I guess my friend and co-author Kitty Bartholomew is a visionary. For many years, long before it was eco-hip, she was finding new uses for old things that have served their purpose well and that deserve more than a slow ride to the landfill.
Old leather belts are a case in point. Consider how much service a nice leather belt has given, with countless wearings and outings until one day the belt is either worn at the buckle or too wide or narrow for current styles or simply the wrong color.
Next, consider a wooden chair that has lost its cane or leather seat to wear and old age. While the chair and the belt might ride in the same trash truck to their final resting place, it takes a creative mind to say, hey, why don't you two get together and make something new?
And so I bring you Kitty's belt chair, pictured here.
What you need is a wooden chair with or without a seat. You lay out the belts on top horizontally and vertically, then weave them together and buckle them on the bottom. The nice part about old belts is that the buckle area wears out, not the back, and this is the part that will end up on your chair seat. The smaller the chair, the easier it will be to find belts long enough.
You can find belts really cheap at yard sales and thrift shops. Plus, if you have the unpleasant task of clearing out the house of a loved one who has passed away, and you find a collection of belts, making a belt chair for your home is a way of keeping a connection with that person and his or her life.
Also, hanging on the back of this chair is a quilt made of used men's suits. Did you know that quilting is the latest craze? Combine quilting with reuse of quality fabrics and the hipness level goes off the charts.
(Photos: Sharon Cavanagh)