The Kits have had parties in Kits and in Kerrisdale!

Just got another kit back from a huge (100-200 people!) block party in Kerrisdale. Well done! and the organizer has added stuff to it including a bag of rags for cleanup of art projects. Good call!

I have two here at home now so if you’d like to borrow one, just drop me a note maryinvancouver@gmail.com or make a note on facebook Mary Peterson Bennett.

Click the “Block Parties” category if you want to see photos of the kits and a list of contents. We have 6 in total and like it if you hold on to it for a while.   (I can usually arrange to meet you at Kits House at the community potluck -3rd Wednesday- the market (Thursdays) or art drop-in on Tuesday nights – but check with me first, ok?

 

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Block Party Kit #1 now includes tie-dye bunting

Tie-dye bunting at Marina Co-op Block Party
MarinaCoopBlockParty2015

SnakeBubbles

DSC01866The kits include (at least)

3 plastic reusable table cloths – one meant for crafts – we encourage you to have your guests sign and return.

4 table cloth weights

bubbles and bubble wand (and sample or instructions for making “snake bubble wands” from plastic water bottles and socks!)

2 fly swatters

first aid kit

name tag making kit with recycBlockParty2600Trafalgarled materials from Urban Source

insulated bag to keep things hot or cold

pin wheel to mark your spot

skipping rMarinaCoopBlockParty2015TieDyeBuntingopes

folder with ideas for greening your block party artistically; Kitsilano Trivia game, people bingo game

sidewalk chalk

Block party at 2600 Block West 7th (Trafalgar to Stephens).

BlockParty2600Trafalgar (1) BlockParty2600Trafalgar (2) DSC01859So we have our 6 block party kits and they’re roaming around the west side having lots of fun at parties.

The new version cart uses these carts – 4 are like this; 2 are the other version. These hold a lot and are more flexible as things can extend.

As time goes on we also add things. Kit #1 now has tie-dyed bunting/flags and also green bunting/flags that say “block party” as well as fabric, rope and clothes pegs to make your own.

Good times to borrow or return a cart are the 3rd Wednesday Potluck at Kits House or the 3rd or 4th Tuesday.  Most people then just keeps the cart till it’s booked but if you don’t have space you can return it.

Joanne and I are having fun sending our kits off to parties. It’s as if we’re going ourselves and appreciate your sending photos.

Not all block party kits are created equal

As we develop the 6 kits, some get additional stuff.

#1 Kit now resident at my place includes

tie-dyed bunting

a container with adapted water bottles for making “snake bubbles”

and additional table cloths beyond the basic 3.

When you borrow, if you feel inclined to add

bubble containers (empty is fine!)

plastic re-usable items that you won’t be using (some people buy extra plastic stuff and don’t use it all).

We don’t *need* it – so please don’t give us stuff that you yourself would re-use: just if it’s otherwise going in the landfill!

We appreciate photos and email to kitsecoarts@gmail.com

Let us know which items you most appreciated and if there’s more of anything you’d like, we still have a bit of the budget left!!

Beyond Balloons – Make Your Own Bunting–We give you the rope and clips

Joanne and I have been talking about a lot of different options of providing bunting (little flags) for our block party kits. The time to make ’em, how to store ’em, etc. has been a tad exciting but overwhelming. Problems like: how long do they need to be; what to provide so people actually put them back in the kit to be used again, what if they get wet, etc. etc. etc.

We loved the idea of tie-dye bunting but don’t have the time to tie-dye, sew etc and then there are the other problems see above that remain unanswered anyways.

ColourfulclipsSo I saw these great colourful clips at a dollar store and now thinking we’ll provide clips and rope and suggestions on DIY bunting ideas that can be done right at the party. Could be tie-dye. Could be paintings on fabric or paper. Could be ripping strands of sparkly fabric. Could be magnolia leaves. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.

btw Balloons are bad. Especially helium balloons. I know they’re lovely but there are other options.

http://balloonsblow.org/impacts-on-wildlife-and-environment

If you truly must use balloons, you might want to read this article that is pro-balloons but provides some interesting comparison information.

http://www.balloonsgalorelansing.com/environment.html

But… here’s an article that refutes the idea that latex balloons are biodegradable (from way back in 1990)

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/01/nyregion/l-balloons-effect-on-the-environment-867890.html

 

Bubble experiments coming up! Glycerine – check. Dawn – check! Recycled water bottles – check!

Bubble blowers using recycled materials - fun activity for kidsBubble experiments coming up! Glycerine – check. Dawn – check! Recycled water bottles – check!

We got a #neighbourhoodsmallgrant to put together kits for block parties including (ta da!) bubbles! As this is a Greenest city grant it’s all about encouraging people to reuse and recycle.  So we’ve bought some jars of “starter bubble solution” but are going to make our own for refills. The secret ingredient appears to be glycerine which can be bought in the first aid section of your local drug store.

Although I’ve been warned that it stains clothing. So don’t wear your work clothes for bubble parties.

And for dishwashing liquid to use Joy or Dawn (makes you wonder what’s in those two products that’s not in eco-friendly dishwashing liquid like Seventh Generation). Some recipes call for sugar or light corn syrup.

The secret trick is to let it settle overnight to make better bubbles.

Also experimenting with cutting the bottoms off plastic bottles to use as wands.

