We did play PICK UP STICKS when we were kids.  We always played on the beige/grey carpet that had big big roses in the design – it was awful carpet really,  even our parents didn’t like it – so we lolled about on it, played on it, fought and tumbled on it….but one of the best things to play on it was PICK UP STICKS.

Did you play too?  old fashioned Pick Up Sticks

The object of the game is to pick up the most sticks.

To begin the game, a bundle of sticks are somewhat randomly distributed so that they end up in a tangled pile. The more tangled the resulting (dis)array, the more challenging the game.

In some versions of the game, any isolated sticks, or sticks lying alone, are removed.

The first player attempts to remove a single stick, without moving any other stick. In some versions of the game, players use a tool to move the stick away from the pile; this “tool” may be one of the sticks, held aside before the game begins. In other versions, players must pick up the sticks by hand. In either case, players must not move any other sticks while attempting to remove the chosen stick; if any other stick moves, his or her turn ends immediately.


Players who successfully pick up a stick can then have another turn; the player keeps removing sticks until he or she causes a secondary stick to move.

The game is over when the last stick is removed. The winner is the player with the highest number of sticks picked up.

In some versions of the game, different-coloured sticks are worth different number of points, and the winner is the person with the highest score.


• 1 hook

• approx. 45 jackstraw:  sometimes they are wooden and sometimes they are plastic.


Players try to win points by removing jackstraws – in the shapes of various tools – from the pile, one at a time.


1. If you’re the first player, hold all the jackstraws about 2 inches from the table. Then drop them so that they fall into a pile.

2. Using the hook, try to remove jackstraws from the pile, one at a time without moving the others at all. If any jackstraws have fallen free from the pile, you may remove them first. Each time you succeed in removing one, keep it and try to remove another. Once you’ve started to remove a jackstraw, you can’t change your mind and decide to remove another. If, at any time, you wish to use your fingers instead of the hook, you may do so.

3. If you move one or more jackstraws while you’re trying to remove another, you must end your turn. That’s why players should watch each opponent’s turn very closely!

4. When your turn ends, the next player picks up and drops the remaining jackstraws and plays in the same manner.

5. Continue playing until all the jackstraws are gone from the pile.

You can easily make your own PICK UP STICKS as you can see here: pick_up_sticks_3

And so I moved from games on the floor to glass making.  I made my first design called Pick Up Sticks years and years ago and I came across this old design the other day and decided to share the journey with you.

2001 design Pick Up Sticks It had white edges a clear centre and the sticks (stringers of red glass) all throughout the centre of the work.Pick Up Sticks by Jenie Yolland 2006 design

Then I decided to make this with an all white base but to add lots more red stringers, like this : To tell the truth, I look at this design now and feel a headache coming on – its so busy!

This is what I’m making now and I’d like to know which of the three designs you prefer. 2012 design of Pick Up Sticks by Jenie Yolland

That’s how an idea develops from one thing to another.

I’m so pleased that we have the freedom to change, and that we are always changing, our ideas, our beliefs, our designs.

Thanks for reading to the end. Questions welcome!


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