Future Craft Collective Mission:

The future craft collective is about inspiring children to get crafty, to create beauty, while simultaneously teaching them ways of minimizing our impact on this earth.  It's about understanding ways of recycling, reducing, reusing, and at the same time, making some really cool stuff.  
Throughout the craft sessions, kids will discover ways to create a world in which the belief in handmade looms larger than the messages of the marketing machine.  In this era of relentless advertising and planned obsolescence, the time has come to infuse our children with our own messages of creative living and sustainability.  This message too can save a kid from a lifetime of seeking contentment through consumption.
The future craft collective wants kids to understand the thrill of making it themselves.  We want them to look at the used goods all around them not as trash, or as items to be tossed in the recycling bin, but rather as raw materials in their crafty creative pursuits, thereby allowing them to experience the innovative feeling of instilling new life into old objects.  
From the idea, to the completion of a project, to showing it off in public, we can teach children to recognize the value and pride and indeed the thrill in saying "Thanks, I made it myself."  And the even greater thrill of utilizing old-fashioned ideals of resourcefulness and ingenuity and of finding the hidden life in abandoned materials.
in addition to making some really cool things we'll cover:
-why is there so much?  understanding that less is more.
-what are retailers doing to the value of handmade?
-the pride of making it yourself.
-the joys of creating personal style.
-the value in knowing the ability to create is within his/her realm.
-tapping into a kids' inherent desire to create.
-recognizing the marketing machine of a consumer culture.
-spreading the love and celebrating the thrill of handmade.

Each session stands alone with a lesson in sustainability and a hands-on project, which will lead to a greater understanding of the thrill of consciously crafting.  A follow-up discussion of each project will lead to greater understanding of the thrill of handmade, the need to minimize the impact and the necessity of creating rather than consuming.

Monday, August 11, 2008

NEW WEBSITE!!!!!!!!!!!

come check out our NEW WEBSITE!!!
we'll be updating and blogging now at

Thursday, May 29, 2008

come join us in the park!!
click here for details.
this is a great project put together by some cool folks.
we'll be out there with something crafty for folks to do-
please come say hi!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Don't Shop: Swap

That's the working title of the big family clothes swap we're planning for back to school time. It'll be modeled after the Swap-a-rama-rama that was so incredible at the Maker Faire last fall. We'll have piles of sorted clothing and dressing rooms and manned sewing machines lining the perimeter of the room. Clothes can be doctored, altered, revised or heck, even fused. Ms. Teresa Ponzhoa has offered up the gym at Zilker for our use and it's going to be fantastic. It'll be on that ridiculous tax-free shopping day when they somehow convinced all of society that they can save money by shopping. Huh? It's mission will be to help people realize that they don't need to go buy a bunch of new clothes when there are already a ton of really great clothes out there just searching for the right body to wear them. And that consumption of new stuff doesn't make you feel good. It's making your own style that makes you feel good.

Stay tuned. And remember, you heard it here first. Or maybe not. Maybe you heard from me because I've been telling EVERYONE. Even though it was really Kathie's brainstorm.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mama classes were a huge hit.

The mama classes were totally fun. The first night we made appreciation banners out of reclaimed burlap and Kathie's incredible scrap bucket that has a combination of cut-offs, old sheets and linens and some fantastic totally thrift store vintage curtains (my personal favorite). Everyone walked away with a finished banner and the ability to add a little gratitude to their family life. It really does work like magic to have gratitudes be constantly on the forefront of everyone's brain.

Day two was the birthday class and mamas could choose between the wish flags, birthday crown or anticipation calendar. We'll have more photos later especially of the anticipation calendar which gives your child and you a chance to reflect on the year past and look to the year future all the while counting down the days until the actual big day. Thanks to Kathie for her incredible wisdom in creating that work of art. Again, photos forthcoming.

Right now I just have a photo of the crown I made which will for sure be featured on all of our heads for all our future birthdays to come. It's reversible which makes it all the more fun and you can see I got to use that vintage curtain I mentioned earlier. More embellishment will surely be forthcoming in the way of old buttons and maybe even some handwork. In fact, Kathie's brilliant idea was that perhaps a bit of handwork could be added at each birthday thereby marking the occasion with great thought and intention. I think that would suit us perfectly.

