Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Like a snowflake

Snowflakes are unique, little imperfect pieces of perfection, unless they're cookie-cutter designs (perfect in shape) like the ones found in this month's Eco-Emi box. Yes, they still were beautiful, bringing a smile to my face as they sprinkled out of the package (I really was grinning from ear to ear when I saw them), but they are all exactly the same. They also don't melt like true snowflakes, so I felt the need to make them my own and find a way to reuse them.

I hate to waste anything, saving random items in my craft closet for little DIY projects like this. My first thought was to make a pair of snowflake earrings, as this is the time of year for snow (although we are enjoying 60 degree temps today).

I quickly grabbed some earring hooks and a broken beaded necklace to make one of the simplest and faster pairs of earrings ever. Just check out this dangling style, which I literally tied together using a tiny section of the beaded necklace (I used pieces of this necklace in various other jewelry, and still have more left for future designs).

An even faster version of these wintry earrings would be to take a basic stud (something sparkly would be nice), punch the post through the center of the snowflake and wear it as a removable embellishment. No need to commit, much like my next idea.

I try to keep the safety pins that sometimes attach the tags to my clothes when I buy them (and I must confess that I also keep pieces of cord, floss, twine or ribbon from tags). I especially like the ones with this streamline shape. When hooked together into a chain, they can be worn as a necklace or a bracelet.

For this look, I opted to adorn a safety pin chain with some of the snowflakes to look like a charm bracelet. It's easy to thread a snowflake onto every other pin, as you can see in the photo to the left. You can make it in seconds before walking out the door (that's what I did).

As for any extra snowflakes, I think I might use them to decorate some stationary. If you received these snowflakes in an Eco-Emi box, what do you plan to do with yours?


The next part of today's post is very personal. I had considered not mentioning what's been going on in my life lately, for fear it wouldn't mesh with my blog's more positive vibe. However, I always pride my myself on being honest, so I just can't keep it bottled up inside.

January has been a difficult month for me, which surprisingly is the reason I've been blogging more frequently. I decided to bury myself in these posts, rather than dealing with my true emotions.

In the beginning of the month, Matthew's grandmother took a turn for the worse and slowly slipped away from us. On Friday the 13th, I got the call that she passed away. Then, my grandfather ended up in the hospital. I went to see him for the last time last week, feeling like I had just gone through the same experience with my grandmother-in-law. He took his last breath early Sunday morning; today would have been his 91st birthday.

I've gone through a lot of emotions, mostly crying, but I know he's in a better place. Today, I should celebrate their lives, and remember the good times. They've meant and still mean so much to me, so I'm sharing this personal information with you. I hope you understand.


Okay, now that's out; I can continue with a more positive spin on things. Thanks for listening (or in this case, reading).

My hubby Matthew wanted to cheer me up yesterday (at least temporarily) by giving me my Valentine's gift early. Knowing how much I adore Nina Cortes (here's the Q&A I did with her on my site, if you missed it) and her jewelry designs (Nina Loren is named for her and her business partner), he took it upon himself to contact her about the necklace she was custom-making for me, as well as a pair of earrings I had my eyes on. He wanted to make sure the items would be ready for Valentine's Day.

Well, they both arrived in the middle of my funk, so Matthew didn't wait to give them to me (he hates seeing me like that and was hoping to brighten the mood). He also had some really kind words to say about Nina, which backs up how sweet I always say she is (she really is).

Just like a snowflake, her jewelry is unique, as it is made by hand. Her gemstone and wire designs sparkle in the sunlight and are special works of art, much like each and every one of us.

This morning, I read a post from The Paper Mama about one negative comment in a sea of positive ones still causing so much hurt, and how to overcome it. Specifically, she was referring to one about her looks, mainly her nose. At first it got to her, but then she came up with a self-portrait contest idea to empower all her readers (I don't think I'll enter, but was still inspired by it).

I can totally relate, as I have had my share of negative blog and YouTube comments (the latest was about my screaming child), not to mention being self-conscience about my nose, too (one day, I'll grow into it). But, when it comes to our looks, these unique features are part of who we are and who we came from. I have my dad's nose, and while looking at pictures of his late father (the one I mentioned in the mid-section of this post), I saw a resemblance in him, too. I may not be a model, but I'm proud of who I am.

So, in honor of what would have been my grandfather's 91st birthday, I posed in my necklace and earrings (worn separately, of course, as I didn't get all "matchy matchy" with them) for some self portraits with an outstretched hand (it's amazing how many pics of me on this site are taken that way). Poppy (that's what I called my grandfather), so what does Nanny (she's his wife/my late grandmother, who's been waiting for him in Heaven; she's also the one who gave me my fashion sense) think of my new bling?

Thanks Nina, for having such perfect timing (the jewelry did make me think of my Nanny and how Poppy would finally be reunited with her), and to The Paper Mama (I now see that just by looking in a mirror and/or photo, late and living relatives are right here with me) and Ela of Ulterior Harmony (who sent me a very thoughtful e-mail right before I posted this), as well. I'm now viewing things in a better light.

Happy birthday Poppy. I'll always love you. Tell Nanny I love her, too.

*BTW, Nina did not ask me to do this post (actually, I haven't even told her about it yet). I'm just a big fan and wanted to show her beautiful work to you. The part about my grandfather, The Paper Mama, etc., were spontaneous additions/modifications to this post. Sorry that my thoughts are all over the place; it's just reflects my emotional ups and downs at the moment.