Tulip tale

When it bloomed for us.


Finding art in trash Challenge: #14

This year, we went to the cherry blossom festival at Tidal Basin, in Washington DC, during the peak bloom season. The plan was to start early morning, and get there before the rest of the world. To be an early bird. Get the worm… But the night stole all the promises that we had made to ourselves. And sleep, the night’s hand, made sure we woke up late to greet the morning. Even as we tied our laces, walked down the stairs and started the car, the crowd at the Basin thickened in hundreds. After battling the traffic, we parked our car at the Arlington National Cemetery, and decided to walk to the hot spot of Sakura trees. On the way, we saw a bright pink tulip, its petals firmly hugging each other, like sharing a little secret. It remained still, almost unnoticed, in the carpet of green. People walked by, hardly giving it a glance, rushing towards a destination full of flowers, just not this one.


A while later, we rejoined the crowd. Finally, at the Tidal Basin, we walked for hours under the shade of cherry blossoms, and watched the soft pink and white flowers flutter in the wind. We wanted to take a selfie with the flowers in the backdrop. But every photo came out with a stranger’s face on the side. Anyway, having quenched the desire to see the famed beauty of a 3,000 cherry blossoms in full bloom, we decided to call it a day, and trace our way back. This time, we stopped again to say hi to our little closed tulip. Only, now, the petals had unfurled, shining a dark pink under the sharp rays of the sun. A full blown tulip, that no one stopped to take a selfie with.


In the days that followed, we were frequently asked the question: “So how much time did you spend seeing the cherry blossoms?” And every time we replied: “Enough time for a tulip to bloom.”

Now, over a month later, in memory of the tulip that opened up for us, I made origami tulips and stuck them on a brown paper bag. A personalized shopping bag.






Landshark reborn

New art on old bottles.

A bowl of hot sauce potato chips. Another bowl of salt and pepper potato chips. A large game board with miniature trains of different colors. We are in the first round of Ticket To Ride. A game that requires us to build routes between different places in the US.

Five of us sit around the rectangular board, holding a pack of paper tickets in one hand, and cold bottles of Landshark Lager in the other. With each turn, a mouthful of cold beer is gulped down. A handful of chips is chewed on.

And somewhere between blocking and building routes, between disagreements and misunderstandings, between a taste of victory and bitterness of loss, the bottles are empty. They are moved to the far corner of the kitchen island, and soon all hands hold new cold bottles, with condensed drops of water running down the fingers.

After a round or two, they are discarded too.

For months the bottles remain among a clutter of unused cardboard boxes, broken frames, and Food Lion paper covers. Until one day, when they are taken out, cleaned, painted on, and given a new life. A second life that allows them to be part of the game called life.


A Landshark Lager vase with cupcake flowers. I used a paper tape for the lines on the body.
A black and white Landshark Lager.

For more bottle designs, visit my previous post here.