Sunday, October 18, 2009

A whole new blog

It's been a long time since I blogged! I used to be the Thieving Magpie, but for the last year I've been building my business, reFurbished and RE:PLAY BAGS. My website just launched this weekend at!

A little about me...I've been a very busy woman lately. In addition to working for myself as the owner and sole employee of reFurbished, I'm a freelance classical singer, fashion model, creative writer, and editor/proofreader. I also work part-time for an amazing organization called Hamilton Food Share: it's a non-profit organization that raises funds and collects food for distribution to food bank agencies in the Hamilton area.

I live with a retired racing greyhound named Charlie and two fat cats, Angus and Snooty. My apartment is half living space and half working space, both of them covered with piles of fur and leather. I recently purchased a new Singer sewing machine because I'd been a little hard on my mother's old Kenmore, and it would have cost more to fix the old one than to buy a new one.

So what is reFurbished, you say? I started recycling salvaged fur coats by turning them into muffs and blankets. It was a steep learning curve for a while there, but once I learned what I needed to know about hides and handstitching, I was off and running. When spring came and the interest in warm furry items declined, I decided to make the leap to working with a sewing machine. I'd been afraid of sewing machines since Grade 9 Home Ec class, so it was with great trepidation that I set up my mother's trusty Sears special, and made my first incredibly crooked and gnarly lines of stitches. The machine and I eventually came to an understanding. It would usually sew as required, and I would only lose my temper on occasion and call it all manners of blue-streaking names.

It's been a year since I started reFurbished, and worked my first craft show at the Maker's Market on James Street North in Hamilton. My family has a history of crafting; I spent a few summers blacksmithing with my father during university, back in the glory days of craft shows where all the vendors were juried and nobody's booth looked like a garage sale threw up on it. Those were good times to be a crafter - and I think we're seeing a renaissance. The handmade movement is really gaining momentum. Environmentally savvy practices are getting support from all sides, so being in the recycling business should help me get a leg up. After all, what could be better than combining fashion with earth friendliness?

So, welcome to the reFurbished and RE:PLAY BAGS blog. I hope to update frequently with my new products and what I'm working on in the shop.

Buy Local, Buy Handmade!

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