Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Recycling - Upcycling - Reusing - Repurposing

My castteam-mate, NaNa, from NaNa Things blogged this week about how anxious she is for springtime so she can go "hunting" without coats, boots, gloves, etc. Where she's free to dig, dig, dig in relative freedom. Here's her blog.

I even have a special purse I bring along with me when I go on this type of outing. It's a tiny little thing, flat, cross body. It fits my license, a couple dollars, a credit card, even a pen and tiny notebook - plus has a clip for my keys. It doesn't dangle behind me like my big black purse, whacking everything in a 3 foot radius. It stays right up close to my body.

The "hunting" of which I speak is:  hunting for good, sale-able vintage wares. NaNa sells hers in her vintage etsy shop.

I generally re-purpose estate sale finds..

We've both been to the same Volunteers of America shop in the past few days. Read about what she bought, on her blog.

I bought a men's dress shirt. I wanted to re-purpose it into the back part of a pillow cover. The buttons on the shirt make a convenient slot to slide the pillow in and out for laundering purposes.The front of this pillow is also an up-cycled textile. This one was rescued at an estate sale, where often times one will find all the household linens spread out on a bed in one of the bedrooms. When I come upon a scene like this and there's all kinds of crochet work, embroidery, and lace, I almost begin swooning, I am so overcome. I am tossing linen into my reusable bag with wild abandon.

Once home with my haul, it all gets examined to determine how to launder it. I love hanging it out of doors to dry. Another reason why we want winter to be over and done with.

The front of my pillow cover is one end of what was once called a dresser scarf. Both ends of this glorious piece of linen were embroidered with a colorful bowl of flowers. Many artful stitches were used in it's execution. I so respect the skill of these embroiderers, crocheters, and needle-workers of old and am sad that their labors of love are often are so unappreciated - I just have to rescue them before they languish  in a landfill.

Since the original articles are no longer in fashion, I re-design them into something that is in fashion. And, voila !! The treasured heirloom has a new life.


  1. That cushion is so beautiful! I love op-shopping too.
    I have never been to an estate sale but I am sure I would faint if I saw a lifetime's worth of linen out on a bed...

  2. Oh, thank you so much Rita for mentioning me in your blog!! I am thrilled and honored and happy to have inspired you! That pillow is cute to put the men's shirt on the clever! Maybe I will see you out and about at the sales this spring! Happy Hunting! Great post!

  3. I love both of those pillows. I used to buy pillows often cause they are so fun but my daughter said no more pillows for now! LOL


  4. Love what you did with the shirt, what a cool idea! Niki x

  5. I love the idea of using the embroidery in a practical way! My grandma did a lot of embroidery, and I've been wondering what to do with some of it, now I have a great idea :) Thanks for sharing!

  6. It is a gift...that of repurposing. I can just imagine how happy the creator of that stitchery would be to see their work appreciated so.
    You do such lovely work.

  7. The shirt pillow is ingenious!! And I just love old embroidery much work! It made a beautiful pillow!

  8. I absolutely love the pillow. And of course, I admire your vision and ability to bring to life items that were headed to the landfill.

  9. What a great idea for recycling a men's shirt! Absolutely creative.