Upcycling is Alive and Well in Eugene

This Christmas, I visited my family in Eugene, Oregon. One of my favorite places to visit there is the Holiday Market, the winter version of the weekly Saturday Market. For as long as I can remember growing up, Saturday Market was where you went to see the 60s frozen in time -- lots of hippies, tie-dye, patchouli oil, and organic vegetables. (Take a magical mystery tour here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eugenesaturdaymarket/.)

The Holiday Market is tamer and more commercial, but it had its share of tie-dye. What caught my eye this year were all the stalls selling recycled and upcycled wares. Here are some of my favorites:


I love the fun, whimsical earrings, charm bracelets and 3-D collages made by Cliff Martin. He gathers colorful items destined for the landfill and puts them together in clever, artistic ways. 

I bought a bracelet with a small "Ken" head and various plastic and metal pieces. I love it! And I've never seen anything like his 3-D collages, which are housed in plastic packaging that's so hard to open and never recyclable. 

See his work at http://www.artocycle.com/.

Julia Bray Garretson

Julia cuts up used bike tire tubes into tiny pieces and constructs unusual dangly earrings and bracelets. Unless you look very closely, you'd never know these black feathery strips used to pound the pavement. See her work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/JuliaGarretson

Kendra Grace
Kendra has solved the age-old question of what to do with t-shirts that can no longer be worn. She stitches them into one-of-a-kind dresses and skirts. They look stylish and comfortable.

One of the dresses she featured was made of old green and yellow University of Oregon shirts. Given the football fever currently gripping Eugene, I was surprised a fan hadn't nabbed the dress yet.

See her work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/kendragrace.

Boozy Baubles Recycled Glass Art

Cheri Smith recycles wine, beer & alcohol bottles and other found  glass into delicate jewelry. She produces and "aged" effect by tumbling the broken pieces in beach sand. See her work at  http://www.etsy.com/shop/BoozyBaublesGlassArt.

Anna's Haute Scrambled Aprons

Anna "scrambles" recycled fabrics with new to make aprons with retro style. Like me, Anna enjoys combining patterns in unexpected ways guaranteed to bring a smile to your face (and probably make your meals taste better).

2 Cheeky Monkeys

Monkeys Michelle and Candee upcycle materials close to my heart -- game boards. They scour second-hand shops to find old and unusual games and books, then turn them into journals, sketchbooks, and even clocks. I am inspired by their creativity and "cheekiness." 

See their work here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/2cheekymonkeys .

If you're near Eugene next December, check out the Holiday Market. http://www.holidaymarket.org