true story about tools

 I took a break from the beading part of my brain and spent some time down in the studio because that's where the sun has been coming in lately. It felt good to work on this bag, almost ready to add Mr. Buffalo to the front, a special piece that Christine sent to me.

I'm sure you have that one special tool that's so important to your work, the one that you always reach for, the perfect fit for your hand. Mine is my leather needle, small in the idea of tools but a real brute as far as needles go. And as important as it is, I lose it, all of the time ... probably close to a dozen times. But considering that it's the only one I've ever used in over thirty years of working with leather, maybe that's not too bad and I always find it, eventually.

Here's the story of how I came to own it. Years ago in these parts a really good but crazy job to have was cleaning rooms in the many motels in town, all of us who were striving to work on our own took advantage of the early morning, part time hours and were usually paid cash ... just like bartending, a great skill that would always come in handy, at least as long as you are young and fit.

A hippie guy was staying in a room and we were surprised to find out we were both doing leather work, him much longer than me at that time, but he was the only other person I knew besides Leather Mary who was teaching me some. We only talked a couple of times but one morning he handed me a small bundle which held quite a few items along with that needle and an awesome pair of scissors, those are the only ones I've ever used, as well. I found out a while later that he had taken his own life.

So, of course, it feels like an honoring act each time I work with leather, to him and the deer.
You already know how attached we are to the many deer families around here
after living close with them for many years.
And that's another story.


  1. This story moved me Susan. I love such inside views of a person's world, and how one person can have such an impact on another, simply by a small kindness.

    1. That's so true, isn't it? one small kindness can change a world, a life.
      The stories are why I'm still visiting your space after more than eight years, all the sharing of your art, your days, your town, your job ... I appreciate it all. Thanks always for coming by and leaving thoughts.

  2. What a simple, not simple, sad, not sad story. Positive relationships, however fleeting or long lasting, should be tactile like yours is ~ feeling the tools and the leather in your hand, thinking of the person who gave them to you.
    Can't wait to see the finished bag ~ looking lovely so far!

    1. Exactly! simple, not ... sad, not. Just life.
      I'm having fun with the bag in the morning sunshine then when it gets cold and dark I move upstairs, snuggle in and bead ... good days.

  3. What a wonderful "behind the scenes" story! And what I love is the story moves along with the art piece and it all takes on another story. Love it!

  4. Thank you so much, my friend, for visiting & reading & leaving me your words here.

  5. No wonder you love these tools and have worked with them for so long. This is a very moving story. It almost seems that he gave you this bundle for safe keeping and put them to good use (which you did). He was never forgotten by at least one person. It is an uplifting and sad story at the same time.