Wednesday, October 28, 2009


“Cynthia”, you may ask, “where did you get that stunning necklace?"

Cynthia answers, “I made it myself after being inspired by one I saw on J. Crew website.”

“What!” you say, “you made it?”

“Why yes, out of repurposed jewelry.”

What a clever term “repurposed” is. But what exactly does it mean? So glad you asked for you see according to, it quite simply means to use or convert for use in another format or product. I adore that concept. In my book it is notch above recycling and I love recycling. Hence a new hobby - upcycling.

I must give credit to my darling daughter though. She is my inspiration, the one who got me to change my terminology back to saying “crafts” instead of “crap” every time I spoke the word. I used to be quite the crafter. I could cross stitch, knit, weave baskets, make bows, oh the list goes on and on. I suspect I may have leftover materials for a Battenburg Angel or two. But I took a much needed break, a bit of hiatus so to speak, in order to once again appreciate the art of crafting. Crafting has seemed to take on a life of its own with many bloggers and tweeps that post regularly about their latest crafting find or creation. And I am noticing that they seem to be young people, which is very fun. I can’t wait until one of the young crafters gives the crafting world a new take on the crocheted toilet tissue roll cover. Allison is one of those new young breed of crafters. Give that girl a piece of clothing and she can make something new in no time. You need a skirt but only have a mens button down shirt. Have no fear, give Allison an hour and you will have your new skirt. She sees potential to upcycle everywhere.

That is why we know where every Goodwill store is in the greater Valley of the Sun and have visited a good portion of them. Yes we have been to Sun City, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe and we may have even stopped at one in Glendale, but that day I was punch-drunk from all the stops we had made. And yes we have found the treasures. At a Goodwill near our house I am starting to believe one the sales clerks now recognizes us. I fear that will soon be the case at the new store that recently opened, and by recently I mean a week ago. You see it can be quite memorable when we are gazing at the jewelry case. We have a method: Allison starts on one end and I start at the other and we painstakingly go through each tray to see what treasures are waiting to be unearthed. We work with finese as we give a quick glance through the articles that are purely not what we are in the market for. But you never know when you are going to pick up a piece, which gives you cause for a pause, and there it is, a spark of inspiration.

On $1 sweater and $1 denim day, we were almost beside ourselves with the finds that existed in abundance. Once again, you may ask “WHY?" And I would answer, “because we are felting the sweaters to “repurpose” into a blanket and other such items where you would want to use felt. The denim jeans will soon find themselves with a new purpose as a rug on Drew’s floor.”

Ah yes, you may be asking, “what does a 12 year old boy think of all this crafting and Goodwilling”? And the answer is what you would expect from most 12 year old boys, “if Drew might benefit, he likes it. He is quite a repurposer of common objects buff himself, but just don’t make him go shopping for the stuff.” We are happy to oblige because it is very hard to scour and find the hidden nonpareil cache when one of your offspring is bemoaning the fact that you have been at the same store for more than 7 minutes or is that the 7th Goodwill of the day.

By the way, I figure I paid about $10 for the jewelry I used in my necklace. Compared to the $135 I would have paid for the one J. Crew, I'll take my designer original.

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