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Put Your Heart Into It - Hanging Terrarium & Wrapping Ideas Workshop

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by Meg Crawford (subscribe)
I'm a Melbourne based freelance journo. While I mostly concentrate on music, I'll write about anything else that grabs my fancy.
Planting, eating and wrapping with Put Your Heart Into It
Put Your Heart Into It sign
Our workshop

The Hanging Terrarium & Wrapping Ideas Workshop, run by Put Your Heart Into It's creative team, caters to all of the senses.

For the taste buds, there's a fine selection of artisan charcuterie and cheeses from Uncles' Smallgoods.

Uncle's Smallgoods
Tasty spread by Uncle's Smallgood's

For the benefit of the eyes, tonight's event is being hosted in the Local Shop in Northcote, home to the grooviest assortment of homewares and gifts.

Local Shop
Workshop at Local Shop - Northcote

For our listening pleasure, we have some early 60's R&B (Etta James and co). I can't show you that…

For the tactile, we're getting our hands in some dirt.

Dirty hands
Getting my hands dirty

which brings us to the olfactory. We're virtually sitting in a Parisian style flower display, so things are smelling pretty nice.

How flowers should be arranged

Anna D'Amelio and Laura Issell are the clever and creative hearts and minds behind Put Your Heart Into It. Both have come from corporate backgrounds, but are now dedicated to heart-centred businesses. D'Amelio also runs her own natural skin care company, Miod Skincare, and describes herself as an "all round healthy lifestyle guru", while Issell operates Interior Hunter, an interior and event styling business. Put another way, both have some pretty credible skills when it comes to making things look good.

Without being heavy handed, there's also a strong conservation ethic which inspires what they do. While neither regrets having done corporate time, they were both disenchanted with the levels of waste.

"I worked as an environmental engineer after finishing my degree at uni," recalls D'Amelio. "It was my intention to make a difference, but I discovered that it's not that easy to do in practice! I can remember one example where the company was getting rid of its old VHS stock. I suggested that there might be an option to recycle them. I was busy that day, so I asked if I could have until the end of Friday to come up with some options. I researched it and came up with some solutions, but come Friday, they had already been thrown out!"

Issell had similar experiences. "I was lucky and grateful to be working in corporate interior design," she reflects. "… but there was one occasion where we were doing an office fit-out. We set up a prototype for just one day – they came and inspected it and then everything we had used went straight into landfill. I felt like I was selling my soul! I was drinking so much coffee and having about four croissants a day. I felt so unhealthy and I was unhappy on the inside! I felt like I was just adding to the problem."

Well, there's no call for them to lament anymore. These workshops are a culmination of their design and aesthetic experience and are informed by an ethos of anti-mass manufacture. Their workshops cover a range of subjects including: DIY crafts, art, making organic skincare, aromatherapy, herb knowledge, interior styling, event styling, photography and floristry.

Tonight though, they're showing us how, with a bit of thought and time, beautiful gifts and wrapping can be pulled together from what we have lying about.

… and, happily, there's no whiff of Nana to what we make. As Issell puts it "homemade doesn't have to be tacky and cheap."

Our first project is an open, hanging glass orb terrarium, which we get to take home. I was delighted with mine! Have a look…

I made this! Hanging orb terrarium

The second part of the session taught us four nifty wrapping techniques: the Japanese fold, the burger fold, making a paper pom-pom and how to properly wrap a rectangle. For someone who routinely handballed the task of wrapping, this was something of a revelation. Apparently, I can wrap after all…

Who knew...
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*Meg Crawford was invited as a guest
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Why? Make something beautiful, without generating waste
When: 14 July 2014
Where: 262 High Street Northcote
Cost: $115
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