Saturday, 12 January 2013

Memories and Thanks Blog hop

Memories and thanks blog hop.
Firstly thank you to Lori Anderson of Pretty Things for organising this blog hop and giving us all the opportunity to remember and give thanks to our love ones.

My necklace and locket is a memory piece for all my family to keep with us and remind us of the journey we have taken together. To remind us too that we are bound by blood and heritage, but we are also our own person and to respect our individuality.


My mum was a teenage bride and started the 60’s living in rooms with a toddler and a baby; me. We have had a difficult relationship at times and I was always closer to my father. It is only now that I can look back and see what caused a lot of our pain and understand that it‘s source was a illness and not malevolence. My mum lost her own mother at 14 years old and she has had a history of depression. She had neither the support structure nor the experience to deal with me or my brother who was epileptic. I remember some times of anger, some of fear and growing up to soon.
I felt I could never please my mum, she always told me I was selfish and she was very controlling, always wanting to know exacting details of where I was going and making hurtful comments. I stayed out all night , once;  I was 22 years old and she threw all my clothes out in the street. I didn’t talk to her or my father for close to a year.
We spoke again and my dad was keen to help me with my wedding, mum however, was still critical, even saying when I was trying on wedding dresses, that I might as well just wear a black dress. I rued that if I had daughters I would never be like her….

When I look back at myself I realise how I hid a total lack of confidence behind a fierce and cynical fa├žade. My eldest daughter jokes that I am the spit of Diara! I also realise that it was my mother’s black dog talking. There was a big change when I became pregnant, she talk about fighting her depression, she went back to college, she changed jobs from a needle factory to being a carer, she was positive to me and proud of me.
She was there at the birth of my first daughter, some 26 hours later, fighting my corner with a inept doctor. She was an amazing nan for both my girls, gentle and supportive, especially to Fern, since she too had not been able to read at school. Funny and warm, and my biggest cheerleader when I told her of my tentative steps into jewellery design. Halycon days for us with the black dog kennelled.
All too soon lost with my father’s 5 year fight against cancer ,which she coped with quiet dignity through her grief. Then the dog got out…first just tears in the morning, then something far more sinister. More than just forgetfulness, a kind of chaos and distress that could not be eased. She was diagnosed early this year with severe dementia aged 68.
4 days ago I agreed for her to go into a nursing home. Seeing her there is the killing part. Like so many carers I’d reached the point that I could not cope. Fern brought me to my senses, when I snapped at her for not being able to read her book, she said, “Sorry, I’m like nanny, I can’t remember right.” I knew then it was time for me to let go and grieve.
This necklace contains photos of us at our happiest moments and our family is strong and true. But it is more than just 4 of us, it honours my best mate Barbara who has been on our journey too, my daughters’ other nan and aunties who continue to love and support my girls. The amazing artists I have met through my jewellery making and those like Shelly and Lori who have shared their thoughts on dementia and autism respectively; which has meant that I have felt the comfort of not being alone with dealing this. The charms, colours and gemstones all reflect this, from the thimble- we all sew, even Fern, to all the techniques I have learned from my repeated visits to blogs to learn more and seek more inspiration.
It is with my mum’s encouragement that me and my daughters move forward and create new memories.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this and I know you will love hearing the other stories in this inspirational blog hop.


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
Birgit Klughardt                  Gites Beads
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
Elena Adams                      ~~TBA~~
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
Kayla Potega                     The Eclectic Element
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
Mallory Hoffman                 For the Love of Beads
Mandi Effron                       Craft-o-licious
Marcia DeCoster                 MadDesigns
Marcia Dunne                     The Alternative Foundry
Marcy Lamberson              ~Studio Marcy~
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


  1. This is an awesome necklace telling your family history! Huge and strong bonds between each members, beautifully told with words and links, beads, locket!

  2. Life is a journey! Such an amazing and loaded piece. Totally love it!

  3. What a touching tribute and revealing blog post. I feel as if I know you a bit better now. Isn't it amazing how our art can reflect these life journeys and stories. Thanks so much for highlighting the intentions of this magnificent piece.
    Just beautiful...xoxo Kim

  4. I am just bawling my eyes out.

    First, it's the most lovely piece of jewelry. I would cherish that. It's utterly amazing, the sort of thing I wish I had the intuitiveness for.

