My great-grandmother, or "Ms. Dena," as I always called her, was my like my mom's mother in a lot of ways. My mom always told me the best stories about how my great-grandmother lived in a cute little brick bungalow right in the middle of Atlanta (where a Georgia Tech building sits now), and how they would sit and talk on the front porch for hours -- while my mom played with her dolls. As my mom got older, she spent many weekends at Ms. Dena's, cooking dinner, playing cards and enjoying her grandmother's company. Ms. Dena was a lively, spirited, sassy woman (see bikini photo below) full of life and laughter, and I feel so lucky to have known her until I was 12 years old -- she lived until she was the ripe ol' age of 94.
One thing Ms. Dena and I have in common is our love for costume jewelry. Ever since I was old enough to look over the jewelry counter, I've passed the expensive diamonds and gold hoops...and instead, I always made a beeline for the funky, big baubles, ornate pieces and brightly colored plastic necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Of course, vintage pieces are my favorite, and lucky for me, Ms. Dena left me her entire collection of rhinestones, "ear bobs," brooches, bracelets and necklaces -- all sealed tightly, like a time capsule, inside her ivory jewelry box.
Of course, my own collection has taken over her box, (and a few others -- ahem), and I have to admit I'm often a little overwhelmed when I try to accessorize an outfit. However, I've always had a fascination with the rhinestone collection of my great-grandmother's -- as you can see, it's quite extensive. There are large, round brooches, small pins, swanky necklaces and big clip-on earrings...so fancy that I'll likely never get to wear them (unless I ever get invited to meet the Queen and Duchess for dinner). I always close the jewelry box thinking, what a waste! Each piece is so breathtakingly beautiful. It seems so sad to leave all of those shiny pieces locked away for no one to see or enjoy.
...Until, that is, I found a shadow box worthy of such splendor! Enter shadow box love-at-first-sight:
So with that, I started playing around with the jewelry, fixing it inside the box just-so. I used the pearl pins the box came with to hold necklaces and bracelets to a certain shape, and piled up smaller items, like the clip-on earrings and brooches, at the bottom. Within a few short minutes, the box was complete and ready to hang -- a sparkling tribute to my fabulous great-grandmother!
So there ya have it...we definitely have a considerable amount of BLING to wake us up in the morning while we brush our teeth (but wouldn't you know -- James didn't even notice it when he first walked in the bathroom! Gotta love that guy.)
So, the question is...what treasures do you have lying around that could be made into something special?
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