Artist Spotlight: Penelope Bellus and Oh Sew Penny

When Penny’s mother taught her to sew when she was twelve years old, she
immediately fell in love with the craft.  She started making her own clothes and
later made her daughter’s clothes, as well as children’s clothes and baby
comforters for a children’s store.  Though she took a break while pursuing
a “real” job, sewing has remained a creative outlet for her throughout her

Penny has been recycling for many years, and recently started to mesh that
with her craft.  She discovered that there are so many vintage linens still out there that
are not being used because they have holes or stains.  Many of these end
up in the landfill.  All of my aprons are made from vintage linens, most from the 1940s and 50s. She mainly uses tablecloths, but also has feed sacks, dish towels, and vintage yardage and embellishes them with doilies, hankies, dresser scarves, rick rack, and lace.  OSP p4

Penny says, “They don’t make cottons of this quality anymore, and
I love being able to upcycle them. I can cut around the flaws and make
my aprons.  Something considered useless is now a work of art, as well
as something useful once again.”oh Sew Penny aprons


Penelope Bellus and Oh Sew Penny are located at Table #13.

Artist Spotlight: Carla Fox and Carla Fox Designs


neck 2

Carla Fox has been making stuff from cast offs, scraps and found materials since she started fashioning doll clothes from her mother’s sewing scraps as a child.  Both sets of grandparents, and my parents, lived with the notion of “use it up, wear it out, make do or do without”.  She comes by it naturally.

So, over the past ten or so years, it seemed like a natural progression from making “regular” jewelry from beads to using found items, broken jewelry bits and pieces,  and vintage jewelry.  “I love working this way, and I had so many more avenues to explore in making adornments and wearable art.  Why not go back to the fabric scraps?  I have saved so many designer samples from my previous profession, and had finally lit upon a use for them:  textile jewelry.”Image may contain: flower and plant

Now Carla almost exclusively experiments with repurposed or upcycled textiles, embellishing these pendants, brooches and collars with a multitude of items.  If she can sew or stitch it on by hand, she will use it.  If not, she figures out a way.  Carla says, “Each piece is unique, hand stitched and I never know where the process will lead me.  Or what the outcome might be. ”

neck e  neck h       Well,  as one of the members of the jury, I know exactly what I thought when I saw THIS piece. It screamed “BRIDE!!!!” to me. Immediately I envisioned someone on a budget buying a simple white sheath and then dressing it up with this.  neckpiece Carla Fox


I reached out to some wedding planners to let them know about our festival. Afterall, Carla’s neckpieces are amazing adornments, and so many of the other artists have items that would work as wedding presents or favors. And only one replied to me: “MY clients don’t wear garbage!” Her tone was so angry that I had even emailed her in the first place that I dropped it, but it sure was obvious she did not understand…..we are not presenting trash to the public with this Recycled Arts Festival, we are introducing the treasures that most people miss.  And YOU understand this….thank you!

Carla Fox and Carla Fox Designs are located at Table #22.


Artist Spotlight: John “Sam” Houston and Papa Sam’s Workshop

John’s initial introduction to woodworking was watching his father-in-law working on his ShopSmith woodworking system. And when he let John try a few things, the die was cast. No issue, when his father-in-law passed, it was decided that John should get the system.

However, it sat for approximately 25 years as  John was working and didn’t have time to devote to it.  Upon retirement he decided to give it a try.   “Soon I was churning out boxes and bowls to the point my wife asked if I could find a way to “get rid” of some of them which led me to the Saturday Market/ Bazaar world.”



Not being wealthy, John looked for materials everywhere.  “My initial source was my firewood pile then when I noticed neighbors  tossing trimmings into the trash, I grabbed those hoping  I could transform them into something useful. Recently a neighbor was replacing a wooden fence that had fallen and was going to toss the old boards. I offered to swap him new boards for the old ones giving me a wealth of 20+year-old weathered planks to use.  They now have a second life as treasure chest boxes or wine caddies.”



John Houston and Papa Sam’s Workshop is located at Table #36.  John is one of the organizers of the festival. 

Artist Spotlight: Bettie Egerton

Bettie Egerton has always loved all kinds of arts and crafts….sewing, jewelry making, painting, crocheting, and fabric arts.  She has loved the variety and trying new crafts, but the expense of buying the necessary tools, plus materials and supplies  became prohibitive until she decided to find supplies at garage sales and thrift stores. IMG_1290 - Bettie Egerton

“I started buying ugly, outdated clothes and taking them apart to use the fabric, and buttons on other projects.  I learned about repurposing old clothes.  The idea of making aprons out of used men’s shirts is not mine, but I have embraced it whole-heartedly.  I go to the thrift store and only buy shirts that on half price and as I think of all those businessmen who have given up wearing dress shirts and ties because they no longer work, I’m sure they would be happy to see those shirts repurposed and being used as aprons. “IMG_1288 - Bettie Egerton

wine bottles 4 - Bettie EgertonAnd the wine bottles?  A true wine country resident, Bettie quips that empty wine bottles are not hard to find at my house  and when she discovered fairy lights attached to a cork…viola….a new fun decor item was invented. Last Christmas, her house was filled with lighted wine bottles decorated with winter scenes and embellished with pine cones and Christmas ribbon.  Bettie reminds us that they also make great summer patio ambiance lighting. 

