Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – October 14, 2004
Chums For Scrummie
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – October 14, 2004 – I especially enjoy giving gifts that I think the recipient will enjoy, and I’m always thrilled when someone gives me a gift they know I will appreciate, or one they’ve designed and made themselves. A couple of years ago I made marble coaster sets for my dinner guest at my annual Christmas party.
I started in October and it turned into a much bigger endeavour than I’d anticipated when I had this particularly “bright” idea. I began by hand-picking each of the 96 squares of marble and then finishing them. If I included my time, each of the sixteen sets I made probably cost me well over a hundred dollars. Fortunately it wasn’t about the money or the time. I was thrilled to have picked the colour for each guest and to have worked on the coasters over a six week period.
I wrapped each gift carefully and they were an enormous success with my friends (or so they said) and I tend to think they were appreciated. I see them in use at the homes of my pals. Of course, it could be one of those situations where they say, “Somebody go down to the basement and find those bloody coasters – Roe is on her way over here”.
It was a rewarding experience for me. With that in mind I got to thinking about what I might give as gifts to this motley crew come December. My annual soiree isn’t far away now, and if I’m going to make something I need to start soon. I was sitting at my desk yesterday having a chat with Scrummie when the thought popped it my head – “Why not make an Innukshuk for everyone?” They are a great conversation piece and represent a bit of our far northern, Canadian heritage. I picked Scrummie up and looked at him. How difficult could it be? Of course that’s what I thought about the coasters until I started to scrub, coat and buff each of the eight dozen pieces of marble.
However an Innukshuk is really just a three to five inch oval shaped base stone with a jumble of smaller stones piled on top to look like a human (sort of). The head stone seems to be important as that appears to bestow each piece with its “human” flair. The stones are coated with some sort of finish (I suspect a glaze) to give them a polished sheen. The eight to twelve stones seem to fit together in a haphazard pattern, with different sizes representing the feet and legs, mid-section and upper body.
The placement of the head stone gives the body its human quality, and different colours and textures add interest and personality. Ziggy likes Scrummie better than his nameless, bigger friend and most mornings he attempts to chew on Scrummie’s little head and arms while I check my E-mail. Scrummie must find this a bit disconcerting.
So that’s it then. I’ve already tracked down a couple of sources for river stones that I’m going to check out tomorrow and I’ve also remembered a store on Gerrard Street, where I once bought colourful rocks in a great variety of shapes and sizes for my garden fountain. The next task will be to determine what kind of glue I need to hold stones together. Upon close examination (without getting overly personal) Scrummie’s parts appear to be affixed with a heavy, clear almost gel-like type of glue. It’s undoubtedly available from a building store or craft outlet.
With the supplies sourced, I just need a couple of hours to pick them up and then it will be up to my wild and crazy imagination to create an individual Innukshuk for each person. I’ll have to use colour, shape, height and style to create a unique piece for everyone and that should be a lot of fun. A chance to make something memorable at Christmas for people I care about.
Of course it’s impossible to know how any project like this will turn out. I may use the wrong glue and my friends may end up with Innukshuk bits scattered about their homes, or the river stones I select may be brittle with age and crack along an unseen fissure, causing the little guy to fall asunder. However after due consideration, that’s a risk I’m prepared to take. I can feel my creative genius bubbling under the surface. I’m almost sure Scrummie will be impressed.
As for Augie and Ziggy, I can never tell what’s going on in their little noggins, but it may be possible to make Innukshuk puppies and puddies. Time will tell. Maybe I’ll end up becoming a renowned Toronto “petukshuk” artiste – known and loved for my unique stone renderings of the pets of the city’s rich and famous. I like to keep my options open in life. I never know what may happen during the course of any give day. Just this morning I was a real estate agent and now I’m on the verge of artistic greatness. It’s remarkable what a difference a few hours can make!