I was given an illustration of a pack rat awhile back done by an artist and graphic designer I admire. It was meant kindly, but I was really insulted (by the giver, not the artist). It was a mean looking rat with a horde of junk.
Is that me?
I save a lot of stuff, and some of it I should probably get rid of, but a large extent I think there’s inspiration to be found in clutter. You never know what will be the perfect bit to finish off a project.
Small plastic fruit from a Christmas cracker? Perfect for the pirate doll I made so she doesn’t get scurvy. (True story.)
We won’t get into keys and watches and the old *stuff* that make excellent bases for steampunk projects. (My Wells watch is one of my favorites. Two broken watches and a piece of velvet too small to sew with.) I’ve made chainmail from wire scraps (the low/high point being micromail I made using scraps from my wirework wrapped around a doll making needle so the rings would be small enough) and charms made by hanging small bits and bobs off of said chainmail. I’ve jazzed up old hats by making flower fascinators out of ribbons, old buttons and broken earrings…
Give pack rats some credit!
So, continuing with the Poetry month theme, here’s one of my favorite poems.
Yes, it’s a children’s poem, but I still love it. And really I really feel like Hector some days. (Especially with his twists of wire, I’ve bags of different metals that are still long enough for binding wraps!) Shel Silverstein’s Hector the Collector:
Hector the Collector
Collected bits of string,
Collected dolls with broken heads
And rusty bells that would not ring.
Bent-up nails and ice-cream sticks,
Twists of wires, worn-out tires,
Paper bags and broken bricks.
Old chipped vases, half shoelaces,
Gatlin’ guns that wouldn’t shoot,
Leaky boasts that wouldn’t float
And stopped-up horns that wouldn’t toot.
Butter knives that had no handles,
Copper keys that fit no locks
Rings that were too small for fingers,
Dried-up leaves and patched-up socks.
Worn-out belts that had no buckles,
‘Lectric trains that had no tracks,
Airplane models, broken bottles,
Three-legged chairs and cups with cracks.
Hector the Collector
Loved these things with all his soul–
Loved them more then shining diamonds,
Loved them more then glistenin’ gold.
Hector called to all the people,
“Come and share my treasure trunk!”
And all the silly sightless people
Came and looked … and called it junk.
What’s your take on *stuff*? Too much, too little, are you a save or a thrower? (Or hopefully at least a donater, let’s try to fill our landfills as slowly as possible.)