Re-purpose Porpoise – Blood and Craft

There is actually very little reason to include a porpoise in this blog entry other than for a little play on words. By re-posting the image of the porpoise, I have re-porpoised it. That’s the full extent of my joke. 😉 Porpoise Image credit: ori2uru/Flickr.

Re-purposing is in the blood.

Yesterday was my 33rd birthday. The tummy nugget didn’t arrive so I didn’t get a baby as a present, but I did some lovely things from my grandmother. She is the last woman standing of her generation in my family and she is awesome. The gifts she gave me have reminded me where my obsession with re-cycling/up-cycling comes from.

Three important gifts have been passed down to me from her: craftiness, thriftiness and shortness.

The first gift of craftiness is evident in a bath mat that she wove herself using scraps of my late grandfather’s old singlets. (?!) She has dyed them to make her pattern and the final result is stunning as well as sentimental.

I have to say it is rather gorgeous – don’t you think?



And even the back-side is sumptuously woven on her hand-made loom. (Craftiness has been a great gift to receive through the family).

The second and third gifts of thriftiness and shortness are also apparent in the second part of my birthday present.

This is an apron made from all of the off-cuts of my grandfather’s pyjamas. Short men need their pants hemmed and over the years she has collected all of the new-pyjama leg pieces. Now, many years on, she has lovingly stitched them into an apron for me to wear.

I love it.


And how all of this has been carried on in me and what I do.Re-purposing ‘rubbish’ into useful products is something that I am really passionate about.

A totemic product of Outie is the Outie Splat Mat. These are made from billboards/old advertising that I buy to rescue them from landfills – and I lovingly re-craft them into all-purpose super-sanity-saving general purpose mess mats. They are a godsend and are totally addictive. Truly. They are. (You can read Outie Splat Mats – A True Labour of Love to find out more).

(You can actually win this Butterfly one on the Outie facebook page at the moment too! – If you are not in NZ then you only need to pay for postage. Here’s the link:


I hardly have any left they are so popular.


These are the very last three 90cm round Splat Mats left over from 2013. (I am waiting for tummy nugget to arrive so that I can resume my bending capabilities to start processing the next mega-batch…)

But my thriftiness and craftiness is also evident in some of my current home projects.

Here is an oven mitt I am in the process of completing. The outer layer is made with the remnants from a tri-pillow cover and bassinet fitted sheet I made recently. The inner layers are made from four layers of a merino baby blanket I had a stamping accident with back when I was making hand-stamped custom baby blankets. I couldn’t throw it away now could I?! (I am still hand-stamping some pretty cute onesies though).

The gingham bias binding on the mitt is also a remnant from my other (my Mum’s side) late Grandma’s sewing box. You see my grandmother has taught me that nothing should ever get wasted.


The lining is also a wool off cut in a lovely turquoise colour and the little project is coming along nicely.

*If you want to make your own oven mitt and hot pad and need a tutorial –  my inspiration came from these girls at A Beautiful Mess.

And my final project – which I will share with you soon, is a tummy tuck kimono belt for post birth I have made from some lovely Indonesian silk with recycled old jeans inside to give it weight and strength for tight tying/binding.

What’s your best thrift tip?

Go on – leave a comment. I dare you. X

Love Katrina (Outie)

porpoise thumbnail


Add your comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s