The Mystery Of the Errant Fabric Pin

A blast of an almost forgotten memory hit me as I was re-reading an old Art Doll Quarterly. The events are still so strange to me that I decided to share the story for your Halloween spooky-story month.

This advertisement from Anima Designs popped up to surprise me at how baffled I still am, after all these years. The ad featured one of the sample fabric pins that I made for them using their rubber stamps.

Advertisement from Anima Designs

The mystery happened in the middle of a rubber stamp class that I was teaching at Cloud Nine in Monrovia. Well, let me back up…it really started when Kim from Anima Designs e-mailed me to say that one of the pins that I made was stolen from her last rubber stamp show. It is heartbreaking when that happens in classes or at shows but, as you can guess, it happens a lot. Theft of handmade goods or artwork is so sad that I had to learn not to take it personally. I had to tell myself that it is the price of doing business and let it go.

The class that I was teaching was probably to be my last as I was moving out of state and did not know if I would continue in the same direction. I had mentioned it to my group a couple weeks earlier.

Well, in the middle of class, a student walked in and I thought, “late as usual”. (Lateness is one of my pet peeves and, in a full class especially, it is so not fair to the other students to be interrupted by a late comer. OK, that is a whole other story.)

Dried flowers for fall

But, in walks this regularly pain-in-the-butt student. She surprises me by saying that she is not in the class, but that she wanted to bring me flowers for being one of her favorite teachers and to say that she will miss me. OK, now I’m completely turned around emotionally because I was in a totally negative state at first and then put into a suddenly happily-surprised state. I was just thinking that it was strangely kind of her when she announces, in front of everyone, that she brought something to show me that SHE had made. Yep, you guessed it- it was unmistakably my pin.

It was not the pin in Kim’s ad that you see above, but it was the pin that Kim said had been stolen. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of that pin to show you. But it was unmistakably my pin. You see, I had hand dyed the fabric and all of the trim, so I recognized it immediately. I flipped it over to see my signature on the back, but it had been crossed out with a black Sharpie.

I was shocked and appalled. So now I went from happy state to WTF?! A million thoughts crossed my mind. Should I confront her? Is she crazy to think that I wouldn’t recognize my own handiwork? What is her game? And, finally, is she the one who actually stole the pins or did one of her friends do it and then gift it to her? I don’t understand. All of these thoughts put me in a practically catatonic state as I kept smiling and mumbling about how nice.

I didn’t want to be rude in front of the other students who were all smiling at how nice this lady was for bringing me flowers. What to do, what to do…. In the end, I did what most women my age do when being slapped like that. I did nothing.

Obviously this still bothers me and is wrapped in a bunch of strong emotions. I do realize that it is yet another one of those just-bury-it and let it go things.

Mostly though, I’m posting this because I wondered what others would do in the same situation. What would you have done?

Still perplexed
autumn flower arrangement

7 thoughts on “The Mystery Of the Errant Fabric Pin

  1. omg, that is horrible!! I wonder how that person can even walk in knowing she didn’t make the pin and then to show it is just unbelievable but wtf it happens!! Definitely a mystery. What about making a little voodoo doll of the culprit, hahahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL, I thought about a voodoo doll for a long time, but now I just wonder why I didn’t have the guts to confront her. Or if I even should have. She had to be crazy. So, would confronting her do any good? Especially with a class full of people looking at us? I’m still so confused by it all. I know that I should have let that memory stay buried, but when I saw Kim’s ad, all of the anger and confusion came rushing back to me. Strange, strange person. Her…not me. 🤣🤣🤣


  2. Wow Sandy, what a story! It was a great read with my tea as I sit in a hotel lobby during my current travels. I think you handled the situation with grace. And how sad a person she must be to need to steal someone’s work AND claim it as her own (it would be one thing that she took it because she loved it so much she could not control herself but…)
    Thanks for sharing this story and sorry you experience that but I bet your life is so much richer on so many levels than the thief’s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tierney. Your note means a lot to me because I was just thinking that I should not have posted that story. I rarely post things that are really personal- things that have impacted me a LOT. I mean, I will laugh and goof on things, but not the stuff that really bothers me. I start thinking how silly it all is and that I should not make a fuss over nothing.

      So, thank you for your note. It made me feel a little less foolish this evening.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey I posted my “finding a handmade little wallet at the thrift shop with my business card inside…” post. I guess it is all part of putting yourself out there creatively – we get these unpleasant surprises. Reading your story made me not feel so alone when these things happen to me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I imagine you have come up with many cheeky and clever ways to respond AFTERWARDS. That is how I am – especially when caught off-guard.
    I can’t help but think about how witty the British are and quick on their feet in these types of scenarios – at least on television shows they seem to be quite witty. I can see the Dowager of Downton Abbey having a most polite and appropriate yet snide response to a little thief…

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