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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Art of Re-Purposing

Re-Purposed Wine Barrel Planter!
I’ve mentioned before my (slight) addiction to our website and blog stats.  They just mesmerize me.  And today’s point of particular interest is the fact that our highest trafficked areas of the site are not what I expected them to be when we first launched. . .at all.  What are most people interested in?  Re-Purposing!

I, frankly, am more than a little surprised. Not that I don’t find the topic enormously worthwhile, mind you: re-purposing is quite a passion of mine.  But it is surprising to see the overwhelming volume of people who are drawn to that section of our site.  The proportion is staggering.

So, what is ‘re-purposing?’  And what is the big draw?  It’s really just another form of recycling. . .some even try to ‘posh’ it up a bit and call it ‘up-cycling.’ 

Instead of handing something in to a landfill or a recycling center to re-make into something else, re-purposing is simply using something for other than whatever it was first made for.  It’s cost effective, ‘green’ and profoundly responsible.

Lisa Reichert's gorgeous hand made rug
Turning worn out clothing into quilts or rag rugs, for example, is a classic form of pioneer re-purposing.  Modern day examples might be using old wine barrels for planters, old shutters for wall organizers and pallets for everything from headboards to wall hangings.  Or, it could be as simple as turning a few odd antique door knobs into cute little coat hooks or carving old wine corks into sweet little stamps.  It doesn’t really matter how big or small, how simple or complicated. . .it’s the idea that we use what we have instead of throwing things away that counts.

 “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” was a popular frugality motto through the Great Depression and WWII.  But the concept has been around pretty much since the beginning of time.  It’s really only in recent decades that we have become (sadly) such a disposable society.  So it’s encouraging to see the rising re-purposing movement.  VERY encouraging.

And I like that.  Re-purposing SHOULD be born out of a sense of responsibility to our environment, responsibility to our finances, and a respect for our possessions.  But it needn’t be a boring, utilitarian exercise!  It’s an opportunity to be creative and artistic!  It’s an opportunity to look at something from a different perspective and breathe new life into it. . .either aesthetic or practical!  It’s an opportunity to let your inner kid loose and have some fun!  Re-purposing is an ART!

Jacqueline Lipsky made this beauty!
Our Pinterest Board (http://www.pinterest.com/mlprairiehome/re-purposing/ ) is FULL of awesome, creative, innovative and downright beautiful re-purposing ideas. . .but don’t let that be a definitive list.  Instead, let it inspire you!  Go forth and up-cycle!

Note:  Big thank you to Lisa Reichert for the use of her beautiful braided rag rug image!  See her how-to blog post on making rag rugs here:  http://sockmonkeybeads.blogspot.com/2012/10/diy-project-rag-rug-aka-cat-mat.html  and visit her ADORABLE Etsy website here:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheBeadYouNeed?ref=em
Also a big thanks to Jacqueline Lipsky for her gorgeous rag rug image! You can check out this wonder-woman's blogs and items for sale at: http://bornambitous-bornimaginative.blogspot.com/2011/03/braided-rag-rug.html

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