Monday, 27 May 2019

Poetry Monday: The Tool Shed

It's Poetry Monday, and the topic this week is . . . THE TOOL SHED.

Join Delores, Mother Owl, and me as we nail our topic this week, hammer it home, and deliver solid, well-built poems that will shelter us from all weathers.

. . . poems that will WHAT now??

Sometimes analogies just don't work the way I think they will.

Moving along.

You can leave a poem in the comments or post on your own blog; if you do the latter, please leave a comment to let us know where to find you. (Pssst! You can even post a poem that's not yours, as long as you tell us who wrote it!)

Use the topic, or not. The objective is to have fun and get the brain cells working.


You might be expecting a poem about a traditional tool shed, a little building out behind the house filled with garden rakes and shovels and maybe a lawn mower and a workbench with hammers and saws and bottles of nails and that sort of thing.

That's the first thing that came to my mind, too. But there's never been one of those in my life, ever, so I was a bit lost as to what could be written about it.

And then, a dim bulb brightened as it occurred to me that I just bought my own tool shed.

Oh yes I did. Here's a picture:

Yep, as soon as I get it cleaned up, my sewing tools will be going in there, so while it's officially a sewing basket, it's basically just a miniature tool shed, right? 

This came from the local second-hand store. I've wanted one exactly like this for a long time and when I saw the $10 price tag I knew it was coming home with me. It needed two screws replaced in the handle, but that was a simple matter for my husband to do, and with the help of a little Murphy's Oil Soap, it will be ready to use shortly.

Look how much room there is:

I already have a sewing basket, standard size, but I ran out of room in it long ago. I can hardly wait to fill this one. Then, my old friend -- much more portable -- will hold only the essentials I need to fix a hem or a loose button.


Roomy Enough For All My Memories, Too

Into my sewing basket
I will place
Pinking shears from my mom
Straight pins and measuring tape
From high school sewing class
Bobbins and thread
Needles for my sewing machine
Needles for hand sewing
Thimbles and needle threaders
Scissors of all sizes
Hand drawn patterns for small crafts
And my sweet little pin dish
For stabbity items
And an old spice bottle for safe storage
Of bent and broken stabbity items

You may s-a-a-y I'm a weirdo*
But I'm not the only one**
All you sewists out there
Will understand my utter delight . . .

*Sorry, Mr. Lennon, for taking your beautiful lyrics and changing them
** Sorry again, although this time I didn't change them, I just stole them


Here's my old faithful basket. It's so full it won't shut, and I have boxes of stuff besides that.

And here's the spice bottle for bent and broken stabbity things (you can push them through the holes in the inner cap, and they won't easily fall out if the bottle tips over without the lid on), along with one of my pincushions and one of my measuring tapes:

Finally, my pin dish, which I wrote about before (I can't find the post, but you're not really missing anything):

What can I say? I enjoy simple things.


Next week's poetry topic is . . . . . . . . . STITCHES . . . . . . . good luck :)


Elephant's Child said...

I have not one but two sewing cabinets JUST like that one. And love them. Though I will freely admit that sewing supplies are yet another area of the home I should rationalise.
Love your poem, and indeed it is your tool shed. And mine. In much the same way the kitchen drawers are too (particularly the miscellaneous/junk kitchen drawer.

Unknown said...

Very amusing poem. Stabbity things, haha. The new sewing box is amazingly designed. Think of the all the things you can put in there that you will never use 😉

Geo. said...

Delightful topic, Jenny, and excellent post. Tools are among my favorite things. They help me build and maintain a place to live and keep vehicles in repair. But the main thing is, tools give me an understanding of meaning, and the lives of other creatures. Here is an old poem I posted a decade or so ago and got no comments on:

Sunday, March 7, 2010
Working The Dream Exchange
I go down grassy
Dunes, with sling
Of tools, to the
Beach --littered
With leather straps,
Brass buckles,
Shin boots, hobbles--
Where souls rode in
On waves that rolled
Out of bridles,
Surcingles and slid
Back out to sea.
They are little use
To me, but I untangle,
Sort and store them
On sand for those
Who strike out,
Traces in hand,
From this shore
And need them more.

