Metro-East Living

Shopping: Suzanne Boyle finds purses from repurposed leather, colorful grills

Small cardboard decorated Easter containers from Walmart are just the right size for candies or cookies.
Small cardboard decorated Easter containers from Walmart are just the right size for candies or cookies.

Recycling and repurposing can be easy to incorporate into a lifestyle. Look at trendy magazines where stacks of old suitcases become side tables and vintage broaches and pendants are reworked into new jewelry.

All this came to mind the other day when I was in Peace by Piece in downtown Belleville. Co-owner Christina Keck pointed out a new selection of soft leather handbags, some with fringe and others with really cool wooden handles. The small Louisville, Ky., company that makes them, Inherited Leather, repurposes material recycled from leather garments. The bags are beautiful and hand-crafted. Prices range from $85 for a clutch (shoulder strap included) to $199 for a fringed satchel.

Finding color everywhere

Who knew you could buy an outdoor grill and have it come in a pastel color? I was browsing through Lowe’s in Belleville on Tuesday when I noticed something called the Weber Q Grill. First, it’s a gas grill, so not your typical Weber charcoal version. Second, it’s portable, so picnics and tailgating come to mind. But best of all, the lid comes in five colors, plus basic black. Think bright green, fuchsia, purple and more. The domed grill is cast aluminum and the lid has a built-in thermometer. There are fold-out side tables on either side of the handles. Cost is $199. If you want a collapsible rolling stand for the grill, it’s $69.99.

Start a new Easter tradition

With Easter drawing near many people will bring lilies as a traditional gift. But I’d rather have a pot of the luscious looking succulents growing in the greenhouse at Effinger Garden Center in Belleville. No, they’re not meant to be outside right now, but put them in a sunny window and admire their textures, colors and shapes. I like the fuzzy, bluish “Bunny Ears” with burgundy-spotted edging, planted alongside green and orange-tinged succulents that look like clusters of fat jelly beans. Others are rosette-shaped with pale green petals. Creeping sedum eventually will spill over the sides. You can’t help but run your hands over these plants. Take a gander at the selection in decorative pots for $19.98.

I don’t mean this in a mean way, but we really shouldn’t give kids so much candy. We sure manage to overdo it when filling Easter baskets for kids. Get a cute little container that will hold just a handful of treats, then go wild with whatever else you had in mind. At Walmart in Belleville, I spied a collection of treat holders decorated with bunnies, carrots and flowers with ribbon handles. The small square ones are 98 cents each; a larger rectangular version is $1.47. And, in case little hands want special tongs with which to dye eggs, bunny-shaped grabbers are $1.98.

Hop on over to the mall

At St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights, the Easter Bunny has hopped in for a stay through March 26. He’s in Center Court, ready to have his photo taken with you. Check for info on packages and prices. Kids get a goodie basket and a coupon for a free cookie from Great American Cookies.

Payless Shoes has 40 percent off a good selection of shoes for the family, just in case you need that pair of floral espadrille wedges I saw for $19.99. Offer good through March 27.

At the Shoe Dept., guys who need dress shoes for prom /graduation/job interview will find a good selection from about $20 to $60. Some are on sale, but most are regular prices.

Bargain decorating

Old Time Pottery in Fairview Heights just got a couple truckloads of upholstered armchairs. Known for its discount prices, the retailer has them on sale for $98. You’ll find some solid colors and plenty of patterns in classically styled chairs. You’ll have to decide on the quality and durability. Sale runs through March 20.