Archive | November, 2010

FAQ :: what does re-purse mean?

27 Nov

With all the bags that my father-in-law cut for me, I had so many brown ones I decided to make a purse with fall colors:  browns, yellows, and oranges. I did end up using a few more colors, but the overall color scheme is fall. I planned on making this purse and keeping it for myself.

The first day I used the purse after finishing it I went to a church dinner and sat with my siblings. Interestingly, the conversation came around to purses, as two sisters-in-law were looking for new ones. After showing them my new fall purse, I offered to make them each a purse, but they weren’t at all interested in a recycled plastic bag purse.

That incident was rather deflating to my ego—everyone else that I’ve spoken with regarding these purses has absolutely loved them! But, later that evening we went to visit another sister-in-law. When she saw my purse, she immediately commented on it and said she would like one just like if, if I were ever to make another with the same colors.

Well, when she expressed such excitement over it, I took my things out of the purse right away and passed it along to her. I guess you could say I “re-pursed” it. Of course, I had to ask her if I could have a brown paper bag to use as my purse until I could retrieve one of my old purses to use in replacement of the fall purse.

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Cutting bags

15 Nov

Since beginning my craft, and later researching it on-line, I have found there are several ways to cut bags, and mine is not the preferred method by most recyclers. I stayed with  cutting my bags in a spiral, so that each bag is one length of plastic. I like the way I can connect the pieces by crocheting over the joining ends.

Over the years since starting to crochet plastic I have had help with cutting bags. The most interesting assistant was Bud, my then 87-year-old father-in-law. Bud had given me a hard time about cutting up plastic bags and making purses from them, particularly when knitting because all the ends stick out while working on a purse.

In the fall of 2007, he  had hip replacement surgery. My husband and I drove to northern Minnesota to help him out when he was released from the hospital. I brought along a purse I was working on, but was thinking it might be the end of my venture into making purses and totes from shopping bags.

After being home for a few days, Bud asked if I was still making purses from plastic bags. I hesitantly told him I was, waiting for some come back or criticism about still making them. Much to my surprise his response was, “I could cut bags for you.” Since he was home-bound, he thought that was something he would be able to do while sitting at the kitchen table.

He then proceeded to cut up every plastic bag that was in his house. Then we began a quest for more bags. We asked a neighbor for some and got a new supply for him to work on. He kept himself busy cutting all the plastic bags we could get our hands on. We went from one neighbor to another to people from church until he had cut far more than I thought I would ever use. So rather than coming to the end of making purses, I found myself in the midst of a seemingly unending supply of plastic bags he had cut for me to continue recycling plastic bags into trendy and colorful purses and totes.