Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The painting I referred to way back in the spring...

Something new to replace "Polar Bear in a Snow Storm", as referred to in "New Year, New You" posting earlier this year - this is the painting I ended up doing:

And here is the original scene, from a street my husband and I visited during our honeymoon in Quebec City, while looking for cheese:

Quebec cheese is amazing.  Now I'm hungry...

P.S. We did not find cheese here.  We pulled off the highway on the way back to Ontario and visited Fromagerie Bergeron, and attempted to order in French.  Luckily they understand pointing and measuring with one's fingers...

Everything old is new again!

Judging by the kind of custom orders I've been getting recently, everyone has a stash of broken/outdated/mismatched/vintage jewelry that they may enjoy but cannot wear.  It may not occur to some, but these bits and pieces of treasure that may or may not have sentimental meaning can be transformed into wearable art again in the hands of a jewelry artisan willing to take on the task for you.  A jewelry artisan like myself, for instance!

One friend in particular (thanks Marie!) has kept me occupied over the last two years by periodically bringing me a ziploc baggy filled with old necklaces and bits of beads from her family members.  From these bits rescued from the back of her closet, I have made quite a few new necklaces for her twin daughters to take off to university, a necklace and earring set for a niece, as well as bracelets & earrings of all descriptions.  Marie has been so pleased with the results that she keeps finding more old pieces for me to work with, and she recently gave me the "heads up" that she gave another friend of hers my card to take on some future work for her!

I guess Marie got the idea from me, when I mentioned receiving jewelry boxes filled with odds and ends of costume jewelry from both of my late grandmothers.  Some things were good to use as I found them, but other pieces (broken necklaces, earrings without their twin, hideous styles from a bygone era, necklaces made for people with teeny-tiny little necks, and the old clip-on earrings) , although interesting, could only be worn again after a complete overhaul.  So I set to work converting old clip-ons into pierced earrings where possible.  I restrung tiny multi-strand necklaces into long, modern styles.  I repaired some brooches as I was able, replacing missing rhinestones, etc.  And when I was done, I shared these new pieces with all the girls in the family!  It meant a lot to them to have something made from one of grandma's pieces!  I even created a rosary for my aunt's husband who was Catholic, and very close to my grandmother - an unusual but acceptible way to present a man with beads from a woman's necklace!

One necklace from my grandmother was in really bad shape, but I always loved the beads and thought I'd do something special with it someday.  That day came last year when I was married! 

Turns out the beads matched my wedding dress perfectly (don't you think?) so I created a simple necklace and earrings for my special day.  It meant a lot to wear something new that day that just so happened to be created with something old that once belonged to my grandmother.

So think about what you might have lying around in a drawer somewhere - maybe I can create something new for you!