Sunday, May 4, 2008

I just made a purse out of almost completely up-cycled materials. Trash to treasure. I love that.

There are a few things I enjoy doing so much that they easily land in the top ten in my never-ending list of hobbies. One is bargain shopping. To me it is a sport. I'm not talking just any bargain shopping here. No. Anything less than 75% off doesn't even get a glance. I have it down to a science, and while I don't do it all the time, I really enjoy doing it when given the opportunity. Don't get me wrong, I will certainly buy something if it is 25% off, and I've been known to pay full price on occasion, but for me the thrill of finding something perfectly usable for 95% off just blows my mind. Also, I have worked at retail stores where the product which has been marked down that far has to be destroyed and throw away if it doesn't sell. It feels good to rescue something from the landfill.

Now, I have honed down the process and given a few rules to myself over the years:

1. The item in question has to be something I will use or can give to a friend. If I won't use it, it's a waste anyway.

2. The quantity of the item(s) purchased can't create a SELE (pronounced seal). Seals are great animals, but they don't belong in the house. And, if you haven't already guessed, this seal (SELE) is an acronym for Stash Exceeds Life Expectancy. I have noticed this phenomena creeping away from my yarn stash and into other stashes around my house, and it is incredibly important that bargain shopping does not create more!

3. The price of the items purchased must be as low as possible, especially if I'm on a bargain shopping only expedition. We're talking pennies here...lower than a dollar is good, lower than fifty cents even better.

There are more, but I have a feeling this is going to be a lengthy post so I will end here for the sake of brevity. Using the above rules, I recently purchased several satin shirts in a women's XXL at JC Penney's.

Now, another hobby that rates in the top ten is obviously fiber arts. I love anything that involves yarn. Knitting, Crochet and most recently weaving, tablet-weaving specifically are among my loves. With tablet-weaving come some pretty spectacular lengths of very strong material that are perfect for purse straps. I made two in the past few days (See where I'm going with this).

Ok, satin shirts, handwoven purse straps....what else huh?

Well, you can probably gather from my love of bargains and crafting that I love to shop at Goodwill...really, it is a gold mine!

Yep, you got it...several 100% wool sweaters. Yes, they got a good ride in the washing machine. With soap. and agitation. and wool. comes....gorgeous felted fabric that's perfect for a purse! So, I dusted off the sewing machine (it has been too long!) and started in. Ta-dah!

The only problem is, every time I get into a craft project like this, especially one that blends a lot of my interests together, I want to keep doing it and I don't want to go to work the next day! What do you think? Etsy them? Or no? Let me know. :)


NH Knitting Mama said...


NH Knitting Mama said...

Jenn, what weight of yarn would you want a Cordial colorway in? I am more than happy to dye up the amount you would need. Weight/yardage is what I'd need to know.

You can email me direct, too.