Free programs make something out of ‘nothing’

MAGIC—Any number of things can be created from used materials.

MAGIC—Any number of things can be created from used materials.

Previously used material finds new purpose at a series of programs at Frozen Creek Floral Freeze Dried Flowers, 5959 Cannonsburg Road. Madame O, aka Amelia K. Sefton describes herself as a “proud practitioner of resourcery, the ancient and venerable art of making something out of nothing, or, turning negatives into positives.”

The California native will be at the shop Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through October, offering workshops for all ages in creating fun and funky items out of previously-used material.

“I like to say my activities are funny and funky and never grimy or junky,” O said. The story spinner and puppeteer has had a passion for recyclelry since the 1970s, during the “first flush of eco-consciousness. She said in California, teachers and manufacturers work together to provide clean, low-cost materials for classroom projects, a system she would like to see established here.

Among her favorite materials is printer’s foil. In the print industry, she said foil sheets are used to create the metallic effect on cards and labels, but 99 percent of the material ends up in landfill. Madam O uses items such as this, garlands, broken jewelry, clean wrappers, and other items to create masks, wands, costumes and much more at her workshops.

MadamO-wand“We are careful to avoid items such as candy wrappers with candy still stuck on them,” she said. “Items like that either attract vermin and excite children or excite children and attract vermin.” She said one of the most exciting—chest-swelling and tail-wagging—phrases in any language is “Look at this, I did it myself.”

Madam O said the programs are free of charge and all materials will be provided, although volunteer items are accepted. The workshops are appropriate for all ages, from preschool to geriatric, but it is not a baby-sitting service, so don’t leave the baby and the diaper bag. “There will be scissors,” she said.

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