Friday, November 6, 2009

An Altered Tobacco Tin Tale...

"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love , the things you are, the things you never want to lose."

~From the television show The Wonder Years~
Atop her desk among her most precious of things sat a little tobacco tin decorated with memories of the past. The tin itself was a teasing gift from her papa. One day he tossed it to her in jest in place of the usual piece of peppermint he kept hidden in his vest pocket. Not wanting him to get the last laugh, she made over the tin as if it were the best present she had ever received. Her papa ruffled her hair and said she may not only keep the tin but being such a good sport had earned her not one but two sweet treats. She smiled as she fingered the tin and remembered.She did not set out with intention to decorate the tin only to scuff off the rust so that anything she placed inside would not be soiled. In the removing of the rust, the surface was marred so she set out to pretty it up a bit with a pot of paint left over from the refurbishing of the old front gate.The tin then served as a keeper of girlhood fun. It once housed a set of silver jacks, a red bouncy ball, and a half stick of chalk for keeping score. Its contents changed from time to time as the girl grew. As girlhood faded quietly away and young womanhood approached a battered tobacco tin no longer seemed as attractive a companion as it had in the past.

Not wanting to part with the tin that so reminded her of her papa, she decided to embellish it a bit to make it a more fit companion. Snitched bits of the paper mama was hanging in the dinning room and swipes of paste, as well as grandma's discarded broken broach covered up the nicked paint. A hair ribbon or two replaced the previous contents as the tin took its place on her dresser.
One day she sat twiddling and twirling the tin and a host of fancy trims mama had placed in front of her to decide which would be stitched upon her traveling frock. She liked the brown velvet ribbon with the sheer ruffling the best. Seeing that mama was not looking, she snipped a slip of trim for her tobacco tin, stowing it out of sight.One year later she came swirling into the room with dainty ribbons fluttering from the stem of a tiny button of a rose. She held the rose up to catch its barely there fragrance, smiling, and remembering the one who slipped it into her palm as they danced. She and her friends giggled over the romantic gesture, one of them removed a pin from her headdress to tack the tiny token to the waistband of the young woman's costume.From her silk bag she removed her dance cards of the evening. There were four of them in total, all given to her by the same flirtatious young man who gave her the rose. With each one he signed and handed her, a teasing banter took place. He wanted the dance of grace for what was surely her unmerited favor in partnering with him.The dance of beauty would give unparalleled pleasure to his senses as he gazed upon her.The dance of charm would further cast its magical spell over the evening as her feet moved like poetry and her smile a song.The dance of elegance would round out the evening in a refined manner as her gracefulness and gentility would unfold itself in the last waltz. This was the dance in which the tiny rose materialized in the palm of her hand.Wanting to savor the treasures of the evening but keeping them from prying eyes, her gaze lit upon the old tobacco tin. What better way to honor the sweet memories of the two men who had so completely captured her heart than to combine them as adornment for her tiny treasure box.Emptying the tin of its tangle of forgotten trim and no longer worn hair ribbons, she lovingly tucked each dance card inside, closing the lid tightly against inquisitive glances but opening her heart to new possibilities. Tacking the trim and rose bud tied ribbon in place with her friends borrowed pin was a perfect adornment for her memory tin.Many years later she unearthed the tin from a box of old trinkets. Its once bright paper had faded with age, the ribbon crinkled and sagged, the rose bud was dried and no longer fragrant. The lid was stubborn and unyielding to give up its secret contents as her aged fingers worked at loosening it. A metallic pop issued forth as it gave way, a smile spread across her lips as a single button tumbled out into the palm of her hand.She ran her thumb around the edges as she sat remembering. This was a button from her papa's vest, the one he always wore. The one that held peppermint candy, a big shiny gold pocket watch, and an old tobacco tin. She remembered the day she got it, another gift given in jest and meaningfulness.It was the day her mysterious young man from the dance made his intentions known. It was the day he nervously stood before her papa to ask for her hand in marriage as she waited anxiously in the garden, pacing past mama tending her pansy's and hoping her face would shine as happily as their little flower faces did in the next few moments. It did.Papa and her young man both walked towards her with sober expressions and her heart sank until she noted the twinkle in her papa's eye and the twitching corners of her intendeds mouth. Her papa scooped her up in a big bear~like hug while mama fluttered nearby in excitement. As he released her the middle button on his vest popped right off.

