Saturday, July 23, 2011


Warning:  there are no pretty pictures in this post. It's a short story.

I was explaining some of my repurposed projects to a group of friends one day when one of them piped up with, "When did you become so...thrifty?" The tone of judgement stopped me in my tracks. This was someone that has known me for several years now. At first I was quite taken aback and offended - but then I realized my creativity has been nearly non-existent in those years since we met (something I like to blame on my two kids,  bless them). So, that 'judgement' is forgiven and forgotten. After all, repurposing is not for everyone...and my purpose is not to convert the world (although that would be nice... along with world peace). No, my purpose is to make sure that I'm doing my part, and that I pass along my philosophy to my children. If my style is appreciated along the way, all the better. 

Repurposing and upcycling. I'm not being's my way of life. Saving money is just icing on the cake!

On that's another site that's dedicated to the cause. Check them out when you get a chance.  The excerpt below is taken from their page. See if you find yourself nodding your head as you read through their definition of 'unconsumption'.

Unconsumption is a word used to describe everything that happens after an act of acquisition.

Unconsumption is an invisible badge.

Unconsumption means the accomplishment of properly recycling your old cellphone, rather than the guilt of letting it sit in a drawer.

Unconsumption means the thrill of finding a new use for something that you were about to throw away.

Unconsumption means the pleasure of using a service like Freecycle (or Craigslist, Goodwill, or Salvation Army) to find a new home for the functioning DVD player you just replaced, rather than throwing it in the garbage.

Unconsumption means enjoying the things you own to the fullest – not just at the moment of acquisition.

Unconsumption means the pleasure of using a pair of sneakers until they are truly worn out – as opposed to the nagging feeling of defeat when they simply go out of style.

Unconsumption means feeling good about the simple act of turning off the lights when you leave the room.

Unconsumption is not about the rejection of things, or the demonization of things. It’s not a bunch of rules.

Unconsumption is an idea, a set of behaviors, a way of thinking about consumption itself from a new perspective.

Unconsumption is free.


  1. love this concept - its totally me! thanks for the insight!
    amy of four corners design

  2. I'm so glad you liked my blog and thanks for visiting.
    I also visited yours and identified myself a lot, and I loved it. Congratulations!
    Soon I will post a new idea about hubcaps and I'll take it from your blog.
    Feel free to visit my blog and if you wanted, link it too!

  3. hi Michael ~ i love your enthusiasm. And I love that you are setting a lifestyle example for your children that is about being imaginative and creative and fun - not about depriving yourself of things or of joy. After all, buying something doesn't guarantee joy anyway. That junkmail piece above is startling on so many levels. Thank you for your comment on the wall hanging recently - about it resembling a modern twist on a dreamcatcher. I hadn't thought of that before but I love that concept! Thank you so much for letting me think about it in a new way. Sometimes I tend to diminish the beauty of the things I make, thinking, well it's just made of old stuff, it's ok for now. But I shouldn't do that :( Thank you for that boost of enthusiasm - you really do rock! OH - and I saw you featured last weekend at SAS Interiors but I never saw the original posting - it was awesome! The headboard? I need to search for it. Congratulations for being featured :) xoxo Diane

  4. Michael,

    A couple of weeks ago, one of my Unconsumption Google alerts picked up this mention of yours, and I'm just now taking a moment to stop by here to say "thanks" for talking about our blog and the idea of unconsumption!

    As you might have read on our site, Rob Walker first used the term "unconsumption" in 2006 on his blog (, then expanded on the notion in one of his January 2007 "Consumed" columns in The New York Times Magazine. He subsequently created our Tumblr/blog, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Anyway, thanks again, and keep up the good work!


I'm listening! And responding - so let's create some buzz together for recycled and repurposed arts and crafts.

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