Upcycled Accessories

Using old materials to cradle new technology

Looking for a way to protect your new high-tech toy? Fiber artist Marylou DiPietro of Harrisville has created a line of padded sleeves for Kindles, iPads, laptops of all sizes, plus messenger and tote bags. She builds wonderful textures with a mix and match of tweeds, contemporary patterns, vintage fabrics and worn leather. Antique buttons for closures add a decorative touch to the bags that range from funky to sophisticated. Some are pretty enough to double as an evening bag.

All materials are "upcycled" from a former life as tweed suit, upholstery sample or biker jacket. A shoulder strap on a bag may have been a former Coach belt and linings are created with old tablecloths or vintage skirts and shirts.

DiPietro, a successful poet and playwright, started the business, Reincarnations, after creating a bag for her own new, smaller laptop. There was no sense in putting green technology in a poly sleeve.

Now she spends the mornings writing and afternoons designing and cutting fabrics selections to ready them for her master seamstress, Noi McEwan. Using her hands is a great way to "get out of my head" as a writer, explains DiPietro.

On Oct. 6 and 7, DiPietro and other regional artists open their studios for the Monadnock Open Studio Art Tour.

The bags can be found online and at the Sharon Arts Center, in Peterborough.

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