Hatching Free Range Ideas

More Useful Life of Things — What makes for good junk?

In Big Fun!, Celebration, design, Garden, How we learn and think, Make something on April 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

You know how you have stuff sitting around your house that’s not quite junk ’cause you might just have a use for it? And it sits around, sometimes for years until one day the magic happens. Then you don’t have to feel like a guilty hoarder any more because all of that rat holing was justified, ’cause LOOK WHAT I JUST MADE!!!!!

It all seems to make sense at one time. For us, the garden and parties supply a lot of the impetus. First, the garden junk. I bought four bowling pins at a junk store about 3 years ago ’cause they were a dollar and bowling pins are just cool. They found their way to a corner under the house. A year ago, when we were first putting in the garden, a friend had some shoe rods that were too good to throw away. She kept them for me. When I saw them, I concurred. I brought them home and put them in a corner of the garden shed.

This year the two neglected items came together. Who knew that that bowling pins had a hole in the bottom? I widened the hole using Dad’s bit brace and pounded a shoe rod into the bottom. Then we pounded the entire thing into the ground. They are now my new  hose bumpers. And since I have bowling pins in the garden, now adding the bowling ball made sense.

The other coming together was much more rapid. We found cast iron stork legs at the flea market for pretty much nothing. We had a broken ostrich shell which was too good to throw away, even when broken. Ta-da! A Tim Burton Style scarecrow.

Now the party-driven needs.

About 5-7 years ago a round glass patio table that we had for about 12 years met its useful end as a table. Cyrus, our 60 pound dog, leapt on it, collapsing it in a hail of tempered glass. No one was hurt. We put the table ring onto the might be useful someday too big to get in the garbage can pile. Time passed. Actually, quite a bit of time. We moved it around and looked at it but it never found a useful purpose.

This year is Eric’s 60th and we celebrated All Fool’s Eve as clowns are a favorite theme. The celebration required decorations. A happy coincidence that the blue rope lights bought for another purpose fit exactly into the groove of the table ring wrapped twice round. There was a need for a hole filler to fill the middle of what was now a blue lit hole.

I pulled out the canvas scraps that Mom had given me about 9 years ago. One fit. Now Harry stands above the gate to the yard. Although Harry first honored Eric’s birthday, he’s a permanent (or semi-permanent fixture.

What do you think the UPS drivers think when they drive up?

Oh wait, they’ve already seen the scare crow and bowling pins.

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