A lot of what I’ve found is on my pinteret bubble board: https://www.pinterest.com/marybennettart/bubbles/

Prototype Kits Block Party Kit is (almost) ready and looking for a party

We got foiled a bit – Urban Source was closed so we couldn’t buy the recycled cardboard and materials for the name tag kit. And we *really* want to provide bunting (little flags) and we still need to buy more table cloths, but the prototype is ready for a party.

We’ve wound up with 3 bags full of different things

setsetupbagup: 3 tablecloths, rope, Shooks, table cloth weights (and bunting we hope)

bubble bag – large bottle of bubbles, bubble wands, fly swattersbubblebag

 

 

 

 

 

sidewalk play bag – 3 skipping ropes; lots of sidewalk chalk

name tchalkskippingropeag kit – 2 pairs of scissors; 4 glue sticks; one bottle liquid glue, pencil crayons and pencil sharpener ; and of course glitter.

 

nametagkit

 

 

 

Trying how best to put the pinwheel and the giant bubble wand into the cart without crushing them, we realized the obvious – just put them on the outside.

Besides the final supplies mentioned, we plan to paint the carts… Stay tuned.

We now have tPartyReadyCartwo booked for June Car Free Days block parties – there will be 6 available by June 16-17, so we still have four available to be booked. Let us know at kitsecoarts@gmail.com and then pick up from Kits House.

We’re also imagining a Kitsilano Trivia game and a list of tips to make your block party greener.

And maybe a simple first aid kit – just bandaids of various sizes.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks to Vancouver Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grant program and Kits House for support for this project.

 

Donations! We’re looking for donations from green businesses/organizations such as:

1. reusable bags

2. lanyards with or without name tags

3. shiny fabric, braid/rickrack, or plain coloured cotton for bunting/flags

4. anything that would help to “green a block party–artistically” – i.e. reusable

Greening Your Block Party – Artistically

Some of the items you can expect in your block party rolling cart.

Some of the items you can expect in your block party rolling cart.

Joanne and I got a Neighbourhood Small Grant to put together kits you can borrow for your block party.The idea is to “green your block party – artistically.”  We’re assembling the kits which will be in a rolling cart and include: – washable table cloths – rope, bungee cords to hang up signs, banners, flags – name tag kits using recycled and reusable or recyclable materials (scissors, glue, etc. of course) – bubble maker; sidewalk chalk; whirly gig; hot/cold bag – lots more fun stuff. Recycled materials wanted! We’re looking for fabric (especially fun fabric – bright colours; sparkly) for making bunting and banners; name tags holders, lanyards, pin-on pins,  for the name-tag kit; and if you happen to have big clips or clamps; rope; heavy string; bubble kits (even if the bubble solution is done–we plan to make some); bungee cords etc. do contact kitsecoarts@gmail.com or drop in on a Tuesday night at Kits House 2305 West 7th at Vine and leave with the host of the Art Drop-in

Thank you to the Vancouver Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grant Program and Kitsilano Neighbourhood House for support.

We’ll have the kits ready before Kitsilano Car-Free Days, and, yes, you can book yours now and pick up the week before by arrangement – either Tuesday or Wednesday night at Kits House preferably..

Signs of the Times

PickatyourownriskI just have always felt that the no-no-no-no-no signs don’t work and only annoy the nice people.

That said, gardeners want to send messages to people who might just not “get it”, so we’re developing some fun signs that you can use on your garden. Feel free to adapt at will.  Here are some examples. They’ll be completed by November 30, the windup for the west side Neighbourhood Small Grant party.

FunSign6 What goes around comes around

FunSign4  Bee Nice

FunSign1-W-10  Pick at your own risk – Just sayin’

Put A Bird On It – Making Tree Decorations from Recycled Plastic

BirdonBeach2013-06 (18)Put a Bird on It

Making Upcycled Tree Decorations

Come and learn several techniques for creating birds (peace doves) for Christmas or Solstice trees from recycled plastic. We will create some simple birds using tin snips and sharpies. Mary will demonstrate and discuss techniques for using other tools such as a heat gun for fancy birds. She’ll show examples of other art made from recycled plastic to inspire your creativity. You’ll meet some neighbours, have some fun and learn some things about recycling and art-making.

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Make a Familiar from a Familiar Coffee Bag

We’re making crows from coffee bags. If you plan to be a witch for Hallowe’en here’s a great way to create your personal familiar.

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Cut ends off the 5-lb coffee bag (Ask your favorite coffee shop if they get their coffee in bags like these.)

Fold lengthwise, and cut along one edge.

IMG_20131015_154523

 

 

 

 

 

Cut a triangle out of the

IMG_20131015_154626 centre and pull it out. This will be your crow’s head.

 

 

Pull out the triangle for the head, and fold along the middle.

 

IMG_20131015_154701

 

Cut out wings and tail.

Clip along to make a fringe/feathers on both as you wish.

IMG_20131015_151120

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I tied a raffia bow on his tail.

 

 

 

 

 

I punched two holes in the top and threaded some fishing line through so I could hang him.

Then I punched hopes for eyes.

 

This is your basic bird.

Yours might have further enhancements.

The coffee bags are not recyclable because they are plastic and foil fused together. our experience is that coffee shops are eager to have them transformed into art. Lessens the guilt factor.

 

Stay tuned for spiders and bats. Maybe even black cats.