Chirped by Tina
“Share Your Gifts” and “Create“… These two inspirations, nestled in the center of my 2018 vision board, are perfectly embodied by volunteering for a yarn bomb! Don’t worry, I didn’t know what a yarn bomb was either until a couple of months ago, but the nearby town of Perkasie is assembling an Earth Day “Yarn Bloom” (doesn’t have the negative connotations of a “bomb”) to temporarily adorn one of their parks. They’re wrapping trees, poles, benches, fences, etc. in yarn creations to be on display for a month. It will make for a colorful backdrop for their Earth Day celebration activities on April 21, as well as a teaser for a flowery mural going in behind the borough hall later this year (Ten Thousand Flowers – Perkasie). The call went out in January for local crafters to join forces to make it all happen, and since then community craft sessions and smaller team meetings have been springing up all over the area, especially at my house! Most of the materials are donated from private stashes, including unfinished yarn projects, leftover yarn balls, knitted and crocheted blankets, hats, scarves and gloves. They’re also collecting soda can ring pulls and metal bottle caps, old keys, beads, bangles and coffee cans for a station where kids can make musical instruments (like the one below, photo credit to MudHutMama.com, but my security software doesn’t like it, so I won’t link you directly!) from junk drawer items. Think community-building, crafting, and upcycling all rolled into one colorful ball – also known as my dream project! We’re having so much fun with this!
With our deadline fast approaching, my team of about nine women (plus some occasionally willing teenage boys and even one full grown man!) cranked our creativity up to eleven, making macramé’d, finger-knit and French knit garlands, pom pom flowers and animals, t-shirt yarn roses, and all kinds of crocheted novelties to cover one tree, one giant flower sculpture, and six pavilion posts. We’ve made some new friends and learned some new skills – both of which are great for an empty nester’s brain and morale! (-;
Our tree and giant flower assignments already had themes paired with them, but we had all the artistic license we could want for the pavilion posts. I started sketching out some ideas on a tablet to get the ball rolling, and the designs evolved from there. As the team’s ideas rolled in, I updated the sketches and graphed them out. Cass and I mentioned in our Cheep Trills post for March the life-sized mock-up I constructed out of cardboard. My sister thinks I’m a little obsessed, but it’s nice to have my pet post around for perspective and sizing purposes! Below is an early mock-up of the “Rainbow Post”.
Admittedly, some of our spouses don’t get it. Mine is happy for me that I’m enjoying the process so much, but would understand it more if we could monetize it – maybe turn it into a fundraiser for something. I talked to the organizer about the possibility of making it a contest, where the Earth Day visitors could buy tickets to vote for their favorites, with all proceeds going to a local shelter or food pantry. Unfortunately that idea came too late, at least for this year’s Bloom, since a lot of volunteers had already put in a lot of time and energy without being forewarned that it was a competition! Maybe if we do it again…? There will be donation jars for folks to contribute to the Perkasie Beautification Fund.
Another husband wondered why we would “clutter” a perfectly nice park with “crap”? Ouch! It’s an ART FORM, dude! It’s going to be colorful and fun! And it’s only temporary – it won’t hurt the trees and it will lure folks outside to come see it. Once there, they’ll learn some earth-friendly upcycling and craft skills at stations around the park, help decorate some of the fence sections, bring their electronics recyclables and unwanted clothes to collection centers, and participate in all kinds of other great Earth Day activities. At the end of May, much of the Bloom will either be relocated or re-purposed as cat and dog mats for animal shelters, while some displays that aren’t on the trees may remain up longer, depending on how they’re holding up to the elements. Crafting for the community and for fun could never be “crap”! *Sigh* – these engineering types… c(-;
Anyway, I’ll post some pics of the final installations after this weekend, so you can all be the judge. If you’re local, come out to the Bloom at Menlo Park, 425 Arthur Avenue, Perkasie PA from 12-4pm! If you’re not, enjoy the photos and maybe you can inspire your community to bloom, too!