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Art: Owly Trashion Tote by Artist April
I have always had a love for the old, unloved, and vintage, and from a young age I loved to "rescue" unwanted items and give them new life and purpose. A trait probably learned from my maternal grandfather, who as a treat when we visited his summer camp in the woods would take us to "the dump" to find treasures for our cabin. I learned to sew fairly young, thanks to my paternal grandmother, who was a seamstress and bought me my first sewing machine while I was in 8th grade.

As a result trashion for me is a great marriage of historical family influences. It also hearkens back to times when we were much less of a throwaway society, and recycling and reconstruction was less about trend and more about necessity. But what a great trend! Even in the 70's there was, as now, somewhat of a rennaisance of the home arts, and recycling was just becoming more about the environment than frugality.

I think this bag is a great reminder of that time. It was the 70's when jeans really became a staple in our wardrobes, and recycling them became an art in itself. Here I've taken a new look on the more recognizable jeans tote by taking apart the jeans and first dyeing them. I used a low water immersion method to save water and there is some lovely variegated color as a result, particularly inside the bag. The Owl motif was practically standard 70's issue, this one repleat with large vintage buttons for eyes, I'm guessing from the 50's or 60's, found at the thrift. The gold felt on the owl was found in the remnant section of the fabric store, and the balance is new Eco Spun felt, made from recycled plastic bottles.

Recycling, repurposing, idealism, and self-sufficiency - all rolled into one very handy and, might I add, really cute little tote bag!


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