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recycling in Red & White

29 Nov

My small home town of 250 people does have a high school. The school ‘s mascot is the cardinal and school colors are red and white, so I guess I am a bit partial to those colors. I have made a number of purses and totes from white bags with red lettering as white plastic bags with red print are easily found (usually I can count on Target or JCPenny). Each time I make one, I think of my Cromwell hometown and high school and consider them my Cardinal bags.

As I was nearing completion of a Cardinal bag, I had used up my all my red and white plarn.

Sometimes when I need a certain plastic bag color that I know comes from a specific store I make a special trip to ask if they have any used bags that I can take off their hands.

It seems they typically toss them since used store bags get so wrinkled and they can’t reuse them in the store, though hopefully they recycle the plastic bags. Most stores have no problem with allowing me to take bags from their discards, though I have been told no on occasion.

Since there is a mall only 1 mile from my home, I went over to JCPenny and asked for bags that had been used for returns at the check-out counter.

They gladly gave me some of the bags and were pleased to hear that I recycle them into trendy purses, handbags, and totes

I heart JCPenny and their white with red bags!

Don’t you think these make great  bags to use at Christmas!

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The Making of a Snowman

25 Jan

We all know that snowmen come from snow and melt away when the weather warms up. This winter we have had lots of snowstorms in Utah. Plenty of snow for everyone to have a family of snowmen hanging out in their yards!!

I chose to pass on making the cold and wet kind of snowmen, and have been working again on recycled plastic snowmen. You can read more about my crocheted snowmen here and here. Crocheting themini snowmen is my favorite because the start-to-finish time is pretty short.

My 5″ mini snowmen take 6 shopping bags to complete the body. I use a g or h hook, and cut my bags about an inch in width and then roll them up into balls of plarn for easier handling while crocheting. You can cut the plastic wider and use a larger hook to get a bit bigger snowman. These little ones are fun to set around the house, put in a Christmas stocking, or let the kids have for a toy.

After cutting the 6 bags I crochet the body based on a modified (free) pattern I found at Michael’s last winter—it is for tree ornament snowman made from regular yarn.  When the body is finished I have fun finding colorful bags to make a hat and scarf set for each little man.  The scarfs are simple to make since they’re just a long single crochet chain.  Heavier plastic bags work well for scarves, giving them some rigidness.  Because heavier plastic works wonderfully for hats and scarfs for snowmen I am able to use those bags which I pass on for crocheted purses. The hats are my own creation and they vary with each little snowman—some have traditional top hats while some have wintery pointed “stocking” caps.

Snowmen in August

15 Sep

During our travels to Minnesota in August, I crocheted a few snowmen from plastic bags during the really long drive. They don’t take very long to make and are an easy project to work on during the drive across the plains.

I have been having lots of fun making these mini snowmen. The most fun is picking out the colored bags to make into the hat and scarf. This part is what gives each little snowman its personality.

Several friends and relatives we spent time with this August were gifted with a snowman. I left one sitting by the TV at my father-in-law’s apartment and he thought it was pretty great when he found it.

My daughter’s neighbor, Sandy (who always has a stash of bags to give me when I’m at Lisa’s), chose her favorite.

Janelle’s mother-in-law, a missionary teacher from Ecuador, went home with a snowman when she stopped in at Lisa’s garage sale. A garage sale customer even purchased one when she saw what I was working on. Cousin Eileen chose one when we were hosted in her wonderful log home near to my dad’s nursing home.

Niece Kari received one when we were at her home in Northern Minnesota for a couple days. And one snowman stayed at Rita’s house when we stopped for brunch with our Utah friends who now live in Wisconsin.