Janie Junebug said...

Your sewing basket is great. I wish I had it and I don't even sew. I enjoyed your clever poem. Well done.


Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

Oh, I like your tiny tool sheds. And I like too that you have a savfe place for old, bent and broken stabbity items. I have too, but as I'm a woodworker too, I have a jar wiht a slit cut in the lid, så that used stanley blades, broken nails and bent screws fit into it as well. Have you ever heard of Harikuyo - the Japanese needle memorial day? Wikipedia i your friend here ;)

dinthebeast said...

I have been acquainted with many tool sheds, and, while learning to be a machinist, a tool cage, but as I get older, I find my tool collection fragmenting out into "kits" with which I do one operation or another.
One for soldering, one with what's left of my woodworking tools, a kit bag with assorted mechanic's tools I haven't really used since my stroke (except the pliers, which I sometimes use to open stubborn soda bottles and the like) and yes, in a pocket in a small travel bag, my sewing supplies, which I think now consist of a spool of good dark blue thread, my good scissors, and a few sewing needles with large enough eyes that I could still thread them when my eyes were bad...
I like your new sewing tool shed, I think my mom had a similar one, and if so, my sister must have it now.
I found my mom's pinking shears once and asked her what they were, but must not have listened to what she told me, as I still don't really understand what they are for.
I'm sure John, were he still around, would like the way you borrowed his lyrics for your poem.

-Doug in Oakland

River said...

I've seen those fold-out sewing baskets before, but never one big enough to need supporting legs. I used to have a basket similar to yours, I had it for High School sewing class and it eventually fell apart so now my sewing bits and pieces are in a plastic container with a lid. I rarely sew anything these days apart from hems, buttons and a bit of mending. I like your poem.

baili said...

Dear Jenny this post is truly DELIGHT :)))

Took me back to the days when my eyes and ears were used to be a regular witness of mom's sewing

Her wisdom and keeping things in order and organized was inspiring

i can never forget her red basket in which she used to keep her sewing belonging stuff and we were always warned to stay away from it

I fell in love with your sewing basket ,so lovely and blue always brings elegance along

such long lasting friends are always forgiven for their little mistakes like inability to shut down which shows our deep love and carefree trust for them :)

i absolutely LOVED your tool box ,very charming and how amazing the way it opens ,never saw of this kind before

Loved the poem ,so exquisite and touching to me !

hope you having lovely days of spring my dear friend!

Joan (Devon) said...

Hello Jenny, I like your 'find'. You will soon fill it with all your sewing bits and pieces. I have a sewing box stool, which holds things I don't use much as I'm not really a sewer, in fact apart from reels and reels of different coloured sewing cotton I can't remember what's in there, but it is full. For my portable everyday sewing cotton (black and white), sewing needles, elastic and small knitting related items I have an oblong Quality Street tin, which I keep handy in the conservatory next to where I sit.

When I saw the theme for this week I knew what I was going to write about and it's on the same line as yours - MY tool shed.

I do so envy
Those people with the space.
Who can keep their crafting tools,
In one convenient place.

No more frustration
Searching for just one certain thing.
Knowing it would be somewhere,
But where? To mind doesn't spring.

Oh, for the luxury
Of leaving the craft for a rest,
Instead of finding hidey holes
Away, from what a toddler does best.

I can never remember all the hidey holes and spend ages looking for things. I console myself knowing she will soon enough be out of this stage and we'll laugh about it when she's older.

As ever, have a good week and take care.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Your great bargain of a sewing basket is lovely, Jenny.

Reading your poem brought back memories of my mom’s sewing basket. It was always around because she was a wonderful seamstress and was always sewing something. I sewed also, but except for hems and buttons, I have given up on that. I have two sewing machines in my basement and the only time they get use is when my granddaughter visits. It is good that they are getting used.

Marie Smith said...

I love your take on the theme, Jenny. Your shed was a great find!

A tool shed to me is a place where my husband disappears for a time doing shed stuff. This time is so much more important since we’ve both retired and are together all the time. His shed and the garage too are vital to a healthy marriage. Cheap therapy!

Red said...

I really like your two new words "stabbity and sewist". See, I did read your poem on sewing! My wife has the same little sewing cabinet.

