Clothed in Greenery
April 2013 Issue
April 2013 Digest
A creative use for old clothes, farm-related collectibles and a baby-carriage museum.
Ever wonder what to do with your kids’ old clothes, the ones you think are too cute to get rid of? Spencer residents Gabriela and Rodrigo Díaz-Capt came up with a creative solution: They use the duds as planters.
The idea came to Gabriela in 2004, while she was folding a pair of jeans her son had outgrown.
“I was holding them in my hand and thinking I had to do something with them,” the graphic designer recalls.
Together with her husband — also a graphic designer — Gabriela devised a pattern for a planter that would allow the clothes to stand freely.
“We always collaborate,” she says. “I do all the dressing and find the plants and clothes. Rodrigo develops the structures for the planters.”
The couple put their first planter on the front porch. It was an instant hit. “Neighbors were commenting, ‘This is so cool, so awesome,’” Gabriela says, “And we said, OK, this is it! And with that The Dudes Pant-Planters were born.”
The Dudes come in a variety of designs and positions. They sit on swings and on rocking horses, stand on skateboards and lean against a post.
Accompanying themed accessories include belts sporting logos for favorite teams.
In recent months, the couple — who have two sons, Emiliano, 13, and Ivan, 16, — have added special touches to the business — including personalizing planters with clothing customers provide.
“I really enjoy the reactions of people who have never seen the planters before,” Gabriela says. “It’s hilarious to me to hear people I meet at craft shows explain what they look like over the phone to friends.” — Michelle DiFrangia
For more information about the planters, call 330/648-2206 or visit thedudespantplanters.com.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage. While the children’s rhyme is primarily about a couple smooching in a tree, the buggy is clearly the focal point of the Victorian Perambulator Museum in Jefferson. Owned and operated by Judith Kaminski and her twin sister, Janet Pallo, it’s filled with what is billed as the world’s largest-known compilation of baby carriages from the 1800s.
The idea for the museum was sparked in the ’70s, when Kaminski purchased a 19th-century baby carriage. Pallo saw it and fell in love with the workmanship. Throughout the ensuing four decades, the sisters added to their collection.
“Not only are these carriages exquisite modes of transportation, they are fabulous forms of artwork,” Kaminski enthuses. “They were designed to reflect the fact that people used them as a conveyance for their most precious gift — their children.”
In 1988, the siblings decided to share their passion with the public. They transformed a 4,000-square-foot split-level home into a wonderland of treasures. In addition to the 250 carriages on display, the museum features an assortment of antique dolls, sleighs, Christmas ornaments and more than 1,000 thimbles. The most noteworthy piece: an original 1920s Royal Mail Coach called The Regent — a miniature carriage Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret rode in as children.
On July 13 and 14, the sisters will observe the museum’s silver anniversary by hosting a festive weekend filled with music, food and prizes. It’s a milestone they do not take lightly.
“Twenty-five means something really big to us,” Kaminski says. “… We’re proud of what we’ve done. Our goal is to save a part of history.” — MF
The Victorian Perambulator Museum is located at 26 E. Cedar St., Jefferson 44047. For more information, call 440/576-9588 or visit perambulatormuseum.com.
Big Shoes to Fill
There’s an old joke that says you can call him Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch or Yowie. Just be grateful that if the giant hominid does come when called, he’ll be friendly.
For centuries, people around the world have reported seeing an elusive creature, reputed to be larger than a gorilla, that walks on two feet and lives in remote areas. In Ohio, scientists, writers, skeptics and believers congregate annually to discuss the phenomenon. This year, some 400 people are expected to attend the Ohio Big Foot Conference on April 13 at Salt Fork Lodge and Conference Center in Cambridge.
“Now that Bigfoot has become a mainstream subject, people are coming out of the woodwork saying they have had sightings,” says Marc DeWerth, president of the Ohio Big Foot Organization. “People come up to me and say, ‘I went from a complete non-believer to having the idea that there might be something to this.’ ”
DeWerth’s interest in the elusive character began during the 1970s, when, as a child, he and his brother would be riveted by TV shows exploring the subject. In fact, DeWerth did spot the creature in 1997. Although he won’t elaborate where or when, the possibility of a second sighting never fails to fascinate.
For conference participants not quite ready for serious study, related activities scheduled during the weekend are guaranteed to get them in the mood. They include a hike within Ohio’s Sasquatch Triangle, comprised of Guernsey, Coshocton, Muskingum and Tuscarawas counties.
And yes, sometimes someone shows up at a conference wearing a Bigfoot costume or hiding phony Bigfoot footprint-making equipment.
“I just tell everyone to keep their ‘skepticals’ on,” DeWerth says. — Jill Sell
For information, visit ohiobigfootconference.com.
Down on the Farm
When the calendar turns to April, Ohioans can close the door on the snowy drifts of winter (most years), and look forward to the warmth of spring, when all things start anew. Sunny days and soft soil beckon everyone from baby animals to the gardener within, and the seeds of summer take root. In a way, the familiar agrarian rituals of the season awaken our senses and fill us with all the hope and promise embodied in the very seeds we plant.
Life in Ohio is surely enhanced by a rich agricultural history. And with such symbolic importance, it’s no wonder that antiques collectors find special appeal infarm-related collectibles. From trade signs to seed trays and such utilitarian items as apple baskets and stoneware crocks, country antiques that speak to farm life bring a fresh, pure aesthetic to any decorating style.
Embrace your Ohio farm heritage and check out these unusual items that have passed through Garth’s in recent months. For more information about farming collectibles, visit our blog at garths.com/collecting
"Ohio Finds" features fascinating objects brought to the attention of Amelia and Jeff Jeffers, co-owners of Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers, an international firm outside Columbus.