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What's old is new again: upcycling

September 17, 2012

An "upcycled" necklace created from vintage beads and bits by Tiane Shoemaker.

An old bed sheet is transformed into a petty coat skirt. Lace trimmings from throwaway curtains are refigured onto an apron. Tiny, plastic flowers the color of gumballs that look like they were rescued from a dime store become stylish hair clips and jewelry.
This is the realm of upcycling, advocated and utilized by Colville resident and businesswoman Tiane Shoemaker. Upcycling is the process of changing waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality, and to lessen the impact of creating new materials and products on the environment.
While the idea itself isn’t groundbreaking (it’s a good bet your grandparents and their grandparents were reusing and mending household goods and objects before it was trendy to do so), it does provide refreshing inspiration for those who are looking for an alternative to the cycle of and disposable products.
“There’s just so much that you can do,” says Shoemaker, who makes weekly trips to Colville Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store to find second hand clothes and jewelry she can utilize in her crafts. “You’re only limited by lack of imagination."
*To read the full article, check out this week's hard copy of the S-E!

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