MindFULL Repurpose

How many bags of things do you have to give away after last Monday’s posting? Wait! Before you get rid of the clothes you moved to the right, take a peek at how my friends Colette and Susan Kramer inspired me to look at my old clothes with new eyes.

Both women find old clothes, take them apart and put them back together again. Colette finds sweaters at ARC and does it herself at the kitchen counter with a sewing machine. Susan Kramer finds amazing skirts and dresses at Good Will and takes them to the Russian tailor and turns them into show stopping and classy staples (Her secret? Pearls. She wears them every day – either on her ears, or multiple strands around her neck, or on her wrist – but more on the Kramer later).

Yes! You can take that old sweater and make a new one. Cut the granny skirt into a short  skirt you can wear with tights and boots. Lose the bows on the back of the back of a dress and make it into a jumper. All you need s is a needle and thread or a good tailor.

The sweater below is a favorite example. It was a typical black Lands End Cotton sweater. Boring. Colette inspired me to change it up. So, I popped off the buttons, sewed both sides under and ironed them flat. Then with thick thread, I hand-sewed on Felt leaves. Felt anything is easily found at Michaels or Joanne Fabrics. Now, I wear this sweater all the time.

The skirt is from Good Will. $4. It went to the floor. Colette cut it off and sewed it right above my knee. I wear it with tights and my sweater. So cute!


But the crowning glory of my creative repurpose is a black dress I got on the Back Rack at Loehmanns for $10. I looked terrible in it – sleeveless and straight is not a good look for me. But I couldn’t pass it up. So, it hung in my closet til last week, when I saw it through new eyes. I cut off the bows and covered up the leftover threads with a sweater. My favorite scarf, a pair of fun tights and black boots gave it a fresh and contemporary look. I wore it twice this week and am taking it to work on Tuesday. It’s my new uniform.

So, now that you are moving things in your life to the left and MindFULLY beginning to think about what you are moving to the right, ask yourself how you can repurpose what you have. Maybe you look at a sweater, a relationship or a kitchen pitcher with new eyes. The sweater gets bedazzled, the relationship becomes a resource vs a confidant and the pitcher turn into a colorful flower vase.

And be of ease and remember,  if what you are looking at doesn’t fit, no matter what you do, then thank it and pass it on. One person’s Good Will bag is another person’s  ball gown.

What can you MIndFULLY repurpose in your life? Let us know!

One Girl’s Junk Is Another Girl’s Treasure

Several Friday nights ago, my daughter was at a school social. The social was oddly timed – Friday night, 630-830pm. By the time you dropped them off, you had to turn around and go back to get them. Hmmm… how to spend the time?

The few hours seemed like a great opportunity to get together with school mom/friends I don’t often have a chance to see. Rather than sit around and compare notes on kids and school, I thought it could be fun if we stepped outside of our mom lives and stepped into our girlfriend lives instead!

Now, many of these women have great taste. I appreciate how some of them wear really fun accessories. And when I comment on their style, some say, ““Oh, this old thing?” Well, I personally would love their old things. So, I suggested we clean out our jewelry/accessory drawers, meet for drinks and swap “old things”. This way, we could clean out our drawers (something all of us could easily do) and walk away feeling as if we had something new.

It was a blast! 14 of us gathered at the local pub and set our treasures up on a table (and a few chairs). We drew numbers from a hat and went in order. We agreed that we would choose two items at a time and continue to go around, for as many items and as much time as we had.

I couldn’t believe what some girls brought. Wow! There was so much, that we had the added bonus of donating jewelry, bags and scarves to the local women’s shelter at the end of the evening.  It was heart warming to see how happy everyone was with their finds. I personally walked away with a fabulous pair of earrings to match some bangles I had just bought. A total score!

Capital One asks, “what’s in your wallet?” However, I encourage you to think about, “what’s in your drawer?” How can you mindfully generate opportunities to spend time with friends and re-purpose what you have? The possibilities are endless!  Leave your ideas below and let us know what you create!