I am a sucker for wooden boxes. I especially love the ones with printed labels, emblazoned with a purpose. This one was holding up the heater behind the counter of the opp shop this week. After a few cheeky questions, it turned out to be for sale, and left the shop tightly tucked under my arm. While I have no immediate need for an ammunition box, after some careful thought I knew exactly what needed to go in it. A friend passed me a cardboard box of colours with names. As well as the confectionery of names, I love the jumble of shapes and sizes, just right in their new home*.
*I'm enamoured with the idea of turning swords and bullets to needles and pins. And if your curious, you can read about the The Colonial Ammunition Company here. My Auckland readers might even be familiar with it's historical Shot Tower.
I have heard that the poet, Kate Camp, uses the moments while the jug boils to learn poetry, committing new lines and invented worlds to memory. I like the idea of holding it close, cupped in a cupped hand.
I found these hipped tulip shaped cups in the opp shop a while ago. They sat there for weeks, passed over for the more traditional shapes. I had seen the wonderful designs that Melissa*of Tiny Happy was making and wanted to turn these forgotten cups into something more than forgotten, something similar to hers.
I searched my husband's childhood book of poetry for verses to use. The poems needed to be short, short lines and somehow linked in imagery. I ended up with a pair of bird poems. Strangely, I ended up two of my favorite poets Christina Rossetti and Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Swallow and The Eagle respectively. Tennyson's poem can be read here . Rossetti appears to have written about swallows time and time again but here is the particular poem on this cup
Fly away, fly away, over the sea,
Sun-loving swallow for summer is done.
Come again, come back to me,
Bringing the summer, and bringing the sun.
I like the way the cups have turned out. I am silently kicking myself for the misspelling on one of the cups. I might even foolishly promise a prize to the first to spot it. While I am still deciding between the thick and thin penmanship, I have learnt to leave the space you drink from blank. The paint in this area has needed a few touch ups.
I'm mulling over other snippets and images to paint in words over other cups. Perhaps a poem to be broken over a teaset of cups, or something with imagery so veiled that my company might gradually blush as they realise what they are reading.
*I was saddened to read that Melissa will be stepping back from blogging for a while, but delighted to her she is taking up new studies. I look forward to hunting out her byline one day soon.
The art supplies have moved. The clutter and jumble of out of reach treasures has moved from the top of the pantry into it's own new cabinet. The cabinet was a thrifted find from our local op shop. They delivered it too, bless them. While the glass shelves and mirror were intended for "look, don't touch" treasures, it does tend to make every paint and pencil look like a jewel waiting to leap into action.
We had fun sorting through every pen and pencil and finding new homes for favorites we hadn't seen for a while. It is now only a matter seconds between thinking of drawing and the table being covered with works in progress. This may take some getting used to for all of us.