Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cindy Tarter

At the end 2012 I looked back at this year as a year of change with wonder and excitement for the future.  

I have been spending my adult life taking care of my 2, now grown, children, then working with many wonderful kids through a Parents Day Out program for 2-5 year olds.  After taking care of both my Mom and Aunt at the end of their lives I've had the honor of taking care of my nephew for the first 6 years of his life.  Throughout this time I've had many outlets to share my creative energy.  But this year with my nephew going to school for a full day and many hours free each day I panicked -  what will I do with my time?  And my creative needs-no more kids to do crafts with.

I had done a little with felted wool items in the past, without much success,  but I did like the technique of recycling old sweaters and turning them into new items.  So my creative juices started flowing and a new enterprise was started, Izzy-J & Bean.  This is my new business name, it was made up from the names of my kids and my nephews-they are still number 1 in my life!

I started going to many resale shops, garage sales, and thrift stores to find wonderful wool sweaters to repurpose.  I now turn them into children's jackets, cut them up and make scarves, pins hats, and gloves.  I am now making jewelry, too.  All using things other people no longer wanted.  Just think, I am saving the landfills!  I am, also, making what I call heirloom pillows.  I use special items of clothing from your family member and make a pillow that can be shared instead of keeping your memories in a closet or box in the Basement.  You can have Grandma's old sweater turned into a special pillow for your bed or give it as a special wedding/birthday gift.  I am looking forward to seeing some little ones wearing more of my jackets while I am shopping downtown or walking the River Walk in my hometown.  I know I have seen many happy faces when I give them their pillow that will forever keep their loved one's memory alive.

I use to have no idea what I was going to do with my time, now I have no idea where the hours go.  I am busier that I ever thought I would be.  I drop my nephew off at school and think I have all day until I pick him up at 3:00 and I look up at the clock and it is usually 2 or 2:30.

I haven't found enough outlets for all my ideas, yet.  I see a new idea in every sweater I find or in a new color I haven't used before.  My brain is always busy.  I never thought I would be this happy or fulfilled without someone to take care of.  Life is opening up all kinds of horizons and as long as my brain keeps coming up with ideas and there are sweaters available to me, I will keep making things for others to wear and enjoy.

I do have some of my creations in a few local shops and I'm in the middle of updating my website.  Soon I will be opening a shop in Etsy.

You can visit my website @


  1. What a terrific idea!! I love that you recycle something old into something new and unique. And the name Izzy-J & Bean is perfect. I wish you great success with your business.

  2. I love the feeling of finding ideas everywhere--sounds like you've found your bliss! Now you are taking care of people in a different way, by sharing your creations.

    Best, Erin (p.s. my nickname is Bean!)

  3. Great idea, I love upcycle and your work is so cute. Good luck on your etsy! xox

  4. Lovely ideas Cindy. Welcome to the Creative Bloomers group.

  5. I love that you see beauty in items that have been 'discarded', and giving new life and shapes to them! Very inspiring! I can't wait to visit your Etsy store when it's open!!

  6. Welcome to our vase of late bloomers!