Every year I have a word for the year. I love words. I think long and hard about that word, as it feels like it sets the tone for the new year. Sometimes it’s a challenge, like the year I had GRACE. I was working on showing more grace to others, to myself. Another year it was JOY. I now have the word Joy written all over my house from the stickers on my kitchen wall to the driftwood Joy in my living room. I need more JOY. Choose JOY. These were what I told myself that year. (And still do!).
This year my word is FEARLESS. I do not want to live in fear. I do not want to make major life decisions in fear. I want to live boldly. I want to live in faith. Going through some old jewelry, I found this necklace a friend had given me years ago with the word Fearless on it. And I was. I lived my life spontaneously, and impulsively, and…for myself. Yes, this was before kids, so I knew no fear. I don’t want to regain the selfishness I had at that time, but I do want the courage I had.
I want to live as a lionhearted girl. I want to live fearless.
I got this shell in Hawaii a few years back. I found it at the flea market at the stadium on Oahu (a must do if visiting Honolulu), and it was on a necklace that NOW I would love to wear. But for some reason, when I returned home to “real life,” I thought all the beads were too gaudy and the piece was too big, so I deconstructed it. Can you believe it?? I took apart some great beads and stripped the shell of its beauty. Oh, the ignorance!
So I kept the shell thinking I could do something better. In fact, as I write this, I think that perhaps it was actually a belt that I found it on. Hmmm, I bet you it was a great belt. Anyway, its been sitting in that box, the one filled with things I never wear, and it is screaming to be used again. So what do I do? It wants another life, but I’m stumped.
What would YOU do?
When was the last time you pinned yourself? I wear tons of scarves, love them, and I think they always finish off my outfit, but let’s revisit pins. I don’t ever remember my grandmother wearing a dress and not wearing a pin. For that matter, I can’t remember my grandmother not wearing a dress. But the pin always made a statement. Maybe a mood, a memory, or just to add a little oomph. I found a few pins I have in my jewelry connection and tried to imagine them on some of my favorite outfits. Maybe to cover a stain? Maybe to close a vneck that has plunged a little too low? Maybe just to start a conversation.
It’s good to rethink things from time to time.
Back before there ever was a thing called Pinterest, my bestie designed a wedding that blows any Pinterest Board out of the water. She had a zero budget, and through ingenuity, creativity, and a lot of community, her wedding was a rural masterpiece. (I’d post photos but it was the day of film, not digital, and I’m not even sure where those negatives are now after multiple moves.) Along with beautiful, simple decor, she gave us bridesmaids a unique gift that was a twist off the traditional pearls I’ve received from other weddings.
The bride made us a simple necklace made of hemp rope, shells, and one green pearl to play off the customary gift of pearls. It was lovely, and in the country setting, very appropriate. If you are in the midst of “wedding madness preparedness,” take a deep breath, don’t sweat the small stuff, and try to think outside the box when you can.
Because the box ain’t that great.
It’s finally feeling like fall here (meaning I won’t sweat if I wear long pants). It takes awhile to get out of the Indian Summer, but once we do, this area starts to show of it’s beauty with bursts of color everywhere. I’ve been playing around with the idea of nature-inspired jewelry. I love gem stones, rather stones in general, but what about other materials to wear? While I’ve been brainstorming how to preserve a leaf as a necklace (one friend pinned a dandelion charm-LOVE!), I remembered that I have a very precious piece of nature in my memory box. I don’t wear it anymore as it’s too fragile. I picked each individual shell off a beach in Kauai and strung them onto this necklace. I’m told that it isn’t even allowed to do this anymore. But for a place in time, I was able to, and it’s a memory I won’t ever forget. I love to hold this treasure and remember the feel of the sand and the water, how the sky was so blue. Im thankful for that moment, and I am thankful for this reminder.
I am thankful.
My folks didn’t have the easiest marriage. I don’t think they’d mind me writing that. I think they’d be the first to admit it. But they persevered and now they are in their retirement years, traveling around the world together, having found a groove that works for them. I am so proud of them; I know it wasn’t easy. About 20 years ago my mom gave me this heart necklace that my dad had given to her. On one side of the heart, it’s red sapphires, and on the other side, the jewels are black. I like the duplicity of this piece. Things aren’t always black and white in marriage (or black and red in this matter). We show both sides of ourselves to our partner-the good and the ugly. We give our hearts, having to be vulnerable, that can make us raw, but can also teach us a love that we never thought possible. New love and old love, love that gives us butterflies, and love that allows us to be comfortable.
