Just before my teen grandson's birthday I got to dinking around with making him a washer necklace stamped with his name using the handy dandy metal letter set from Harbor Freight. He did not want it to be too slick so I grunged it up a bit with sandpaper and some inks and a bit of matte varnish. It looked like some kind of vintage artifact to me and the more I looked at it the more I thought that if it had actually been an artifact, it would have a story. Knowing that he was very interested in science and fantasy fiction and movies about time travel and high tech themes, I decided to dress this simple grungy washer necklace in a bit of fantasy to spark his imagination.
This chunky 3" square wooden box was perfect for a receptacle. It is roughly carved with an inlay of white ceramic in the top. I found this one at a thrift store. It is lined with blue velvet.
I embellished the inside with vintage clock faces and clock hands and chain and some tarnished brass bits.
I tea aged some paper and printed a "letter" to him then crumpled it up, aged the edges with ink and burned some parts. The letter says....
"I landed the flyer where they said there was an ancient sawmill but the trees were huge and close together. The only spot was on the big boulders that overlooked the road below. With the floaters we didn't need roads anymore and very little asphalt was left down by the creek. A chill wind blew and my shield shimmered in adjustment, retaining my body heat. I knew I couldn't get past the trees so I climbed out on the huge mossy rocks, the view stretching out for miles up two different valleys. A faint pattern of rust stained the emerald moss on the biggest rock where I stood. I squinted and made out a ragged star shape, obviously from a metal construct which had stood here long ago. Shiny metal glinted, a disc half buried in the bright spongy green. I picked it up. It was a washer, surprisingly intact. I used my thumbnail to scrape the surface and I saw the letters. There was a name stamped into the metal.
It said MATT.
I thought of you."
It said MATT.
I thought of you."
I wrapped the washer necklace within the paper and folded it into a rough bundle tied with twine. My grandson was delighted and we still talk about the "myth" I started that day. For here is the rest of the story....
Here is the biggest of the mass of giant boulders that jut out of the mountainside where we live. The star rock is right in front of our house. My husband welded the star and strung it with lights and we light it for special occasions throughout the year. If you stand on the rock you can see for miles up two valleys, while down below is a two lane country road alongside a winding creek.
The trees around these boulders are not very big, yet. We also have a sawmill on our property, with which we cut many of the large timbers for our deck and lumber for a special bookcase. So you see, almost all the elements of the story are very familiar to Matt. And we still discuss the mysterious "origins" of the letter and its author. Here are some of our discussions....
We agree the "Matt" in the letter and necklace is him, not someone from the future.
Is the writer me(Gramma) or someone else who knows him from the future? Or a time traveller who is moving back and forth in time?
If it is me, why can't I remember the star?
If it isn't me, who is the letter writer and how do they know Matt?
If this washer necklace is the one that was found, how does it get from Matt back to the star rock and then get found in the future?
What kind of vehicles are floaters/flyers and how do they work?
Is the personal shield for protection or comfort?
If the asphalt road is crumbling and just patches, that means flyers have been in use for many years at the time of the letter. Decades, at least.
Why is the letter stained and burnt?
We're having great fun exercising our imaginations and coming up with scenarios that would explain this mysterious letter and the washer necklace "artifact." We examine each idea and either reject it or incorporate it into the "myth." And Matthew tells me that sometimes, when he spies the wooden box in his room, he will check to make sure the mysterious necklace is still there. Who knows what can happen with such a curious item?
I am thinking that this year there should be another "artifact" found. Perhaps a key? We shall see. With a bit of imagination you can create an aura of adventure around even the most mundane items. I know we'll be talking about this "artifact" for years!
I'll be posting this at the fun parties listed in my sidebar. Please visit, there are always lots of creative ideas to be found!