urban source, recylcing dream

With the end of my third semester of grad school approaching, I’m really beginning to dream of taking a bit of a break to recharge and refuel my creative juices. As rewarding and amazing my coursework has been, I’m looking forward to leisurely mornings with coffee in hand, and afternoons spent exploring all of the interesting nooks and crannies the city has to offer.

Since I still have a few weeks left before I am truly on a break, I thought that today I might share some photos from an excursion I made on the last semester break I had, where I explored a bit of Main Street with my friend Gabby.

The neighbourhood, as I’m sure most Vancouverites know by now, is full of little treasures. From weird and wonderfully printed clothes,  amazing comfort food, to the quirkiest of antique shops, it’s a weird and wonderful ride top to bottom. But the main draw for Gabby and I was heading to our favourite children’s art studio (more on that later!) and hitting up an art supply store.

Yeah, shocker. Two art therapy students walk into an art supply store on their day off, whodathunkit, eh? The cool thing about this art supply store, though, is that everything they sell is donated and recycled. In other words, it’s heaven in brick and mortar form for our little environment loving hearts.

The store is divided into two sections: on the left is your typical supply section, full of amazing goodies priced individually, but the right is where some of the real magic happens. Basically, you pick one of three sizes of paper bags ($5 for the smallest, $20 the largest) and fill it with goodies from buckets labelled “one handful per bag” or “six ribbons per bag” — all while handcrafted and recycled critters dance along the ceilings and walls around you.

Needless to say, I was like a kid in a candy shop, so I have very few photos of the actual shop, but I came home with a bag full of recycled treasures that I’ve been loving to work with. Here are just a few of my favourite pieces I collected during our first visit to Urban Source!






Gabby and I both opted for a medium sized bag, which we stuffed to the brim full of amazing treasures for $15 each. We grabbed everything from coloured cellophane, cardboard circles, card stock, map pieces, and even some more unusual bits and pieces.

These are some of my favourite finds — a ton of seashells (pictured in jars with along with my personal collection), keys from old broken down keyboards, silver bangles, and my personal favourites, the old photo slides and typewriter keys! While I’ve used the cardboard circles and the cardstock most often (both for my own use and with clients) since our visit in April, I think those slides are my favourite find so far. They were so much fun to play around with in store, and I can’t wait to find a creative use for them in some artwork. Plus, they make for really neat photo effects!


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