Category Archives: crafts

Picture craft

Thought I would submit a craft project that I just completed.  This is a fun project and adds a little interest to a vacant wall that looks lonely to you.

If you are in a rut or having a boring day or time of it, in your life, I recommend giving it a try.  And who am I to recommend this, you ask?  Well….I’m nobody but that’s the simple point; anybody can do this.  Let me know if you try….you only have to satisfy yourself and I know that’s hard to do sometimes, but it’ll make you feel good when you’re done and it’ll be you….for you did it.  

A lot of people are happy, I know, and that’s great!  But it is hard to be happy with yourself all the time.  So if you are wallowing in self-pity, not feeling worthy or useful and can’t get in the mood to do anything……don’t feel appreciated ….don’t care……well….surprise yourself; give yourself a break and give this a try just to busy yourself away from your doldrums.  Still, don’t care about anything, if you want, but concentrate on  this little project and make yourself happy!  I hope you have a GREAT Saturday!

Okay.   Not to be misunderstood, this isn’t a stupendous accomplishment but will bring satisfaction to you and from others long after it’s done as compared to sitting on the couch or rocking chair staring out the window, shell-shocked at your predicament.  My best to you!

(Let’s not underestimate sitting, looking out the window, though.  I love to do that at times, too.)

Copy of 100_6944

1.  I had a  piece of plywood and cut it to the size of 21″ wide by 17″ high.

2.  I bought tiles at a local hardware store to be used in this project.

3.  I found this stock photo on the internet and made it the size 640 x 458 pxls.
(You can experiment with the size.  I usually use a 4 x 6″ picture to work with)

4.  I poster printed the picture on my printer using four (4) sheets of paper and the result is that you have to then cut and paste the  picture together. (of course a more professional approach would be having the picture blown up at a copy shop)

5.  With picture before you,  place your tiles on the picture (centering of course) leaving a uniform gap between each tile and trace around each one, after which you’ll cut out each square and affix them to the tiles with glue sticks or some sort of white glue.

6.  The final step is assembling the picture (centered) on to the piece of plywood (which you have painted, probably) and gluing each tile to the board using an adhesive like  Loctite’s Power Grab all-purpose construction adhesive.  Put a dab in each corner of the tile and press down hard, making sure that you line up the picture the way you want it.  You should be done.  Way to go!

This is not a new idea.  In fact, I saw an instructable ( years ago where someone printed each square on tissue paper and affixed those to tiles…..I did a few that way and they were really nice but I like the less work and just putting the picture on the tiles.

My picture above is an experiment to create a window view effect and that is why you see the panes that I created using popsicle sticks.

Remember…..this is just a busy project to keep you…..well…..busy.   And it takes just a little longer than it took me to write this.  whew!

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Craft Time

I feel sort of guilty since I have not offered too many craft renderings compared to the number of poems I have written and put in this blog.  But today I am putting a picture of a birthday present I made for my twin grandchildren out in Denver, Colorado, who recently turned four (4) years old and who love the Disney ‘ladies.’  My wife actually makes the bags for me.

I have featured the twins individually and together in three blog entries – “Who Me?” on February 1, 2012, “Pinky Poo” on November 10, 2012 and “At the Park” on January 6, 2013.

Whereas I use to make the large, outdoor Corn Hole bag toss game boards, I now opt for making these smaller, indoor bag toss games, which I usually paint logos on but kept these plain.

Thanks to all of you who drop by…..




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Eternal Rhyme

Eternal Rhyme


Day has come; the night has fled.
Hope has sprung and raised its head.
Worries wonder about what to do
The heart is warming; its beat is true.

Another day has come along.
You have a chance to sing a song
different from the ones before
that rubbed your heart and made it sore.

Spring’s returned into your step.
The warmth consoles and gives you pep
to march this day against your ‘foes’
and stand your ground in sweet repose

and show the world just how you’re made
not soft and easy, as once portrayed
but ready to stand to fight the fight
with lifted ‘sword’ for what is right.

Vanquish worries that hold you down
and guard the spirit, you’ve turned around
and be what you are….and be it strong
cause this is you….this is your ‘song.’

Not all will like it, but that’s okay.
Life is different in every way
and you are needed to share this time
and play your part in this eternal rhyme.

© copyright 2013 t. j. gargano

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Filed under Blogging, crafts, heart, Life, mind, people, poetry, song, Spring, world

‘Character’ Set

I marvel at how something, seemingly, insignificant can, when scrutinized, become ‘visible’ and realized as a necessary part of an equation…in this instance, an ordinary scene outside in the yard.

The repeated scene unknowingly always had a certain set of props, which at first, weren’t realized.




