The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

Turning Trash intoTreasures

Seward woman turns unwanted items into festive display


August 10, 2017 | View PDF

Tommy Wells

Stephanie Mackey's yard adds a bright and cheery look to Seward's landscape

Stephanie Mackey didn't really set out to become the poster child for re-purposing unwanted items. It just sort of happened ... over and over and over.

The end result has helped make Seward a bit friendlier to the eye.

Just as she has done for more years that she cares to re-

member, Mackey spent much of the spring setting up ornamental displays-many of which she salvaged from items that people had discarded-and planting a wide array of flowers. Throughout the summer, her work has given those who venture a bit off the main road the opportunity to enjoy some color and cheer.

"I just enjoy doing this," said Mackey. "It helps make the neighborhood look better, and I enjoy seeing people come by and look. I guess it is my little way to help make Seward a place we can all be proud of."

Tommy Wells

Amid the flowers in her yard are also numerous items she has repurposed over the years - including a Pee Wee Herman figurine.

Her efforts to transform her front yard into a mini floral paradise began as a small project 20 years ago when she planted some flower seeds. Over the years, she added more and more flowers, before beginning to pick up discarded items from various places and placing them in the yard. Since she began, she estimates she has more than 20 children's themed items helping brighten the display-including an Anna doll from the "Frozen" movie, an image of Elmo, and a porcelain figure of Pee-wee Herman.

"To be honest, most of these items came from the dump," she said. "When I have gone out there over the years, I just stumbled across them."

The day she found Pee-wee Herman's figurine, for instance, she had happened upon a roll of fabric. Curious as to what it might look like, she said, she unrolled the fabric and found the figurine inside, unbroken.

"I brought it home and gave him a place in the garden along with the others," she said.

Other famous figurines located in the yellow, white and pink sea of flowers include ALF, the small alien made popular in the 1980s television series, plus the Cat in the Hat and various ducks and other items.

Mackey's handiwork can be seen at 11541 Eagle Lane, behind Spenard Builders Supply.


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