Saturday, February 5, 2011

Salmon Totem Mystery Revealed!

Whew!  That was intense!  For those of you just joining, my last post was a Mystery Thing Challenge.  Wherein my readers guess the secret ingredient in an upcycled jewel.  (It's fun - you should come play next time!)

Here was the Mystery Thing:

A funny locket with a tribal salmon.  Cute?  Strange?  I likee, hope you guys do, too.

Here's what it looked like naked:

It's a carrying case for factory-noise earplugs.  One of my wonderful readers uses them for work.  And she up and mailed me a few, just because she was sure I would like them.  Oh, Jenny M. from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, you were so right!  And thank you!  You are absolutely getting one of these.

Why the salmon?  Well, I was pondering the box, thinking, ew, it looks like a kidney.  Or an ear.  Do I really want jewelry celebrating either of those things?   Suddenly my brain did a backflip and landed on the Orca-shaped tribal designs of my native land (Seattle).  Oh, and I happened to be eating a bagel with lox at the time.  Because this is L.A., land of deli.

A very brief TUTORIAL:

1. I sanded the top surface of the box to give it bite.  2.  I googled  'tribal salmon,' printed it out, cut it to fit.  3. I put it inside the box and then traced the salmon on the outside surface with an extra-fine Sharpie. 4. I did five coats of acrylic sealer.  6. For the charm, I poked a hole and stuck a headpin through from the inside.  Made a loop, then added bead and feather with jump rings.

You could use this technique with any clear plastic - just remember to sand the entire surface, and seal it well.  Or your drawing will vanish, like a salmon escaping into the great wide ocean.

Winners winners winners!  Okay, it's a little embarrassing to reveal that the first correct guess, well, blush, erm, cough-cough...okay, okay, just say it!  The first correct guess was the first guess!  Congrats to Anna, did you know it was an ear plug case, or did you deduce it?  Either way, I salute you!

You guys, if you haven't read all the hilarious comments, you oughtta.  (Click here, scroll down and laugh away!)  Honestly, too much fun, I snickered, snortled and marveled.  I wish I could send a salmon to everyone!  I decided to honor all the brilliance by adding a random winner.  She is...drumroll, please...number 7, Kimberly from Bugaboo!

So how on earth to choose most creative guess?  So difficult.  Do not envy me.  I am giving it to Palimpa Lim, who wrote a novel.  Here it is:   Have you ever noticed these guys that stand quietly on the banks of rivers and lakes and hold long rods in their hands?  What? You thought they where fishing? Are you kidding? There is frozen fish available in every supermarket - why should they waste their time by going fishing?! No. They are secret mermaid lovers (don't believe the tales that say mermaids only live in the sea!), and they are writing messages. They write the cutest poems, decorated with little paintings of hearts and flowers, on scraps of paper, fold them and put them, together with a sinker, into those green boxes. They bend them to the ends of fishing lines and throw them into the water. That's why these boxes have to have this luminescent colour: it's dark deep down under the water. The salmons on them are to camouflage the boxes - if Neptune is around! And then those guys sit there on the banks for hours and hours and wait for an answer. That's what they do. Who knew? The little boxes are mermaid message boxes.

Thanks for playing, my fishies!  See you next time!  I am off to write a message to a Mer-man.


  1. Gracias por la explicación, es perfecta. Besos

  2. Aaaahh... I didn't guess as I had no clue but I did share this on my blog as I've enjoyed reading your blog very much! The salmon on the box is what really threw me and everyone else too I'm sure! Very cool! Thanks for sharing and plan to follow you more...


  3. What a wonderful story and I believe every word of it, yes I do!!

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  5. how nice!
    thank you for your visit at my blog

  6. You never cease to amaze me, and love your go with the flow creativity! Thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!