‘Character’ Set


When I sit down to write, whether morning or night,
there are birds there to sing me a song.
The dog’s at my feet; the cat’s found her seat
and together we seem to belong
to the moment we’re in, with a feeling of kin,
as we look towards each other… now and then……
before the birds fly away, the dog goes astray
and the cat goes a-chasing….again.

It’s a comfort we know, we understand it…. and so
being close ‘round each other’s, okay.
Thus you might see the cat, by the dog, laying flat
‘neath the fountain where the birds splash away.
That’s how it goes; what’ll happen, who knows
it’s a mystery that I always get,
whenever I write, whether morning or night,
outside with this ‘character’ set.

© 2012  t. j. gargano

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Filed under animals, Blogging, crafts, Family, Friends, Love, poetry

A Trooper’s Letter

(National Park Service)

A Trooper’s Letter

It is in troubled heart, I write
to you, my love, upon this night.
So many things I’d like to say
before the coming light of day.

And as I lay here ‘neath this tree
my only thoughts are thoughts of thee.
So many things we could have done;
so many tales we could have spun.

I’ve begged my mind to dream you here
so I could hold you close and dear
perchance that I could say goodbye
be it, in battle, I should die.

Before the sun begins to rise,
we want to catch them by surprise
so get good rest, boys, Custer said.
That’s why I’m writing you… in bed.

The Indian camp was found, last day;
its size so great we can’t delay
to get position along the crest
where the river’s bottom…. we see the best.

It’s at this ford, the Sioux will cross;
We must defend it…. at all cost
But if we fail we’ll head up high
and join what others happen by.

So now, my darling,… I must rest
for tomorrow be the final test
And I will follow…. at the General’s side
It’s been an honor….forgive my pride.

My eyes now close…..the  fallen pen
has found its place; won’t write again.
I fall to dream; your eyes are bright….
we walk in hand toward morning’s light.

© 2012  t. j. gargano

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Monster Truck

My grandson likes monster trucks so having seen some on the web,  I tried my hand at it using some pictures.  Nothing great but kids don’t  require great things….they like most anything.  Whenever I want an honest answer to how I look, I ask my granddaughter ’cause she tells me how it is…..I appreciate that.



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Good Knight

The name of this blog IS the poet’s crafts, so I suppose I should show you something along those lines that I have done.  I’m not real good at any of these but it is a lot of fun….good therapy, I suppose people would say.

Anyway, I have an autistic friend – Caleb is about 25 years old now – who never forgets my wife or me, whenever he travels anywhere with his grandmother. He always brings us back some little gift.

Now Caleb likes to write stories about zord looking characters and battles…his mind is  very vivid.  His writing is readable but the sentence structure is, well… know.  But I help him as much as I can.  He’s always putting everyone in our family in his books as characters.  His stories will run 15 to 20 typewritten pages…..he really writes volumes.

So the following photo is what I made for him for his birthday…..a knight out of Red Bull cans.  He doesn’t show emotion much but I know he really liked it.

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano


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The Cardboard Truck

We live halfway between our family to the east and our families in the south and so we have always been the ‘meeting’ place for everyone getting together at major holidays like Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, Labor’s Day, 4th of July.

In our heyday, 35 family members would come, and the kids being close  together in age and young, we’d play games outside, when possible, and stretch our imaginations when we all had to be inside together at close quarters, so to speak.

As the years dwindled away, so did the number of people, with kids going away on their own or getting married, etc.   The last fifteen years or so, the crowd has switched to mostly my wife’s sister and brother and their families, her folks and my son and his wife and one of our daughters and her family.  So the ritual nowadays is the ‘locals’ coming over for Christmas for dinner, at which time, everyone gets to open up a little present or two and then we all sing and play games of some sort.

Thus, it was my wife’s father, or grandpa as we called him, …it was his job to be on the floor on his late 70’s/80’s knees distributing the presents to everyone.

Before I get to the poem, I have to tell you that anytime we would take a ride or go somewhere together on the highway, he would always point out every J.B.Hunt semi that he spotted.  He just took a fancy toward that company’s truck for some reason.  So my wife and I took to buying 1 instant lottery ticket for each person and I made a J.B. Hunt truck out of cardboard for him as a present one year and we put all the tickets in the cardboard truck until they were passed out to everyone after they all opened their presents.

That gives you a little background to this following poem, which I have to read at every Christmas gathering.


Of all the Christmas’s in my past,
I’ll best remember Christmas last
and grandpa ‘neath the tree on his knees
gathering presents to pass around
making sure, for everyone, a present he found.

And the last of the presents ‘neath the tree
was a poorly wrapped present for him, from me
and he picked it up without emotion and
setting it back down, “Clarence, look closer, ” grandma cried,
for part of my present was hidden inside.

