Niagara Gazette

Features

December 24, 2012

Express yourself: Holidays decorations bring out the artist within ...

Holidays decorations bring out the artist within ...

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Throughout this past year, he filled the family den with reams of twinkling lights and spent an estimated 30 hours a month figuring out a computer program that would bring his front yard to life. At the push of a button, seven holiday blowup figures fill with air and a 20-foot tree in the center of the design responds to 30 programmed songs while 10,000 blinking lights appear to chase each other around the yard display.

While his family is pretty happy he’s finally gotten back into the spirit of Christmas, he’s already planning next year’s light show, when he hopes to double the amount of lights. “It’s going to be bigger and better next year,” he promises.

And yet, when it comes to the holidays, bigger isn’t always better.  Some people might walk by Lis Slenk’s house at 653 Main St. and completely miss her very first  “yarn bomb” out front. 

But, because some people pay careful attention to the things around them, Slenk’s holiday production has been stopping more than a few pedestrians in their tracks. 

Slenk recently began knitting again, a hobby she remembers starting at age 6 when she helped to make socks for the soldiers in World War II. 

She joined a knitters group at the Lewiston Library and pretty quickly learned about “yarn bombing,” sometimes called “guerrilla knitting.” A quick check on the Internet yielded lots of photos of objects completely covered in yarn, from army tanks, to statues, to cars wrapped lovingly in colorful swatches of yarn by “guerrilla” knitters.

Slenk threw her first yarn bomb, swaddling the tree in front of her home with color. Then she placed some ornaments on its branches, in keeping with the spirit of the holidays.

“It’s cool,” she said of her tree. “I watch people go by who don’t even notice it. But, this morning I saw a woman stop and very tenderly put her hand out and touch it. Then I saw a very young woman stop, whip out her cell phone and take a picture.”

Liz plans to keep the tree yarn bombed for as long as she can, perhaps hoping to inspire other would-be yarn bombers and to share the joy of the season throughout the year. “I’m just going to leave it up and see what happens,” she smiled.

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