It was also brought to mind about the excitement of keeping everything in a special box that was brought out a week or so before the big day. Everything could be unfolded and displayed giving the occasion the honor and anticipation it deserves - beyond just cake and presents.

We'll definitely be doing mama classes again, so stay tuned for further details.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Classes on the calendar

Appreciation banner class for mamas on Thursday night May 22nd from 6:30-9:00.

Come make your very own Family Appreciation banners to spread the love and share the gratitudes. You'll walk away with an amazing gift to present to your family but we'll also talk about why family appreciations are so important. We'll discuss family rituals, and ways to make your family life feel that much more connected. You'll receive top notch technical assistance from Kathie Sever and Bernadette will regale you with ways and whys of making appreciations work for you. This class will combine sewing with a little appreciation and while we're at it, why not combine it with a little BYOB. $45.00

Homeschool Craft Collective
The Future Craft Collective is starting a new class series the first four Mondays in June from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. For kids ages 8-12 years old. Sign up by May 29th to reserve your spot. $85.00 + $10.00 supply fee.

Future Craft Collective kids 8-12
The 3:30 - 5:30 classes will continue also. Hurry to reserve your spot because classes have been filling up.

Have I mentioned how much fun Kathie and I have been having? And how much cool stuff has been coming out of this studio all made with recycled materials?

Friday, May 16, 2008


That's my new favorite word: upcycling. It's about taking something that's considered trash and making it into something totally cool or beautiful or all of the above combined with useful. I first heard the word from Virginia Fleck. I thought she made it up. I thought perhaps it was inspired by her amazing mandalas made from plastic bags but but she said she got it from someone else. Regardless of where it comes from, the word AND the concept should definitely be spread far and wide.

At Future Craft Collective's after school club Kathie came up with a great upcycling project for the girls using plastic grocery bags. The thing was, when Kathie went to her cupboard to find plastic grocery bags, the cupboard was bare. When she called me, same thing. She had to search a few houses before she stumbled upon a stash and that alone seemed like a good sign. The fact that most of the people we know are no longer amassing huge piles of plastic bags means there is definitely a shift.

But the bags she did find were definitely happy to be discovered. And the girls in the club were happy too. Check out this amazing little snap purse made by my own ten year old daughter and gifted to me at the end of the class. I love this thing and it is seemingly rather durable as well. I've tossed it around quite a bit in the past couple of weeks and it is still not only looking real good but holding up nicely too.

I love recycling and reusing and reducing and man oh man do I love upcycling too.

Friday, May 9, 2008

new workshops for grown ups!!!!

Crafting Family Goodness

By Kathie Sever and Bernadette Noll
email us to enroll

From the minds that brought you Ramonsterwear clothing, Creating Family Goodness, Homeschool Designs and The Future Craft Collective comes this innovative and inspirational sewing and family ritual class.
Crafting Family Goodness is about inspiring mamas to handcraft family tradition and connection that will last for generations to come. It's about understanding ways of establishing family rhythms and rituals and at the same time, spending time together with other mamas and making some really cool stuff. Because it’s a Future Craft Collective endeavor, be assured will be reusing, recycling, and reclaiming materials helping us keep out of the consumption loop.

Classes are held in the backyard-sewing studio of Kathie Sever located near the corner of S. Lamar and Bluebonnet.

Class Number One: What you Appreciate, Appreciates

May 17th 2:30-6:00 p.m. $55.00 each class (or sign up for both for $100.00)

In this class we’ll make Family Appreciation Banners that will keep gratitude on the forefront of every family member’s brain. Each banner will have a pocket for each member of the family, friends and a pocket for Universal thanks as well. There’ll be space for materials too so you can say “thanks” whenever the spirit moves you. We’ll discuss just why appreciations are so helpful in family life and ways we can encourage our children and partners to recognize and indeed appreciate all that is around them.

Class Number Two: Happy Birthday to You! (and you and you and you) May 24th 1:30-5:00. $55.00 (or sign up for both for $100.00)

In this class we’ll choose from three different birthday projects that you will be able to use year after year and child after child.

