Warm fuzzies

By Claire Mathias

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Yarn bombs!

Last fall, I wrote about a possible yarn bombing public installation I was going to take part in. Alas, as often happens, the reality of life’s day-to-day demands got in the way. (I have been know to occasionally confuse big dreams with big plans in our heads without actually putting together that plan?)

But now I am finally working on a yarn bombing project, however modest it may be.

The target for my “guerrilla” yarn bombing is Violet Crown Festival in Brentwood Park on May 5. This year’s festival looks to be one of the best (check the web site for a list of the vendors – lots of cool local artisans).

I live in the Crestview/Brentwood neighborhood (while they are two distinct places, we function more as very close neighborhood siblings. It’s a great place to live because there are so many friendly people and neighborhood projects to participate. For example, in the past few years, the Friends of Brentwood Park has led a remarkable effort to plant trees and beautify the park.

This tree by Knitta Please is a bit more than we’re ready for.

Seriously, I love my ‘hood and all of these neighborhood warm fuzzies has inspired me to do a little something fun (as well as warm and fuzzy): simple tree yarn bombs, also known as tree sweaters. I put a call to action on FaceBook, and now have some volunteers to help.

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Don’t you think this tree cozy needs to be about a foot longer?

Now, let’s be realistic.

Our tree sweaters won’t be as elaborate as the project pictured above, but I’m hoping we’ll have at least 4 or 5 trees. The two pictured at right are almost complete, and I have another one started.

You may think I’m a bit crazy, and wonder about the purpose something that isn’t as formal as what we think of Public Art By Actual Artists. Really, the goal is quite simple: to put a smile on people’s faces. The double take when you see the unexpected transformation of something as simple as tree or sign pole will shift your viewpoint just enough to get you to look around at the rest of your surroundings, whether it’s a park, an intersection with decorated stop signs, or even your garden hose (I put a teeny tiny one on our garden hose, and I chuckle everytime I see it).

I think it’s safe to say that a few tree bombs will put a smile on Ronald’s face!

Another great thing about this project is that after keeping the bombs at the park for a little while, I am hoping to reuse some of them here at the Ronald McDonald House. As part of our mission to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for our guests, it seems to me that this would be a perfect fit. I’m just hoping Kent agrees with me!  ;-)

After all, I’m sure Ronald will be cool with it.

ps If you have any knitting or crochet swatches you don’t need, let me know at cmathias@rmhc-austin.org!

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