West African Bronze Skewers

Bronze skewers, some of animals, some of people. Hubby got these at a garage sale while I was out of town. When I asked him about them, he couldn’t remember much except that they came from Africa. There are 24, 12 animal heads, 12 people. I decided to display them in a windowsill planter, sticking them into styrofoam covered with little pebbles. I have been so involved with writing, I’d quite forgotten how much I love to do little projects like this.

I began doing creative tidbits as a little girl. Mother insisted that we make our Christmas presents. One year it was placemats, which my sister and I fringed by pulling out threads — horribly boring and the threads tangled so easily. We decorated the mats with paint by stamping designs onto the fabric with various utensils; I remember using a potato masher. Another year we spent hours pushing cloves into oranges which were hung on velvet ribbon for pomades in closets. Then there were the cork earrings; tiny pins threaded onto a bead, then a sequin and pushed into cork balls. Oh, so glamorous. I know one of the Aunts actually wore hers!

Projects changed as I grew. Since I’ve been an adult I have stripped a fireplace mantel and faux painted the surround, stenciled many a border, sewed a prom dress and curtains for various houses and apartments, assembled 45 gingerbread houses, designed and made ballet tutus, tiled a bathroom, crocheted a lampshade, planned and stitched a landscape quilt, and embroidered a throw. I used to knit but I don’t wallpaper. Mother was the ace at that; she once wallpapered our bathroom and managed to eke out enough paper to also do the linen closet. She was also a master cake decorator for children’s birthday parties; no roses or frou-frou, instead clowns, circus tents, merry-go-rounds.

Over the years there have been some disasters. Mother washed and shrank my newly sewn skirt to doll-size. There was a purple bedroom. And just today, right after I took the picture below, I knocked over my new masterpiece. Jingle, jingle — the stones poured out onto the floor, wet glue and all. After a good laugh, Hubby helped me wash the stones, the floor and table. So I have my next project all lined up…


  1. Wow, I really love the bronze skewers. How come I’ve never found anything like that at a garage sale? I like doing projects too, and can almost smell the orange with cloves 🙂

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