Friday, December 19, 2008

Sasquatch Needs a Fan Club

Show your support for the Yeti by wearing this bag around town.  Made of 100% recycled plastic material (natch) with heavyweight polypro straps, the Sasquatch is weatherproof enough to handle winter in Minneapolis, even by bike.  Join the Sasquatch Fan Club.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Get OUT!

Yo.  So, approximately one year ago I made a messenger bag from the caution tape used to mark off the course for my husband's first cyclocross race.  See?  I received a lot of great feedback on that bag, and kind of always meant to make a few more along those same lines.  But, you know.  Then, on my birthday date, husband and I drove past a road sign with a bunch of DO NOT ENTER tape flailing around it.  Which I harvested, in birthday dress and birthday heels.  And turned into this fantastic messenger.  

You may notice that the design has been updated since the original Caution Tape Messenger, and with good reason.  My helpy helper husband carried that bag all over the cities on his bike, in all kinds of weather, just to test the design.  Via his reports, plus input from friend SuperRookie, and some of my own research, the messenger was re-designed.  To be awesomer, more weather-proof, and to last longer.  (More details here....)

And p.s. for no real reason at all, I'd like to send some props along the the team who sponsored that first cyclocross race, Velocross.  Only the greatest cycling team EVER, Team Awesome, also known as Little Guy Racing.  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Doorbusters for the Green Geeks

Apparently, there actually are people who wake up for those post-Thanksgiving 4am doorbusters. Fall into gravy-laden dreams after dinner knowing their alarm is set, that in a mere hours, in what most of us call the middle of the night, they will wake up and go out into the cold with their sights on the American dream of a free cordless drill and 25% off apparel for the whole family. For myself, I hate the mall and I love to sleep, so I've never attempted such a feat.  I prefer to save my excitement for the It's-Christmas-Eve-and-I-Haven't-Bought-You-a-Present-Yet shopping expedition.  But this year, in the spirit of sleeping in to be thankful for, Recycling is Rad is having an ALL WEEKEND ANTI-DOORBUSTER SALE!  Starting now.  Go.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cache at the Casket 2008 Review

I survived my first show, and have to say I do feel the teensiest bit sheepish about getting so worked up over it.  My goal for Cache was to not lose money, which I accomplished.  What I didn't expect was to have so much fun talking to people about my work.  It was great to meet all of you out there who were equally excited about the radness of recycling, and I'm thrilled with all of the new contacts I made.  Some of the other highlights include scoring an awesome location right across from the main bar, my really great neighbor BMF Jewelry, and what a surprise hit the little wool hats were that I added to my inventory.  More good news is that I do have some leftover inventory.  Some of it can be found in my Etsy shop, and there are also a few bags at Twin Cities Green on Hennepin in Uptown. (Oh, and p.s. store-wide sale there this weekend.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Riff Raff Makes a Comeback

Oh, hey friends.  Did I tell you Recycling is Rad is going to be at the Cache at the Casket art show this weekend?  Well I am.  We are.  So, that's tomorrow, November 22, from 6-9 pm, and Sunday, November 23, from 11am-4pm.  Treats, libations, and musical entertainment.  Plus, you know, all things handmade like jewelry, art, ceramics.  Oh yes, and recycled riff raff made by me.  Like this stuff.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Tote Gets Rad

I've been spending all my time getting ready for Cache at the Casket (November 22-23, don't forget!), and I'm excited about my new work.  While the details of taking part in a show incite annoyance or panic--details, arr--it's been fun to work towards something, and I've amassed quite a collection of totes, messengers, laptop sleeves, and other riff raff that'll be available at the show.  

These are just a sampling of the tote designs.  Possibly my brain is preparing itself for the approaching season of the grey and the white, but I've really been drawn to strong colors and color combinations.  Especially for the straps, which I've lengthened, making the tote easier to reach into without taking from your shoulder.  

Please stay posted for more show previews (messengers!  zips! more!) coming at the beginning of the week.  And don't forget to visit me at Cache next weekend to see the full line of bags.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I decided it was high time for me to join the rest of the crafty crafters and do a real art show. This one looks like it's going to be a lot of fun with delicious food, wine (wine!), and music in addition to all the vendors. Reasons you should show up include the following: me, the Northeast art scene, getting your Christmas shopping done PRE-Thanksgiving. Hoot Hoot!