The part of the present I put inside, I prayed would bring him luck,
though the part of the present, I wanted him to like, was the home-made       cardboard truck.
But in that instant, the cardboard truck brought something else – an obscure clue – and it wasn’t that grandpa was really tired, and I think a lot of us, knew.

But the hidden lottery tickets to his face brought a smile
and as he stood up and walked out of the room for a while,
I looked at the cardboard truck on its side by the tree on the
as I listened for grandpa’s cries from the kitchen, of good luck….
forgetting, for the moment, the cardboard truck.

For all that I can remember is that every trip we took,
everywhere we went, everywhere he’d look
and find in the most uncanny of places,
a J.B. Hunt semi making a haul
and missing not one, he’d point them out, all.

So I pondered not long about what I could make
for grandpa for Christmas that home he could take
and look at and smile and set on a shelf
remembering his younger days when he depended on luck
while driving the big rigs… like the cardboard truck.

When he returned to the living room, I mustered up guts
and asked him if he won anything and he said, “not much,”
and quietly went over, hands in his pockets,
and sat down by grandma and said not a word
and his silence was deafening and I wondered who ‘heard.’

But when the call came for coffee and cake and for pie,
he was first to jump up and said “hi” passing by.
And the kitchen again bustled like it did hours before
until someone spoke up and said “something is wrong”
and back to the living room we went for a song.

With everyone seated on every available chair
we threw out suggestions on which song we should dare.
And the ’12 Days of Christmas’ was the song we selected
and everyone chose them a part for the tape
and I gazed at the clock and the hour was late.

I looked ’round the room, was proud what I saw.
There was Steven and Michael, Matthew and Pa,
though Pa wasn’t singing, his hands were in flight
conducting Kevin and Nancy, Cindy and Sue
Steve, Grandma, Betsy and young Lonnie, too.

But with people now tired and taping all done,
presents were gathered and soon everyone
were starting their cars for the night air was cold
and after kisses and hugs and talk of next year
everything left that was everything dear.

I hugged my Babe tightly for the job she had done
and we were all in agreement that the day had been fun.
I went to the living room and sat in my chair
and turned on the television and propped up my knee
and saw the ‘J.B. Hunt’…… hidden back behind the tree.

He’d forgot all about it and left it behind
but I’d often remember and call and remind
him that the cardboard truck was here on the porch
and for nearly a year, it hasn’t moved from its place
except one day of the year, now,  it will have a new space.

In the year that’s gone by, Pa has passed on
but his spirit here at Christmas will never be gone
and each Christmas Day on the floor ‘neath the tree
will be a poorly wrapped present that will bring us good luck
and be brought to us all by…the cardboard truck.

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano

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My Little Amy Sue

I am not sure why I am going back in time when it is the ‘new’ time that has just been initiated in the world….new year, that is.  But at the beginning of each new year, family is always first in my thoughts.  And since I have not been blogging very long, I might as well represent them through some of the ‘stuff” I’ve tried to honor them with.

My Sleepy Little Angel, Amy Sue

There’s a little brown bed
in the corner of my room,
covered with a blanket, colored blue.
And there, safely snug between
her squirrel and her bear,
is my sleepy, little angel, Amy Sue.

I love to stand beside her
while she travels through her dreams,
through lands that even I never knew.
Her hair is soft and silky,
a peaceful smile she wears.
Only you, Lord, know I love my Amy Sue.

She isn’t very old yet, so I
have to overlook….antagonizing
things she likes to do.
She’s trying  awfully hard to walk,
and she kisses me a lot……I just
can’t help it how I love my Amy Sue.

The morning light will soon be here
bringing its laughter, cries and tears,
and maybe a little something that is new.
But all the mornings of a thousand years
couldn’t replace what it brought before,
when it brought the joyful love of Amy Sue.

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano

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Could You Be True?

The power of new love is mesmerizing as it aims its arrows at the heart.  The tentative heart, not wanting to believe its good fortune, thumps out its doubts to bolster its hopes.  Is this feeling really true? it queries itself.

Could You Be True?

Could you be true or are you only a dream?
I’d sometimes like to know.
I might as well ask is the grass really green
or is white the color of snow?

Are you really as pure as the wind that blows
and as strong as the mountains are high?
Or are these questions to ask, but never to know
whose answers are lost in the sky?

Do you live in the past as you live each day
or do you wonder what the future may hold?
Will you remember April when she dies for May
or even May come winter’s snow?

Can you pretend your life is happy when your heart is really sad
and convince the ones around you that you’re true?
Can you smile when you’re unhappy and when things are going bad
turn the gray sky overhead to shiny blue?

Can you take the joys of happiness and the painful days of blue
and join them as one, forevermore?
Then your grass will be more greener and your sky forever blue
and the light of life will shine upon your door.

copyright © 2011 T.J. Gargano

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