Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bad Bag Tuesday

I've been having a lot of flashbacks to the 70's lately. These are not the result of wild drug use in my teen years. No, these are are economy induced flashbacks. Rising unemployment and food prices, gas lines. Does anyone else remember even/odd gas days? Anyway, the point I'm trying to make here is that 2008 is starting to feel a lot like 1978.

Growing up during a recession wasn't all bad. My Mom had been laid-off so, for the first time since my parents divorced, she was home a lot. I learned really useful stuff in Girl Scouts, like canning and recycling. We didn't have money for entertainment so we spent a lot of time just playing outdoors, riding bikes with more patches than tires, playing Bloody Murder or Statues in the twilight, catching fireflies, and digging really big holes. I was 13 but it was OK to play with the little kids because acting like a teenager required money for new clothes, eight track tapes, and hanging around with friends. I didn't have extra money so my teen activities consisted of watching Good Times and testing out some new vocabulary words. There was plenty of time to play.

When the weather was ugly we did a lot of crafts indoors. My mother is one of the craftiest people I know and she has a real talent for turning anything into a project. She also worked part time for Lee Wards Crafts, one of the greatest craft stores of the 70's. (It was bought out and eradicated by Micheal's in the 90's.) Lee Wards understood the need that people had for crafts that were practical and used stuff that didn't cost a lot. Instead of precut, ready to assemble and paint, kits they sold tools and and booklets that taught how to make things from scratch. Like lanterns out of tin cans

or unique accessories out of things you had laying around.

But my favorite crafting activities involved the use of newspaper and glue. There were so many things to do with these two simple and continuously available items. Paper mache, jewelry made from newspaper beads of varying sizes, and an unending variety of things that could be made by folding and weaving newspapers.

Apparently I'm not the only person who remembers those crafty recycling years. Many of these items are reappearing in the marketplace. Mostly in places like Etsy and Ebay, but a few have gone more mainstream. Like this...

"The Daily" is a 15 inch handbag made of water resistant woven newspaper and a plastic shoulder strap. It's available online at Ecoist for just $158.

Now I have to admit that I actually kind of like this bag. However, it qualifies as a Bad Bag because, seriously, if you have the money to buy it then you are just pretending to be part of this struggling economy. For those of us who aren't going to see a bail-out anytime soon there is an option to blowing your weekly grocery budget on a trendy handbag. Weave your own. Here are some really fantastic instructions!

Oh, and if the economy gets much worse here's a how-to for making shoes from newspaper too.

When beggars and shoeshine boys, barbers and beauticians can tell you how to get rich it is time to remind yourself that there is no more dangerous illusion than the belief that one can get something for nothing.

Bernard Baruch, 1929


Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

You have given me FLASHBACKS! Oh my.

Lee Wards.

Even/Odd days.

Bloody Murder.


I remember all of it.

That '70s Show? That was me.

Fun post, Gina.

I hope you're okay. ;-)

Ginaagain said...

Thanks Cheri, I'm glad you enjoyed it. We are doing ok today. We actually slept in our own bed last night and it really was nice. Today Bob went back to work but he works from home so he didn't have to drive anywhere or even change out of his pajamas. He is in much better spirits today too... maybe because he's gone three whole days without having any new injuries diagnosed. Tomorrow we see the orthopaedic surgeon and hopefully he will be helpful.

B2 C2 2009 said...

Glad to see Bad Bag Tuesday is back!

Keeping fingers crossed about tomorrow's dr visit!

Tiffany said...

Gina! I am so totally going to make that bag! I will show you if I actually complete it. Thank you. I loved this post. I want one of those lantern making thingys too. How fun.

One thing about the economy, well, two really... I guess we will all be forced to stop using credit so freely and also make time for the things that really matter:) Thanks for a great post. T~

Karen MEG said...

Great flashback post, Gina. Times seemed much simpler back then.

I've been catching up and I'm so sorry to read about Bob's accident!!! What a scare for you all.

I'm glad he's feeling better and back at work.

kate5kiwis said...

*love* the bag.
gonna try those jandals (flip flops)... they look awesome (in my head lol)!!!
glad to hear that your are in good spirits.
mwah X

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I had totally forgotten about Lee Wards.

Hmmm, I'm thinking I'm going to have a hard time selling my 14 year old daughter on Statues as a form of entertainment, but it may be worth a try.

I so love that bag that if my husband hadn't just been laid off I might ask for it for Christmas--I'm a newspaper fanatic.

Hoping for a speedy recovery for your husband.