Tuesday, August 10, 2010

from this to that....

I was SO honored when my Nannie (grandma) gave me some of her Mom's old jewelry. When my mom brought the pieces to me I was instantly in love but also felt some responsibility. I don't know much about my great-grandmother, Virginia, but now I had little pieces of her everyday life.

My mom kept some of the jewelry sets that are simply amazing and she actually asked my opinion on how to "fix" the earrings that went with one set in particular. Virginia wore the "clip-on" earrings and my mom wanted to turn them into "post" ones. We got that all figured out and now she is able to wear the pieces just as Virginia did.

Which leads me back to the responsibility aspect. I was so excited and knew I wanted to give Virginia's jewelry a new life so to speak. I thought of taking some of the jewelry pieces and creating "dangles" that I could then use on the covers of altered books, mini books or shadow boxes that I will be hanging in the house. While that was a good idea, it wasn't the right one.
Over time, I realized I had three complete sets of earrings and then it "hit me". Not only could I wear these jewelry pieces in a new way, but I could pass these down to both of my girls when they are ready and hopefully, as woman they will think it is pretty cool to wear their great-great grandmother's treasures. It was perfect! I have taken two sets of earrings and made them into vintage rings and I will also do that with the last set.

My Mom's birthday was in late July and one of the vintage rings I had created, I knew my Mom would love and wear. So, I was excited to give it to her and when she opened the gift - her reaction took my breath away. She started to cry and could not believe that I had done something SO wonderful for a grandmother she loved immensely. My Mom let me know that she would be giving this back to Shelby and asked what I was going to do with the other earring that made the set. I told her my plans to make two rings out of each set  of earrings and then pass them to the girls. Shelby would have three rings and Ellie would have three rings.
My Mom gave me a hug, crying (my Mom gives the best hugs).

So, after she put her ring on she told me a little about Virginia and her last days, when she was sick. How she was one of a few that would visit Virginia and how lonely she had become in the end. It made my heart melt when my Mom told me how much Virgina would have loved what I had done, how she was smiling down on us at that moment and how we were now carrying a piece of her with us.

Until the girls are old enough my Mom and I will wear the rings and at the right time we will pass them down - relaying the importance of them and their heritage.  I will admit - every time I wear one of the rings and I look down I think of Virgina, the few photos I have of her and how this was a piece of her everyday life. Priceless!

Now, do you have things that have been passed down to you from your grandparents, great grandparents or even your Mom or Dad that you can re-purpose in a way that you love? When you have an opportunity - remember you can always breathe new life into anything!

Thanks for hanging in there with me.


Serene said...

What a sweet, touching story that is. What a gift you'll be passing down to the next generation when the time comes.

Shannon said...

This is such a great idea! I would love to see step by step how you made them into rings. These will be a wonderful and very meaningful gift for your daughters.

Jill said...

Thank you for this. . .my mother recently passed so we are dealing with stuff/memorabilia/some valuables. It is hard to know how to keep it all but still use it and love it--not just store away for the next generation.

Rosann said...

Don't forget to call your home insurance agent and get the stuff added to your insurance policy. Hate to be a pessimist and no money can ever replace them if something happened but insuring the items can bring a little piece of mind.

AntiqueChase said...

Lovely story! I enjoy your blog and so glad you're back to writing!

Jon Sr said...

D, Nice post and great idea. Touching as well.