I have a really hard time with any sort of waste – I loathe throwing out groceries and feel ashamed when I lose track of an item in my closet, totally unaware I even own it. In my case, the most shameful on this list of “forgotten treasures” is my massive jewelry collection.
I come from a long line of women (and men) who love the sparkle. My dad’s side specifically subscribes to the “all gold everything” rule, and in a way jewelry always brought my grandparents and I together, especially my grandmother Joanne.
My grandma taught me a lot of who I am today – we both adored the sun, and I spent almost every winter growing up by her side in Palm Springs eating fruit, soaking up the heat, and combing local flea markets for coveted treasures. She had impeccable style, somehow always managing to look fun and classy at the same time, and I was always so proud to introduce myself as her granddaughter. In recent years I’ve been told we share the same taste in cocktails, and I wish more than anything we could’ve had the chance to get tipsy and talk woman to woman about all the strange surprises of adult life.
Sadly, I never got the chance. When we lost my grandmother to dementia about five years ago, I flew home from Vancouver with a broken heart and a handful of the treasures I had gazed at with longing my entire life: a heavy charm bracelet with tiny momentos from every beautiful place my grandmother had been, an intricate gilded ship complete with glimmering sails strung upon a simple chain. Perhaps most painfully, the engagement ring my grandfather had given her when they were only 18.
Unfortunately things had turned sour between my grandpa and I over the years leading up to my grandmother’s passing. I won’t get into it too much here, maybe in the next post in this series, but it suffices to say that when I lost her, I felt like I had lost both of them, and everything I had believed about their marriage. As a romantic, this was hard to swallow, and when I got back home to Toronto I tucked my grandmother’s treasures away in a box under my bed along with all of hurt I was feeling.
When I was in California this past winter, following a snowbird tradition my grandparents had honoured every year I knew them, I found myself thinking of those beautiful treasures, gathering dust with no chance to sparkle. I almost felt panicked that I had left them, abandoned them in the shadows, something my grandma would definitely have frowned upon. As soon as I got home, I scheduled a meeting with my dear friends at BluBoho to launch a new project centred around giving forgotten treasures a new spot in the sun.
Again, this is only the first post of the series so I don’t want to give it all away upfront, but together we’re going to be talking about jewelry care, curation, and crafting new pieces from those that have become outdated and unwanted. The ladies at BluBoho and I strongly believe that jewelry should serve as memory markers, as glittering moments spun into something solid, and even if those memories have shifted or soured, the memories can always be spun into something special and new.
Comment below if there’s anything specific you’d like to learn about building the ultimate jewelry collection, or just come along with us for the *sparkly* ride!