12 January 2013

Memory & Thanks Blog Hop

"Memory is the power to gather roses in Winter."

I am sorry that I am a bit late to the party. I tried all day long to write the post that I felt called to share, but the subject is just too hard, the emotions too raw. And because of that, the creative mojo was blocked. It will have to wait for another day.

But in thinking of memories and thanks, and specifically memory jewelry, I realized that I actually make a lot of pieces that are inspired by memories.

My cousin Jane has been asking me to make jewelry for her for the past two years or so. She gave me her Nana's charm bracelet-turned-necklace filled with all manner of solid gold charms from her travels around the world. I created special charm necklaces for four of Jane's nieces bridging the past to the future.

Jane also gave me a bag filled with treasures that belonged to her mother, Elsie, and asked that I use some of them to create a memory necklace for her. She has a job that takes her all over the world. She is a lawyer so her tastes are very traditional, streamlined and contemporary. But these pieces from her mother were traditional but far from contemporary. So the challenge was to make something that honored her mother's memory but translated into a more contemporary design.

Aunt Elsie passed away when she was just 50 years old. My cousin Jane and I were about 12.

I didn't really know my Aunt Elsie very well. Before we moved here, I would only see her at major holidays when we would travel from Crystal, MN to Stevens Point, WI to hunt Easter eggs or have a Christmas potluck. I still make her Hot Shrimp Dip every Easter and think of her. Like all my aunts, I recall that Aunt Elsie always looked put together. Her jewelry was always very traditional and very simple. Cameos, stick pins and pearls.

Included in this bag of treasures were some religious medallions as well as Elsie's vintage crystal rosary. I told Jane that I wouldn't cut apart the rosary. The crystals are cuts that are not produced anymore, and even if she doesn't use the rosary as an intended prayer tool, it was a special piece. But I did cut the initial stick pin down to make it into a special dangle alone with a Mary medallion.

None of these pieces that I incorporated were valuable outside of the memories they inspired. If they had been signed or were made of more precious materials, I would not have used them or altered them. Since they were merely fashion jewelry items, I did change them a bit. I removed the gold circle from around the cameo pin since the gold plated metal was rubbed off and the metal was a bit cracked, and I cut off the pin backing on the circle ivy and faux pearl pin and I had to reglue a loose pearl back in its setting.

Connecting items like this is the puzzle. Finding just the right placement and making them balanced is the challenge. Often there are holes that can be used for putting it all together. To keep with the circle theme I found a few pieces that had that vintage feel, like the rhinestone oval that is a new item which looks perfectly at home in this piece and echoes the round shapes.

{Full Circle}

A few strands of pearls that remind me of what every well dressed housewife of the 60s would wear completes the back. And to finish it off I found a beautiful crown shaped toggle.

I met Jane and her husband Joe at a local bistro for lunch right after Thanksgiving. When I presented this necklace to Jane she gasped. As I shared all the little details there were tears in her eyes. The eclectic design is a departure for Jane's style but I could really see that she loved it and was excited to wear it. It will be a special reminder of her mother, my Aunt Elsie. I can picture Jane wearing this when she travels around the world this year as a memory that her mother is always with her, and the charms will be a talisman to bring her mother into her life with every touch.

Thank you, Jane, for trusting me to create this necklace for you to honor the memory of your mom, and my aunt, Elsie.


Thank you, Miss Lori of Pretty Things for the inspiration for the Memories & Thanks blog hop.

Please go and visit the rest of the participants.

