32 years ago, I designed and manufactured my first product, a blank journal made from an unloved and tossed out book. (lol, there’s a vendor in one of the markets I do who has no idea the idea they ripped off–spiral bound vintage books– was mine;I walk past their booth often, chuckling.) I’d been wanting to make journals out of books for a long time, but the machinery to do it was prohibitively expensive. I mean really expensive, about $150,000. then I found a man who helped me convert a $1000 machine into one that could punch holes in my book covers. I found a company willing to produce metal spirals instead of the cheap plastic ones that were commercially available. I took a booth at a trade show and the books were a hit–the line of people who wanted to buy them snaked down the aisle. and for years, I made my living turning old things into new things. I started making books out of old bingo game cards. out of recycled tee shirts. I hardbound 2.5 inch books with mid-century scarves that still reeked of their previous owner’s perfume. now, as most things do, recycling and upcycling have come around again. today, I’m making new bags made with old discarded plastic bags. I think they are beautiful. I hope you do, too.