“Beautiful and Useful”

Karen Heenan's Recycled Sweater Mittens
Karen Heenan’s Recycled Sweater Mittens

Karen is one of those people I’ve never met in person, but was so impressed by her work that we’ve become online friends.  A few months ago she quit her job to do her real work full time.  Karen makes oh, all kinds of things and so many different things out of repurposed fabric. Kids dresses from table clothes, mittens from sweaters, teddy bears from old school uniforms.  Her craftsmanship is meticulous and her creativity is boundless.

Karen’s been working hard at getting her stuff out there in the world.  She had 4 pages of her work on her ETSY shop and writes a blog, Beautiful and Useful,  keeping us updated on  the progress of her business (both  the creative and practical side of it),  she give tutorials so you can make what she makes (or try to anyway, or of course you can just buy it from her).  She’s taken some part time temp work to help her out during the slow times.  But she doesn’t need much encouragement to keep doing what she loves.  She’s known to be “as patient as a snake”  (her mother’s words).

But I think once more people find out about her beautiful work there will be nothing for her to be patient about.  So if you’re looking for a good place to do some holiday shopping, (or just want to see some really innovative uses of old clothes)  check out Karens work here.

Karen's bears
Karen’s jewel box bears

10 thoughts on ““Beautiful and Useful”

  1. I adore those sweater mittens. Will flip over and buy a couple pairs. I received the two pot holders I bought and was surprised at their generous size. I love them.

  2. I love the idea of mittens out of old sweaters, that is pretty creative. And how lovely that you have found a kindred spirit!

  3. Maria

    Perfect timing with you posting this. I live in Philly so was pleased to see the connection here. I went onto Karen’s blog and discovered 2 events in my city this weekend where she will display her creative works. In fact, today [Sunday] she will be at a very popular bar with a great show with other artists. I contacted a few of my friends and they will head over to “Dirty Frank’s”. Thanks for this info just in time to do a little shopping! What fun – shop and have drinks – what could be better?

    Janet [aka Anna Mae]

  4. I’m late to the party here – Thank you, Maria, for posting this; thank you, Margaret, for buying the potholders, and thank you Janet/Anna Mae for telling your friends about the show at Dirty Frank’s. Please tell them to introduce themselves. It’s a snowy day in Philly but it’s a neighborhood bar so I’m still hoping for a big crowd.

    I have a whole load of new mittens made up and whatever doesn’t sell today at the show will be up in the Etsy shop hopefully by Monday evening. I’ts hard keeping up stock when there are so many shows so close together, leaving me less time to create.

    Sleep? Who needs sleep – I’ll sleep after Christmas. Have a great day, everyone.

  5. Maria – thanks for the tip and the links to Karen’s Etsy shop. Lots of neat things there. It’s now among my “favorites” on computer.

    A propos of nothing – I knitted a very cool earflap hat (with dangling pom-poms) in 3 hours yesterday! It came out so well that I’m making several more. The hats are going to a clothing drive at a local, rural school for kids (little and big) who need warm outerwear. I’m making hats for Roger and me, too, for when we’re in NYC in February (yeah, I know – NYC for 10 days in February isn’t great timing weather-wise). Our hats will be made from “Tess” – I’ll send photos. Who knows – this may become a cottage industry for me someday!

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