Hostess, Lori Anderson       Pretty Things

 Adlinah Kamsir                   Dream Struck Designs
 Aimee Biondolillo               Aimee's Jewelry Treasures
 Alicia Marinache                 All the Pretty Things 
 Andra Marasteanu               Handmade by Indra Marasteanu 
 Andrea Trank                      Heaven Lane Creations
 April Grinaway                   Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Barb Solem                         Vivi Magoo Presents
Becky Pancake                    Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Beth Emery                         Stories by Indigo Heart
Bonnie Coursolle                Jasper's Gems
Cassi Paslick                       Beads: Rolling Downhill
Catherine King                    Catherine's Musings
Cece Cormier                      The Beading Yogini
Chandra Leitz                     Juniper Goods
Charissa Nesler                   FireStorm Designs
Charlie Jacka                       Clay Space
Christina Hickman              Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Murrow               Charis Designs Jewelry
Christine Stonefield            Sweet Girl Design
Chrizette Bayman               Bead Soup Mix
Cindy Wilson                      It's My Sea of Dreams
CJ Bauschka                       4 His Glory Creations by CJ
Crystal Thain                      Here Bead Dragons
Cyndi Lavin                        Beading Arts
Debbie Rasmussen             A little of this, a little of that
Denielle Hagerman             Some Beads... and other things I like
Diana Gonzalez                  Arte y Poemas
Diane Hawkey                    diane hawkey
Dita Basu                            ankarshilpa
Donetta Farrington             Simply Gorgeous
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell     Deeliteful Jewelry Creations
Emma Todd                        A Polymer Penchant
Erin Kenny                         beadiful therapy
Erin Prais-Hintz                  Treasures Found
Gina Hockett                      Freestyle Elements
Gloria Allen                        Innovative Dreams Jewelry
Heather Marston                 CSW Designs
Inge von Roos                    Inge's Blog
Iveth Caruso                       Creative Atelier
Jacqueline Marchant          Fiddledeedee Jewelry
Jami Shipp                         Celebrating Life!
Jean Yates                          Snap Out of it Jean, There's Beading to Do!
Jennifer Reno                     Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Jenny Robledo                   Peppa's Dream
Jennifer VanBenschoten    Jewelry, Art and Life
Jessica Klaaren                  Cellar Door Jewelry
Jessica Murray                   Whimsical Monkey
Joan Williams                     lilruby jewelry
Jo-Ann Woolverton            It's a Beadiful Creation
Joanne Browne                   josjewels1
Jodie Marshall                    Jodie Marshall Lampwork Beads Wearable Art
Johanna Rhodes                 Fire Phoenix Creations
John Rasmussen                 Rasumussen Gems and Jewelry LLC
JuLee Wolfe                       The Polymer Penguin
Julie Bean                           Blue Pig Blog
Karen Mitchell                   Over the Moon Designs
Karin King                         The Sparklie Things Blog
Karin Slaton                       Backstory Beads
Kat Douglas                       Washoe Kat's
Kay Bolton                        Toodles and Binks
Kelly Hosford Patterson     The Traveling SideShow
Kim Ballor                          Vitamin C ... A Daily Does of Creativity
Kim Dworak                       CianciBlue
Kim Houston                       The Pink Martini
Kym Hunter                         Kym Hunter Designs
Laren Dee Barton                Laren Dee Designs
Lea Avroch                          LA Jewelry Designs
Leanne Loftus                      First Impression Design
Liddy McLaughlin               Liddy McLaughlin Art
Linda Florian                       Lily's of the Valley Jewelry & Creative Creations
Linda Inhelder                     Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Hamilton                      Simply Irresistable Jewelry
Lisa Suver                            Fancee That
Lori Bowring Michaud        Artfully Ornamental
Lori Poppe                           Adventures in Creativity with Lorillijean
LouAnn Elwell                    Southpass Beads
Mandi Effron                       Craft-o-licious
Marcia DeCoster                 MadDesigns
Marcia Dunne                     The Alternative Foundry
Marie Covert                      Creating Interest
Marjorie Savill Linthwaite     bennubirdrising
Marlene Cupo                        Amazing Designs by Marlene
Martha Aleo                           Ornamento
Marti Conrad                          Marti's Buttons -n- Beads
Mary Ellen Parker                  BeeTree by m.e.
Mary Govaars                        MLH Jewelry Designs
Mary Lindell                          Mary Lindell Artisan Jewelry
Maureen Connolly                 Mrs Beadsley's Workshop
Maybeline Tay                       The Jewelry Larder
Melissa Elgin                         The Addicted Beader
Melissa Mesara                      one-eared pig beads
Menka Gupta                         Menka's Jewelry
Michaela Pabeschitz              la mar de bonita
Mischelle Fanucchi               Micheladas Musings
Mona Rae Baroody               Who Does She Bead She Is?
Nan Emmett                          Spirit Rattles -- Spirited Earth
Nancy Pedersen                    Something Heartfelt by Nancy
Natalie Davidson                  NorthShore Days
Nikki Douglas                      Bead It and Weep
Pam Farren                           re-maker
Pam, the Crazier Sister        The Crazy Creative Corner
Pam Traub                            Klassy Joolz
Priya Krish                           Hellopalz 
Rebecca Anderson               Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag                 Becca's Place
Robin Kae Reed                   Artistry HCBD
Rochelle Brisson                  a creative chelle
Rosa Maria Cuevas              Helena de Troya
Sabine Dittrich                     perlendschungel
Sandi Volpe                          Sandi Volpe
Sandra McGriff                    Creative Chaos
Sarah Goode                         Pookledo
Sarah Singer                         String a Song of Sixpence
Serena Trent                         All Things Made Jewelry
Shai Williams                       Shaiha's Ramblings
Sharon Palac                        Sharon's Jewelry Garden
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson    Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
Sheila Davis                         Stone Designs
Shelley Graham Turner        Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey                       Knot Just Macrame
Sherry Baun                         Unicorns Jewels
Skylar Bre'z                         Brising Beads
Stephanie Haussler              Pixybug Designs
Tania Spivey                        Moobie Grace Designs
Terri G.                                Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter                         Tapping Flamingo
Terry Matuszyk                    Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry
Toltec Jewels                       Jewel School Friends
Tracy Kruse                         Goldkisses Art
Tracy Martin                        Nutkitten's Jewelry
Zia Parks                              Anzi~Panzi's Work Shoppe
Zoe Marcin                          Beads, Tea and Sweets


