Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Break Project 09

My project for last year's Christmas Break was to learn to knit, which I kind of did. Anything in a straight(ish) line. (Read: a scarf.)

Not understanding my handicap, this year the husb asked if I would knit him some lobster claw gloves. Being a cyclist and generally adventurous, mittens tend to get in his way. (As part of his petition, he even demonstrated how dangerous it is to drive a car wearing standard mittens.) This project required nerves of steel, your basic math skills, and four knitting needles, but once I figured it out, I was pretty happy with myself. As was Mr. Adventurepants.

You try it.

OOPS: When I first posted this, I forgot to give the photo credit to my one of my great friends of all time, Pavel Romaniko, who was visiting for the holidays when I finished this project. Besides being an all-around nice guy and fantastic artist, Pavel also makes a top-notch pelmeni.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Horse and the Cow

I mostly avoid denim in my work, just out of personal preference and too many terrifying vest flashbacks. But I made an exception for the Horse and the Cow, farm toys for farm kids made from farm pants (and shirts and coats). I'm actually a little sad that my Christmas orders are done and there are no more toys to make. Though I need the next couple of days to wrap up my own projects, so it all works out. Anyway:

The Horse.

And the Cow.

Kids Rule

Joyous Holiday Time has been BUSY this year. A lot of orders rolled through here over the past two months, but these are some of my favorite pieces.

Robot Ninja Puppet is repurposed wool, a little necktie, and a lot of buttons. He's lined with cushy yellow fleece.
And he's rechargeable!

Pink Unicorn and Purple Rainbow Unicorn Puppets are also a compilation of repurposed scraps and awesomeness. And they have magic powers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shoppe Local

Now you can find Recycling is Rad merch at Patina's new partner store, Shoppe Local, which just opened up near 50th and Bryant in South Minneapolis. Shoppe Local features Patina-style products, all made by local artists and craftspeople. More details here, or stop by the store:

Shoppe Local
813 W. 50th St
Minneapolis, MN


M-S 9:30-9, Su 11-6

Thursday, October 29, 2009

3 Clutches

Three new clutches in my Etsy store! Made from upholstery fabric samples (still working on that same batch), they're kinda fuzzy and tactile. Each clutch snaps shut with magnetic clasps, and the buttons I used as accents are vintage pieces from a collection someone gave me in an ancient metal tacklebox.

I started carrying a smaller clutch just for going out and whatnot, but I kind of loved the idea of not having to drag my entire life around with me everywhere, so I ditched my giant tote for now. It turns out, I don't need three novels and a 4-month supply of Kashi bars with me at the grocery store. Anyway, get the facts or buy a purse here!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wool Shoulder Bags on Etsy

I made some shoulder bags for my Etsy store this week. These ones are a little bigger than the wristlets and clutches I've been making, and I love the colors I found to work with. The blue isn't actually wool; I think it's a cotton, but it's a thick fabric with a lot of texture. The pink and orange bags are both nice soft wools, and I used a roped strap for those two. All three of the purses also feature vintage button accents from my collection. See these and more new items at my Etsy store.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Photo Love

I can sew. I can dream up design ideas in the middle of the night, and I am REALLY good at digging through yard sales and thrift stores and whatnot for vintage textiles. But no one besides me would ever see any of the stuff I come up with if it weren't for this sweet photo hook-up I have. Yeah, I'm married to a photographer. Who is really talented and amazing, and who is great enough to always help me out when I have stuff that needs to be shot, and who never complains. So this is just R is R's official ThanksAMillion to TC Worley. (His blog is cooler than mine.)

See how awesome this looks? Skills.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Upholstery Sample Wristlets. On Etsy!

An enormous stack of upholstery samples rescued by my mother-in-law (go Judy) traveled in the rooftop carrier of our Scion all the way from North Carolina to Minneapolis just so these awesome wristlets could be available to you today. Made from said upholstery samples, these bags are tactile AND sophisticated. Who knew garbage could be fancy? Fancy. (Oh, and yeah, they were never actually IN a garbage can, just destined for one. So no banana peels.) Zipper closure, wrist strap, fuzzy feelings. Go shopping now.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Zips at SF MOMA

R is R has been focusing all attentions on wholesale productions over the last few months, as I've mentioned. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA) has been placing a zip order nearly once a month, which is, well, super rad. The zips I've been making for them feature SF MOMA's own label, and I'm excited about the possibilities of new venues for this kind of product.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Custom Diaper Bag

Here's some photos of my latest custom order. R is R has been pretty wrapped up in wholesale the last few months, so getting a chance to work with fabric was a nice change of pace. The bag was created for a couple expecting their first baby, and they were looking for a diaper bag they could share, something with room for all the essentials plus maybe a camera once in a while. Also, something that didn't look like a diaper bag. The client had a specific fabric pattern in mind, so for this one I used a new material on the exterior from our local Crafty Planet and lined the inside with recycled plastic for extra sturdiness and waterproofing. Since they were planning on using cloth diapers, we decided to add an extra zipper pocket on the back of the bag that was lined with a waterproof fabric as an emergency storage for the dirty diaper pouch.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Item: Chainring Organizer

I've been asked about chainring bags before, but this is the first one I made--via a custom order by someone on my husband's cycling team, Behind Bars/Little Guy Racing. More like an organizer, it opens flat for easy access to pockets for chainrings, cogs, and tools. A zipper pouch keeps loose allen wrenches at hand, or provides a secure spot for car keys, cash. Chainring organizers are available by custom order. Contact me at my Etsy shop, my email address, or leave your info in the comments.