I’ve never worn this necklace before as it’s quite delicate for my taste, but now with the trend of multiple chains, I’m going to try to unravel the mess that is the chain. It might just be the perfect accent piece to go with my cross and my arrow: my faith and my direction.
Because the greatest of these is LOVE.
I have a few “signature” pieces that maybe get worn once a year, and the rest of the time they are stored in the dark, waiting to be shown off again. It’s kind of sad, really. Something I love so much, used so rarely. So I’ve started to use some jewelry pieces as decor. I have a Pottery Barn lamp (hello, floor model), on my side table/dresser in my room that has a basic cream shade. I draped a few jeweled necklaces over the top, and voila, I get to enjoy the lamp and necklace in a greater light.
I also have a bubble vase that isn’t quite my style, but with its long neck, it makes for a great bangle holder. And how great is that jewelry box next to it? That was my Grandmother Ruth’s who I’m pretty sure picked it up in Hong Kong. My other bracelets are stacked on top a gorgeous plate from Honduras, and you can just make out a small piece of pottery from Tasmania that holds my rings.
It’s an around the world decor in my bedroom.
How stoked am I that Gwen Stefani is now a coach on “The Voice”? I mean, who doesn’t love Gwen?! If you were in college around 1996, the song “I’m Just a Girl” was your anthem. So yes, I’ve been back to watching nighttime TV, just to see her smiling face. Well, as I’m watching, she brings her husband on as help. You know, her husband who happens to be Gavin Rossdale, the lead singer from Bush. Side Note: How pleased are you that a Hollywood couple is still together? I am overjoyed that I get to see Gwen, thrilled they are still married, and on top of that, found some inspiration while watching for my 31 days of writing.
Remember the red chord I was sitting on waiting for inspiration? I tried wrapping it around my wrist, but it looked forced. Well, there on TV was Gavin with a red chord wrapped twice around his neck and tied off. It looked so rock ‘n roll. I need a little rock ‘n roll in my life. It needs a little tweaking at the ends, but that might just come with wear. Maybe I need to pull out my old flannels.
You never know where inspiration might hit.
I’m not really a diamonds kind of girl, which you may by now have figured out. What I love most is when someone says “I thought of you when I saw this and had to get it for you.” Whatever sparked a fond thought or familiar memory for that person, means more to me than any diamond in the world. And when it’s a surprise, on a random Monday, it’s even better. My dear friend, knowing my struggles, brought into the classroom a small vile that contained an arrow on a necklace. (Look how cute that packaging is??!!) On the vile it reads “Follow Your Arrow.” I need that right now, and when she saw it, she thought of me and knew that. There’s nothing sweeter than that. I’m not taking this baby off.
When I put my daughter to bed, I reminded her that tonight, October 13th, 10 years ago, is when I went into labor with her, my first born. I had no idea how my life was about to change. How nothing would be the same. My life forever would be so much better because of her.
And then as I spoke the words October 13th, I was reminded this was also the date that I was to be married the first time. And then 13 years ago it was the date that I fell off a cliff and broke my back. Both of those events, although dramatic, had to happen for me to have the best October 13th, 2004, when I was to meet my baby girl. I followed my arrow.
I didn’t always know where that arrow was going, but I’m thankful for it.
This week my first born enters the double digits. If you can remember, this is a very big deal for a nine year old. So the weekend was full of party merriment. Now that she is ten, we didn’t do a full-on backyard party, but rather picked two friends, and I orchestrated a treasure hunt around our town. Without bragging, I can say it was a success. (Phew!) I really didn’t know how it would turn out. But thankfully for the kindness of strangers it did, because as the girls went place to place, they would receive an envelope with the next clue. From servers at Pieology to cashiers at the local boutique, everyone was game to add to the mystique of how things evolved throughout the night. The girls kept begging me to tell them how it was done, how each person already had the envelope. Fortunately for me, 10-year-olds talk a lot and become consumed with each other, so every time they weren’t looking, I was able to slip another envelope to someone else. The joys of parenting-appearing a lot smarter than what I really am!
So in honor of my sweet, sweet 10-year-old, I am writing on the bottle cap jewelry she made for her friends to be included in the treasure hunt. My girl has a big heart and is always creating things for other people. These bracelets probably came from a pre made box gift of crafts, but she always adds her own design to things so it will truly be original.
Because this girl, she IS an original.