I always feel a sense of satisfaction when I find new uses for old things. Like this sewing tote and lunch basket I found at the grange hall over the weekend. I can use them to take projects with me on the go, or to store things inside of on the shelf in my sewing room. It's fun to recycle with vintage and re-purpose objects in creative ways. I guess that's one of the things that really appealed to me when I opened the pages of a brand new book that Felicia Sullivan from Harper Collins dropped in my mailbox a while back. It's called, CRAfTIVITY 40 Projects for the DIY Lifestyle by Tsia Carson, founder of SuperNaturale.com. I got a sneak peek but now it's out and in bookstores everywhere, so make a note to yourself to check it out. Just about every project in the book uses recycled, natural or commonly found materials in interesting and imaginative ways. For instance, did you know you could actually crochet something using plastic grocery bags, dye wool with Kool-Aid and vinegar, or sew cute underware from old cotton t-shirts? Well apparently you can! I also loved the idea of turning a moth-eaten sweater into an art statement by embroidering around the holes. As crazy as that may sound, it actually looks pretty cool. And since Fall is here, you may find that this has actually happened to some of your favorite sweaters that got stored away, so you might want to keep this trick in mind. The book inspired me to take a look around my own house and come up with creative solutions for re-using things too. Yesterday, I mentioned a few of the projects I started this weekend, and one of them was a candlestick lamp make-over. I had a pair of these in shiny brass that weren't that great, so I painted them matte black and covered the bases with wall paper from a sample piece I had tucked away in a drawer. It was so easy, I just used a glue-stick. Another ugly lamp got a make-over this summer with left-over white paint and cotton fringe from an old chenille bedspread I bought at a yard sale for $1. I snipped off the fringe and hot-glued it to the rim of the shade. The rest of the bedspread was turned into two big cozy pillow shams and some other smaller sewing projects. And I'm really happy with how my mirror turned out. I think it's the best crackle job I've ever done and it was mostly by accident. That medium is a little tricky and timing is everything. I allowed plenty of time, but it was a damp day and so I miscalculated the drying time and wound up having to cook dinner and dab on the final coat in tandem. Seriously, I think everyone around here thought I'd lost my mind. Including me! Paintbrush in one hand, spatula in the other. Running back and forth like a lunatic between both tasks. Trying to lay down the finish just so, and not burn the meal, which actually did happen anyway. But the mirror turned out perfect so no hard feelings over a few burnt potatoes. If you drag your mouse over the picture, you can see the 'before and after'.