Party in a bag: Some assembly required

In college art class, it wasn’t the charcoal drawing or the acrylic painting that I loved, it was the found object sculpture.

Found object sculpture describes art created from undisguised, but often modified, objects that are not normally considered art, like toilets or empty pop bottles. The memorials around the country made from World Trade Center girders would be a form of found object sculpture. I used a broken television in my college found art project, and as I recall, it spoke “good concept, poor execution” to my professor.

I’m not a sculptor, but I still appreciate the challenge of assembling aesthetic beauty from odds-and-ends around the house. I use these skills in creating an epic frittata from leftovers, for example, and I used them today in creation of a mini party for my Dear stepdaughter.

It’s her birthday later this week, and we met her for dinner. Her gift arrived over the weekend, so I cloaked it in wrapping and a recycled bow in the perfect color. Birthday card? Check! I had one in my stationery drawer. Delivery mechanism for the cash portion of the gift? I got all origami on the bill, and inserted the president’s smiling face into a tiny oval photo frame for which I hadn’t yet found a use.

Hmm, what to use for a stand-in to birthday cake? How about this fabulous package of white chocolate-macadamia nut cookie mix that’s been lurking in the cupboard? Whew, I’ve got butter and egg in the fridge. Handily, my mother-in-law had some time on her hands during her visit today, so whipped it up and put the cookies to bake in the oven. Disposable container in the perfect size for a dozen cookies? Found this in the package saved from a selection of deli meats. Birthday candles? Ta da! In the junk drawer. Lighter? Yes, there’s one floating around in the bottom of my purse.

cookieTo haul the whole kit and caboodle to the restaurant where we met Dear stepdaughter? How about an adorable reversible shopping bag I’ve been keeping in my gift closet for just such an occasion?

Our dinner was perfect, including the off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday” over the lighted cookie.

Like a work of art.

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