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September 30, 2012

Be nice ... or leave!

MERIDIAN — Have you ever seen so many people making "art" from pieces of junk?

    Dr. Bob of New Orleans has made this old saying a household collectible in the Big Easy, they are everywhere! He lives close to my sister in the Bywater Area, down from the Quarter. Her house is practically filled with his paintings and images from song lyrics. I have to admit, it is funky chic. (But, please, God, don’t call her before you call me)

    I like to think she got this art craze from me, all those years she worked at Shell Oil in an impersonal cubicle, while I was working in an art gallery hanging around with artists and people buying art. She retired and caught up with me quick. She collects all kinds of English pottery and fanciful Japanese characters based on fairy tales. It’s pretty amazing when you see what some people collect – and how easily you can get hooked yourself.

    The art earrings I bought locally from Embellish were made from poptops crocheted together to form large hoops. I imagine somebody in Brazil or India putting those things together – so I am helping to support an endeavor of sorts. But that’s an entirely different kind of junk ... Or is it?

    A few years ago we brought you the six-pack snowflakes made from the plastic rings which held the six cans together; it completely covered our Christmas tree in 1998. We even had smaller ones made from orange juice can holders. Our Coca-Cola delivery man was kind enough to save the holders when he refilled our machine so we could get plenty, it took something like 12 pieces to make one snowflake.

    Now we have a use for those flimsy plastic bags (that never deteriorate) which we put our groceries and purchases into. They flap in the wind in the landfills and along the road; fish are killed by getting wrapped up in the ones thrown in the sea. Our Bingo crowd was surprised when Eloise Etheridge showed us her newest endeavor – crocheted mats for the homeless using those plastic bags.

    The congregation at Arcadelphia Baptist Church began this project as a mission to give the mats to the homeless. The open-weave design keeps them warm in winter and cool in summer, are lightweight and washable, but not fireproof. It takes 500 bags to complete one mat. I was given a small version for my cat to use and after chewing it awhile, she curled up and fell asleep. (I have directions on how to make them in my office if you are interested.)

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