mixed-up monday: upcycled

on 09-17-2012

Before  Etsy.com made it easy for someone lacking the crafty gene {like me} to tap into a world of handcrafted treasures, I learned about  two jaunty seamstresses/ designers who would salvage items of clothing by upcycling them into new creations. Even though my search for that old video clip didn’t pan out, I do vividly remember the woman who brought the duo a skirt she’d worn while exploring Spain with her mother. It had been long banished to an almost-forgotten bottom drawer, but a flurry of creative ideas, inspired cutting and a pedal-to-the-metal sewing machine rally transformed it into a killer bolero jacket.

Upcycling, unlike its better-known cousin recycling,  is rooted in the ability to reimagine and reuse the materials at hand.  According to Upcycle Magazine, upcycling is  “about taking an item that is no longer needed or wanted and giving it new life as something that is either useful or creative.” {If you click on the images in this post, you can check out some of my favorite examples. A book headboard? Say what?!?}

I have to confess that upcycling has been elevated to a fascination for me. I look at things with a “that would make a good . . .” eye and have been pinning with wild abandon to  my newest Pinterest board, an “upcycled” gallery.

Yesterday, I started to wonder if I had some qualities that were ready to be upcycled. What are traits I don’t want to necessarily  extinguish but should consider redirecting,  softening, amplifying or turning inside out?

I believe that my soon-to-be-announced series of workshops is a result of an unconscious upcycling. Mentors, colleagues and sometimes even that little voice inside would warn, “You need to hold back more, Yvonne . . .  stop giving so much of yourself away to clients and projects.” And while I’m all for setting boundaries, etc., etc., I felt alive and fired up when I was completely immersed and not holding back. Alive, yet completely exhausted. So after dialing down from the crunch of my all-systems go agency to focus on writing, consulting and coaching, I’m adding teaching to the mix with the hope that my experience and enthusiasm will be catalyst for a broader audience minus my tired from the inside out exhaustion factor.

See, even though I may not have a D.I.Y. bone in my body, I could see myself staying in this sweet upcycling groove. How about you?


I’ve mixed up a cocktail of cover songs in the spirit of upcycling . . . reimagined sounds for your listening pleasure. Just click on the image below to tune in.

{Visit this Esty shop to check out this upcycled guitar case.}

One Comment

  1. An interesting take-it-forward approach to the idea of upcycling! I love it and can’t wait to see the list of workshops you’re offering.


  1. Mixed-up Monday: Upcycled | Repurpose, Recycle,... - […] Before Etsy.com made it easy for someone lacking the crafty gene {like me} to tap into a world of…

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