April’s Contest Winner Is…

by Stefani on 30-April-2008

Well the moment has arrived…

Time to announce a winner of the very first, Blue Yonder First Monday Contest.

It was a tough call. You people are so talented, so resourceful, so crafty!

You know, back in the day, as Deb so perfectly said, people had to “use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.” So, I have to say that now that we find ourselves in a pretty affluent, single serving, take and toss society, it is heartening to me to see people reusing, repurposing and reinventing not because they have to, but because they choose to.

They do it because it’s good for the earth, and also because it’s good for the pocketbook. They do it as a creative outlet, and they do it because they are hungry for lives that have more soul, more meaning, more purpose than one can find on a discount store shelf.

From the incredibly prolific to the incredibly talented, from grilling to gardening, from things you wear to things that warm your babes, things for carrying books, things for storing (books, clothes, sewing bits and wood too!), things to inspire and things to remember, and things that are just plain cool , you have all just floored me with your creativity and resourcefulness.

So really, I’m not trying to feign graciousness or anything like that, I’m serious – it was REALLY hard to decide on a winner. It was SO hard, in fact, that I’m going to have to go with two winners:

First, hats off to an incredible little family of repurposers. Mama Miguette gives sweet new life to forgotton things. She’s full of soul and spunk and it flows out into the the lovely things that she makes. It was her husband though that put me over the edge with
this. Their sweet dog , Ripper, died and of course, left a hole in the family. So Miguette’s husband, Peter, made wrist cuffs for himself and their son Colby out of Ripper’s collar. I think it’s pretty fantastic, this idea of having a little bit of a a beloved pal to carry with you.

Colby is learning to ride a two wheeler now, and I noticed in the photos that he has his cuff on. I imagine that if Ripper were still with them, he’d be chasing behind Colby, worrying over him. It makes me glad to think that in that little strap of leather on his arm, there still remains the love of a faithful friend.

Miguette, send me your address, and I’ll get your goodies shipped off!

My other favorite repurpose was
this one from Elissa (which I do think counts, because it was her idea – only, Elissa, I might have to insist that you share your goodies with your folks :-). The idea was this: a pew from the church she grew up in, the very same that her father attended as a boy, became a lovely bed for her and her husband. I love this so much because a) it was born of necessity and b) because its a little piece of her family’s history given new life.

I imagine her dad swinging his legs in that pew as a boy, then her, as a little girl, sitting there, with her hands in her lap and her head bowed. I think about her parents sawing and hammering, sanding and staining and all the while thinking of their little girl, and wishing her well in her new married life. I think about little feet running down the hall to jump in that bed with mama and daddy… new prayers of thanksgiving being offered up from that pew. I think it is really such a perfect testimony to the power and richness of family history.

Elissa email me all your info, and I’ll send out a prize package containing I don’t know what, but most certainly something good to read, something old to love, and something yummy to eat.

For everyone else who played along, I want you to know that reading all of your entries has been so wholly inspiring. Thank you, truly.

And now on to MAY!!!

I know that I said I would give you all the details of the new contest, but… well, it occurred to me that it is not Monday, and this is the Blue Yonder First MONDAY Contest. So, I’m gonna hold off until, you guessed it, Monday!

Until then, I’m going to steal the wonderful closing words of Garrison Keillor:

“Be well, do good work, keep in touch.”

joanie May 1, 2008 at 2:17 am

Wow, so many inspired entries there. I loved reading about each and every one – thanks!

Maria May 1, 2008 at 5:57 am

Incredible ideas here! I like this contest thing!

BTW, Garrison Keillor is gonna be around here this weekend and I’m going to MISS seeing his show in person!! How awful is that????

MadWoman Meg May 1, 2008 at 9:41 am

I love the two winners you picked. The dog collar cuffs had me all teary, as did the bed made from a pew. To be so inspired, so creative is a great wish of mine that I have yet to carry out.

Congrats to the two winners. I am so inspired and moved.

Jody May 1, 2008 at 4:36 pm

I also love the winners that you picked! I love the sentimental connection with both of their repurposing projects. Thanks for hosting this contest. It was very inspiring to see all the beautiful and fun projects!

Relyn May 1, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Fantastic, generous, inspired idea. Thank you so much for sharing your juicy spirit with all of us lucky readers. Can’t wait to read about your new contest.

megan May 3, 2008 at 10:46 am

Once I saw that church pew bed I knew you had a winner – that was a REALLY REALLY great idea. Especially with all of the history connected with it. Thanks for the contest – it really got me going on a lot of fun projects!

Cheryl May 3, 2008 at 11:12 pm

I just discovered your blog, and I just love it! The way you write almost makes me want to pack up and move to Texas!

miguette May 5, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Oh my gosh!! What a sweet surprise! I am in awe of all the wonderful and creative entries you had for your contest. The pew bed was my favorite. Such sentiment and beauty.

The cuffs Peter made are worn by the boys often. Rippey holds a very special place in our hearts. Thanks so much for understanding and appreciating the importance.

(I am soooo excited! I love getting packages, but who doesn’t?)

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