My Crafting Adventures: Chest Piece

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.


Trust me, I am an idiot.


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.



Every pawn store in Florida.


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.


So depressing.


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.


I am not now, nor will I ever be this cool. But my family totally is.


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.


Honestly, it kind of looked like this, all wound up in the case.


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.


It was similar to this, but crumpled and broken.


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.



This is the one I made my sister.

And enough to make myself one for no reason other than I wanted one.



The one I made myself.


28 thoughts on “My Crafting Adventures: Chest Piece

  1. I am totally impressed. Crafty goddess, you are, and I am super amazed.

    I am not crafty. I once foolishly thought I’d get into scrapbooking. Why, I don’t know. In unpacking all my stuff in my new place I discovered the big stack of paper I still had, unused.

    But I did make a summer wreath for my front door out of shells I’d been collecting just to be sentimental. I became a master of the glue gun and must say, it’s awesome. Perhaps I will post my second ever pic on my blog. Tits and a wreath. Not sure what that says about me 🙂

    • Scrapbooking is not something I can get into either. Though I do love looking at the accouterments at the craft store. I want to see this wreath! It sounds lovely. And mastering a glue gun is nothing to sneeze at.

      You know what I think it says? You contain multitudes. Just like the rest of us. You can be a sexual being that has a silly, crafty side. It’s allowed. I am so envious of your ability to speak so candidly about all that lust stuff. I can only talk about sex as long as I make it unsexy.

  2. Oohhh win!!

    My craft chest is full of things to make… still.

    And the craft fair is coming up next week so I’ll buy lots of other stuff to make, at some stage lol

    You’re chest pieces are beautiful 🙂

    • Thank you. I am so in love with the one I made for myself. I want to wear it somewhere but I am so worried about being culturally appropriative. Even though there is some alleged Native American in my ancestry. I don’t know. I don’t know where I’d even wear it. The grocery store? I did that once and it felt awkward. Not that I ever feel not awkward.

      • Er damn car, went over a bump and it posted lol

        As I was saying though, not sure it gives the same thrill of wearing stuff out?

        Could you look up the meaning?

      • I can be too, depends on how much I’ve been social. Like this week. I’ve been out every night and had last night at home. Won’t be home tonight or over the weekend.

        I envisage a week of staying at home to recover.

  3. I’ve tried. I’ve dedicated hours and dollars to all things crafty and I do not have the gene. So I truly appreciate the work of those who do.

    Love your vest and the ability to work one up after seeing a model for a few milliseconds.


    I feel the same way about pawn shops. There is a dusty sadness, desperation, lost hope feeling.

    • I guess I have taken my craftyness for granted. But I truly believe everyone is good at something creative and crafty. You just haven’t found it yet. Did you know Leonardo DaVinci could write with one hand and draw with the other simultaneously? You just need to find your thing. It’s out there.

    • You can see every single thing I have ever made that I still own. Instead of showing you my terrible photo album, I’ll take you through a crafting history until you are sick of it! Plus, your birthday present…

  4. They are both beautiful — if you can’t figure out where to wear them, you should frame it and display it, because it is a work of art!

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