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I went to Holiday Mart and all I got was this old T-shirt!

I went to Holiday Mart and all I got was this old T-shirt!

November 20, 2013 | 10:54 AM

As always, The 43rd Annual Holiday Mart hit the mark. The Junior League clearly spends a great deal of time choosing just the right combination of vendors in terms of variety, quality and price points. The presentation of accessories, foods (the cherry salsa and tortilla soup were out of this world), children and women's clothing, bath products, jewelry, holiday decor, unique services and gift items truly offered something for everyone.

As I reviewed my treasures upon returning home, one thing was ironically clear, everything I purchased used to belong to someone else.

It is difficult to choose a favorite among the two LOVEWORN skirts made from thrift store T-shirts. The three foot, farmhouse table candleholder created from a salvaged railroad tie is perfectly distressed (so if my kids knock it over and dent it, it will only add character). I love to imagine the window from which my repurposed shutter fashioned into a triptych frame used to hang, and the wall hanging made from license plates really takes me back (who remembers the year our state plates encouraged folks to "Wander Indiana"). Then, there was the huge bag made from multiple pairs of denim jeans. Fortunately, this was my first purchase and was perfect for carrying all of my other treasures. I must also mention the unique dress from Fort Wayne-based Hand Jive made from mismatched dress pieces and parts that I picked up. Oh wait, there was also a clock made from an old Broadway show tune cd.

I scored two children's books based on repurposed ideas as well. Two local authors reworked beloved family traditions and are now marketing them to families everywhere. The Summer Fairy by Elizabeth Kelly Gillihan creates a beautiful sense of wonder on the first day of summer. Pinklejinx by Tish Dahlby tells of a birthday sprite who sets a special birthday table overnight. In this day and age of traveling parents, faraway relatives and travel sports, birthday celebrations don't always take place on a child's actual birthday. This book presents the perfect solution.

I felt great knowing that I supported local authors, artisans and businesses. I felt great knowing I rescued many textiles and other items from landfills. Most of all I felt great knowing I supported the efforts of The Junior League of Indianapolis.

If you are interested in fellowship, leadership, and enhancing the lives of central Indiana children and their families, consider joining The Junior League. Applications for 2014 - 2015 are currently being accepted through May 1st. Whatever season of life you are in, there is a place for you in this amazing organization. This group of smart, motivated, creative, energetic and civic-minded women is waiting to meet you. Please visit www.jlindy.org for details.

Wendy S.

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