31 January 2010
Sorry I've been gone for days! We were out of touch with my husband's family, especially his Granny. She made it to 89, and I wanted to dedicate this post to her because I think she would be a fan of the challenge. Granny was such a kind, simple, and positive woman. We miss her, but I think she's happy looking down on us.
A few weeks ago I went rummaging through my old jewelry stashes in search of old brooches. I had caught myself searching Etsy and Anthropologie only to find a new trend: brooch necklaces. I hear JCrew has them, too. On Etsy, they are truly one of kind--sold from $100-$200+, and at Anthropologie they start at around $60. I considered going over to Anthropologie to look at the beautiful necklaces, but the temptation seemed too much to handle: I couldn't keep my Christmas Anthropologie gift cards at bay. And I'm saving those for when the temptation gets tough or if, for whatever reason, I actually need something. So I was left with some online pictures and my own jewelry.
My first find was the ruby red jeweled butterfly I inherited from my Great-Grandmother on my mother's side. We shared the same birthday, so I have a lot of her old "costume jewelry." And then I came across a jeweled cat my friend Sheri gave to me one year for my birthday. And with my searching, I found other gold brooches and pins with hints of red and turquoise, including an old star I believe belonged to a great-aunt or other great-grandmother. And in the top of my jewelry box, I even spied the gold cat with red eyes and a pearl by its tail: That one was from Granny's jewelry box. My husband's family said I could have it.
But my finds--six in all--weren't enough to complete the necklace. But a quick (well, as quick as browsing can be) look though my favorite antique mall just minutes from my house, I found exactly what I needed: A large gold flower with a pearl middle and a jeweled frog. Both were old, used, and $3 each. I finished the necklace off with an old strand of pearls. Total cost: $6 (sure beats upwards of $200!) To create the final piece, I simply pinned the brooches to a curved cut of stiff felt I had leftover from Christmas ornament making. Then I hooked the necklace to each side. It was far simpler than methods that suggested cutting off the pin backs and filing them down. Plus, I didn't want to destroy the brooches. This way, I can still wear them as individual pins.
The compliments at work the next day were ubiquitous, and the surprise that I created the necklace made it even more exciting to wear:) I'm told I could sell it--or make more and sell them--but there is no way I would sell this piece, no way I would give away the jewels of my family grandmothers, no way any price could replace the joy I get out of identifying where each piece came from.