Kathleen Lange Klik said...

What a beautiful necklace and an even more beautiful way of honoring your aunt Elsie! I can understand your cousin's reaction to it as I had the same response; it's beauty and uniqueness really takes your breath away.

13 said...

Beautiful and elegant, such a fitting tribute.

Alicia said...

A wonderful story: with a gorgeous piece to match. The necklace is elegant and rich with symbols - a perfect tribute for your aunt and a wonderful memory for your cousin. Great work!

Anonymous said...

Lovely. Just lovely.

Skylar Bre'z said...

Love the title of Full Circle for the necklace. Isn't that just what memories and thanks are... completion of love.

Cece Cormier said...

Stunning piece. I love it that you repurposed your Aunt's jewelry and made it something so special to honor your Aunt and also fit the taste of your cousin. Bravo.

Sea of Dreams said...

I love how you took pieces that were filled with memories and combined them into a new piece of jewelry that will create its own set of memories. It is a beautiful piece...and even more so for the person who knows its history.

Cassi Renee said...

That is really beautiful, and you achieved such a wonderful balance to the whole. What a wonderful way for her to keep her memories close.

Lori Anderson said...

It's absolutely gorgeous! I get so nervous doing requests like that -- putting something together with objects full of meaning to someone. Thanks so much for sharing.

A Polymer Penchant said...

How beautiful! In both intention and or course physical being. Erin I would have never been able to tackle a project like this I would have driven myself nuts with doubts and second guessing. I can imagine the relief you must have felt seeing Jane so pleased with it. Perfect!

Cyndi L said...

Full Circle is beautiful, and so so appropriate for Jane. Classic, but completely unique. You have created a true treasure for her.

Pepita said...

It is really beautiful and I'm sure you've fully recreated in it the meaning it has for Jane and the love for her mother.

Sharon said...

You did a splendid job creating a beautiful tribute for two special ladies!

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

Oh, my word! Stunning! Love the story behind the jewelry and am happy to know that Jane loved it, too.

Tracy Kruse said...

A lovely tribute...a gift to cherish.

sandi m said...

Stunning piece Erin. The flow of elements is perfect.
Beautiful way to honor your Aunt, and wonderful treasure that Jane can pass along.

Sandra said...

what a lovely necklace and tribute.

Kim said...

A lovely tribute and a gorgeous necklace.

Bonnie said...

You made a very special necklace in memory of your aunt and I know that your cousin will always treasure the love & thought that went into making it for her.

Here Bead Dragons said...

How beautiful this necklace is and how lucky your cousin is that you could create it for her.


Anonymous said...

Your thoughtful and intentional process with this design made a newly treasured family heirloom for your cousin. Bravo!

Kepi said...

You did an outstanding job, this is a gorgeous heirloom.

Shaiha said...

What a stunning piece in honor of your aunt, one that I am sure that Jane will treasure and in turn pass it down her daughters.

Marlene Cupo said...

Miss Erin, I can understand the emotion involved with having to write this blog post in a way that does not "bring you down". You have certainly done justice not only to your cousin and her mother, but in being the amazingly creative person you are. Thanks for sharing.

moonlitfantaseas said...

Hello Miss Erin !
what a beautiful necklace you have made for your cousin! So full of memories and meaning, I can totally understand the tears in your cousins eyes as you showed it to her... You did a wonderful job, as usual! I just love your way of making jewelry so meaningful!

Becky Pancake said...

Hi Miss Erin,Thanx for sharing your story with us. Your necklace design is amazing. Your cousin will cherish it. I read your blog regularly since I found it. Your posts are usually very thought provoking. You have a way of putting words that makes me feel good in the end.

re-maker said...

Wow, what a beautiful piece of jewelry you have created.

Dyanne said...