With a hearty laugh he scooped it from the ground and placed it in her palm telling her it was her grown up treat from him to her. A treat not unlike the peppermints of the past, sweet remembrances, this button was to be a reminder of the pride and joy he took in having her as his daughter. He was so proud that he did indeed burst his buttons over that fact, not due to his spreading middle he joked. She offered to sew it back on for him but he refused. He held her hands in his and gently closed her fingers over the button telling her to keep it to remember her old papa by. As if she could ever forget.
Someone someday would find these tiny treasures among her possessions and fail to see their significance. Her fingers played across each embellishment as she sat lost in thought. They would not know the sweet treats and tobacco tin that were hidden in a vest pocket, so freely shared.

They would not see grandmothers fresh lace collar always pinned with her cameo broach and the sweet smile that ever hung just above it. They would not remember the taste nor smell of the delights of food or conversation that were held in the papered walls of mama's dinning room. They would not remember the traveling frock that kept her warm on the way to an autumn dance where she met a special young man who became her life companion.
They would not know the history of the ribbon and the rose. They would not remember the charm, beauty, elegance, or grace that each dance card and memory held. They would not know that each of these memories were buttoned up with love that lasted a lifetime. But she knew by heart the tale of the old tobacco tin...

I hope you enjoyed my version of Beth's Artist Class Tutorial of an altered tin. Beth is one of the contributing artists who provided not only step~by~step illustrated instructions and beautiful vintage wallpaper downloads, but also gorgeous images in a few themes to make the tins in a variety of ways and uses. Thanks Beth, for a sweet project that fired the imagination for my tobacco tin tale.

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

16 comments:

The Feathered Nest said...

Oh Sandy. It turned out BEAUTIFUL!!! Now I don't know if I even want to start mine!!! :) Soooo gorgeous girl...xxoo, Dawn

Mildred said...

Beautiful, Sandy.

Lady Farmer said...

So Sweet! It brought a tear to my eye! *sigh*
Your tin is precious and the story, divine! I do hope you are writting a book of short stories!

Blessings!

LiLi M. said...

Your tin is stunning! and the tags are too. Beautiful story, what more can I say than you did a terrific job again Miss Sandy and so has Beth!

Dorthe said...

Hi I`m Dorthe from DK, also a member of Artist Class,
and I have to tell you that the tin is absolutely wonderfull, and stunning.And your story so very,very sweet.
Dorthe

Lori said...

Miss Sandy, your tin is stunning!!! everything little detail is just gorgeous!!! i love it!!!

Lori said...

"every" little detail i meant to say...just got home from work...very tired...and half asleep:)

Barbara H. said...

What a sweet, sweet story, and the tin is lovely.

Caroline said...

What a romantic tale! Thank you.

TinyBear said...

Oh Miss Sandy - your tin box came out sooo pretty. I love the color combination you have used. so detailed. have a lovely week.
~ Tina

Laurie said...

It's gorgeous, and I loved the story! I can't wait to make mine!

Linda said...

This is such a gorgeous story and tin! So utterly charming. And by the way - loved the quote from the Wonder Years, one of my all-time favorite shows, but of course! ;)

Hope you have a great week.
Linda

Susie said...

Sandy I enjoyed the story of the tin much. Looks great!

Shopgirl said...

this is a lovely post. Everything is so beautiful. Soft and sweet.
Hugs, Mary

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh I do truly love and admire the tin but it was the story that really captured my heart. What a well told tale. I could see the characters in my mind.

lorhen82 said...

Oh Miss Sandy...how I've missed you, my dear! I had a moment during lunch and decided to check in. The story swept me away, touched my heart, and your beautiful tin delighted my eyes! I hope to get some time this weekend to browse on the rest of everything that I've missed on your blog!

Thank you for the charming lunch break!

xoxo
Lori

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