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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Going Green...Nothing New to Us!

Re-purposing and recycling was a way of life for past generations. This is my great grandmother, Tennie, who used to say, "There is nothing new under the sun." She weathered the economics of the Great Depression by recycling, reusing, and re-purposing. It was a sad time and yes, back then recycling was born more out of survival than choice, but the principle, seriously heeded nonetheless.
My mother, Shirley, sisters Julie and Judy, brother Bob, and Great Gram....That's me, the one with the pursed lips...... probably pouting about never having enough shoes......oh wait, that's why I pout these days... Ha! 
As my grandmothers taught my mother, she in turn taught each of us a great deal about the value of what we had, to appreciate and take good care of our things. She was the ultimate "recycler". I guarantee that she made each of our dresses in the photo above, just as she had also done for her own sisters when they were growing up. 
My aunts- Debbie, Dianne, & Denise (Yes, they are identical triplets, it's not your imagination.)
I remember old tins filled with recycled buttons that my mom cut off worn or too-small clothing. She also removed and saved zippers. Stored away in my mother's sewing room were (and still probably are) scads of them, ready to use at a moments notice. She patched our jeans, mended our dresses, and taught us to do the same.

You probably grew up just as I did where our "things" held value because of the memories associated with them. I love knowing that........somehow it's tucked away in my heart. Some of my most precious possessions are those that were used and loved by my grandmothers. I treasure them.

The whole concept was nothing new for Beth either. When she was in 5th Grade, she and her older brother started a recycling business, "S. and B. Ecology Services, Inc." (Can you say "marketing"!) They set out to make extra spending money by building their own little business of recycling and wrote these letters for their neighbors.

How fun are these letters! Beth remembers how much work it was removing labels from the bottles and cans and of course none of this would have been possible without Mom chauffeuring them to and from their customer's homes. They were certainly ahead of their time, recycling their little fingers off!

Confession: I admit, it drives me just a bit crazy when younger generations think they are the only ones on this mission to preserve history and life as if "Going Green" is a new concept and they created the novel idea.

Recycling and reusing treasures from the past is our heart's calling at FMF Compagnie, it's who we are. Some of our best pieces are those that have been re-designed and re-purposed.

When Beth and I started FMF Compagnie, we both already knew this value had been instilled in each of us. After all, we had spent countless hours together when our children were young, making "something" from "nothing" to sell at countless school fundraisers.

 Lavender Monogrammed Sachet

Our line of antique linen sachets filled with lavender are made from beautiful old French embroidered wedding sheets, called broderie rembourrée or padded embroiderie. They are not only beautiful but sturdy and look amazing as the new upholstery for our furniture pieces or sewn into one-and-only pillows or sachets.

In one of her adventures exploring the countryside, Beth found this book containing two folded maps of England and Wales.

It looks tattered and worn from the outside, but when you opened it up, the most beautiful maps unfolded from either side. The maps have cloth backing and rich colors. What a shame they were folded up and hidden away so no one could see them. But wait.......that's now how we left them. We had the maps carefully removed from the cover of the book and framed each of them. They make the most wonderful pair of masculine artwork, and carry this sense of history that only deepens their value.
This gorgeous lamp has also been made of re-purposed old leather books and spines. There will never be another lamp base like this in the universe; recycled and unique!

This pair of Victorian period chairs are beauties that Beth stripped and re-purposed to a weathered, natural patina.

They are going to be fabulous with seats from antique "nubbly" linen, made current for today's interiors and ready to be used for many future generations.

Making something new from something old and honoring the history at the same time, it's nothing new to us!
Beth and I are proud to preserve amazing antique treasures and to in turn, share them with you in our FMF Compagnie collections. We are doing what we love and we love this for so many reasons!

The IFDA Take A Seat Design event is another fun "green" project we are working on.

This event involves members of the furnishings and design industry (IFDA) who are tasked to creatively re-imagine (recycle, re-purpose) ordinary chairs, turning them into works of art. The chairs are displayed during a free exhibition. At the exhibition close, the chairs are auctioned. The proceeds from this year's event will benefit our local Military Assistance Mission. It's a really big deal! Check out the Take a Seat Facebook page and by all means, plan to attend our Scottsdale event and support this important local cause! It will be on October 11, at The Legacy Gallery in Old Town Scottsdale.

Here's just a tiny sneak peek at some of the recycled items we are using in our FMF Compagnie chair design.

Even though the original fabric on the chair was "green"'s not staying!

I wish I could show you more, but not yet. Stay tuned for the results, coming soon.

Join us in not only going but staying "green"! Remember, it's nothing new to us!


1 comment:

  1. Jackie and Beth, keep inspiring us all to remember, remember the past as it will teach us the future, keep us humble and in the vision of what is to come. God Bless you both.