Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A Happy Encounter of Objects: The Poetry Jar


Sometimes when I am in the creative doldrums I simply wander around my house and stop to dig aimlessly through old stashes of stuff — objects that looked like they might turn into something interesting given the right inspiration and a little luck.

The Poetry Jar is the product of my latest wander. The objects that found each other in this piece include: 

• Mormon Glass Grapes (read all about these fascinating artifacts of Americana here);

• A lovely glass container from the flea market that was originally used to create a spordscape, back when I was into cultivating mold;

• Glass slides with lettering on them (and all the verbs in red!), from a kit from the 1950s intended for use in schools. The idea was to use these with an overhead projector to teach students about word endings in poetry. Another flea market score and one that I have been trying to figure out how to use for three decades or more.

And the result of this creative play turned out to be the perfect gift for a poet: The Poetry Jar. Now these are no longer objects looking for a purpose in life; they have morphed into a gift looking for the perfect recipient.

The Poetry Jar



Sunday, May 22, 2022

Upcycling: The "Ta-Dah" Nightshirt

Front view

Back view

Introducing the Ta-Dah! nightshirt — guaranteed to help you make a noteworthy entrance at any pajama party. On a recent visit with my sister, she began to covet my nightshirt (Exotic Upcycling: Indigo Dreams), and put in a request for one of her own. Because that first shirt used such unique materials, including a length of West African cloth, I was dubious about replicating the effort. My solution was a trip to the thrift store where I scored three recycled men's shirts for a total cost of $8. The name of the shirt comes from the embroidered initials on the hem of one of the shirts.

How the shirt got its name

I find it delightfully absorbing to figure out this kind of textile puzzle, and the two photos below offer an idea of how the three shirts melded into one.

Guide to the puzzle pieces - front

Guide to the puzzle pieces - back


Note that I use the term "nightshirt" loosely. While wearing this garment assures you will look incredibly stylish if you encounter someone in a hallway in the middle of the night in alien surroundings, it also doubles as an entertaining shirt during the day. Below, a photo of me modeling the shirt before shipping it off to a sister in need.

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