1. Birthday Wish Flags

These little flags are drawn from the idea of Tibetan Prayer Flags and can be hung up for each family birthday. Each flag holds a special birthday wish for your children for the coming year. Some folks have also added lessons learned in year’s past as reminders of where we’ve been and thoughts about where we’re going. Flags can be added for each birthday until the family string can be stretched across the whole house sending wishes far and wide.

2. Birthday crowns

Okay, we may find those little cardboard cone hats to be a link to our own childhood, but why not build a whole new birthday hat tradition that will be used year after year. We’ll make a special adjustable crown that can be worn with sentimental pride by each child for every birthday.

3. Anticipation Calendar

Think of this as a way of extending a birthday into a weeklong celebration of fun and anticipation. These little banners hold seven pockets each one holding a tiny treasure and a secret message for the honoree. Your child will be able to see for themselves just how many more days until their birthday (leaving the constant questioning of it at bay) and you’ll both have an entire week of count-down fun.

Monday, April 28, 2008

This ship is sailing

Future Craft Collective just finished up its first month of afterschool classes and all agreed it was completely awesome. Seriously, every member to the one used that word again and again (and again). The classes were all about deconstructing, reusing, upcycling, creating, stitching, laughing, singing, even eating cupcakes for one special occasion and oh yeah, sewing.

We learned about The Story of Stuff and sustainable crafting and owning your own style and using less and seeing more and making it ourselves and innovation and improvising and each member walked away at the end of each class with some really cool handmade items: ransom note t-shirts and t-shirt skirts, appreciation banners, recycled journals and our own little ugly dolls. (and we mean that in a nice way) All this in the name of not only learning a truer, deeper meaning of value and worth, but seriously honing some mean sewing skills in the process!!

Round two of afterschool classes is starting up on May 5th.
Classes will be held each Monday in May from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
In the sewing studio on DeVerne just off of S. Lamar at Bluebonnet.
Check out the blog for camps and other info about the Collective.

This next session will be $85.00 plus a $10.00 supply fee.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

gratitude banner

today we made family gratitue banners in class. the banners have pockets for each family member, plus one for friends and extended family, and one for the universe. each time someone thinks of something they are grateful for, they can jot it down and stick it in the appropriate pocket. this serves us in many ways- we can visit the banner and look in our pocket to read all the ways we inspire gratitude in our family members AND we can reread all of our previously written notes of gratitude to remind ourselves how full our lives are and how much we have to be grateful for...
thanks to the amazing and always inspired bernadette for introducing this to us. i'm grateful to have you in my life, bern!!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

upcycle, re-T

upcycle, re-T, originally uploaded by ramonster cowpoke swankwear.

our april future crafters had an afternoon of attacking a pile of old t-shirts to see what they could come up with. we worked with patterns for both a skirt or a handbag, or they had the option to take a t-shirt who's artwork was less than inspiring to them and embellish the heck out of it.
everybody left with something totally unique and they had a great time making the stuff.
i felt lucky just to be there and bear witness to this cool posse of kids going to TOWN on this big old pile of shirts that otherwise would have been languishing at the bottom of a drawer, taken to goodwill (or the dump?), or used as a rag.
these kids got a glimpse of creating their own brand! way cooler than anything they could buy at target!
i'm totally inspired by these kids and the energy and enthusiasm they bring to their projects.
the future IS now, my friends!! wa-hoo!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

April is our flagship session!

mondays in april, from 3:30- 5:30
max 8 kids
We'll start with a group viewing and discussion of The story of stuff, and go from there-
deconstructing, upcycling, creating, stitching, laughing.
All in the name of learning a truer, deeper meaning of value and worth, and honing some mean sewing skills in the process!!
email us to enroll.


email us to enroll.

Sew Boy: For boys ages 8 to 12.
monday june 9 through friday june 13
9 am till 1 pm
max 8 kids
A heavy piece of electronic machinery with a sharp object that could potentially hurt the user – what more could a boy want? Sew Boy will introduce boys to some sewing basics that will de-gender the world of sewing and bring it to them with totally boy-friendly projects. In a girl-less class they’ll be able to truly explore the thrill of handmade without having to pretend that sewing and crafting is “too girlie”.

