June 14, 2013


Does this happen to you? You go to a museum, see something interesting, step in for a closer look, try to see how it's made, and a guard comes over and tells you to step away from the item. Sometimes friendly, most often gruff and weary. And you want to say, Thanks, I know you are doing your job but I know better than to touch or breathe on this. I'm only looking while I hold my breath. But you don't say anything, you step away, wait for the guard to stop watching you like a hawk, and then try to get another surreptitious look.

This happens to me a lot. Um, like, every time I step inside a museum. One particularly surly guard at the history museum in Pittsburgh was eager to pick a fight with me over my keen observation of an old quilt. Said guard insisted that I touched the quilt. Eegads! I would never! In fact, I made a point of clasping my hands behind my back as I leaned over the display so the guard could clearly observe my lack of touching. Not a good museum moment. Not that I entirely blame the guard. I imagine being a museum guard is quite tedious on the best of days, pure torturous drudgery on others.
My interactions with museum guards came to mind as I looked at these photos from the summer camp wedding in West Virginia. (I took a whole half dozen shots. Whoo-whee!) But, before I get into that, aren't these handmade decorations simply incredible? Upcycled center pieces/table runners that I first mentioned here. The bottles are so pretty with the bright sunshine streaming through.
Then there were the photo trees. About 300 pictures (all captioned!) from both the bride and groom, their childhoods, family photos, photos together, their friends... 

And the handmade buntings (is that the right word? bunting? garland? flags?) with fabrics acquired in Africa while the couple were there for research.
Ok, how does this remind me of museum guards? While sitting at one of the reception tables outside, I picked up my neighbor's hat - from it's place on the table, not her head - to see how it was made. It was crocheted, with a chunky, crinkly material. It felt similar to raffia. As I was searching the tag for the English materials list, I got caught red-handed. This could have been a serious faux-pas. The hat owner and I are acquaintances, but don't really know one another. I'll admit I was a little embarrassed. But not so much so that I put down the hat before learning it was crocheted with paper yarn. Have you ever knit or crocheted with paper yarn? How did it go? I want to try it. (Spinning paper yarn tutorial at the end of this post.)

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