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Radness

The latest and freshest bags now available at my Etsy store.  The tote and messenger bags have been updated for fall with cleaner lines, piped edges, and everybody's best friend: the TV.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Clutch Fabulous!

I love the idea of the clutch.  I love its size, and I even love its name, so descriptive and perfect and small.  It's a little bit of a purse, and all of its character-qualities and fashion sense and general know-how get condensed down into this hand-sized item that is so much more tactile than its larger brethren of handbags.
And technically, I think you call this one a wristlet because of its little strap, but I'm going to brush past that little piece of data, since wristlet is kind of a stupid word, and sounds like something you'd wear under house-arrest.  
Anyway, this clutch is spoken for, but I can always make more.  (And FYI, friends, custom orders are a) fantastic b) priced the same as pre-made items c) available by contacting me HERE, and d) all the rage.) Its special qualities include the strap we've already been over, the adorable shade of leather which previously existed as a calf-length, shoulder-padded trench coat, custom credit-card slots and phone pocket inside, and double magnetic-snap closure.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Beads of Hippy Happiness

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day about how apparently, the entire world is insane, and that occasionally the only real cure is a meal of delicious hippy pancakes. Then you forget how angry you are, and just feel happy that there's such a thing as organic unsalted butter.

And I have no transition to move you to look at this bag I recently made, as it really has nothing to do with pancakes; they just seemed important at the moment. What you could do is take this bag with you to the store and use it to carry some maple syrup home. Other features include the really great vintage tablecloth I found to make into this bag, a magnetic snap to keep things inside, a small inside pocket for things you want to find, and especially the vintage assortment of wooden beads on the strap.

Also, this bag is for sale!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Anti-Diaper Bag

Not that I have a problem per say with Pooh Bear, but his aesthetic just doesn't do it for me now that I am 29. And I know not every adult will agree with this, but for those who do, I give you the Anti-Diaper Bag.

This particular Anti-Diaper Bag I made for a custom order (you can place your own by contacting me here) and features a large front pocket with accompanying cell pocket, water-resistant recycled plastic interior, and assorted interior pockets for loose organization (fantastic!). Oh yes, and an entirely radical plastic bangle bracelet strap accent.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Green is the New Green

Sorry for that. Actually I feel angry inside every time I hear someone using that phrase, something is the new whatever. Like, 50 is the new 30? It doesn't even make sense. What was the old thirty? I mean, it was thirty, obviously, but what's thirty? Ar. See? Also, I'm 29, but I guess it doesn't matter because now thirty is nothing. So when my birthday rolls around, I'll just sigh and gaze towards the future that is new, and fifty.

Anyway. This friend is big and green with reflective buckles, and, apparently, afloat in a blue sky. The color from this one came mostly from Barnes and Noble Bookstore bags, also a few of those green-tinted produce bags. In memory of those items, you could use this to carry books around, like to school, for example, OR for carrying groceries home on your bicycle. Buy it here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More Computer Gear

I recently designed this laptop sleeve for a custom order. Like the Nerd Gear Laptop Bag, it provides a safe home for your computer. Only without all those cumbersome straps and whatnot. The perfect little envelope home of recycled plastic joy for storing or carrying your laptop.

This project is the first I've done with plastic for quite a bit, as it's been summer and my boys are home, but I'm planning to get a real batch out as soon as I wrap up a couple of those awesome home improvement projects.

Also: like sculls?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Recycled Vintage

A couple purses featuring vintage fabrics: the tall blue tote and the squatty little lily pad purse are both crafted from vintage remnants I found. Recycling plastic bags is great, but I also love using vintage textiles. It's exciting to make something new from a material that has literally been waiting around for years. Awesome!

The tall blue tote is made from a heavy, burlap-ish fabric. I uncovered heaps of the fabric buried in the shelves of a thrift store. I accented the handles with vintage navy blue leather salvaged from an old coat, and piped all the edges for a clean shape.