This week will start off with a trip to the thrift store where boys will be able to search for potential yardage among the linens and drapes and blankets. We’ll appeal to their competitive selves by making a contest out of getting the most from the yardage they choose. We’ll explore the hidden crafts in random household objects too such as plastic bags, cereal boxes, and the endless t-shirt collections which come from all directions and infiltrate every American household. They’ll never look at the garbage or recycling bin the same way ever again.

Has Beens: Lessons on not taking out the trash For girls ages 8-12.
monday june 16 through friday june 20
9 am through 1 pm
max 8 kids
Packaging represents about 65% of household trash. More than 20,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using 133 square miles of tinfoil. In a one-mile stretch of the average U.S. highway, you will find nearly 1500 pieces of trash.

This week will focus on the packaging we bring in, what we throw out and what we recycle, and how we can reclaim it in some very cool ways. We will discuss the importance of reducing what we use and what we toss thereby minimizing our impact in some very big ways. We’ll explore sewing with paper and cardboard, reclaiming burlap and other heavy duty packagings, the many uses and re-uses of Tyvek and other modern packaging. Your child, and therefore you, will never look at your trash or your recycling the same way again.

Bed, Craft and Beyond: What to do with linens and things*
monday august 11th through friday august 15th
9 am through 1 pm
max 8 kids
It’s easy to walk into a fabric store and pick through the various bolts and samples in order to make the things you need to make. But it’s way more fun and adventurous, not to mention more eco-minded, to give new life to items that have already served their time as something else. We’ll begin with a trip to the thrift store to dig through the linens and drapes and blankets and things. We’ll look for extra groovy fabrics of different weights and patterns and sizes. We’ll teach the kids to examine the wear and usability of the pieces to determine just how much life is left. Then we’ll get to work with our patterns and figure out just how many things we can make out of the chosen pieces. The kids will be amazed, and you might too, at how much life is in those old fabrics. This is not recycling, this is upcycling – giving old objects brand new life.

*Our apologies for the title but we just couldn’t resist.

The Land of 10,000 T’s
monday august 18th through friday august 22nd
9 am through 1 pm
max 8 kids
Our houses are full of them. They come at us from every direction: from teams and clubs and concerts and camps and camps and more camps. Well, this camp too will provide your child with a take-home T or two only this one will be uniquely crafted, cut, stitched and stamped – no two alike. We’ll explore the hidden uses in those thousands of t-shirts by deconstructing, remaking, printing, stamping and ironing on. If you have any favorites of your own, you may want to hide them from your kid after this camp because they’ll never see a T-shirt they won’t want to remake into something unique and fabulouso!

Monday, March 3, 2008

sew boy!

sew boy!, originally uploaded by ramonster cowpoke swankwear.

sunday marked the debut of a new series of classes i've begun that are specifically for 8-12 year old boys. we had five boys and one dad- a full house indeed! i was, admittedly, quite nervous about five itchy 8 year old feet raring to put the pedal to the metal, so to speak.
But much to my delight and surprise, (and with a little help with damage control from our studio dad), the boys were so wrapped up in getting to know their machines they hardly remembered to whack each other upside the head or make fart jokes. (i said they HARDLY remembered... thank god they DID manage to squeek in a whack and a fart here and there, otherwise it may have gotten downright dull...)
it became apparent to me that sewing really is a great gender equalizer, even though boys do seem to still battle the whole "you SEW? but you're a BOY." mentality . i mean, it's all about getting to know and work a MACHINE, right? a MACHINE with a SHARP POINTY thing that could, potentially, do a good bit of hurting to an unsuspecting operator. how much more macho do you get? but, once you add in the elements of patience and care that we often associate with our fairer gendered children, you get one talented sewer. yin, and yang. balance.
what the kids want to sew, however, definatly varies depending on gender. so, with that in mind, as well as the intention to create a space for boys to explore the world of sewing devoid of potential gender issues, our boys class was born.
who-hoo! sew boy!!!