More Upcycling in Eugene

I just returned from another trip to Eugene, Oregon, my childhood home and recent host to the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials. It was sold out, but I still had a good time discovering upcycling resources and artists. (See what I found last December.)
Upcycled Skirts
At Eugene's weekly Saturday Market, I met Tarra Harlauer. Tarra takes old jeans and makes fun, one-of-a-kind skirts.
I especially love the way she embellishes each skirt. In the faded blue skirt shown above, she's used trim and pieces of inseam to create a playful fringe.
She also finds whimsical images from kids' sheets and adds them to her skirts. I bought a hot-pink skirt for my favorite 7-year-old. It's girly and bright, so I know she'll love it. Check out Tarra's Etsy's shop.

BRING Recycling

Years ago, BRING was the only place in town to take your old glass, metal and paper. Curb-side recycling didn't exist, even in environmentally conscious Eugene. Today BRING has evolved into a "Planet Improvement Center" with acres of recycled building materials, household items, garden fixtures, bicycles and much much more. 

BRING's inventory is impressive. Even more remarkable is how well everything is organized. Each screw, lightbulb, and plant pot has a place, so you can find exactly what you need. I was like a kid in an upcycling candy store!
I wandered outside the warehouse to BRING's "Garden of Earthly Delights," a showcase of recycled art. Encircling one end of the garden is a long curved bench made out of toilet tank lids. Who'd have thought such mundane things could be so beautiful?

Nearby are metal sculptures; it's fun to guess where each piece came from.
And who can resist a garden shed covered with old LPs?

Materials Exchange Center

Finally, while walking downtown (did I mention Eugene is probably the most walkable and bikeable city in the Northwest?), I discovered the Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts. Like the Seattle area Creation Station, MECCHA offers all kinds of odds and ends -- yarn, material, paper, paint, patterns, books. Most of the building is devoted to a large studio space, where artists can transform the found items into cool recycled art.