My special order that I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived in the mail. It may not be an heirloom, but there’s definitely some history behind this bracelet. And, of course, that’s why I was suckered into buying it. Most of us ladies understood that feeling, going to a mall or craft show, with the intention of being good, and not buying anything. But I wasn’t kidding when I said I ran across this “I’ve-gotta-have-it-no-ifs-ands-or-buts” at the Pendleton Spring Jubilee.
Tia Turco’s booth was home to bracelets and necklaces made from stamps from all over the world. I particularly enjoyed watching some grandparents let their granddaughter pick out a colorful pink stamp charm, to wear on a necklace. But I was only glancing around, and tripped over the unexpected.
Back in the 1950’s, there was a stamp series featuring quotes from some of our Founding Fathers, Francis Scott Key, and Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps there were other stamp quotes, but these were the only ones I saw featured. Tia had turned them into two pieces of unique jewelry (or at least, those were the only two on display), complete with quotes from Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Patrick Henry.
Narrowing the choice down to two, I found that one bracelet had the Francis Scott Key quote, “And this be our Motto, in GOD is our TRUST”, while the other had Patrick Henry’s “Give me LIBERTY or give me DEATH”. Both of the display bracelets had the Abraham Lincoln quote. Don’t ask me what it was, for I don’t remember. It was a good quote, but I can fill you in some other time on why Abraham Lincoln is not my favorite person. He may have had a way with words, but he didn’t actually live up to them.
Nevertheless, I wanted both the Key and the Henry quotes, even though I knew that each bracelet represented a lot of hard work, and it wasn’t likely that Tia could just cut them up and make a new one, right before my eyes. I never want to be a difficult customer, since I’ve been on the other side of things, both in a craft show booth and in a store. But, because of this dilemma, I couldn’t choose.
She solved the problem for me by suggesting that if I liked, I could special order what I wanted, and then she could mail it to me, in a few weeks. Problem solved! How delightful. And by the way, if anyone would like to get in touch with her, let me know, and I’ll get you her e-mail. I won’t post it here. She also has an Etsy site, (as you can see on her card) but it’s used more for custom orders.
I was so excited when I received my box in the mail! I was surprised that it wasn’t packaged in layers and layers of bubble wrap, but whatever the stamps are covered in must be a hard plastic, not glass. No fears of breakage. And there were extra loops on the bracelet, for those with larger wrist, but I removed two of them. Also, I have not adjusted the color in the photos, not even a smidgen, so this is what the stamps in the bracelet really look like.
Immediately, I wore my bracelet to work, not caring that no one would notice it but me, though I did show it off to my fellow cashiers. I got my arm into some awkward positions, trying to show it to the cashier on my right, while standing on her left… and wearing it on my left wrist. She was trying to read it, when I had the words turned towards myself. Eventually, we had a pause between customers again, and tried it again, with me on her RIGHT, so she could just read it like normal. Yes, we were distracted and not thinking straight. Stop laughing.
When I was first looking at Tia’s jewelry, once she figured out which ones I was drooling over, she immediately asked if I’m a history buff. Oh, yes, I am, and what girl that loves reading about our Founding Fathers, the American Revolution, and the creation of the Constitution wouldn’t love having this piece of history dangling from her wrist?
In case someone decides I’ve mistyped anything, Francis Scott Key was not a Founding Father, and I’ve double-checked to make sure I didn’t imply that he was. He was born in 1779, which would do something to prevent being considered as such. : ) But he is most famous, of course, for writing the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner”. I was taught, somewhere along the line, that the tune we sing it to was a common tune for drinking songs… now, what drinking songs could possibly be sung to that tune? I can’t imagine.
The other names are much better known, but I won’t dwell on their historical significance here. I love reading about these famous men who had such a great and profound effect on our country. So, having a small piece of jewelry to remind me of our history is wonderful to me, if to no one else.