Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live with my husband, one year old son, and a menagerie of four dogs, two cats, two ducks, and eleven chickens on a small farm in South Pennsylvania. My husband and I are both teachers, although I am currently a stay-at-home-mom. My Etsy shop, Crunchy Farm Baby, is a place for me to share some of my favorite homemade items that I've made for my son. I also blog at www.crunchyfarmbaby.com, where I share ecofriendly tips and tricks.
What was your inspiration for using upcycled materials for your craft or art?
I grew up in a family where we didn't throw things away if they had any use left in them, and that's carried over into the way I raise my family now. Just because a shirt can't be worn as a shirt anymore doesn't mean that it can't be a doll, or a baby hat, or even rags for the kitchen! It's such a good feeling to be able to use something for more than just its intended purpose.
What is your favorite upcycled medium or material?
I love working with old sweaters. Where most people see tattered and torn rags, I see baby pants, monsters, jingle balls, and so much more!
What are some challenges you have encountered using upcycled materials?
The biggest challenge for me has been realizing that you just can't have two items that are exactly the same. When you're working with upcycled materials, you have to understand that there's going to be variations in each masterpiece that you create. I love the uniqueness of each piece when it's finished, but it can be frustrating at times when working with it.
What is your current favorite upcycled item you have created?
I think I'd have to say that my baby sun hats are probably my favorite. It might just be that my son models them so well, though! Haha!
Any tips for those looking into the use of upcycled materials:
Use your imagination! Almost anything can be repurposed into something else. It doesn't even have to be something super crafty. Old yogurt containers are great for planting seedlings in the Spring for example. Just don't be quick to toss something that could find another life!
Leah can be found online in the following locations: