Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Heavenly Heirlooms - Part II

Well HELLO!!!! I thought I'd be back here sooner, but we all know the holidays bring much craziness & we're all so busy. The trunk shows were a success! Opening the studio this year & leaving it open was the best thing I did, which also created alot more work & hence put me a bit behind on other things. Still have fudge & pies to bake & gifts to wrap, but I would rather blog :-) Procrastination at its best.

I really wanted to share about my Christmas gift. I call it a gift because it was another rare opportunity to share my art with someone & create something beautiful. I have a lovely client - Mary Ellen. Her & one of her colleagues are my favorite earring buyers. They teasingly try to outdo each other on whom has the best ones made by me. Awe... shucks :-)
Both of these lovely women came out & supported me during the studio show & I had some subsequent work to do for them. I went to J.B. Winterberry where they work, which by the way is a fabulous antique/gift shop in Wheaton, IL to deliver fabulous yellow earrings to Mary Ellen. She said she was so glad I came that day because she had something to show me & wanted to see if I could do anything with it.

She opened this small jewelry box & in it was the most stunning rhinestone-encrusted brooch with filigree in grey, cherry & ruby red swarovski stones that I had ever seen! I thought it was the most incredible piece I had seen in quite some time. The story goes that this brooch was worn by her mother to her wedding 46 years ago & it has sat ever since. Having seen alot of my work so far, she gave me the great honor of entrusting me to create a necklace for her so that she would start wearing this gem.

I assured her it was in good hands & that I had just the right crystals to enhance this beauty & I promised I would have it done in time for her to wear for Christmas. But of course when I got home I didn't have a large enough base for mounting - craziness! So I ordered from my favorite supplier, Cherry St. on Ebay & hoped I would receive it in time. And of course I did.

So, on Saturday I sat down & tightened all those stones, picked out the beautiful ruby & cherry red 1950's swarovski I would pair with this treasure & I was ready to get to work on removing the pinback so that I could mount it on the stamped metal base. I gasped when I saw that it was a signed Made In Austria piece. I really do not like to alter signed beauties, but I knew that Mary Ellen really wanted a necklace & I know this will become a piece that will be passed down for generations in her family, so I did what I had to do.

When I was finished with all the hand-wrapping and assembling, I realized I had utilized more crystal than chain... well, the end result was nothing less than something that looked like it could of been worn by one of Henry VIII's wives. It looked like gems and jewels, not rhinestones & crystals. I put it on, because of course I have to try everything on that I make, I was so thrilled & envious.

That's the best part of what I do... designing something that I know I would wear in a red hot second & knowing all the time that I'm bringing joy to someone else.

So, I had the opportunity to visit with Mary Ellen yesterday, and I warned her in a phone call that it was quite a formidable piece. But Mary Ellen is a tall statured lady that could pull this off - I know she is! During that call she told me that maybe someday she would be able to wear it as well to her son's wedding (gave me goosebumps) just as her mother had worn it to hers. I had such fun visiting with her as she reminisced about her family, Christmas traditions & we talked about some of the antiques & collectibles that surrounded her lovely home. I could have stayed all day, but the reality check was that my phone kept ringing & my husband was calling about a dental emergency with our youngest child, so I had to cut our visit short.

Almost at the end of the visit I slipped my hand into my purse & brought out the little bag holding her treasure. As I was removing it from the bag, I could already see the delight in Mary Ellen's eyes. As she put it around her neck, I knew it was the perfect design for her & that she will wear it now. She was thrilled & told me she would be wearing it to all her Christmas festivities. I was so happy & honored to spend a little time with her & to do something for her with a piece so important that would give her joy for years to come. We made our own little memory together!

Oh, and she had the sweetest gift for me! I collect vintage and unique Christmas & my friends will say it is no easy feat to find something for me that I do not already have. But she did it! She gave me a strand of reindeer bells on a strap that I can hang on the door! I love it! And even better, I know that it will annoy my family every time they come in/out of the door, so woo hoo!

Wow, this was a story, eh? I guess I'm making up for these few weeks that I haven't been online much. I will return after the first of the year with more on the family and more of who has a part of & how I got to where I am today.
Wishing everyone much joy during the holiday season...

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's been a while...

Tis the season to be busy & not have time to blog! I am having my last event this weekend... an in-studio holiday open house. This will be the first time I'm opening the studio to a broad public audience. I just finished setting up - it looks so fabulous (except for my actual work area - which looks like a bomb went off on it) & I promise to take pictures & post after the event is done.

Then we'll get back to our regularly scheduled program...I haven't written about Funkymom & the Family in a while. And I want to do the first installation of the People Who Have Touched My Life...Touched My Art Series.

More soon....PROMISE