The whole tie   

Sam's Lucky Tie

On December 31, 2002, I attended a New Year's Eve party hosted by Albuquerque's Parents Without Partners chapter, S.P.A.R.K.S., of which I am a proud member. The party was billed as a TY Party (TY = Thank You) where everyone was supposed to wear their most creative "tie". There were some interesting ties present. I chose to go with a traditional tie and to add some gambling and good luck charm items I had lying around my house to make it a "Lucky Tie."

The rather fuzzy picture to the left is the tie as worn to the party with the Christmas lights a-glow. If you scroll down the page you will see clearer pictures of parts of the tie with descriptions of each object on it.

The tie itself was purchased at a local Goodwill Store. I sought the widest tie they had as I knew I wanted to put the blackjack hand at the bottom and didn't want it sticking out. Once procured, I ripped the stitching out of the back of the tie and put a piece of cardboard inside to support all of the baubles I planned to attach. A number of hours and two hot glue sticks later, the objet d'art was finished.

Then came the realization that there was no way to tie the tie as the large end that is usually flipped around and through itself was unusable for that purpose. I had to take another tie, tie the knot, slip it off of my head and attempt to reverse-engineer the knot using the small end of the tie. It wasn't a pretty site but I finally managed to create something that looks and acts quite a bit like a standard tie knot.

At the party the tie was very popular and voted Most Creative tie for which I won an amazing bottle of Champagne Bubble Bath.

I enjoyed putting the tie together and hope you enjoy these pictures and descriptions.

Cheers, Sam

Details, details, details...

top fifth of tie, wishbone and steel dice
  • A 2001 Chuck E. Cheese arcade token.
  • A pair of vintage steel dice that belonged to my Dad.
  • The wishbone from my Thanksgiving 2000 turkey. My girlfriend at the time did not want to wish on it with me so I saved it for later use.
  • The pewter slot machine token from a 1997 Las Vegas Edition Monopoly Game. See the whole game, and others, on my Monopoly page.
  • The battery operated Christmas lights are meant to represent the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip.
second fifth of tie, two of hearts
  • The centerpiece of the tie is the Two of Hearts, meant to represent our two hearts, yours and mine. I look forward to giving my heart to a woman again some day.
  • A miniature 1978 US quarter.
  • A bottle of champagne which is actually a Blue Nun Wine bottle for a dollhouse.
  • The phrase is done in vinyl peel-and-stick letters with a homemade question mark. It refers, of course, to the luck/gambling theme of the tie--what did you think it meant?
middle fifth of tie, slot tokens and dice
  • Two dollar slot machine tokens, one from Slots-A-Fun in Las Vegas, the other from the local Isleta Casino.
  • The dice were my Dad's and are from B.P.O.E lodge #437 in my hometown, St. Marys, PA (in Elk County).
second to last fifth of tie, the roulette wheel
  • The birthday numbers I have played in every Powerball drawing since it came to New Mexico in 1996. The numbers were cut from my ticket for the $315M Christmas 2002 drawing, the biggest single ticket jackpot win in Powerball history.
  • A Niagara Falls toy roulette wheel I picked up during our 3rd-grade class trip there.
  • A Putt-Putt arcade token.
bottom fifth of tie, the blackjack hand
  • Blackjack. I used the king because it's good to be king.
  • Miniature dice (about 1/8").
  • The green blob is my futile attempt to make a four-leaf clover out of hot glue and green glitter. Folks at the party were kind and said they recognized it as a clover after I 'splained it to them.
  • The ice scraper lookin' thing is a New Mexico Lottery "Scratcher scratcher".
  • Two plastic poker chips, the red one has the card suits nicely embossed on it.
  • The horseshoe is a piece of "good trash" from the coolest game ever made, Clean Sweep by Schaper in 1967.

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