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July 29, 2011 / lynnettedobberpuhl

When the Meteor Hits, Plus a Chance to Win!

I was reflecting on my children’s habit of holding onto the extraneous flotsam and jetsam of life. Younger son collects empty beverage containers and broken writing utensils. Older son hangs onto stones and packaging from video games and action figures. It all seemed irrational until I considered my own habit of holding onto bread ties, magnetic backing from refrigerator memo pads and plastic bags. When I am weighing whether to throw those things out, I always find myself asking, “What if the (meteor hits, civilization collapses, electromagnetic pulse knocks out all our technology,) and I am forced to make our clothing out of plastic bags and twist ties? And I don’t have enough?” Suddenly my kids’ collections don’t seem odd at all, just a little unrealistic. After all, what can you make out of cardboard rectangles with Halo II figures depicted on them and fragments of #2 pencils?

In my defense, I actually DO make something out of my plastic bags. I found the pattern for a recycled plastic tote bag in the 2006 Crochet Pattern-a-Day calendar (with Annie Modesitt & Friends.) Essentially, it is pattern to make a plastic bag out of plastic bags. I was overcome with admiration for the idea. Environmental, frugal, and a little bit funny: it was my kind of pattern. Once made, the bag also turned out to be strong and eye-catching. I have made four and they net me a lot of attention at the grocery store, with the conversation usually ending with the comment, “You should sell these.” Well, I don’t and here’s why; I don’t have time to make a lot of them. You must start with prepping the bags before you can even think about the construction. It takes a lot of bags–at least forty, which should be nearly pristine before you start. People often ask me if I get fresh unused bags from the store and I don’t. If a bag makes it through loading and unloading clean and in decent shape, it gets put aside for folding and storage until I have enough material and time to get rolling. Uninterrupted, it would probably take me 12-14 hours to make a single bag from scratch, but I’m not sure about that because it takes me weeks. I am rarely uninterrupted. I am in process right now on one which I project will be done in a few days and I would like to offer it up to you, my dear friends and readers. If you would like a chance to win one of my recycled market bags, leave a comment on this post telling me one thing (or more) that you hoard past all sense. The winner will be chosen randomly on Monday, August 1st at 4:00 central time. If you can bear the competition, tell your friends to post a comment to enter, too! I will post the instructions for the general logistics of making the bag in the next week or so, so if you are crafty and interested you can make your own. Hoarded bags turned into something useful–I like to think of it as not only making a bag out of bags, but also making smart out of crazy.

 

 

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7 Comments

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  1. Charmaine / Jul 29 2011 5:25 pm

    Do I horde things? Yes, sadly, I do.

    I hold onto paper, the kind of paper that was a bill that’s now been paid, or a check register, or similar such flammables. There is no logically reason for it and I have often said “I need a shredder” because, after all, you can’t just throw away those things with your personal information on them.
    I do manage to clean up the stack that grows by the phone every week or two. But I still have a box (or maybe 3) in a closet that contain ancient tax returns, manuals to long broken electronic gizmos, and those cursed old bills.

  2. Kay Vallery Young / Jul 29 2011 6:25 pm

    How about all the papers stacked on my desk–and the copier table, and the sewing machine, and the card table, and the craft table–that I’m going to file “someday”. When that “someday” comes, the file will be the circular one–and I’ll be moving to a nice place where all the rest of the people are wrinkled and hard of hearing and short of memory–just like me! Unless, of course, they burn in the fire! Now, where did I leave my matches……

    Don’t panic–just kidding!

  3. Amy Cooper / Jul 31 2011 1:51 pm

    Can’t say that I hoard much of anything – unless random useless thoughts overtaking my head count. On the material side, I do happen to have a bunch of plastic bags, not neatly folded, but jammed into a larger plastic bag and you’re welcome to them. I trust they’ll be safe with you, ‘goddess of hoarding plastic bags’, and you won’t let them find their way into a landfill.

    • lynnettedobberpuhl / Jul 31 2011 2:58 pm

      Now I can check “achieve goddess status” off my bucket list, THANK YOU! Yes, those useless random thoughts…I hadn’t even gotten around to considering how much hoarding I do INSIDE MY OWN HEAD. Now I’m freaked out. I’ll get back to you on the bags…

  4. Julie Herbst / Jul 31 2011 2:19 pm

    What do I hoard? In my mind nothing, everything I keep has a reason…and I’m sticking to that! However, my husband will put any hoarder to shame. Anyone that has seen inside our garage would agree. I’m not even going to start with his t-shirt drawer… 🙂

  5. Michele / Jul 31 2011 9:20 pm

    I’m in agreement with Amy… Also, I just found out that I have most of my term papers and some written exams from college… I found them in our storage unit as we were cleaning it out last week. Even now, I couldn’t throw them away. I want to read them one more time and see how my thinking has evolved since then. That and I got good grades. I want to revel in someone saying “good job” — “you understand” and “you got it right!” My career path is in such a subjective field and EVERYONE has an opinion about it. Even if sales are good, it’s hard to feel like I’m good enough.

    • lynnettedobberpuhl / Jul 31 2011 10:06 pm

      Baby, you are more than good enough! I didn’t get that many great remarks on my papers. Hmmm. Must have been my formatting, ’cause obviously I am a freakin’ outstanding writer. : P Thanks for checking in!

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