Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tomato, tomahto – let’s call the whole thing off

Or not. This is my favourite sewing “gadget” – of the extremely low-tech variety.


It’s a tomato… with a strawberry! Random? Well the strawberry, yes… the tomato as pincushion…. not so random.

Widely considered poisonous until only a couple of hundred years ago – even though the Aztecs had cultivated and consumed them for a long time before that – tomatoes were viewed as a symbol of good luck, with many families placing a tomato on their mantlepiece to invite prosperity within the home. The problem with that superstition is that in most parts of the world tomatoes are not available all year round and this lead to the replacement tomato – a ball of red fabric, stuffed with sawdust or sand… ta-dah! Good luck and prosperity: ensured. A safe place to store your precious, pointy, dangerous pins: created.

More useless tomato facts anyone? It’s scientific name lycopersicum means wolf peach and comes from German werewolf tales, which declares the tomato’s family tree of the deadly nightshades to be the dog whistle for werewolves.

I also like the etymology of the Aztec’s tomato name… xitomatl = plump thing with a navel. Hehehee!

Sure, mine is looking a little Hellraisery right now…

hellraiser … or a strange, spiky red Saturn but I love it and just might put it on the mantlepiece anyway just because it’s so darned cute! :0)

As for its strawberry emery earring… there’s not a lot of information on why it’s a strawberry but my guess it’s a convenient colour for your leftover tomato scraps and an easy shape to make up – and small enough to be economical to fill with your emery grains. Yep, the same emery used on emery paper for sanding and emery boards for… well, sanding your fingernails. Jab any blunt or rough pins and needles in your strawberry to sharpen them up a tad.

There’s a sentence I never thought I’d use. I don’t usually advocate strawberry violence… I like them… especially when dipped in dark chocolate!


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