Making a Sticker Into a Brooch

Dearest Carla Fran,

I have affixed four of our miniature portraits to the front of my new planner, and am brainstorming ways to turn the fifth into a cameo brooch. (The planner is drastically improved, if ever so slightly less imposing.) My thinking for turning the two dimensions into three is as follows: if a stamp can be made, so can an embossing stamp. If one can emboss, the transition into three dimensions has begun. It’s just a matter of deepening angles and embossing more aggressively until you have an embosser that resembles those dental molds we discussed during your last visit. A touch of plasticine, a dollop of whitener and hey presto—a cameo is born. I may ask my cousin Victoria, who works in patent law, how to go about patenting—not the process, you understand, but the description of the process, which deserves some safeguarding given the slackness of intellectual property laws these days.

(I paused just now to see whether “embosser” is a real noun, and it is.) I recommend The Little English Handbook. It’s a slim volume of pleasing dimensions with a cover the color of Post-its. While it isn’t indexed and structured as rigorously as some other grammar guides, it’s just as usable and rewards the flip-through in a way that St. Martin and Hacker don’t. One doesn’t close the thing feeling rebuked by the author and paper-cut by the tabs. I may use it right now to see whether “paper-cut” should be hyphenated.

Speaking of which, I saw an episode of Monk today in which his brother, Ambrose—played by John Turturro—works as an agoraphobic instruction manual writer. It made me think of you.




One Response to Making a Sticker Into a Brooch

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