Rama is Here!


It is the exciting event we promised to reveal to you...finally revealed!

Swap-O-Rama-Rama is a giant clothing swap and series of do-it yourself workshops in which a community explores reuse and creativity through the recycling of used clothing.

Swap * Learn * Watch * Make
UpcycleSLO presents San Luis Obispo County's First Ever Swap-O-Rama-Rama as a benefit for EcoSLO, Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County.

When:  Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 1pm to 6pm
Where: Laguna Middle School Mutli-Purpose Room
           11050 Los Osos Valley Road  San Luis Obispo, CA
Who:    You! Everyone's Invited!

Tickets:  $5 pre-sale / $10 at the door + any sized bag of your clean unwanted clothing 

Call  619-807-7006 and ask about pre-sale tickets!

Swap * Learn * Watch * Make
It's easy to make the move from consumer to creator - and it's fun. At the Swap-O-Rama-Rama you'll find a host of talent brought together to teach you how to transform you new/used duds into works of your own. Together they bring you: DIY Stations where you can learn many wonderful ways to create out of textile reuse, Sewing Stations where local designers will teach you fresh clothing mod tricks, on site Silk Screeners & Stencilers with a host of original designs and extraordinary local designers who'll show off their work in the Swap-O-Rama-Rama reuse fashion show. Plus take home as much clothing as you can carry. Remainders will go to the Goodwill. Wondering what to bring?

Proud to be sponsored by 

Contact: Jennifer (619) 807-7006 or
"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness." - Gandhi

February 5, 2010

Call for artists and other creative people

• Do you create interesting items out of recycled materials?

• Do you care about the environment and want to give back to the community?

• Would you like to join a collective of other creative people who “upcycle”?

Join us for quarterly trunk sales, workshops and networking opportunities.

Email for more information:

January 17, 2010

The idea for Upcycle SLO came to us after we began to share our love for recycled arts and crafts. Both of us having a strong social and environmental conscious, we had many dreams as to how we would like to see recycled arts and crafts become a part of the community. We wanted to empower local artists, advocate for green consumer behaviors; we wanted a place for the community to come and learn how to reduce, reuse, and upcycle (recycling only as a last resort); we wanted to support local non-profits that do so much for our community, we wanted a place where recycled materials could be gathered for use by local kids, artists and teachers, and a place where we could support the local economy and leave a smaller carbon footprint on our environment.

Our first endeavor was to network with other local arts and crafters and hold a small, intimate holiday trunk show in Sara's home in early December. We called it Hecho en SLO (Made in SLO in Spanish).There were 9 of us who gathered in her home on a particularly rainy Saturday to sell our products. So many beautiful handmade products, some made of recycled materials, some not. We had a lady who made beautiful Hawaiian crazy quilt stockings, a lady who knitted adorable children's clothes, Gwendolyn Forever with her all-natural and handmade assortment of body products, a jeweler, Cork Creations with her fabulous coasters made from old and unrecyclable wine corks, and Sara and I who both make clothes and home decor out of recycled material be it old t-shirts, pillowcases, or whatever we typically find at thrift stores, and in our closets. Despite the weather we had a fairly good turn out and Sara even had the opportunity to sell out her entire stock of product. Back to the sewing machine for her!
Our plan is to do quarterly trunk shows like this throughout the year, gaining more support, more networking opportunities, and raising money at these shows for local non-profits. Along with this idea we would like to go to area non-profits to do workshops educating the participants on the benefits and fun of upcycled crafts. Please contact us if you would like to get involved, we'd love to have you!

Also, a teaser:  Upcycle SLO is taking off quickly and we are going to be producing a very exciting show in April around Earth Day. It is a show that has taken place worldwide and supports everything we are advocating for. We teamed up with a local non-profit and this partnership is in the beginning stages of growing into an exciting collaboration. We are hoping to turn Upcycle SLO into a program of this non-profit that will be modeled after our inspiration, a SCRAP organization in Portland, Oregon. Please check back with us for more information on this exciting event to be revealed within the coming month.