It seems like only yesterday, that my 85 year old Aunt phoned and asked me to visit her, because she had something old to give me.
Well, it didn’t take me long to get there---as I love anything antique--not even thinking at that time I would be antique one day, and maybe my love would change for all things old, but I doubt it.
She met me at the door with a beautiful smile on her face; I could tell she was excited because her English Blue eyes just sparkled. In her hand was a sad looking string of old pearls. Shamefully, I could almost hear my heart hit the floor. I tried to keep smiling, but it was difficult to do, but I did it, bless all the Saints for helping me that day.
She said these belonged to my Great- Grandmother. And that makes her your Great- Great-Grandmother. Come in and I will tell you all about these pearls.
As the story goes--- one of GG Grandmother’s children broke her pearls while the family was on a trip to a state fair.
My Aunt said the pearls were made in three different lengths, reaching past her waist, with a diamond clasp, which she didn't find.
GG Grandmother saved about 300 of the pearls and put them on a string to be restrung one day. But what happen next made the pearls insignificant, and they were put in a drawer and forgotten. Her son drowned that day, and he was only three years old, so many eons ago. This happened in the early 1800’s. What a sad time for the family.
The pearls felt cold in my hands as I held them while listening to my aunt as she told the story. I am sure the cold pearls felt the same as their owner's heart that sad day so long ago.
I was sad for longest time that day, until I made up my mind I would make something beautiful with the pearls again.
When I got home, I took the pearls out of the old bag, and they looked so pathetic, old, and dirty, but the string was strong, however, it was old and dirty, also. I didn’t know if the pearls were real pearls or not, and at this point I didn’t care. I did know I was going to soak then in a tepid dish of soapy water over night and see what happen the next morning.
I awaken early the next day, and hurried into the kitchen where the pearls were soaking, I whisked them around and up and down in the soapy water, then I rinsed them in cold water, and spread them on a towel to dry. I could not believe my eyes, how beautiful they were so shiny and clean. Real or not I was making something beautiful out of them.
So, I designed in my mind what I would do with them. Then I went shopping for the findings, string and clasps for the necklace. I purchased all the findings that I needed to make the earring . And while I was shopping I decided I would share these pearls with my two sisters,--- so for one I made a bracelet, and for the other sister I made her earrings---.
I made a decision that day, I would go to yard sales and flea markets and look for old jewelry and make something new and beautiful out of what was old and forgotten.
Here is the necklace and earrings below. I forgot to take a photo of the bracelet before I gave it to my sister.
I suppose this is another way of living "Green" isn't that what we are all trying to do these days.
I hope my Great-Great Grandmother feels the love we have for her each time we wear our pearls.