Blackout Poetry

I came across this very interesting concept a couple weeks ago and discovered it’s an actual art form. So what is blackout poetry? Well, an artist takes a piece of printed material, whether a page out of a book, newspaper, article, etc. and draws swirls or images all over it, blacking out most of the words. BUT, the key is that select words are left untouched, creating a poem. Fascinating, huh?

So I thought I’d give it a try. I approached mine more like a doodle, which is why the scrawlings are kind of random. Perhaps that’s why the people who make these are considered artists, not writers. Anyway, I’ve seen some gorgeous pictures of blacked out drawings that relate to the topic of the poem. I won’t re-post them here because of copyright issues, but type “blackout poetry” into Google and be amazed at what pops up.

Blackout poetry

Copyright Angela Wallace 2013

Not the best “poem” lol, but it was a fun exercise to try. If any of you feel an itch to give it a go, I’d love to see what you come up with!


I hope you enjoyed your visit and come back for more!  You can subscribe using RSS, Twitter, or Facebook.  And if you want to ensure you don’t miss any new releases (one’s coming up in a couple months!), you can sign up for the newsletter!

Tying Knots of Love

Welcome to Imagine That on Wednesdays.

Thank you everyone for your comments Monday about community service.  Continuing with that theme–

Have you ever thought of turning a hobby into a way to give back?  A lot of people may think that community service involves donating money or joining a volunteer organization.  Not everyone feels inclined to go that route, however.  And if they don’t feel that they quite fit in with those avenues, they might believe they just have nothing to offer.

With a little creativity, though, people can find lots of different ways to give back to their community.

Those with pets probably know that any furniture in the house doesn’t really belong to the humans, but to the animals.  That’s how it is with my cat, Teagan, anyway.  She believes my big fleece blanket is meant to serve as her bed.  I made her a cat-sized one for herself, but she still insists on napping with the bright green, My Little Pony blanket.

I was really impressed with the rescue organization where we got Teagan, and would have loved to volunteer some hours at the shelter playing with the kitties, but their headquarters are a 30-minute drive away and my schedule just doesn’t allow for me to commit regularly.  I still wanted to give back in some way, though.  Then it hit me–why not make some cat blankets for the kitties?  Shelters are always in need of blankets, and not only was it something I could set an afternoon aside for, I could make a party out of it and invite my friends.

Do you want to know the best part about making fleece blankets?  No sewing.  That is right, my friends.  This is perhaps the easiest fabric craft there is.

You’ll need two pieces of fabric, a nice design for the front and a complementary solid for the back.  Trim the edges so the two pieces are lined up evenly.  Then you cut the edges into 3-inch strips about the width of a Popsicle stick.  You’ll need to cut the corners off, 3″x3″.  Then you simply tie the strips together.  The blankets look best if you tie it so the bottom strip is on top; that way you get to see the color scheme.

Last weekend, some friends came over to help me with this project.  There were five of us, and in three hours we took 12 yards of fabric and made 24 blankets.  We also took all the scraps–the lengthy trimmings–and braided them into 36 cat toys.  We still haven’t found a use for all those extra square patches.  (Remember, the reason I like this is there is no sewing! 😉 )

I’ve been making cat blankets for two years now.  It’s not a constant activity, only something we do maybe two to three times a year when the fabric store has a huge sale.  In October, one of my friends will be doing the same for Project Linus, making fleece blankets for kids in the hospital.  (1 yard of fabric will make 4 cat blankets; 1 1/2 yards will make a person-sized blanket.  Though that’s actually double because remember there is a front and back.)

Have you made these tie-knot fleece blankets before?  Are you going to try making one now?  They make great Christmas gifts.  😉  Are there any hobbies you think could become a way to serve your community?  I love hearing from you!

Star Castles and a Star Mash-Up

Welcome to Imagine That on Wednesdays.

I’ve been going through some old boxes of toys and finally getting rid of stuff.  The excuse that I’ve been saving them for my own children is a crock since I don’t plan on ever having any.

Anyway, I came across these beautiful little castles.  They’re called Star Castles and are something like a Polly Pocket toy.  The figurines are so tiny you could pinch them between your thumb and forefinger.  Each castle has a key hidden in one of the turrets that opens up the castle.  Inside there are hidden passages and walls that fold out.  Other pieces detach.  These things are delightful.

This castle opens into a carnival.  There’s a Ferris Wheel and a moat with little boats to ride in.  The clock gears in the tower come out to create one of those spinning teacup rides.  There’s a hot air balloon that moves up and down and little doorways to hidden compartments.

Inside this carousel is another moat with swan boats to carry the princess.  The central turret comes down and expands into another spinning ride.  There are little amusement park type rides in the back too.

They don’t make these anymore, and as far as I can tell, hardly anyone remembers them (according to Amazon and E-bay, they don’t exist!).  I had to search Google several different ways before I found *one* website that knew what they were called and had pictures.  So I’ll be holding on to these.  I may not plan on kids of my own, but as my friends get married and start families, I’m sure there will be some birthday parties in the future.  And these castles are just too much fun.  There’s no manual.  You have to discover all it’s little secrets on your own.

Have you heard of Star Castles?  Did you have any; did your kids?  What was your favorite toy growing up?  I love hearing from you!

Blog Mash-up:

9 Ways to Get Your Novel Ready to Market“–Guest post by Donna Galanti on Stacy Green’s blog

Your friendly Friday kick up the backside“–Words of advice from bestselling author Robin Hobb on Katy’s blog

Describing Your First Person Narrator“–Great tips from Janice Hardy

Guinea Pig Diaries: Little Darlings Anonymous“–Kristen Lamb and guest Piper Bayard talk about Little Darling Addiction when it comes to writers and their precious novel.  It’s okay, you’re not alone.  We have t-shirts.

Little Treasures

Welcome to Imagine That on Wednesdays.

Kids have a unique way of interacting with the world.  (Granted, I don’t have children, so this is purely from observations.)  They seem to have this need to touch everything around them, whether out of curiosity or the desire to leave their mark.  “I have been here.”  They see the world and want to add to it.

A new family recently moved into the apartment above mine.  They have an 8-year-old boy.  I haven’t seen him around much, but the other day I came outside to find he had left something out on the stair rail.

A caterpillar and ladybug made of Play Doh.  Not only did this little boy create something, but he wanted to share it with the world.  His little act of sharing brought a smile to my face.

A butterfly and...?

These little sculptures won’t stand the test of time like some of the great monuments.  The little boy won’t get an award, and probably won’t see much praise outside of his parents.  Does he know he made me smile?  No.  The point is I know.  At this age, lack of recognition won’t stop him from lighting up the world with his creativity.

Somewhere along the line as we age, we trade the joy of creation for affirmation.  If we don’t get any?  Sometimes we hide our little treasures away, afraid no one will appreciate them except us.  There is a difference between rejection and lack of affirmation.  Our fear of one bleeds into the other until we make choices based on those two things.

Imagine if you released your treasures.  Do you decorate the world?  Do you let your light shine?  Do you leave a mark and never return to see if anyone appreciated it?  You might never know it, but some small acts can change a person’s day.

What about you?  Has something made you smile, but you never got to tell the creator?  Do you live for affirmation, or do you live to decorate the world?  I love hearing from you!