    But your story. So well-written, and it hits me in some hard spots. I have a tumultuous relationship with my mother and it's ... well. I know all about that black dog. I'm fighting so hard for my life right now, and this blog hop and your story are making me think even harder about things.

    You're a dear soul.

  5. What a journey you've been on! But there is good that comes from all trials, even though it's hard to see at the time. The piece you created celebrates the good & the bad and brings it all together into a fabulous tribute.

  6. Holy crap!! That's my kind of necklace!! GORGEOUS!!! We all have our moments...don't I know that first hand, don't stress the little things...sounds to me like you're doing an awesome job! The rest Fern will handle! LOL!

  7. Wow what a journey, I am so thankful you shared your story.

  8. Love your piece, and the intent behind it

  9. Thank you for sharing your family's story with us. It can't have been easy. I think you created a beautiful commemorative necklace, and I wish you all the best in making new and happier memories with your daughters.

  10. I love your necklace - beautiful. What a journey you have had but how wonderful that you have been able to rise above and build a new relationship with your mom and not let the black dog into your own family :)

    Bead Soup Mix

  11. Lovely work, and a very touching story.

  12. So glad that you were able to make peace with your mom. As we grow older, it's easier for us to understand the challenges that our parents faced. It sounds like she didn't have an easy go of it. Your creation is a beautiful tribute.

  13. I never had a close relationship with my mom, and I was so glad to read that you two were able to understand each other and love each other. Those are the precious memories to cling to. Your necklace is just beautiful and so special because of all the happy memories included in it.

  14. Your piece is a wonderful tribute to your Mom. Thanx for sharing your story with us. It's great that you & your Mom reconnected.

  15. Sometimes I wonder how we survive the unthinkable sorrows that we are handed in life. As the mother of an autistic and severely mentally retarded son (now almost 40!), I do know what it means to be tested daily. Thankfully, we have our creative outlets...and I must say, your necklace is absolutely gorgeous!

  16. A wonderful tribute to your mom and family! Your necklace is fabulous, a wonderful piece of art - reflecting all the impressions of the relationship with your mother and family you've to come to terms with. Thank you for your story, I read every sentence of your post with high demand!

  17. Such thought and detail went into making this piece of jewelry. A very special keepsake to wear and perhaps pass on for years to come. Full of meaning and memories. Thanks for sharing your story with us.
    Terri G.

  18. Each piece tells a story in this necklace. I am very touched by your story. There is a lot of history in this piece, and it will be a strong reminder that you can make something beautiful from even those broken bits. Thanks for sharing your story and creation. Enjoy the day. Erin

  19. What a beautiful thing that is to behold - and to see that one of my tips has muscled it's way onto it, makes me feel completely overwhelmed.
    Thank you for sharing your story - phew, tough times for all of you. I'm sure that your daughters will treasure your necklace always. It's really beautiful.
    xoxoxoxo <3

  20. Such a hard story to tell, but quite brave. I never had a good relationship with my mom ... she was always critical of me and focused to what I did wrong v any encouragement to things I might have done right. The anniversary of her death is approaching - its been 2 years. I still don't have the courage yet to talk about it. Good for you - it is part of the healing

  21. Wow, you've really brought forth something incredibly beautiful from something hard and complicated and what sounds like, not-so-pretty at times. Thank you so much for sharing

  22. Totally Love your work. Thank you for sharing.
    Peace and Love.

  23. Your necklace is lovely and your story very touching. I know what it is like to have a critical demeaning parent. Even knowing that our parents are acting out of their own hurt doesn't lessen the damage to our self-esteem. It sounds like you have been working on this and have received healing. Wishing you continued healing.

  24. What a touching story of endurance, understanding and love! A beautiful necklace to represent all the emotions attached to the state of being in a 'Family'...

  25. Your necklace is such a beautiful piece of art. You write beautifully about your incredible journey - thank you for sharing.

  26. Your piece is as beautiful and complicated as your story. Thank you for sharing.

  27. I have just discovered your blog and amazing jewelry. Thank you for sharing this beautifully written, deeply moving story of family; it makes me feel so much... thank you-