Buy props used in MaryJane’s books and magazine!
All proceeds (minus shipping and packing) will benefit www.firstbook.org, a non-profit that provides new books to children from low-income families throughout the U.S. and Canada.
We all love doing our repurposing projects, ranging from the practical …
to the playfully unpretentious …
to the positively … perfunctory?
Anyway, whatever the (re)purpose, we love ’em!
But you must admit that there’s something stupendously special (and infinitely inspiring) when someone elevates repurposing to the heights of entrepreneurial artistry—someone like Traci Claussen of REpurposingNOLA Piece by Peace.
If you’re wondering who NOLA is, you’re probably not from the South (neither am I). NOLA, I learned, is the shiny new acronym for that legendary city that has risen from the floods of Katrina: New Orleans, Louisiana.
And Traci Claussen has put her fashion sense to repurposing her city “Piece by Peace,” using castaway fabric from urban industries to craft couture items with a conscience. Traci talks about her business in this video interview:
“She began designing bags for her own travels: an eco-duffel for a trip to the Jurassic Coast of England; a burlap HoBo handbag for running around town; a RE-weekender Bag for trips to the coast,” explains her blog. “She made adjustments to the prototype after each trip, to add or edit options that would make it more useful for the next trip.”
Now, Traci tailors her designs to meet the needs of her travel-savvy customers. She offers a BURLAP line, featuring her original three designs and seasonal favorites, as well as a signature CARPETBAGGER line and a VEGAN line of totes. She also stocks her online store and physical shop at 604 Julia Street with gorgeous, eclectic goodies, including clothing, candles, and cosmetic collections—all locally made and mostly repurposed, of course.
“I design for the wanderlust in my heart,” says Traci, “because people with innate wanderlust share a compassion, a thirst for local people and the planet. That chronic thirst to grow and learn, help others, bring people together, celebrate appreciation for the individual—it inspires communities.”
Hop on over to RepurposingNola.com to pick up a little more inspiration—and maybe even a Christmas gift or two!
The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,102 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—8,722 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ
Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life …
For this week’s Stitching and Crafting/Nellie Will-Do Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I was excited to kill two birds with one stone, figuratively speaking, naturally. The first bird: earning a new Merit Badge with my crafty, sewing skillz. The second bird: bulking up my fashionista closet.
Now those are two things I can get behind. Can I get an Amen?
I’d been hearing a lot about re-fashion. Like up-cycling, and re-cycling, you might say, but this type of doing good for your planet makes US look good, too. Win, win! How can you, too, earn this badge and look at clothing differently? I’m so glad you asked.
Who knew, am I right? The possibilities are fantastic, and so is the fashion!
Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)
Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)
My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Kristie Bulla!!!
Kristie Bulla (#3679) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Farmgirl Gratitude Merit Badge!
“My mom had sent me a seriously blinged-out blank journal with my initial on it. This thing was so silly and shiny and sparkly, it made me giggle. I didn’t know what I would do with it until I read through some of the merit badges and saw the part about keeping a gratitude journal for the Farmgirl Gratitude badge. How perfect!! I was not in a position to purchase The Book of Awesome, but I did read a lot of entries from the Amazon site, and I read from www.1000awesomethings.com when I ran out of things to read from my first source.
On the day I started working on this badge, our oldest dog, Dakota (our practice kid right after we got married), passed away. Although heartbreaking, I was able to find a gift in that he went peacefully in his sleep with no suffering. Just last week, my purse was stolen while shopping with the kids, and I was yet again able to find the gifts and lessons in that less-than-positive experience. I think actively focusing on gratitude really helped me through both scenarios and then some.”
Ah, the leaves!
We love to celebrate their whimsical dance as they fall from autumn trees …
But … then what?
Once grounded, they tend to lose some of their romantic luster. We step on them, rake them, compost them, and send bags of them off to recycling centers.
What if someone were to look at castaway leaves a little differently?
Anyone can love a rose,
but it takes a lot to love a leaf.
It’s ordinary to love the beautiful,
but it’s beautiful to love the ordinary.
This quote, uttered by an unknown savant, is the motto of Iranian-born artist Omid Asadi, who says, “Art for me is the way of looking differently to this world and around myself. I started to think why nobody paid attention to these beautiful leaves and trod on them, because of their name—if they were called flowers, we wouldn’t tread on them at all! I wanted to give the leaves another life and make art from them.”
So he has, and the results are nothing short of brilliant. Watch …