WOW! I love your creation! Beautiful! I'm sure your Aunt would be honored! Great job!! I enjoyed reading about your family. Thank you for sharing!

adlinah said...

Your post moved me to tears. I can empathise with your cousin's loss since I lost mother around the same time she did. I was 11 and my mother only 46. I love how much care and thought you took in creating the necklace. I know it must be brimful of memories for your cousin and I'm sure she'll find comfort in wearing it and having her mother near her.

Chrizette said...

This necklace is so beautiful. You have outdid yourself with this one. Love the pearls at the back, it just gives it that something extra! I can see why your cousin love it.

Bead Soup Mix

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

What an absolutely beautiful piece Erin. Such a beautiful way to honor your aunt's memory. I'm sure your cousin will treasure this. My parents gave me my grandmother's jewelry box, filled with costume jewelry, last fall and I'm contemplating how I'm going to use the pieces to honor her memory and share them with my children as well.

BackstoryBeads said...

Brilliant design, Erin. Like Lori, I would have been so nervous, designing with your Aunt Elsie's heirloom pieces! In your hands, they have been updated into a fresh, modern and very classic piece. I'm sure Jane is thrilled!

April Grinaway said...

Beautiful work!

Diane (Dewdrop Designs) said...

Absolutely beautiful. I love incorporating vintage finds into pieces. I have a few of my grandmothers trinkets but do not yet have the nerve to make something special for myself. I had been playing around with flea market finds to gain the skill I need to tackle something with meaning. I was getting a bit frustrated as I ruined "components" on the very first two pieces (luckily they were cheap yard sale finds, but they were very pretty) that I tried so I stopped trying for a bit. You have inspired me to get at it again! I absolutely love jewelry with meaning and would love to one day be good enough at it that I can offer that service to others. Thank you for inspiring me to keep at it and keep working!

Christine said...

Gorgeous!! I'm sure every element evokes a wonderful memory for Jane. Thank you for always inspiring me with your creations!

maxandlucie said...

Erin, this is beautiful. You do such amazing work! <3

maxandlucie said...

Erin, this is beautiful. You do such amazing work! <3

Maire of Thistledown said...

Very lovely :)

Donetta said...

Once again, you've created something amazingly personal, with universal appeal. Such a beautiful tribute to your aunt...I'll bet your cousin is thrilled!

Terri said...

So much for being blocked...a wonderful story thanks for sharing it with us and the piece you have created is rich with memories. Hope you are enjoying the hop.
Terri G.

Kim Stevens said...

Erin, you just have a way of intuitively putting things together, I love your style...it's just beautiful and what a treasure for your cousin!! xo

alankarshilpa said...

What a beautiful post and your creation of the jewelry piece. You put so much thought and love in it. It was a great experience reading this story. Happy New Year, Erin. - Dita

la mar de bonita said...

A piece full of memories of a very special person - individual, charming and extraordinary. Thank you for sharing your story and your design!

MaryL said...

Beautiful story and lovely necklace! Thank you for sharing.

Bobbie said...

What a dear story and a beautiful salute to your aunt. The love and treasured memories are obvious.

Cindy said...

Erin, your piece made in memory of your Aunt is so stunning, what an heirloom you have made. I thought to myself, as I have many times before, now THIS is my new favorite piece that you've made! I am with you on not cutting apart the crystal rosary. The other components you have truly highlighted in an incredible way - each piece adding to the over all whole so beautifully.

Patti Van said...

What a treaure you have made...so beautiful! I have several pieces of my mothers costume jewelry tucked away. She keeps telling me to "take it apart" to reuse the pieces. but I can't do that, as they were gifts from my late father. Sacrilage to me! Trulu beautiful, Erin!

Louann Elwell said...

Such a beautiful piece! How wonderful you wee able to put all these pieces together into something your cousin would remember forever!

tappingflamingo said...

what a lovely piece! I love how you put all the pieces together in this memory piece.

SueBeads said...

Beautiful Erin and what a wonderful gift you were able to give!

The Jewelry Larder by Maybeline Tay said...

I can see the thoughtfulness you have put in in creating this beautiful necklace. The necklace is so elegant, timeless and beautiful. I am sure your cousin could see it too.

becca said...

I like it. I have some special jewelry piece from a couple of my great-aunts, and I've never known what to do with them. I like the simple yet meaningful manner you've put them together.

Anonymous said...

It's beautiful...you did a great job with just the right mix of contemporary and traditional. The circle theme is perfect.

Mandi said...

Erin, what a beautiful piece! You did a wonderful job combining the various treasures.


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