“My crafting is my passion and reusing materials that might end up in the landfill just adds to the joy of my hobby.”

Bettie Egerton is located at Table #35.

Artist Spotlight: Aundrea Harris and Underwood Estates

Over her life, Aundrea Harris learned her art from a mishmash of experiences and hobbies. Designing came early as a floral designer for the Portland Rose Festival and jewelry designer for one of her first jewelry design companies in the 1980s.  Aundrea’s  passion for art and beauty extended from flowers and beads to incorporate textiles and vintage

To create beauty from recycled pieces all while reducing trash, is not only a skill, but a passion.  Aundera explains, ” Reclaimed materials are some of the best items to work with. Millions of pounds of fibers and textiles are disposed of daily. We discard damaged clothing when we stain it, so why not utilize the remains and create beauty?bags

“Beauty can be found in just about everything, one must just expand their creative mind! Not only does working with reclaimed materials help eliminate trash on our planet, but it also creates beauty out of something one never would have expected. Beauty is in everything…just look.”more jewels

Aundrea Harris and Underwood Estates is at Table #10.

Artist Spotlight: Jennii Childs and reUNIQUE designs by jennii

Back in 2007, having just gone through a divorce, Jenni was looking at ways to redefine herself. While cleaning out stuff, she ran across a box of old flatware she had collected with intentions to ‘teach’ herself to make bracelets and rings…at that moment, her passion for creating artful things out of what others might discard was born. Jennii is a self-taught artist, whose art has morphed and grown out of a lot of trial and error and whose craft has changed by the cool ‘junk’ she has salvaged. What others see as trash; Jennii sees necklaces, earrings, bracelets and more.B8AC0741-EA40-4B29-A8E2-A01B58F5E1F6 - Jennii Childs

In college, Jennii had one more elective to take to graduate; Astrology or Environmental Conservation were my choices. Guess which one fit best into my schedule? Correct! Environment Conservation!  Jennii is excited to share, “Fate stepped in to make the best choice ever! I’ve always loved natural and all things outside but through this class I learned how fragile our environment is and how without good stewardship we will destroy this amazing gift. Working with reclaimed and repurposed materials is just cool but more importantly, it has allowed me an avenue to talk about the importance of reducing waste, conserving resources and just being good caretakers this place we live.”D335A80E-0FC6-4EC7-B455-47BA2FB09C56 - Jennii Childs

Jennii handcrafts one-of-a-kind jewelry from old wire, hardware, leather and metal scraps. To attach my pieces, she likes to use rusted screws that she might find along roadsides or by rummaging through salvage hotspots. My latest rescue is a bucket of spent bullet shells which I etch & turn into necklaces; adding wish messages or dried flowers making something delicate and decorative.FC0E18E5-1C2B-46FC-AECB-7284CC101CD3 - Jennii Childs

Jennii Childs and reUNIQUE designs by jennii is at Table #6.


Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Zero Waste McMinnville organization.  Without people willing to give their time and energy, the issues that feel so important to us  would not get accomplished.

During the spring, summer and fall, we have “event season”.  Starting this past weekend with Farm Fest at the Heritage Center, Zero Waste McMinnville will have a presence at just about every event in McMinnville through September!FarmFest sorting  FB_IMG


When the organization was formed over five years ago, the concept of reaching out to the public at events like UFO Celebration and Turkeyrama was at first confusing. Who wants to learn about trash when they come to a downtown event for fun? IMG_3237

Well, it seems like almost everyone.! We still respect our local curmudgeon’s right to stamp his feet and grumble but we do admit we think he is silly. Whether you understand the causes of global warming or not, there still are many things you can personally do to help the earth be healthy. IMG_3238

During the festivals most of our our volunteers help by standing or sitting near the bins and teaching visitors to sort their trash into “recycle”, “compost”, and “landfill”. Since different trash haulers in different cities have different rules, there is plenty of confusion and it is an easy 10-second exchange of info that helps garbage end up in the right bin.compost bin explanation

Unsure you have the McMinnville system understood well enough to avoid loading bins wrong? Well, a very short training session Monday, May 6  from 5:30-7 at the Carnegie Room of the Mac Library will help!volunteer FarmFest 2018

There are other tasks at the festivals as well, and of course, our ongoing committees also need volunteers.

If you have 3 hours – or more-  to give to the community, please join us for the training!

Any questions? Email Patriciafaye Marshall for more information.


Artist Spotlight: Kimberly Morgan and Artwork with Attitude

Ahhh, after hearing about nuns disciplining with rulers for years, it is great to hear that Kimberly Morgan’s eighth-grade teacher, Sister Kathleen Anne, sparked her interest in art.  Specifically, painting with acrylics. And she’s been painting ever since.

