Rural Missouri - March 2011 - (Page 20)

Three Missourians are transforming landfill-bound items I According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans create more than 251 million tons of trash annually, but only 32 percent of n this day and age, it has bethe total waste is recycled. come trendy to be “green.” A Although recycling has increased lot of companies are providing 100 percent in the past decade, environmentally each American is still creating friendly products that more than 3 pounds of trash cut down on waste and their impact on the Pacific per day that is not recycled. These three Missourians planet, which is a good • Pittsburg are just a few of those who thing. But the problem • have found ways to give still arises of what to do West Plains items destined for the with commonly discarded • dump a new life. items. by Kyle Spradley Antique feed sacks see new life as purses with different lining fabrics inside the routine trip to the grocery store bag. Since she handcrafts each one, was all it took to get Ginny she is always open to custom orders. Weir started with her part-time Ginny will even take a sack you send business in Pacific, Handcrafted at her and turn it into a bag. Wit’s End. After stitching the bag and lining “While in line, a lady behind me together, she adds any necessary butasked where I got my purse,” says Gintons and grommets. The straps, which ny about her first homemade purse. “I are made out of cotton rope and scrap soon made her one, and before I knew fabric from other feed sacks, are then it, everyone wanted one.” added.“I do use a pattern of my own Five years later, Ginny has sold design to help cut out the fabric, but hundreds of her totes, carpet bags and each bag is still one of a kind,” she purses made from vintage feed, flour, says. sugar or seed sacks from the 1930s Some day Ginny hopes to make her and 1940s. hobby a full-time job, but for now, Growing up, Ginny was first whenever she finds the time away taught the intricacies of sewing by from her day job, she lets her creative her grandmother. However, it actually juices flow at the sewing machine. was a family member from a further generation back that inspired her curGinny’s bags range in price from $40 rent venture. to $75. For more information, e-mail “My great-grandfather was a Ginny at or dentist, and for some reason, I always visit kept his bag,” she says. “It had a neat shape, a lot like a doctor’s bag.” Now, the design she modeled after her great-grandfather’s bag is her top-selling carpet bag. When Ginny first gets a sack, she gently washes it to clean away years of dust and dirt along with any of its original contents. She then hangs it on the clothesline to air dry. Ginny has to be careful when washing the sacks because the label’s dye was actually made to wash out. Before the days of plastic and paper bags, cloth feed sacks were the norm. Since hard times had fallen on a lot of rural folks, everything was used to its full potential, including the sacks. Once the sack was empty, women would use the fabric to create clothes, drapes, towels or other household goods. For Ginny, it is all up to her creative mind when crafting a Ginny Weir holds a selection of the bags she crenew bag. She mixes patterns ates out of antique feed sacks. A Jim Mormann, known as “Jim the Bottle Guy,” poses with a selection of his serving dishes and Although the melting process is simple, it can take up to 14 hours in a ceramic kiln to make h Retiree keeps the cowboy spirit alive with hi t’s not often that cowboys and horses share the same duds, but Tommy Thompson of West Plains has found a way to connect hoof and boot. “I hate to see good stuff go to the dump,” says Tommy, who turns used farrier’s rasps into spurs. “And they have such a great pattern.” Ever since he was a kid, welding has been a hobby of Tommy’s, but recently he has struck gold with cowboys and Western enthusiasts across the country with his metal creations. Not only does Tommy make spurs, but he also creates horse bits, knives, coat racks, bar stools, benches and saddle racks out of used horseshoes, disc blades and fence posts. “All of this stuff could just end up in the landfill,” says the HowellOregon Electric Cooperative member. “Maybe this ‘green era’ is a good thing. I am all for recycling.” Tommy started out fabricating simple yard ornaments and coat racks whenever he had free time. Now retired from a 30-year career working for a telephone company, his free time is devoted to a new labor of love. “It all started about 12 years ago after I started showing off a few spurs and bits while my son and I were traveling across the country to different I rodeos,” he says. “Soon everybody was asking about them.” As Tommy traveled more, word spread about his spurs. He now sets up booths at major rodeos in Oklahoma and Texas, but he has also picked up retail locations at Flat Creek Saddle Shop in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and PFI Western Wear in Springfield, Mo. Tommy gets his metal scraps from just about everywhere. When you spend your day bent over filing horse hooves, you don’t have time to waste on a dull rasp, so farriers go through them by the bucketful. They are always happily donating their used rasps along with worn horseshoes to Tommy. 20 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2011

Rural Missouri - March 2011
Docent of the Walking Cane Dulcimer
Out of the Way Eats
Mail Bag
The No-Dig (And Less Sweat) Gardening Alternative
Grow a Delicious Landscape
A Recycled Craft
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
The Gainesville Gunner
Around Missouri
Top Apps for Rural Missourians

Rural Missouri - March 2011