Reblooming may have new direction

My totes and purses made from upcycled plastic shopping bags may have taken an interesting turn.  The fact is i have not make a Reblooming bag in at least 8-9 months might be significant.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with “Reblooming Bags” these are tote bags, market bags and small purses made from reclaiming plastic grocery bags (yes, walmart, kmart, giant eagle, target, home depot, etc).  The process involves cutting these shopping bags into loops, and looping them together to form plastic yarn.  Crochet or knitting is possible of this plarn.  While i know how to do both, crochet is something i have felt more at home with, and have done more work with.

The fun has been to source out the various colors of plastic bag, and then determine if i should add yarn to it to embellish.  Examples above include the big white market bag… which hold a lot of weight, and will accommodate that trip to the farm market.  The little green one is what i call the urban mini… its big enough to hold wallet, keys and cell phone and lined so nothing falls through.  The pink backpack was a challenge from a friend… it was not lined, but big enough to hold books, with nylon zip straps on the back.  I loved making them, but a combination of a newly formed trigger finger, and the lack of time caused me to stop making them.

I am writing this post with great joy and enthusiasm.  I have had a dream to use the reblooming bag for some economic good.  Over the years it has been a profitable operation for me… and i have made a few hundred bags.  But our art business is taking different directions, with the growing soap business, and the new market for my shibori work.  So my hopes of fueling a small cottage industry also may have found a new home.

Recently Steve and I were invited to show our art work, and talk about how our business developed, what our process looks like, and show samples of our final products.  This was an art class consisting of a group of home schooled kids.  They were well behaved, bright, and curious.  We had a blast showing them our work, and out of our time together we learned these kids are hoping to earn enough money to travel to europe on a field trip.  Wow, such brilliant dreams.

Does anyone crochet?  Hands went up.  Does anyone sew? One hand went up and she was enthusiatic about her sewing skills.  After the class the teacher and i chatted, and formed a plan for her group making the plastic yarn (I still have a huge supply of bags), and trying to make a few bags.  She has dreams of having a lot of fun items to sell at the Cleveland Flea…. I think we can help her market the goods around town.  Such a great story… such a great opportunity.  My Reblooming Bags will take on a new life. A group of kids will have the chance to use their creativity for an enterpreneurial purpose… you just cant top that one!  I love that idea.