An Orange Cat Curious for Upcycling

“Curiosity did not kill the cat.  It found it in Oregon, USA.” ~  Karen Ellis / Blogger

RUDE Girl’s curiosity sniffed out a talented textiles’ upcycler, Etsy shop seller and blogger from Oregon, USA.  Her name is Bunny Henningsen.  There was something about her re-creations that appealed to me.  When I went on to her blog I immediately felt at home.  Bunny’s writing style is easy, and she explains her approach really well.  I had to know more and contacted her.  And she was really happy to share her upcycling journey.

Sit back and enjoy her story and creations.

The Girls

Bunny’s Girls

my face

This is me, Bunny!

First off, thank you to Rude Girl for inviting me to her fun blog! But I have to behave.  She said more pictures less words. She doesn’t know me very well!!

Curious Orange Cat! What a silly name for a blog and business. Why you ask??? This is why.  The photo below is of Alex my cat.

Alex The Curious Orange Cat

I started out as a quilter and owned a quilt fabric store in a little town on the way to Yosemite National Park. But in 2008 gas prices soared, tourists didn’t stop to spend money and then the economy here in the U.S. went belly up. I lost my beautiful log home and had to close my store.  I packed what was left of my store and belongings, four kitties in carriers, and headed north to my mom’s in Oregon to reinvent my life.

Sewing kept me sane and busy until I could figure out how to earn some income.  I picked up an Altered Couture magazine one day and realized a whole new world was at hand. We had three wonderful thrift stores in town the Salvation Army store had a $5.00 bag day the last Saturday of the month. My obsession began.

top of the stairs 1

Bunny’s Basement Sewing Studio

Rude Girl wanted pictures of my “sewing studio” So here is [photo above] what I see as I walk down the basement stairs.  I know…. it’s a mess! But I’m in heaven down here. 
Everything gets thrown into the washing machine before I use it. I try to sort them. But, well… things do get out of hand.

creation station 1

Bunny’s Creation Station

Here is the creation station above. The place where all the magic takes place.

I collected this pile of jeans below from an abandoned house a friend was cleaning out. The electricity wasn’t working so it was dark and this was all I could find.

abandoned jeans 1

Rescued Denim Jeans

my supplies 1

Main Storage Area

Austrialia Rude Girl1

Baskets of Textile Scraps

This is my main storage area above with baskets of leftover scraps (I find ways to use them!) and a basket of lace and vintage linens.  It does tend to pile up. This is mostly men’s shirts sorted in various. One basket has nothing but shirt sleeves.

I mostly use men’s button down the front shirts. I cut off the sleeves, cuffs, collar and pockets. The bottom half of the shirt is used for dresses. The rest…well I’ll get to that…

Here are some of my favorite creations using shirtsleeves.


I always like to give a freebie with every purchase. So I make a little pouch from the shirt cuff and scraps from other creations.  Sometimes I coil up one of the collars into a flower shape or I sew scraps to the back and a pin for a fancy brooch.

Austrialia Rude Girl2

Austrialia Rude Girl3

I can’t throw anything out. Not even the tiny scraps below.

tiny scraps 1

Some I make into pet beds to donate to the local shelter. I make the main bed with fabric leftover from my fabric store and stuff the scraps inside. I then make a removable cover for washing. As you can see below, they have been tested by Ozzy the cat.

pet beds 1pet bed tester
I also use scraps of fabric to make these fun scarves. I use a product called Solvy. I layer the scraps between layers of it and then sew all over like crazy. The Solvy dissolves in water and the fabric is all that is left.

scrappy scarves
I also have this wonderful die cutter with lots of shapes [photo below]. It works great for covering up holes and stains. So, don’t tell, but if you see an appliqué on one of my creations…chances are there is a boo boo underneath.

Austrialia Rude Girl4So here are some of my creations… All made from castoffs, thrift store finds and donations from friends.

on sale2

French Frock by Bunny

The creation above uses the main body of the shirt and pocket. It was one of my favorites and is now living in France.

I feel like a little kid showing off my toys to new friends! I hope I have inspired you!  You can find me at Curious Orange Cat on my blog and at my shop on Etsy

Thank you Rude Girl!

You’re most welcome Bunny, thank you for sharing your unique upcycling story.  You can check out Bunny’s creations that have been featured in the magazine Altered Couture.  Contact Bunny for further information related to which editions.

Beat The Man by creating what makes your heart sing!


5 thoughts on “An Orange Cat Curious for Upcycling

  1. Thank you so much for allowing me to come to visit! I hope I inspire your readers with new ways to reuse and re-purpose castoff textiles!
    Curious Orange Cat says Hi too! He loves being in the spot light.


      • You’re most welcome restyle4life. I think Bunny is amazing too and her workspace is to die for. It was a pleasure to do a blog post about her and Curious Orange Cat. Let me know if you would like me to feature restyle4life on Rude Record in the future.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s