Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yes, Son. Your Mamma Does Love You A Little.

It was perhaps 7 years ago that my son, after hearing me say more than once that I'd sure like to try my hand and making jewelry, bought me a bead kit and a this book: The Complete Guide To Making Wire Jewelry for Christmas. Although I have used many of the beads in the bead kit, it was the book that fired me up. To this day it is still one of my favorites. And the only thing The Boy asked was that I make him a chain mail sleeve.

"As sure as as you fruited from the flower of my loins, I shall make for you this majestic chain of mail!" I promised him. 7 years ago. The book he purchased has two chain mail projects in it. It did not take long for me to realized that I didn't know what the hell I was doing. All I ended up with was a tangled mess of jumpring chains. Years went by and I got no better at it. In fact, it got worse. I couldn't even get a single chain going. It was hopeless and I finally admitted defeat to my son. "Son," I intoned, "the dark pallor of shame will color my every mood and thought from here until the dark dwarf sun-death of our Universe. I cannot make chain mail."

In the darkness of my shame there shone one tiny half-glimmer of hope. It was two years ago that I purchased Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections: New Techniques for Wire Wrapping and Bead-Setting and the strange magic of aspect ratio was explained to me. I could again make a chain. And, not only could I make a chain, the reason why I couldn't make a damn chain all of a sudden wasn't because I was brain damaged! It was because I was using the wrong danged sized jumprings for the job. Perhaps now I could elevate my status once again to the greatest Mom to ever slide a squalling creature out from within. I could create a chain mail sleeve for my only born son!

Yeah, no. I was reminded of when my Abuela tried to teach me how to crotchet when I was 8. I learned how to make a chain easily. I enjoyed making crotchet chains so much I'd make them a yard long. But when she tried to show me how to make rows. . . let's just say the yarn would have been put to better use strangling kittens. It took a while for my grandmother to give up on me-- she was a fighter-- but she finally just sighed and let me continue to make yard long chains.

Still, the book did show me how to make different types of chains. Not the most intricate ones, I am too stupid to understand how to read the patterns, but the simple ones. Two weeks ago I used one of those simple patterns to make this chain and turned it into a pair of earrings. I have incorporated this chain pattern in other jewelry because I think it looks neat and a hell of a lot more complicated than it actually is. The Boy caught sight of these earrings.

"You CAN make chain mail!" he accused. It sounded like an accusation to me, anyways.

"Alas, no my son. I can only make chain-- no mail," I answered with my head hanging. Just like The Temptations' mama when she had to explain to them what a bastard their rolling stone papa was.

"Why can't you just put two chains together?" he asked as if it was that simple. Sorry son, life is never that simple.

But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered-- why can't I just put two chains together? I looked at patterns again. Unfortunately I was reminded of how stupid I am. Here is the basic European pattern. I am at WTF! by step 3. But my son's words still rang in my head just put the two chains together. . . just put the two chains together. . . just put the two chains together. . .. My head is mostly empty, hence the echo. So I sat down and, without a pattern, just put the chains together.

I think I can make him a bracelet of chain mail. All I need is, like, 30 dollars worth of jumprings. Maybe more. That won't happen for quite a while seeing as how I'm unemployed and flat busted. But one day, Son, I will be able to walk through the halls of Motherhood with my head held high.


  1. Ceejaytee from the DopeJune 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    "Just like The Temptations' mama when she had to explain to them what a bastard their rolling stone papa was." That's just awesome.

    I heard that song on Pandora last week after not hearing it for a few years. Damn, that's a great song.

    Sorry about the chain mail thing, but the chains you put together look great.