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My mother,  June Wood,  was a gifted artist.  That we knew from the many drawings that she had made over the years.  In fact, I highlighted her art in one of my first blogs entitled, “Ephemera.” You can find it listed at the bottom of the posts on the left side of this page.  When she was in her fifties, she became fascinated with jeweled Christmas tree ornaments.  She was not interested in buying a kit and putting the ornament together.  Instead, she bought styrofoam balls and added her own fabric and then took old jewelry apart and added pearls and trim to make jeweled wonders. Every now and then there would come a knock at the door and a lady from our town stopped by to leave a bag of broken or unwanted jewelry which my mother would use for upcoming creations.  I have half of what she made and my sister has the other half.   I would like to show you my beautiful heirloom ornaments.

This was the first one that she made.  It is the largest and it took her the longest to make because she had not discovered the trick to covering the stryofoam ball easily. She pleated an old formal of mine to make the cover and then she added the ornamentation. Later she discovered that she could wrap the ball with velvet or satin ribbon.  You will see examples of each below.

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In the background of this next photo you can see the red and white sequin hearts that she made for Valentine’s Day.

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Up and to the right is an example of the hundreds of beaded bells she made.

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In the background here is one of  the “porcupine” balls that she made.

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In the background and to the right is a multi-sided creation.

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She also fashioned beaded wreaths.  You can see one to the left.

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There are pearl snowflakes.

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A few years ago, I discovered a pattern that she had used to cover the styrofoam.  That Christmas our daughters and I took out all of her leftover beads and trim and pins and we each made an ornament.  Not until we had tried to make ornaments in her style did we realize how hard and time consuming it was.  This is my pitiful example.  The girls made much prettier ones.  Maybe they have her talent.  I used fabric that I had used for a sewing project in the 7th grade.  Remember the old addage, “Never throw anything away.”

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So, this Christmas remember to treasure ornaments made by your loved ones who are no longer with you.   Take time to reflect on how important they were to you and honor their memory.  Then, take a page from their book and create and be happy.

 

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