Use It Up, Wear It Out.....

This weekend, after two years of duct taping the power button down (and therefore, on) at least three times a day, I packed the stereo that I bought with my hard earned paper route money in the sixth grade, and sat it out on the curb.  "Still Works!" I marked with pink tape across the top.   With a heavy heart, I walked away, and on to a beautiful day in Central Park.  Heading home later that night, I was relieved to see that it wasn't there any more.  Someone took it.  Perhaps a kid who had always wanted their own music in their own room, like I did all those years ago.   I love the unspoken recycling law of the sidewalk here in Brooklyn.  The magazines, books, stereo equipment and other miscellanea that I used to haul to the thrift store in Chicago get placed lovingly on the sidewalk just outside, and find happy new homes almost instantly.   
Perhaps because it is Spring, I'm in a cleaning out phase, and not a lot has gone unturned.   For my whole life I've been collecting things, and one interesting object has a way of becoming a magnet for like objects around here.  On a recent trip to Bottle Beach, my friend Julia asked "do you collect glass bottles?"  I thought about it for a minute, and then replied, "I do now...."  Brooklyn living being what it is, our space is limited, and some of these collections have been finding new homes, both known and unknown.  The bottles made their way to the sidewalk a few weeks ago. 
This morning, when I uncovered a little Altoids box full of vintage clothing labels, I decided to incorporate them into the needle holders I'm making for the Squam sale.  This little box has been kicking around the studio for over a decade, and I decided today was the day to use it up.  I didn't have quite enough at first, but then I remembered a whole box full of Royal Knitting Company labels, salvaged from a deserted knitting factory in Chicago that I visited in graduate school.   That's another great rummaging story for another day. 

I think they look really great attached to these wool needle holders, whose backs are made with misprinted odds and ends of Dropcloth Samplers.    I love imagining the homes that these will go off to, and the projects that the threaded needles will create and mend.  It's equally interesting, to me anyway, to imagine the people that wore these clothing labels to begin with.  I love them for the same reason that I love using vintage embroidery in my artwork.....history.