“My painting hobby became a bit more serious around 2004 when I began painting wall murals for other people in their homes or offices. I only did a few but it was enough to boost my confidence in my artistic ability.”1033 -

Then in 2009  a magazine Kimberly was reading featured several projects you could make using stuff you may have just laying around. Shortly after that, she happened to be browsing through a thrift store, (one of her favorite things to do), and, she came across a couple of books that talked about repurposing everyday items. This not only got her wheels turning, but it seemed like sparks were literally flying around inside her head. Oh, the things she could make! And paint as well!10a1 -

Kimberly has been a licensed nail tech in the McMinnville area for 32 years. “The economy was not good, especially for those of us in the service industry, around that time, so the thought of using cast-off items to make beautiful things that I could sell to help supplement my income was very appealing. After giving it more thought, I realized, I wasn’t just keeping my costs down, doing something I truly enjoy, it was also helping to keep trash off the roadsides and out of the ever-growing landfills.”IMG_1316 -

“I paint on so many things, reclaimed wood, shovels, light bulbs, flower pots, rocks, gourds and a lot more. If it doesn’t move, I’ll paint it.  It’s a treasure hunt for me every time I go into a thrift store. I love looking for an ugly duckling that is just waiting to be transformed into a beautiful swan.”fc4 -

During the last five years, Kimberly has branched out a little and added mosaics and some clay sculpting to some of her projects. She gets easily bored doing the same things over and over again,  so it’s been fun trying new things and she’s been pleased with most of my results. wE9qaz%5QW6lX21aTIhH9w -

“So, in a nutshell, this is why I use and will continue to use salvaged materials to create a variety of recycled art.”

Kimberly Morgan and Artwork with Attitude will be speaking with Howie Harkema and Speaking Frankly: And How Are We Doin’ later this week. Watch the interview about the Recycled Arts Festival starting Friday. 

Artwork with Attitude will be at Table #14.

Artists Spotlight: Josh Baulch and Bent Wire Republic

Image result for nixie tube sizes

First, before you get to meet Josh you might appreciate this lesson in old electronic parts: a Nixie tube looks like this. And from Instructables, a definition: A Nixie Tube is a Neon gas-filled tube, that has a wiremesh anode with various cathodes shaped like numbers or symbols. Back in the 1950s they were used in computers, calculators, and laboratory equipment. Nixie tubes were replaced by LEDs and VFDs(vacuum fluorescent displays)in the 1970s.

At Bent Wire Republic,  Josh always enjoyed working with his hands to fix things. A few years ago, he discovered nixie tubes and had the opportunity to build a nixie tube clock from scratch. He found it  exhilarating to soldier together all the circuitry and see the simplicity of a nixie tube turn into a fully functioning clock.GE Radio - Josh Baulch - Copy

This experience brought history to life and to see the nostalgic glow each of the nixie digits.  From that point on, Josh wanted to keep creating those remarkable devices, but also began to incorporate them into other antique and vintage electronics that he revitalized. When he realized his house didn’t have enough room for all these creations, he decided to share them with the world. This was the beginning of Bent Wire Republic. Cage-Lamp-4 - Josh Baulch

Josh says, “I love working with reclaimed materials to give rundown antiques a new lease on life as revitalized pieces of functional steampunk-style art.  Even the Nixie tubes for my clocks are reclaimed. Hunting and salvaging for old electronics gives me great joy.  Seeing the transformation from dirty and run down, to meticulously preserved and rejuvenated is electrifying.  I love having the opportunity to display and showcase that excellent craftsmanship of yesteryear.”Weston-Polyphase-Front - Josh Baulch

Josh Baulch and Bent Wire Republic is located at Table #1.

Artist Spotlight: Jim Tucker and Aspen Wolf Arts

Jim Tucker uses paper pulp made from repurposed brown and white waste paper to construct the various sculptures. “I liked using scrap paper pulp for paper making because it was recycling and just not throwing everything away.  I have recently taught myself to use scrap paper pulp as the sculpture medium just to try something different.  There is a steep learning curve to using paper pulp, but that is also the goal.  To keep learning, experimenting and growing is one of the key, yet fun, aspects of creating art.”0327191158 - Jim Tucker

“My most recent trials are constructing pulp ‘boulders’ to build Inuksuk. Inuksuk are actually constructed by First Nations peoples across the far northern regions of the U.S., Canada and Greenland as landmarks and commemorative signs. From Inuksuks I will soon be expanding my stacked pulp ‘rock’ sculptures to include free-form designs.”0327191200 - Jim Tucker

Jim uses recycled materials because he believes in REDUCING waste.  “Reduce, reuse, recycle – words to live by to make a better world for us and our grandchildren and beyond. Working with reclaimed/recycled materials is very important for reducing our artistic footprint on the world while still creating artistic items of beauty, whimsy and thought.  It is very important to me not to just add to the heap of trash we generate daily.  To create art out of waste materials is just icing on the cake.”0327191156 - Jim Tucker

Jim Tucker and Aspen Wolf Arts is at Table #11.