As I mentioned before, textile ephemera is over-represented in the thrift store world. Here we’ve got cotton thread that’s been “mer’c’d” (mercerized, I think, which is a way of treating natural fiber (generally cotton) thread to increase its strength and luster) and then “twisted” on this “star” for use. Star twist, eh!

I got this at the thrift store the same day as I picked up the beautiful razor blade and I can’t imagine it was more than $0.25. While I knew immediately that I wanted to frame the razor blade (oh, decisiveness, why do you strike only in such useless moments?), it wasn’t until I gathered my supplies to do so–black bookcloth background, my box of little frames, the pretty sewing supplies–that I decided to do the star twist thread as well. Check out the pattern the wrapped thread makes, the way the little half-circles of the cardboard frame pop out of the thread, the way the cream and gold and black play together, how easy it is to read it abstractly, rather than as “sewing notions.” The frame it’s in has convex glass, which provided the necessary space for inserting thread.

I’m sort of charmed by the juxtaposition of the circular-thread-in-rectangular-frame of this one and the rectangular-blade-in-circular-frame of the other. Admittedly, it’s the same part of me that temporarily abandoned my (at the time) years of vegetarianism for the satisfaction of eating bologna in Bologne, and while I own who I am in those moments, I can’t say I’m super proud of it. I actually wish they weren’t both sewing items, as that makes them feel too matchy-matchy, though they adorn the workspace of my (former jeweler’s) desk regardless, along with the other flotsam and jetsam of life that draws the eye of this magpie: castanets, Lake Superior driftwood strung together, a sword-shaped letter opener, the antler found mushrooming here, a cardboard sign reading “easter” (the holiday? the direction?) from the mean (i.e. incredibly gentrified) streets of the Mission District of San Francisco, 1960s turquoise Fu dogs, camera apertures, lake glass, an Inuit carving, a bird whistle, a brass alphabet stencil, an antique crucifix, Eva Zeisel’s iconic gravy boat. You know.

startwist thread

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