Tag Archives: reusable shopping bag

Wild Onion Jacket created with recycled bags

It’s that time of year again– time for the Wearable Arts Connection of Los Angeles to have their annual wearable arts fashion show!

This year’s theme was “Road Trip Jacket”. Here’s the entry information I submitted about my Wild Onion Jacket:

Title of Entry: Flashy Trash Jacket
Fabric/Materials used: Recycled junk food bags, plastic grocery bags (to back the chips bags), 100% cotton– from my stash, of course!

When asked to recall memorable road trips, most motorists extoll the beauty of passing scenery, the interesting folks met along the way, or the out of the way diners where delicious pie was eaten. Ask any mother of young children about her road trip experience, and when she’s finished rolling her eyes, you’ll likely hear about the amount of food that was handed to the backseat! Constructed of collaged chips and pretzel bags interspersed with black and white checked fabric reminiscent of car racing graphics, this original Wild Onion Jacket also speaks to the importance of recycling. Whether the artist finds new ways to re-use materials, or just keeps trash bags off the side of the road, let’s work together to clean up the Earth!

By the way, no child was harmed in the making of this jacket. They were both forced to eat broccoli at dinner that night!

On with the show:


I backed the chips bags with ironed on plastic grocery bags (I really had to scrounge for these.  Now that I use Tee Bags for grocery shopping, my stock of plastic bags has dwindled dramatically!) This backing gave the bags more stability. There are orange crystals sparkling in the jacket, but the photo doesn’t show them.

Note: I won a blue ribbon (for Humor! So there, boys– proof that I’m funny!) Now, off to steam some veggies!


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This and that and a recipe (chocolate!)

Wow. I get no brownie points for the title of this post, do I?

Thanks again for the kind words regarding the “Tee Bags”! DS1 was tickled to hear from you all. He and his BFF worked for hours the other day, and got about 70 more bags sewn, in preparation for outfitting the world with reusable shopping bags. The boys kept up their enthusiasm; sadly to admit, mine flagged and I got cranky.

In other news, I made a new smoothie recipe (oh stop, stop!! I can hear the cheers all the way out here on the West Coast!) I decided to try a salad smoothie. There’s no fruit involved (unless you’re Kate, and then you count the tomato as a fruit!!) I froze some low sodium V8 in an ice cube tray, dumped 6 into the blender, added a peeled avocado and the greens and a healthy dollop of Italian salad dressing. It was extremely yummy, but I gained a pound. I was frustrated, until I realized that, duh, the salad dressing was pretty fattening. Not to mention the avocado. I will experiment with this using just a packet of dressing mix– spices, no oil.

And now, just so you don’t think I’m all about healthy food (shudder!!), I leave you with a recipe for chocolate bread pudding.

Before you begin cooking, put a cardiologist on speed dial. Note that you start the bread pudding the day before you serve it.

Next, gather your ingredients:

  • 9 slices stale bread
  • 1 cup chocolate chips plus 3 heaping spoonfuls cocoa
  • 1 pint half and half
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 stick butter
  • 3 large eggs

How to:

  • Cut each slice of bread into triangles.
  • Put the choc. chips, half and half, sugar, and butter into a microwavable bowl, and melt. Take it out of the microwave every 30 seconds or so and give it a good stir. You want to dissolve the sugar, but not burn the chocolate.
  • Add the cocoa and stir it up.
  • Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the chocolate mixture. Whisk very thoroughly to blend the ingredients all together.
  • Spoon 1/2 inch layer of chocolate mixture into base of 7×9-ish buttered ovenproof dish. Arrange half of the bread triangles in overlapping rows. Pour half the remaining chocolate mixture over the bread. Repeat with the remaining bread and chocolate mixture. Use a fork to gently press the bread to cover it with liquid.
  • Cover the dish with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for about 2 hours, then transfer to the fridge overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the plastic wrap. Bake the bread pudding for 30 minutes. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving with whipping cream poured over.

Yup. This is quite the opposite end of the cooking spectrum from green smoothies!


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Tee bags: a tutorial to recycle a tee shirt into a shopping bag

Tee-bags is the name of my 10 year old’s new business. A tee-bag is a tee shirt, recycled (and washed in hot water!) into a reusable shopping bag! He has granted me permission to offer a free tutorial on how he creates shopping bags using t-shirts!

Since his dad (my DH) owns E-cycle Group, a green business recycling printer cartridges, DS1 is very excited to follow in his dad’s green footsteps with his own recycling business. Not only is he preventing the tee’s from becoming landfill, he is also providing an alternative to the age old question, paper or plastic!

A bonus is that the bags are machine washable, which is a nice option to have when you go to the farmer’s market and get bits of lettuce and onion skins in the bag! The tee-bags also fold up to stuff into your purse or glove compartment–so they are convenient to use, which is a key component to making recycling part of your lifestyle.  For more tips on recycling and environmentally friendly choices, visit the eCycle Group Cafe blog!

He was able to obtain free tee shirts from our local Freecycle organization (note: Freecycle is an entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills) He was also able to pick up unsold tee shirts from a local rummage sale.

After a quick lesson on my serger, he was able to whip out some bags. His BFF worked on the marketing end, providing a beautiful poster, as well as rigging up a wagon for a portable display. Their proceeds go towards a 6th grade (next autumn) field trip.
This morning, I took the boys to the local Farmer’s Market, to test the waters. They sold out within one hour!! The boys are really excited, and are already back at work in my studio, getting Tee-bags ready for next week!
Here’s a quick tutorial for making your own tee-bags:
(DS1 says to tell you that first, wash the tee in hot water, to get rid of any germs.)

Turn the tee shirt inside out, line up the bottom hem, and sew or serge the bottom edge together, just above the tee shirt hem.

Line up the sleeves seams and cut off the tee shirt sleeves. It works best to cut off the sleeve seams!

With the shirt still flat, cut out the neck: cut close to the neck ribbing at the sides of the neck

then cut a “scoop neckline” including the back of the tee shirt in the scoop.

Here’s what it looks like when all the pieces are cut off. Knit jersey (tee shirt fabric) doesn’t fray, so you don’t have to hem any of the cut edges!

Turn the bag right side out, and go shopping!


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