As I was finishing the little vest for my Tabaki Jackal challenge I kept thinking (and thinking) about the book that inspired it all, Mariam Petrosyan’s The House, in Which… I’m a pretty fast reader, but this one kept me busy for quite some time. For one, because it is on par with War and Peace in length, but more importantly because this time I flavored and relished every sentence, every word, like a piece of dark chocolate on a rainy day. And looking at the little vest – the result of all that emotion that was stirred in me while reading – I realize that there is no better gift for Christmas (or any other occasion for that matter) then a book.

Be it an e-book or the traditional version, whether you match your loved one’s taste or favorite genre, choose the newest book of their favorite author or open their horizon to something completely different, you can be sure to gift long hours of exploration and joy. In a book you relish the plot, the scenery and move into the book to live among the characters. And it is only now that I realize what this book had really caused in me: for not only did I move into the House, but the House has moved into my soul permanently. And this vest is the map of that journey, which I hereby submit to K as my finished piece.

Tabaki Jackal’s vest – front

The front of the vest is a collage of all things that Tabaki would have collected and which come to represent the characters in the book.

Vest detail – a shoe, a star, dragonflies and a dragon

The color red is for all the redheads in the book. The dragonflies for the Forest and the River; the star for the Night. The shoe for the Smoker. The dragon for the Lord.

Vest detail – a bunch of lemons

The lemons for the Lovely. The bell for the Mermaid.

Vest detail – coins

The coins for the Sleepers, so they may find their path in the other world with this fare to Charon.

Vest – lining

The lining has an inside pocket perfect to hide the contraband and the items that can be smuggled into solitary confinement. The bag is for all those that are preparing to leave. Nini the sparrow for the sky and for those that hope without end.

Vest – inside pocket and the watch

The watch is the object of Tabaki’s utmost hatred, so I chose to include one (my very first watch as a kid) that no longer ticks.

Vest – inside pocket and the locket

The locket, with Mother Anna’s picture for the House, so it may remember her past and her ghosts.

Tabacki Jackal’s vest – back side with embroidered dragon and Fleur de Lis

And the dragon and the Fleur de lis for the Lord. But also for Tabaki Jackal himself, who while painting this mighty animal in the dark ended up creating a hybrid of many mystical creature.

If I’ve achieved one thing with this humble post, to stir your curiosity, then do gift a book this Christmas. Better yet, give this book a chance!

P.s. K, hope you like it!