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What is Dead Marker Alchemist?

DMA is an unschooling learning hub where you'll find educational resources and live online classes for learners 5 years and up.  Our unschool philosophy is strength-based, meaning learners are encouraged to bring the best of themselves to every subject.  Learning is always interactive. 

Dead Marker Alchemy is about creating beauty in unexpected places.  That might mean up-cycling waste materials, creating community and friendship online, or using digital tools to connect with our broader contexts.  A main project of the Dead Marker Alchemists is to create the Virtual School Paper.

Helping mindful families to make the most of their dead markers, and other waste materials is what drives us to create useful and meaningful content regularly.  If you have an idea for a class, please let us know




How did Dead Marker Alchemist come to be?

When Carly was smaller, she had a laboratory. Her lab contained the tools she needed to unlock secrets and create magic. She collected seeds, stones and flowers. She tested and observed the things she found.

One day, during a particular stroke of genius inspiration, Carly used her dad's pliers to crack the back end off a dried up marker. It was destined for the garbage but she wanted to see what was inside before throwing it out.

She squeezed the heavy red handles of the pliers and the plastic shattered. Out came a tiny tube of... um...felt? Then the tip of the pen fell out too.  All that was left was an empty plastic case. Carly took the felt tube and the marker tip and soaked them in a little jar of water. They gave the water some colour.

Carly repeated the process to create a pallet of colours then used her pipettes to create drop art with the dead marker dye. Recognizing the value of working with "trash" items, Carly has continued to work her magic and flex her creative powers by upcycling in her closet and kitchen.

These days you'll find the grown up version of the #DeadMarkerAlchemist growing food from scraps in her yards,



cooking wild edibles,



cutting up stained t-shirts, trying to stitch her way out of a pile of yarn,



feeding her pet worms,


chasing a sticky toddler.  


You'll also find her at deadmarkeralchemist.com helping others to learn trash alchemy, upcycling and other magic via live online video classes.



Carly is a learner who is dedicated to exploring and creating.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria, and is a certified early childhood educator and Mom who lives in BC, Canada.

She has a keen interest in developing online communities, and also in living in the real world.  So limits her internet use to roughly between 10am and 2pm Pacific time, from Tues to Fri.  You might catch her outside of those hours, as internet is hard to avoid, but you should consider such happenings to be very lucky.  

Another passion of Carly's is helping learners to publish the virtual school paper, as seen below. 

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