Friday, February 29, 2008

Respect the Chicken

A few months ago I was in SuperTarget. I know, I know, they're taking over the world, but there I was, in front of the dairy case, crying. I actually started crying in the store, which is embarrassing. It was all those clean white eggs, and the thought of the chickens who laid them. Eggs are less than a dollar a dozen because chickens get the assembly line treatment, jammed in a tiny cage with 4 or 5 others, and most of them never even see the sun.

I know, this has nothing to do with recycling, and you might not really want to know about the secret life of chickens. I certainly didn't set out to become a chicken advocate. But since ever since Target hurt my feelings over chickens, I've been buying free range eggs from the co-op and petitioning my neighbors so I can get a permit from the city to keep my own tiny flock. (Check out the chicken links on the left for more info on this.)

To celebrate happy chickens, I've also designed the Respect the Chicken Tee, featuring an honorable chicken portrait. The shirts are all thrift-store rescues which I wash, then hand-screenprint using a homemade screen system. The designs are all heat-set and machine-washable, and also awesome. A few are up on my Ety site now as well.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Super Rookie is Awesome

Or: Credit Where Credit is Due

Super Rookie is a cyclist and promoter of all things cycling, including Little Guy Racing/Grumpy's Cycling Team, Minneapolis' most awesome team--ever. He's also an all-around great guy. But when he mentioned an idea to me while we were sitting by the campfire with some delicious beer last fall, I cleanly dismissed it. I was wrong. It was a great idea, and here it is.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Winter Won't Last

I know this set is grey, not your standard Easter egg tint, but making them, I had a feeling winter was on its way out. I'm sure that's foolish talk to anyone who's survived a northern winter, but I'm still holding out for spring.

I made this set for a custom order, and it was so fun I decided to post it for you. Aside from the Riff Raff I make now and then, my mainstay is recycling plastic. I really enjoy working with it, and I love the part about making garbage not garbage. But I've always loved old things, so when I get the chance to work with vintage textiles, I have fun. The purse is made from a vintage grey leather coat, circa sometime between 1978-1983...general guess. The interior is a repurposed cotton shirt with a great yellow print. I'm really happy with this color scheme, which was requested by the customer. She also asked for a squirrelly zip, so I've included a photo of that as well.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Get Cozy

More cozies are here! Each one is made from repurposed scrap and vintage fabric items. Cozies are adjustable thanks to a velcro and elastic tab closure system, and can accomodate most bottles and cans. These are available at my Etsy shop; visit by clicking the link on the left. Don't lose your drink anymore; cozy up.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kids are Cool

Because kids want to carry stuff around too.

This is my 4-year-old son Boone hiking in northern Minnesota. His messenger is made from a repurposed wool work shirt and webbing scrap, and typically holds about twenty Hot Wheels cars.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


So, here are some zips I've made recently. These, along with the beer cozies, qualify as the Riff Raff in my line-up, which is pretty much any little thing I get done between bag orders. They serve a dual purpose of using up scrap and entertaining me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Commuters: Ride!

I'm pretty sure everyone knows that riding your bike saves the world. (Motorcycles, too are a drastic improvement on the car-work-car-home-car-store-car-car-car situation.) So, because it's still February and negative-something here in Minnesota (rar), I thought we could all use a little encouragement.

This bag is the Commuter style in small, a custom order I finished last week. The plastic material is weather-proof (so it won't be full of snow when you finally pedal on home), and the belt-loop clips keep it from swinging around front while you're riding. Because everyone also knows there's nothing less cool than constantly elbowing your bag back in place.

And I know it's really really cold here, but what I love about Minneapolis is that no matter what kind of weather we're having, on any day of the week, any time of year, someone is out there in the city, riding their bike.

Ride on, Commuters!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute

I'm must be bad e-person. A good e-person would be vigilant, productive, would not resent words like "blog," or, so much worse, "blogosphere." But here we are.

I have actually been busy. I read some really interesting books about where our food comes from (The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver), which has led to pursuits such as obtaining a city permit for egg-laying hens, and obsessive baking of bread. And, of course, sewing. And recycling. And gathering of plastic bags for more recycling.

Anyway, here are some products of the last month's work. These were sent to San Francisco, but more are always on the way. I do have to point out a couple of things. First, that the orange and yellow messenger is made from those bags newspapers come in--you know, it lands on your doorstep in a plastic bag to keep the rain and snow out. And second, that Woodsy Owl, who's pictured on the front flap of the first messenger, was one of the icons of my childhood. My dad was in forestry and general outdoors fun and was always bringing home this keep-the-woods-clean paraphanalia. So when I discovered a Woodsy Owl litter bag in a stash of bags I'd been given, I said Ok Woodsy, I'll give a hoot. I won't pollute. Then I ironed him into eternal radness.