Using basic everyday supplies, post-consumer food packaging, scrap fabric, and discarded paper, Cheryl loves to make ‘green’ art and craft. Creative reuse is her passion, ‘making do’ with easily accessible materials to inspire both decorative and practical upcycled goods.
Current offerings include mixed media art, fabric and paper jewellery, and mini notebooks made from discard library books. Early influences with textiles, sewing and entrepreneurship were nurtured by her mother, who had attended NSCAD and was a ‘cultural creative’ maker herself.
What is Upcycling? Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality and environmental value.
‘Re-used, re-sourced, and re-purposed’ is my motto. I believe that exploring creativity through visual arts in an accessible and social setting encourages people to try something new and contributes to one’s well-being. I subscribe to the ‘make do’ attitude versus needing to buy expensive art supplies. For me, it’s about using stuff I already have around. Basic household supplies and everyday items are all I need to fulfill my creative instinct. Being creative doesn’t require a degree in art & design…just a sincere desire to look at the world and objects around you with curiosity and a little ‘outside of the box’ perspective, deciding on which medium you’d like to use, then just putting it all in front of you and seeing what comes up! Old papers, scrap fabric, empty soup cans, glass bottles, discard library books are some of the items I use most often in my art and craft as well as in DIY workshops and kits.
Some workshop participants have even reported surprise and excitement at having uncovered hidden creativity and talent they never thought they had!
“I enjoyed the days that I attend. It was a ball. Thanks Cheryl.” – MD
“The class is always so much fun while learning a new craft!” – KP
“The art program was a fabulous way to be creative and let the spirit flow. Thanks very much for the opportunity to belong.” – TG
People ask me why I call my work Nanny Goat Art and Crafts:
- Nanny goats are mature female goats as am I , a sturdy Capricorn, able to traverse rugged terrain, climbing seeming obstacles.
- Goats are just so adorable when they frolic like they haven’t a care in the world. Inspiring.
- My art and craft comes from a place of playfulness and curiousness just like a goat’s natural temperament.
- Goats will try to eat anything, even tin cans and clothing! One of their favourite treats are discarded Christmas trees. In this way they make do with what is available. I value this concept as it promotes sustainable environment, encourages using and re-purposing what already exists.
- The vision for Nanny Goat’s ‘Nova Scotia Upcyclers’ Group is to attract members whom share a zero waste ideal, may have a lot of stuff already available to get busy using it to create art or craft, or getting it back into useful circulation. Let’s keep stuff out of the landfill, buy less, buy thrift, use barter economy. Sell the products to local handcrafted shops.
- Making things with our hands is natural, fulfilling, creative and socially beneficial.