Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tribute to my Grandmother

Bracelet $59.oo Matching pink earrings available

email for info:

Profit from the sale of this piece goes to the

Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I decided to post a second pink bracelet in memory of my grandmother, Irene Marguerite Bridges who had breast cancer late in life.

Gram was quite the woman. She was not too tall, a lot less than 5', and a woman to be reckoned with. I affectionately called her a banty rooster. Don't take me wrong, she was always lady-like, but her strengths were evident. I don't ever remember her strolling. She walked with determined purpose, head held high. It seemed to me that she had something to do, even if she didn't. There was always a project in some stage of completion. Among other things, she made dolls, braided rugs, blankets, and sewed every dress she wore out of the same pattern but with different materials, buttons or lace accents.

Her cooking was simple and without fanfare, but her baking was amazing. I still have her recipes for molasses cookies, gingersnaps, and peanutbutter fudge. She once helped me win a fudge making contest by talking me through the steps. I was some proud! You could invariably count on cookies, separated by wax paper, being in her "tin". She hardly ever let the tin get empty and knew which ones were from the latest batch because the freshest ones were always saved for "the menfolk".

Over the years, there was little deviation from her routine. If I slept in their guest room, it was a given that they'd be up at the same time each morning, first reading their Bibles out loud, repeating the 23rd Psalm and praying together. Then my grandfather would hold her feet as she did a few situps. He did an impressive amount every morning himself, then they'd go downstairs to freshen up and eat breakfast. Before they ate together, my grandparents held hands, prayed over the food and ended with the Lord's Prayer. You could bank on the routine.

Gram never wore makeup, but her skin, no matter how wrinkled it became, was soft. To this day I can't smell Noxema without seeing her face. It served her well.

When my grandfather died of cancer, we were concerned because Gram had heavily relied on him. She was from a generation of women who never wrote a check, got a driver's license, or went far from home unless she sat in the passenger seat. Still, she had a strength which proved itself when she had to function alone at 80. I think she did more things for the first time AFTER my grandfather passed than she'd ever done before. She became independent, began doing things with "the Girls", took trips, and kept busy until a while before her death just before her 93rd birthday.

I remember taking her to several radiation treatments which burned her breast and caused tremendous discomfort. She was a trooper through the treatments anyway, complaining little. She fussed more about being a burden to people who drove her for radiation. All the same, it became another opportunity to declare out loud once again how much I loved her. We all need to say it often while there's still an ear to hear and a heart to receive it.

The day Gram died, two of her sons, their wives, and a few grandchildren and great grands held hands around her bed as she took her last struggling breaths. We sang, "When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory." It was a fitting send-off for a wonderful woman who loved her family.

I wonder if I'll smell Noxema on her face as I kiss her hello when my time comes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Marguerite Weimer & My Pink Poodle Skirt

It's a relief to be able to talk about Pink Poodle Skirts and have more than one generation know that I don't mean a poodle wearing a ballerina tutu. Granddaughter Morgan has seen the fad come around one more time, albeit briefly, and wasn't puzzled when I made this piece.
Fads come and go, but sentimental is forever. Wearing this bracelet is like owning a piece of history. I remember my babysitter Marguerite dressing in the uniform of the day which included white collared shirts with rolled up sleeves, a small scarf tied around her neck, white bucks and short sox. She was always so fashionable and my admiration for her knew no bounds. She had a poodle skirt.
Marguerite was the also the gal who got me to quit biting my fingernails. Hers were amazing in a day WAY before acrylics and nail wraps were heard of. She promised that if I quit biting my nails, she would buy me my first manicure kit. I got the best end of the bargain...lovely nails AND a new manicure kit.
Marguerite is a lot like my wonderful sister, Carole. Both are elegant in every way right down to their pedicured toenails, and they are fun to be with as well. It's no coincidence that they are friends.
As I was making this bracelet, Marguerite came to mind several times. I wondered how she is doing and what's going on in her life these days, and appreciated her for the thousandth time for throwing me a wedding shower back in the day when most people would have rather talked than helped. She is one special woman.
Thank you Marguerite Weimer for being someone an insecure kid in her early teens could look up to. We all have people watching us when we often don't know it. Look around a little.
My Pink Poodle Skirt is THE cutest bracelet! There are five of Laura Tidey's lampworks in it, and I saved three more to make earrings and a slide for the gal who buys this. Buy the bracelet & earrings, get the slide for free! Notice the Sterling Silver poodle charm. Pearls, Tagua from Ecuador, Thai & Bali Sterling, cat's eye beads, and pink Swarovski finish this gorgeous conversation piece.
One of a kind.
Bracelet $89.oo
Earrings (not posted yet) $20.oo

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Caramel Macchiato

Coffee's a big thing in our house. The hands down favorite is Green Mountain, a tasty coffee from Vermont. When we travel to Maine, the carry on contains at least 6 bags of it on the return flight. There are most always remarks from flight crew and fellow passengers about the smell of our luggage. It's easy to pick out Caramel Vanilla Cream or Pumpkin Spice scent over the French Vanilla. One day soon, I'd enjoy having a Keurig so we can buy Green Mountain K cups at our local bed & bath store.

Leigh's sister Val sends goodies from Green Mountain at Christmastime, and we love opening the box. Trying to save the coffee 'til Christmas Day can be a challenge.

Another enjoyable coffee is Starbucks Caramel Macchiato. We make jokes about how awesome it tastes and how much it costs, but, at the end of the day, it's a delicious treat.

Caramel Macchiato, the bracelet, is so much fun! All the colors in my favorite Starbucks coffee complete with heart shaped cream on top of the cup. Laura Tidey did a delectable job on lampworks for this set. Tagua from Ecuador, Carnelian, Bali and Thai sterling silver all blend to make this yummy combination. To top it off, there's an adorable sterling JAVA charm with a tiny cup of coffee in the middle of the V. Delicious!

One of a kind.

Bracelet $89.oo comes with a free pair of earrings which are shown in the picture above.