37paddington said...

i adore your new tool shed and your enjoyment of simple things. it is a great gift to be able to find pleasure in what is simple. i think it's a mark of a highly evolved soul (not even kidding). love your poem too! i think i might need one of those "tool sheds" like yours to store my ever expanding supply of (unused) art supplies. What is it about collecting art supplies? The possibility I suppose, that any day, I could sit and make something beautiful. The thought of it comforts me.

only slightly confused said...

One mans flotsam and jetsam is anothers man treasure and this poem also is a small delightful treasure.

only slightly confused said...

I remember those days. I kept everything up so high I couldn't reach it myself.

only slightly confused said...

Sweet little poem and what a great sewing basket. I can think of many a use for that over and beyond sewing notions.

jenny_o said...

Ah, yes, kitchen tools - I never thought of that angle to the topic.

My sewing cabinet is in good company, then - and you can never have too many sewing supplies, EC, don't even think it :)

jenny_o said...

Ha ha! Stabbity is a word our daughter came up with, and it's so useful :)

jenny_o said...

You always make me ponder, Geo.; thank you.

jenny_o said...

Thank you, Janie - and are you, in general, a box/container person like I am? I don't know why I love them but I do do do . . .

jenny_o said...

Thank you for pointing me in the direction of Harikuyo - what a moving tradition. And the article I read linked me to an Emily Dickinson poem about sewing that I hadn't seen before. Treasure after treasure!

messymimi said...

What a fabulous tool shed for your favorite tools! My hat is off to you, you can sew!

messymimi said...

Forgot to add, it was fun to tell the truth about the tool shed in rhyme.

jenny_o said...

Kits for different purposes sounds like an efficient way to keep them.

The purpose of pinking shears is to keep the edge of woven fabric (as opposed to knit fabric) from fraying, by cutting a zigzag line. They can be used in home sewing to finish clothing seams, and for crafts where a zigzag edge might be attractive.

Janie Junebug said...

Absolutely! I like having things organized and in their places. Not long after Willy Dunne Wooters and I started dating, he bought a set of shelves for my office supplies. He knew exactly what would make me happy! Then I got some small bamboo shelves that are perfect for holding files, printer paper, and envelopes. I also got a container that's perfect for scissors, pens, and remote controls. A basket holds "needs to be done quickly" items, such as bills. A divided holder is home to the stapler, permanent markers, erasers, and so on. Plastic boxes hold cards--one for Christmas and one for birthday and everyday cards. I could go on and on about everything on my shelves, but I think you get the idea that I like containers and organization. It's so much easier to find things this way and stuff doesn't look so messy.

Joanne Noragon said...

The tool chest is long overdue!

Martha said...

Your poems are always fun!

And $10! Oh my gosh, that is amazing. What a great deal.

Yorkshire Pudding said...


It was where he would take them
Roger I mean
He had an allotment
Down by the brook
Where he grew vegetables
And rhubarb
His mam made crumbles and pies
She loved those pink stalks
"Good lad Roger!" she'd smile
With pride in her eyes.
They say that there were five
But it could have been more
The youngest of them
Was just turned four.
The paper reported
That he hanged himself
But the rumour persists
It was someone else.

MunirGhiasuddin said...

These are great things. I hope that you have tons of fun with them !!

jenny_o said...

You could have gone on and on and I would have enjoyed it all! Plus taken a few lessons from it . . .

jenny_o said...

When I stop being interested in sewing I'll downsize, too, and it could well be a plastic container with a lid. Much easier to store!

jenny_o said...

Thank you, baili - I know you sew, too - do you have a sewing basket like your mom did? It's so much easier to find what is needed when everything is in one place, isn't it :)

jenny_o said...

Toddlers love to get things they're not supposed to have, don't they? Here it's cats that force me to put everything away every time I stop for a break. Toddlers and cats make it hard to get stuff done :)

Thanks for joining in today, Joan.

jenny_o said...

It's so nice that your granddaughter is interested in using your sewing machines, Arleen. A new generation to pass knowledge (and maybe equipment/supplies) down to!

jenny_o said...

