Hey, it's what I do! Welcome to my creative arts blog!

Welcome to my Maker's blog, where I feature my own unique creative projects. I'm eight years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The gift of imagination

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."

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!


  1. Absolutely gorgeous gifts- I love the clocks! Everything is beautiful and thoughtful!

  2. Everything is better with a story! What a wonderful gift. I'm saw this on Keeping It Simple and just had to click to see this great project!

  3. That's just brilliant. Perhaps the coolest gift ever. All the thought behind the gift and the artistry added to create the story is what makes it so amazing. Priceless.

  4. I LOVE this idea!! Definitely a highlight your grandson will remember years from now - a video game would be long forgotten... happy monday : )

  5. Whow G/mom.... this is the most perfect thing to do and share with your grandson! Wonderful imagination ... I just love it!
    Thank you for sharing such an intimate special moment with your grandson!

  6. Thank God for the gift of Imagination!

  7. What a fabulous gift. It is one that he won't forget. You are indeed a special gramma. And I love the necklace. The mystery just makes it better.

  8. what a lucky grandson you have to have such a fantastic grandmother

  9. What a great story and gift!

  10. What wonderful memories you are making for this lucky young man! Thanks for sharing the magic with us on Modern Craftswoman Monday! Rory

  11. Ohhh...I love it! So imaginative...you should write a book? Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

  12. I'm sure your grandson knows he's loved, but I doubt he knows how truly fortunate he is to have such a gifted woman for his grandmother.

    Don't know if you write (more than beautiful posts) but this has the makings of a wonderful book!

    I so enjoyed reading this today and getting lost in your story. Thank you.

  13. What a wonderful gift. I love the letter! All the added touches make the necklace so special. I bet he was thrilled. Fabulous idea. Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase Party! I greatly apprecite it. Hope you are enjoying your week. ~ Stephanie Lynn

  14. hi, I loved the Matt story. I love the necklace too, I think my 17 yo would like a washer necklace, how did you imprint his name on it?

    Also today is my first day visiting your blog, I linked over from someone elses blog (dont even know who now) and I was hooked by the blue stuff. I love the blue, I have old blue medicine bottles and I collect blue and white stuff (ie Willow Ware, or transfer wear type stuff) your blue bottles are gorgeous...I signed up to follow you and look forward to exploring your blog.

  15. What a glorious idea! I am sure anyone would love a gift with so much care and thought.

  16. Well this is just so sweet. I'm a little misty...


  17. What a cute idea!! I love the little box! So sweet!

  18. What a unique way to present your special gift! I'm sure it is a treasure he will someday be able to share with his children and grandchildren.

    Thanks for linking this lovely post to my Time Travel party.

    I would love for you to link in to any, or all, of my parties each week.

    Have a terrific weekend!

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  19. That sounds like so much fun and wonder, what an amazing thing a washer can do:)

  20. It's delightful! The story to go with the washer makes it so much better. My father does treasure hunts for the grandchildren. Even the grown ones get a map and sometimes it takes hours to find the treasure. It is one of our favorite things! Lisa~

  21. This is so special! Incredibly beautiful on its own but made moreso by the additional gift of how you gave it.

  22. This is such a beautiful and thoughtful presentation. Thank you for sharing it at Fabric Fun Thursday.

  23. What fun! You're so creative! I wish I could just come up with a "myth behind the gift,"
    Can't wait to hear when and how the "key" is given.

    Thanks for sharing/linking up to Socialize with me Monday til Sunday.

  24. Matt is one lucky kid to have one creative (and pretty cool) grandmother!

  25. I love the aging you did on that piece. I've have got to get me some stamping tools!!

  26. What a totally original way to present a gift - I really like the whole story/myth idea.

    Thanks for linking up to Fab Friday -


  27. This is an absolutely fabulous gift on so many different levels.

  28. Love how the necklace turned out! What a cute idea!

    Thanks for linking up! I hope to see you again today for another link party and a giveaway!

    Ashley @ www.simplydesigning.blogspot.com

  29. What a fabulous, creative, awesome idea!! And what an amazing memory and treasure for your grandson! Love, love, love it!!


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