Thursday nights are race nights at the National Sports Center Velodrome in Blaine, MN. (And it's FREE to be a spectator!) Don't miss it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Zips at SF MOMA, plus an update!

So it's been just a bit since my last post, I know, since I've been all wrapped up in wholesale the last couple of months. But this is good news for Recycling is Rad, and I'm happy to show you a sampling of the new R-is-R zips now available at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA) museum store.

SF MOMA contacted me a while ago wanting bags with their label. These are some of the zips I sent them.

But it hasn't been just me and my sewing machine. In my living room we raised baby chicks to four adolescent chickens that are now scratching around the backyard. My sister got married. I assisted the catering of another wedding, for some reason. I went to Idaho for the first time. I visited Wisconsin's Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame (wow). I turned thirty. I made the digital switch. I finished my taxes. And now it's cycling season/beach season/growing things season/sitting on the front porch with a beer season, and I'm currently sporting the sunburn to prove it. Summer!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Laptop Wants To Travel

I recently got a request for a laptop bag for someone headed out of the country. She wanted a basic laptop sleeve that was small and lightweight enough to fit inside a custom tote I'd already made for her. She was also hoping I could add a detachable strap so the laptop could easily travel on its own. I was so happy with the outcome I decided to post a picture of it here. I don't currently have any others in stock, as I just kind of made this one up at the moment, but laptop sleeves (and everything else) are available by custom order via my Etsy store (or leave me a comment with your request).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The path my neighbor's snowblower made for the postal carrier to walk between our houses has begun to look like a failing creek bed, and though it will still be months before anything actually grows here, I'm imagining thinking about the end of winter.  I'm trying to dampen my hopes with the memory of cross country skiing, just four days ago, when temperatures were still in the teens, but my brain has been moving this direction since February.  

Getting ready for the Loco Local Art Show at Twin Cities Green, I created a couple bags under the wild premise that spring will actually, and eventually, be on its way.  The Orange Feather Tote is available here (the Tiny Buds Tote went to the art show, visit TCG to see if its still available).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Totally Love You

So, today is the magical day of love and kisses and hugs.  And I know there is  a pretty big contingent out there who think that Valentines is reserved for saps and materialistic lame-os.  Not so friends.  I love this day.  Love it.  Probably because there are so few opportunities in my normal life to utilize school glue and pink tulle.  Also, everything is shaped like hearts.  So, wherever you stand on the love/hate continuum, Happy Valentines Day!

I am celebrating today by making my special recipe of I Totally Love You Cake (the secret ingredient is love), and taking 10% off everything in my Etsy store.  (Sale through Valentine's Day.)  XOXO!  

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Thanks to Little Guy Racing, I've got an enormous pile of salvaged caution tape hanging out in my front room (where the magic happens).  I turned some of it into this, a newer version of the Caution Tape Messenger, complete with phrases of warning in TWO languages.  Fancy.  

If the melting snow (I know!) has you thinking bikes again--or if you're one of the die-hards who never stop--ask me about adding belt-loop clips or a sternum strap

Buy this bag, or just get more details here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Loco Local at Twin Cities Green

Show your love for the local scene by visiting Twin Cities Green's Loco Local Art Show during the month of February.  It's a good excuse to check out TCG if you haven't; it's an awesome shop run by some really cool treehuggers who are always looking for new ways to promote local.  Loco Local will feature a bunch of local artists and their work:  furniture, wall art, sculpture, functional and more. I'll have a few pieces there as well, so stop by and check them out.  And don't miss the opening this Friday, February 6, from 5 to 8pm for drinks and appetizers.  For directions and more, visit

Friday, January 23, 2009

More Zips

The recycled version of that perfect pocket for stuff.  Stuff that you like, that might happen to be smallish, and necessary.  Zips come in two sizes, the Original Zip (7"x8"), and the Pencil Zip (9.5"x4.5") and utilize the scrap leftover from all the other recycled plastic bags I make.  They have a handy little tab for grabbing or clipping to something else.  Find them here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hats R 4 Heads

Welcome to Recycling is Rad's Official 50th Blog Post.  To celebrate this super exciting occasion, I'd like to present a new line of riff raff:  Hats!  The hats are made from repurposed wool fabric or felted wool sweaters and offer the extra awesome feature of a mini-brim.  This particular line I made intentionally longer, to be worn over the tops of your ears, as it is winter and the time for such behavior.  As you can see, they come in all sorts of sizes, so now there's nothing stopping you from staying warm AND recycling, all while looking particularly jaunty.  (More hats...)