Indeed, Marie; you are right. "Shed stuff" - hah!

jenny_o said...

I think those cabinets are of a certain vintage, Red. And while stabbity is a made up word, sewist is not! It's supposed to replace the old word for person who sews - "sewer" - which could be mistaken for the other kind of "sewer" (the sewer lines kind).

jenny_o said...

I understand the collecting tendency all too well, 37p, and that's all I'm going to say about that, lol

I hope you get/take/make time soon to get your art supplies out and make that beautiful something.

jenny_o said...

I never considered that it might be used for other things, but you're right! If I see another one, I'll have to think twice before passing it by - ha ha

jenny_o said...

Thanks, Mimi - I've been sewing since I was 12 and while I don't make fancy things, I can make useful things :)

jenny_o said...

I'll be over to check out your poem shortly :)

jenny_o said...

Yep . . . I was holding out for function AND price, ha ha

Actually, I never had a great amount of supplies until the last few years, so I couldn't justify buying one at full price. Ten dollars was a steal, though.

jenny_o said...

My heart went pitter-pat when I saw that, Martha! lol

jenny_o said...

Oh. Wow. Fantastic, YP. A far cry from my innocent little poem.

Thanks for joining up again this week.

jenny_o said...

Thank you, Munir! I think I will :)

Janie Junebug said...

I bet you are fine on your own.

jenny_o said...

You might lose that bet, Janie :)

Bonnie said...

I'm late to the party as I just started following your blog but I have seen you around other blogs for a long time so I feel I know you! Love your new sewing chest! I have one like it and it does hold quite a bit. And do you know, I still have a couple of sewing items from high school sewing class too.

Your poem is wonderful! I agree, a sewing basket can hold as many memories as it does supplies. I too am a lover of words and you put them together in quite a pleasing way.

jenny_o said...

Thank you for the encouragement, Bonnie - I've seen you around on other blogs, too, and am delighted you left a comment. I'm glad to know the sewing chest really does hold as much as it appears it will :)

Janie Junebug said...

No no no.

jenny_o said...


Diane Henders said...

I love your "tool shed", and your poem! Your photo brought back a surge of happy nostalgia - my dad built a sewing cabinet just like that for my mom either just before or just after they were married back in 1957. I started sewing about the same time I started grade school, so that sewing cabinet saw a lot of use. (But I never did have a cute little tomato-shaped pincushion. Missed opportunities...) :-)

jenny_o said...

You can still buy those tomato-shaped pincushions, Diane - you haven't missed the boat yet! Your dad must have been handy with tools himself, to build such a thing. 1957 was a LONG time ago (it's the year I was born so I know - lol). Will you be inheriting it at some point?

Diane Henders said...

Unfortunately it went to my sister. (Fortunately for her, though.) :-) I guess if I was serious about it I could build my own - maybe that'll be a retirement project someday!

jenny_o said...

Somehow I find it hard to picture you ever retiring, Diane - lol

kylie said...

Now see, I look at a sewing chest like that and appreciate it, like have-to-have style appreciation, but it would never look so special in my house. I just don't have the knack.
The stabbity item jar is brilliant. I read it as an Old Spice jar and got a shock when I saw it 😊

jenny_o said...

LOL! Upper case makes quite a difference!

I don't have "the knack" either, kylie. If it looks that way, it was an accident! I'm hoping the sewing chest looks better than the current plastic/cardboard boxes, though - ha ha

Diane Henders said...

You're probably right about that. When you love what you do, every day is a mini-retirement! :-)

Cherie said...

I have a basket very similar to yours. It belonged to a friends mother and she was going to throw it out when she was emptying her mums house. I also gained a box full of proper wooden cotton reels. My hubby bought me a lovely wooden sewing box many years ago. I will always treasure it

jenny_o said...

The cotton reels (which we call spools here) are no longer made. They look so much better than the plastic ones, I think!

I suspect you have a lot of things to fill your two containers :)

LL Cool Joe said...

Okay I've just admitted to sewing, but I do not own any of the above items. Oh wait, I have a tape measure. For measuring my head, so I know what size caps to buy. :D

Enjoy your tool shed!

jenny_o said...

LOL! Well, it's a good reason to own one!