Guest blogger series: 5 People, 25 Bucks, 25 pieces of Art

by kath_red on 27/02/2011

in Community + Creativity, Guest Series 2011

Today I am very happy to welcome Liz Noonan to Whipup today, she is going to be talking about her Kickstarter Project: 25 People, 25 Bucks, 25 pieces of Art. Liz Noonan describes herself as a compulsive maker, she lives north of Boston with her husband, 3 girls and too many collections. Liz attended The Massachusetts College of Art and Design and was recently featured in the annual Mass Art’s Presidents report “Making History” for her Kickstarter project.

I started my blog in 2009 as a way to talk about my Kickstarter Project. Since that time my blog has opened me up to an amazing and supportive online community I never knew existed. It has also been a vehicle to talk about my art, the work of others that I admire, my life with my children and family, and a way for me to open my own Etsy shop. Is it wrong to say blogging completes me? Fine. Then I am very, very wrong. Thank you Whipup for including me in your 2011 Guest Blogger Series! I’m honored to be a part of it!

I would like to show you a little about the project I launched through Kickstarter called “25 People, 25 Bucks, 25 pieces of Art”. I asked 25 People to send me a collection of theirs. The collection only had to have a singular theme and fit into a 12 inch square box, along with 25 dollars to cover materials and shipping. Currently I am finishing up my last item and am very pleased with the results. I decided to show you a few before and after photos of my favorite projects so far, but to be honest almost all of them left me inspired, it is difficult to choose only a few to talk about.


A set of gloves, from a beloved grand-aunt. Remade into a wreath of flowers for a bride.


A collection of collars that span over 10 years, from a couples dearly loved dogs. Remade into albums for new memories.


A daughter sent me her father’s favorite sweater, who has passed away. She requested I make something for her two girls, who sadly didn’t get to know her father. I made scarfs for her girls, and I sewed them inside out so that the part that touched their grandfather, now touches them.

I think the challenge here, is that there is a sentimental value to these items, which can be difficult to translate. As an artist I needed to really think about the appropriate remake, in order to reflect the story behind the collection. I couldn’t simply just make something because it would look good – I had to remake it and honor the memory, reasons for keeping it and have it be a usable piece in their life. It was a challenge, and at times I felt so much angst at taking scissors to things that meant so much to others…it was a huge responsibility and a major trust.

There is beauty in the things that may make us a little sad, and there is life left in items that we no longer use. I try to find the qualities that make us want to keep it, and remake it into something we want to wear, to use and display. It makes me sad to think so many things we keep hidden away are actually some of the most valuable items we own. I’m honored to have had the chance to make something special for each person who participated.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 electricbluebird February 27, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I am another compulsive maker and my shop allows me to keep on makin’. Love your stuff!

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2 Melissa Huang February 27, 2011 at 7:06 pm

These are fantastic! I especially love the wreath of gloves. The idea of taking someone elses old but loved objects and transforming them into something new that they’ll find usable is very interesting.

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3 Stacy February 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Love your work Liz! Truly beautiful and unique. Such an amazing artist!

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4 Connie February 28, 2011 at 11:21 pm

What a great concept and beautifully realized.

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5 tamra March 1, 2011 at 7:48 am

This is truly an inspired idea! There are far too many objects in our society which have been churned out by endless factories, only to be deposited in the garbage soon after. In such a throw-away world, the value of re-purposing, finding beauty in castaways, and creating meaningful things is so, so important. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely, brilliant body of work.

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6 jan March 1, 2011 at 7:59 am

Awesome, LOVED the idea of grandpa’s sweater being made into something the grand daughters could treasure…it speaks volumes.

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7 Kim ~ The Sassy Crafter March 1, 2011 at 11:16 am

You are a woman after my own heart! I worked with a client a few years back to create bracelets for his daughters using the brass buttons from his military school uniforms. It was so rewarding to see the project come together.

Your glove pieces are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing them for us to see!

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8 Gig Coleman March 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Love your ideas. I have an old belt that my bro in law wore and wore and wore. His wife was going to toss it, but it was so him, that I brought it home. I will make it into book marks for his 4 grand children. Everybody will LOVE it. They were all very close to him.

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9 Vicky March 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

You’re one gifted individual. I love how you see things and make them into reality. More power! By the way, I find your blog so influential and this eco-friendly fashion might interest you in inspiring others to be eco-conscious. Thanks a lot!

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10 Andrea Viets March 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm

“There is beauty in the things that may make us a little sad…” Ah – so true. As one who has lost a sister and mother unexpectedly, you give me courage and inspiration to open the boxes of treasured clothing I have saved for years to make into… something. Something to make me remember and smile. Thank you.

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