“Franken” Coasters

We were required to read Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” as part of our lit curriculum growing up. I dreaded opening the book, having flashbacks of Freddy Krueger clips I unhappily caught on the TV screen at pre-teen sleepovers. I’ve tried to play it cool, but I have averted my eyes for almost any horror movie I’ve seen in my lifetime. Even Arachnophobia gave me nightmares for years. I just didn’t care for horror movies or books. Never have. Never will.

Sure, “Frankenstein” was a horror story. I would not have wanted to be Dr. Frankenstein or in his circle of friends. The monster he created was a murderer, out for revenge – brutal revenge that would hurt the one who created him deeply. But there was something about the novel that hit harder than most books I read in those formative years. I was drawn to a different theme in the book, one that I didn’t have the courage to voice in class to my peers. I felt great compassion toward the creature who only wanted to be loved and accepted, as we all have wanted at some point. To me, it’s a story about loneliness. There was unspeakable empathy that bubbled up for this scarred creature who was mocked for his appearance, as some of us have been. And some of us have been the mockers.

There isn’t a more vivid reminder to me than this novel that there are consequences for our actions.

I still don’t fully know why, but the book made me weep. I don’t think that was the intention of Mary Shelley, who wrote the book for a contest of sorts among her  peers as they egged each other on to see who could come up with the best horror novel. But the story stuck with me for years, especially after our class ended up seeing the movie that came out in 1994, a short time after we studied the book. (Robert De Niro’s performance as the creature was his best work since The Mission, if you ask me. I recommend watching both movies if you haven’t seen either one.)

These coasters remind me of Dr. Frankenstein’s creature. And my own scars. And how, if the creature just knew he was loved and accepted just as he was by his creator, that story would have had a very different ending.

Cedar is one of the best smells in the world to me. On my long runs in the development next to where I grew up, I knew the homes on Briarwoods that hired landscapers to use cedar mulch, and couldn’t wait to get a whiff as I ran past those lawns. Weird. Yeah. But it smells THAT good. And that different. It’s a smell that sticks with you.

I’ve been drying out (a.k.a. “hoarding”) a cedar log for a few years and decided it was time to use it, especially with the Diablo blade on the DeWalt that is currently cutting logs like butter.

The beautiful purple heart with its ‘stitching’…


These slightly larger-than-standard coasters will hold any glass, mug, or cup. Finished with linseed oil and a few staples, the cedar smell is still strong. (Yep. I sniffed it.)



“Franken” coasters, lovingly named after Dr. Frankenstein’s creation, are a reminder that it’s good to be frank. Unapologetically us. To not try to be someone we aren’t, or hide those unique traits or life experiences or scars that make us…us.

Sometimes it’s good to be reminded that we are loved exactly how we are, at this very moment. Scars, staples, cracks, bandaids over places that needed stitching, wrinkles, blemishes and frayed ends. Not when we are the more perfect, polished versions of ourselves that we prefer the world to see.

There are limited quantities of these flawed beauties. If you want a set, please let me know. (Shipping is available.)


Franken Coasters:  $15 (set of 4)

(Sets of 6 also available for $22)


About Mel

My name is Mel, and I spend my time living, working and playing on the east coast. I'm a reclaimed wood artist who loves to continually find ways to repurpose wood and give it new life. "Nature Calls: Reclaimed Wood Designs" is my business dedicated to doing that! Thanks for stopping by!
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