The lily green bag features cuteness, a gathered flap and braceleted strap, and is lined with recycled plastic to help it hold its shape. Vintage textiles plus recycled plastic equals awesome fusion.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Another recycled plastic messenger makes its way into the world, bearing news of robots. Red and grey, with white patch of robotness on the flap, this bag features all the same heavyweight polypro straps as the others, as well as a pair of handy belt loop clips to keep the bag in place. You know, in case you want to ride your bike. Buy this bag.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I Tote Think So

A couple new tote styles for summer.   Even though at the moment Minneapolis appears to be experiencing gale-force winds and some ferociously grey cloud cover, the sun has to, at some point, reappear.  That's when you're going to want to leave your house and descend upon the beach.  Yay!  Enter the beach tote.  Generously sized for your towels, water-wings, and sea shell collection, the vintage-inspired design includes numerous pockets and a recycled-plastic-reinforced bottom panel for stability.  Made almost exclusively (everything but the straps) from found, vintage, or recycled materials, this oversized bag doubles as diaperbag, laundry tote, grocery sack, overnight bag, doggie carrier.   

On the smaller side is the new recycled plastic tote purse.  Made from plastic shopping bags, this new mini size features double handles constructed of heavy-duty webbing, a small interior pouch pocket for little items, and a zipper closure.  

Friday, May 30, 2008

Nerd Gear: A Home for Your Computer

I believe everyone has a little nerd in them somewhere. And if yours happens to be the computer-loving sort, then here's your gear. The laptop bag is lined with a quilted padding that utilizes layers of mini-bubble wrap. The recycled plastic material that makes up the exterior of the bag is weather-proof, and the flap clips down for safety. The heavy-duty polypropelene strap is adjustable and abrasion and mildew resistant. Everything that goes into this bag, besides the straps and hardware, is recycled or repurposed...for the eco-nerd in you.

Laptop bags are available by custom order only. Contact me via my Etsy site or at

Sunday, May 4, 2008

National Respect for Chickens Day

May 4th is National Respect for Chickens Day.    In honor of this day, I'm sharing some photos of my backyard flock of cluckers, Sally, Henry, and St. Margaret the Barefoot.  We decided to add chickens to the menagarie after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan sparked an interest in shortening the distance our food travels to our plates.  Most of America's chickens don't get any respect, but choosing organic free-range meat and eggs supports the farmers who do treat their chickens like chickens.  Our chickens are a fairly recent addition, and we've yet to harvest any eggs, but they're fun to watch, and are a bit hit with the dog and the kids.  Anyway, it's Respect for Chickens Day, so, you know, be nice to chickens. 

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Vintage Textile Bag Show

It's time for my spring bag show at Re-Gifts in south Minneapolis.  Saturday, April 26th 10am-5pm.  This season the show features bags made from vintage textiles of all kinds: leather, vinyl, canvas, cotton, and lace.  Find these designs there and more.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Moth and The Sweater are Friends

This custom order was pretty unique because it came with three paper grocery sacks of moth-eaten sweaters. I shrunk the wool down as an extra measure against unravelling seams, patched them into the shape of a bag, and announced: Better Luck Next Time, Moth!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Robot Feels Angry

My newest t-shirt design is ready. I designed the angry robot for the following reasons:

1. Robots are awesome.
2. Robots are awesome.
3. Robots are rad.

Oh, and also:

4. Robots have feelings.

Find these styles in my Etsy shop or order up a custom shirt (

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Gettin' Press

Good News: Recycling is Rad has gotten a little attention lately, thanks to local writer Stephen Regenold. His article appears today in the Twin Cities' Star Tribune, and has already been shown up in a couple of other papers across the country (find the links on the left to read the article).

I'm definitely excited about the press, especially as such a small operation. And stay posted for details on my upcoming show at Re-Gifts featuring vintage textiles for spring and summer.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Everything Old is Wonderful

Aside from the normal riff-raff I make, I haven't even touched any real vintage textiles in quite a while. Which I would say was my first love, if I didn't realize that it would be too cheesy to say such a thing. Then--Yay!--I got a custom order for a handbag made from grey leather (you can find that one in an earlier post...), and not long after that, a request from a good friend for a fantastic birthday clutch that was imbued with hope. (That was the actual custom order, I promise.) I felt that raspberry vinyl was imbued with hope and a love of all things 1980. That would be the clutch in the first photo.

Anyway, all that got me started using some vintage stuff again, which is still recycling, if not quite the same level as making stuff out of tossed out plastic shopping bags. Instead, I've been recycling lengthy vintage burgundy leather trench coats and bright red old leather blazers. I'm not like a style consultant or anything, but I don't feel sorry for removing those items from circulation.

The raspberry clutch is already prancing around Washington, but you can find the other two in my Etsy shop.