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.

Read more of this post

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.


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.







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.




Cut out wings and tail.

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



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.

Plastic Lids – make art not garbage

I admit I’ve gotten a little obsessed with plastic lids – egged on by friends who are literally going through recycle bins to remove them and collect them for me.

Several artists have created art and I’m incubating what I’ll do. The most likely focus is rangoli for Divali and/or Holi.

Here are links to some  artists I’ve found who have created art exclusively from tops:

George Sabras Columns and sculpture

Mary Ellen Croteau Self-portrait etc. includes a”how-to” section

Molly B. Wright – Portraits

Satoshi Hirose  Island interactive conceptual sculptures

If you google “plastic bottle cap art projects” you might find some projects to inspire you.

The Demise of PETE, the PolyEthylene Bird – RIP Good Bird

IMG_0897[1]Early Tuesday I had a call from Bruce who lives at Heritage Harbour: The bird has flown away home. And not long after,he’s at the beach behind the parking lot near the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

We were surprised at how scratched up and torn apart his “bones” were.

Here are some photos of PETE laid to rest.

He is being recycled –  a green burial.


IMG_0901[1] IMG_0903[1]

PETE, the PolyEthylene Bird, is Swimming in the Harbour

PETE. the PolyEthelene Bird, is Swimming in the Harbour.

IMG_0112 IMG_0113 IMG_0118 IMG_0124





Walk RoundAbout Kits Sunday, August 25

Have you wondered who are the people that look after the roundabout (traffic circle) and corner bulge gardens in our neighbourhood?

You can meet several of the Green Streets and boulevard volunteer gardeners on this walk “roundabout” Kits!


The walk route is as follows
2pm Wired Monk -2610 West 4th –  chat for gardeners who have received Neighbourhood Small Grants for their gardening projects. Hear about some upcoming projects too,like the boulevard near Wired Monk and a bench and Little Free Library coming to 2nd and Trafalgar.

Check our my neighbour’s Pallet garden on Trafalgar between 5th & 6th -en route to the (famous!) Mary Go-Round About: Bring a bag and scissors – and help yourself to herbs!
We’ll serve you a glass of lemonade made from herbs (and lemons!)

We’ll head to Lord’s Grace church 8th & Balsam where they’ve made a free herb garden from pallets (and some ingenuity). We’ll provide cheese and crackers and people can snip herbs to add.

We’ll make a short stop at Broadway & Balsam . Elayne Armstrong’s garden won best
bee and butterfly corner bulge and best composition.
Then we’ll head to Verdella and Gabriel’s garden at 10th & Yew.
Around 3:30, we’ll wind up at Linden Tree Place – 8th & Vine – Jacquie and Ray will greet us and
take us to rooftop garden. More snacks to enjoy while chatting with the Gardening Committee.

Register here.


Which laundry products are worst for oceans?


Send us your comments and recommendations for the best products

Come and Get Inspired to Build Community: From Free Herbs, to Bee Houses to Little Free Libraries

Come and pick the herbs. Herb digging "by appointment"

Come and pick the herbs. Herb digging “by appointment”

Did you know that several hundred Kitsilano residents have received Neighbourhood Small Grants for over 150 projects in the past three years? Some projects are one-time events (block party; permaculture blitz) or for a certain group (e.g. Residents on a particular block). Other grants support a project that will be ongoing for community connections.

Several Kits residents who have received Neighbourhood Small Grants will be at the Kits Eco-Arts booth during Khatsahlano. The goal is to connect Art + Community + Environment.

Read more of this post

Rumour has it that the # of Little Free Librairies are increasing

Rumour has it that the # of Little Free Libraries increasing in Kitsilano. Read about the Calgary project here. ^MB