Family legend has it that I conned my Grandpa Lou when I was eight years old.
The scene of the crime was the grocery store near my grandparents cottage. It was in a tiny little town and maybe the owners were Dutch or liked Dutch stuff or something because they had a little room near the back with a whole bunch of Dutch-inspired chatchkas in it: Delft blue pottery replicas and such.
Of course, I was smitten. I was a mostly-useless-but-pretty-stuff hoarder even way back then. I mean, who doesn’t like a little chatchka shopping when they were only planning to buy two-year old cheddar and Mennonite summer sausage?
Naturally, after some browsing, I convinced my Grandpa Lou to buy me a decorative spoon “for my spoon collection.” It had a Delft blue pottery-looking wooden (well, ceramic) shoe on the end and it came all the way from the Netherlands–well, China, actually, via Drayton, Ontario.
Such a treasure. I loved it.
Don’t believe me? 38 years later, I still have that spoon.
So there. Here’s the evidence:
Please consider this when you’re judging my con artist ways.
Anyway, on the way back to the cottage all those years ago, my Grandpa Lou asked, “So, how many spoons does this make in your collection, now?”
He was apparently (hopefully?) quite amused when I replied, seemingly without guilt or guile: “This is my first!”
And that, dear friends, is how I became a decorative spoon collector. Relatives and friends would bring me specimens for the collection I didn’t really have, from their various worldly adventures which I stored and carted around through my 20s and various cross-country and out-of-country moves.
Yep, guilt over your con artist start in the spoon collecting industry will make you very loyal to your ill-begotten collection. And, suddenly, you realize that you actually do HAVE a collection.
In recent years, they were stored in the drawer of the china cabinet (donated by Grandma Verna), since the china cabinet is where I put all the grown-up things that I don’t actually use: “good” dishes, crystal salt and pepper shakers, pickle plates, and the china tea set from my childhood.
Out of sight, out of mind. That is, in the dining room (definitely a room for grown-ups).
There was a brief period of spoons on the wall, but (con artist guilt aside), decorative spoons really aren’t my thing. I’m more likely to have VW hubcaps and vintage printing press blocks festooning our house.
You know, things that kind of make Practical Man roll his eyes, but he still helps me festoon because he’s a very handy festooner.
Lately, though, I’ve been trying to purge items that I don’t truly love or make use of daily.
Have no fear. Practical Man is safe on both counts.
The spoons, however–even after all my years of guilt-fueled loyalty–were on shaky ground.
After getting sucked into the vortex that is Pinterest for a few hours, (after all, who doesn’t like a little chatchka oogling and Fiat drooling when they were only planning to search for upcycyling ideas for decorative spoons?) I came across the idea to transform the decorative spoons into a charm bracelet.
Presto-bongo. Practical Man to the rescue for the tedious (and slightly unsettling) spoon decapitation and hole drilling and jump-ring installation.
Then, I am back for the glory phase of attaching to the chain for the bracelet.
Memories of my and other people’s adventures in Miami Beach, Montreal, Detroit, Texas, New Orleans, St. Augustine, Rio de Janeiro, Quebec, Pheonix, Bahamas, Heidelberg, Ottawa, RCMP, Victoria, and England now tinkle and dance together, making a happy, loved, useful sound.
My spoons are re-born as kitschy, sentimental bracelets. Two of them!
My Grandpa Lou loved kitschy, sentimental stuff so I think he would approve.