I’ve never been much for bragging. I feel there is always someone smarter, prettier, funnier, cooler, more interesting, more athletic than myself. Plus, I am pretty modest. And in case you guys haven’t realized, this blog is 95% about what an idiot I am.
But there is one claim I will make that can be interpreted as bragging. I am a crafter savant. I may not be good at things like physical touching, or emotions, or socializing, or much of anything. But I am amazing at crafty things. At least I like to think so.
A few years ago my sister, J, and I went into a pawn store. I love and hate pawn stores. In antique stores, I can pretend the people are all just dead and their families have sold their stuff. And in thrift stores, I pretend people just get tired of their crap and donate it.
But pawn stores are sad. I can sometimes feel the desperation of the people that had to sell something to pay a bill, or eat. It bothers me. It reminds me storage units, in the same way. Sad people putting everything they own in a metal box with the intention of coming back for it.
Anyway, we were in this pawn shop and I am kind of friendly with the owners. Friendly in the way I am friendly with most people I talk to more than once. People tend to remember me, even more so if I am out with my family. I hear we are like some cross between hippies and gypsies. I don’t mind.
The owner was telling us that her husband is Native American and some of the pieces they have on display are heirlooms from his family. Not for sale.
If any of you look at my Pinterest, you know, I am a sucker for Native American jewelry. So I was oohing and ahhing over these pieces she was pulling out from behind the counter.
Then I saw what looked like a manky old leather vest. It was old, and worn, and kind of haggard looking. Which is exactly what I love. So I asked the owner to see it.
It was an old bone and leather chest piece in a plastic display case. And I was fascinated. I wanted so badly to touch this thing. It was like an old bird that used to be beautiful but was now collapsed and broken. But I could still see it’s beauty.
So I leaned in and asked if I can touch it. I doubted she’d let me. But I had to ask.
The owner looked around a bit. It was just the three of us in this store. Her husband was in the back and likely would have been very angry if he knew. She said that I could.
I think there was something in my eyes. She saw my reverence for this thing.
She opened the case and I reached in and touched the leather. It was once a rough and poor quality piece of leather. Age and wear had made it soft and smooth. Like heavy cream.
The bone was dark with a lovely patina. The chest piece was broken. Like I had thought. I wanted it so much. And so did J. But as I said, it wasn’t for sale.
After we left the shop J and I talked about it. I knew I could make one for her. I only got to see it for a few minutes, but I am good at figuring out how things work. I just needed to get the supplies.
It took me a few months, but I soon had all the bone, beads, and leather to make her a chest piece for her birthday.
And enough to make myself one for no reason other than I wanted one.