Repurposed and Upcycled

Finding Treasure in Africa, Amid the Challenges

My friend Kristy has a blog on Babble called Into Africa with Kristy Carlson and her stories are great demonstrations of making the most of a difficult circumstance.  I call Kristy a “friend” rather than an acquaintance because Kristy’s husband grew up in my home area, her parents are good friends of mine, and frankly, Kristy has a writing voice that makes me feel close to her. She is raw, and real, and so easy to connect with. Kristy and her husband Ben are living in Africa working to help the people of Burundi get a fair price for their […]

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Finding Forgiveness for Past Mistakes

This trash to treasure story comes from an anonymous reader. A big hug to a precious woman who was brave enough to be honest with her mistakes and sensitive to the truth that God’s love forgives and forgets when we own up to our sins. You Will be Forgiven Even in our very worst moments, God is there, answering the prayers we haven’t even sent to Him. He knows our every need before we do.My first husband and I were having marital difficulties even before our second child was born. By the time she was 18 months old there seemed […]

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The Question to Ask in the Middle of a Difficult Time

In a  blog post, Michael Hyatt shares about a time when he had every reason to ask, “Why me?” and a bunch of other similar questions. And then he shares how he learned to shift his perspective. Hyatt says:  At this point, I could have asked myself several questions: Why am I so clumsy? Why did I have both hands full? Why does this have to happen now? Why did I have to be in such a hurry? What did I do to deserve this? The problem with these questions is that they are completely unproductive and disempowering They are […]

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When God Turns Difficult Situations into Learning Experiences

As a means of simplifying my life a bit, I am merging my Repurposed and Upcycled blog with Faith Creativity Life, and creating a topical category for posts related to God’s repurposing of our difficult circumstances. This is a post I originally featured on Feb. 7, 2013.Repurposed and UpcycledBy: Robin Hakanson PaulsenRepurposed and upcycled are not two words that I thought should exist for me 10-20 years ago.Obligation and shame more accurately described how I felt.Growing up as the oldest of five in a Christian home, I was responsible and followed the rules. I tested those rules often during my […]

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Old Book Turned into a Pumpkin, Fall Decoration

Its What Would You Do (WWYD) Wednesday. What do you do with old books? Recently, I spoke for a women’s event and gave a presentation on trash to treasure decorating. Here’s a shout out to the women at Cornerstone Church in the Twin Cities! For a craft session, one creative gal taught us how to make a pumpkin from an old book. How fun! This one is made from an old hymnal. First, we ripped off the covers. That felt naughty. Then we started cutting the pages. Even naughtier. I had to cut a few pages at a time, but […]

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Vintage Window Wedding Gift Personalized with Silhouette Cutter

For the gift for the bride and groom at the wedding I attended this past weekend, I decided to create a personalized trash to treasure gift. Since the wedding was full of T2T decorations and I know the bride well, I knew that it would fit her style. So, how did I make it?I used an old window (from my own house) and painted the bottom half with chalkboard paint. Then, on the top half, I decoupaged scrapbook paper onto the back side. Using my Silhouette cutter, I created the vinyl letters in two different colors. A Silhouette machine allows you to create […]

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A Trash to Treasure Outdoor Wedding

This past weekend, I attended the wedding of two dear friends and I just have to share some photos of the creative decorations the bride made. The wedding and reception were held at the rustic camp where my husband works, the camp where the couple first met as children.  A parking area becomes reception space. Guests carried their chairs from the ceremony site before dinner.  Gift table and wedding favors.  Book pages made a runner for some tables.  Matchboxes and tealight candles. There was a special story the couple shared that inspired this favor.  A memory window featuring everyone involved […]

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Lamp Needs a Makeover – What Would You Do?

Normally, I feature What Would You Do with This? questions on Wednesdays. But this time, it’s a friend emergency. My friend’s thoughtful mother-in-law got her a lamp to replace one that she has been wanting to change out. I really do mean thoughtful, and not sarcastically. Her MIL found it at a thrift sale. I think it has a lot of charm, but it doesn’t quite fit my friend’s style. So, to honor her sweet MIL, my friend really wants to make this work in her home.She isn’t sure yet what she would change about it, but she wants something […]

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Upcycled Tin Can Snowman that Melts Your Heart

Where I live in Northern Wisconsin, we haven’t had a day where the temperatures have climbed to the 50s since sometime last year. Our winters can be long, and I leave snowman stuff out from November to the end of April.Yep. We get our use out of our winter decorations!My mom recently made me another snowman for my collection. She’s inspired by the plethora of ideas on Pinterest. And, being a school cook she has access to a lot of empty tin cans. So, she created this snowman for me. His arms are a little long, and they went off […]

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How to Plan for Successful Flea Market Shopping

Flea Market and Garage Sale season is coming. In fact, it has already arrived in many areas. I’m still buried in many inches of snow in the northwoods, and it will be a while before we get into sale season.No matter when your season begins, it’s never too early to plan ahead. House of Harvest has a great post with tips for successful flea market and yard sale shopping. From planning ahead, to what to bring, to how to shop and bargain, this post has it all.Here’s a photo of blog owner Lindsea on her blog. Can you see her […]

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