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4 Creative Uses for Patio Umbrellas

4 Creative Uses for Patio Umbrellas

Pablo Picasso once said “A green parrot is also a green salad and a green parrot. He who makes it only a parrot diminishes reality.” What do you think Pablo Picasso would have to say about the diminished reality in a modern day Petco? Consumerist culture has robbed the world of its poetic imagination. We are programmed to value and define a thing only by its ‘practical’ use, and not by its beauty. We have lost the ability to see the “green salad.”

Don’t believe me? What would you say if I asked you what is the value of a patio umbrella? What is a patio umbrella good for? Part of the problem is language–calling something a ‘patio umbrella’ tricks us into thinking it is fundamentally for the patio. But what if you had never seen an umbrella before, and I told you it was called a ‘shade stick’? Yes, the same function, but your assumption about where it should go has changed. This is the value of poetry, and by examining the different creative uses for a patio umbrella we can also relearn how to see the various shapes that our realities may take.

  1. Giant Mary Poppins Diorama

This country doesn’t put enough funding into the arts, and I think part of the problem is that kids don’t put enough effort into art projects. Our children have wondrous dreams, and we need to encourage them to bring them to life. Could you imagine if we came together and rolled up to the White House with a massive Mary Poppins diorama? We could even use the media to draw parallels between her massive patio umbrella and the torch held by our Lady of Liberty out in New York Harbor. What is more important–preventing sunburns by the pool, or shading our children from the harsh rays of misused funds?

  1. Giant Piña Coladas

I suppose this is similar to the Mary Poppins diorama, but the Piña Colada is less so a political statement and more of a quirky addition to your kid’s birthday party. The tiny umbrella is the most delightful part of any tropical drink. At 150 times the size, a patio umbrella painted like a toothpick would be downright awesome, people. I haven’t quite hammered out the specifics for the rest of the piña colada. I think a mid-sized outdoor pool painted brown would work… actually, a hot tub would probably be a lot more fun! You could paint it brown, and maybe cover it in those long thin strips of confetti for the coconut hairs. There are cube-shaped pool floaties you can buy for ice cubes, and milky food coloring shouldn’t stain the hot tub. Ohhhh, and put sand all around it like it’s on the beach! Imagine the Instagram if you and all your friends are drinking piña coladas in a giant piña colada with the caption “Do you like Piña Colada’s? (:” and the hashtag #piñacola-duhhhhhh!

  1. Giant Jellyfish

To be honest, I don’t get jellyfish anatomy. They do have some sort of nervous system but it makes you curious about what sort of inner experience they have. They are fascinating creatures. Creating a giant jellyfish for a birthday party would be a blessing to children who want to learn about the wonder of life under the sea. There are thousands of species of jellyfish to choose from, but they all have the same basic structure. There are a couple of routes you could go for the tentacles. First off, the jellyfish patio umbrella should only be done at night, otherwise it’s lame. The best part of about jellyfish is that they are luminescent. I’ve seen some people hang lights down the sides of the umbrella, but plenty of others have used glow in the dark strings. Personally, I think it’s the best when both the strings and the umbrella part of coated in glow in the dark paint. Recreating the electric shock can be a valuable experience, but it’s a bit too involved to go into here.

  1. Cover Up Nativity Scene If You’re in Hawaii

Historically, many native Hawaiian’s did not appreciate the arrival of Christianity nor the influx of tourism that has taken over the island over the last few centuries. However, nativity scenes still abound on the island, and the addition of a patio umbrella is a now overdone yet picturesque feature. Yes, it is a quirky subversion of expectation to mix modernity with tradition, I agree. But. . . well, just go ahead and do it, this isn’t my space to air my grievances. Long-exposure (at least half a second to soften the incoming waves) wide-shot silhouettes against the setting sun with the ocean framed on the left make for the best picture. The best move is to use a thatch umbrella; if you don’t have one, it’s worth the effort to find one somewhere. Some brightly colored beach umbrella is going just a bit too far.

Bring Poetry Back to the World!

It’s true, this country does need more STEM jobs to keep up in the modern world. I’m not going to try and underplay that. However, we should be conscious of what may be being left behind. We do not need to lose sight of the art that is in motion all around us, in our schools, in our homes, on our patios, etc. All I’m saying, is next time you’re lounging in the shade on your perfect patio, slow down, take a breath, gaze up at your patio umbrella, and try and see the “Green salad.”

If you’re interested in finding the perfect umbrella for your patio space, contact us at Premier Patio today! We’d love to get in touch.



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