Friday, April 26, 2013

Buttons and Heirlooms

Shadow boxes are such a great way to showcase jewelry/accessories, heirlooms, vacation memorabilia, and keepsakes. I even noticed at IKEA that they have shadow box coffee tables. It looks like a showcase from a store when anything is behind glass. I have a couple shadow box frames that hold family photos of family members who've passed on. I adore scrapbooking, but I also like these heirlooms out on display so I can remember them everyday I pass by or friends and family can easily notice them. You'd be surprised how many people will have their curiousity piqued.

I have a set of antique pearls from my grandmother, for instance, that I'm deathly afraid of wearing for fear that I might lose them that I put in the frame with her old pictures. They're still easily accessible if I ever worked up the nerve to wear them. Some grandparents collect furniture and fancy dishes - my grandma collected jewelry.

 My husband lost his father when he was twelve. He didn't have a lot of possessions to hand down. We were lucky to even find pictures of him (must thank Justin's sister-in-law for making copies). The thing that Justin remembered most about him was the kind of character he had and a certain poem he carried around in his Bible, so I typed that up and put it in his box.

My dresser has two pictures on it, my favorite wedding photo and a framed card Justin wrote to me the night he proposed. It's in our bedroom so he won't be embarrassed when his friends come over. It brings a smile to my face when I read it. I've also customized some of our framed wedding photos.

Another way I've chosen to display smaller keepsakes is as a vase filler. I was in Anthropologie and they used vintage looking buttons as a filler around a candle, which sparked an idea. I didn't have vintage buttons, but I had some neutral colored buttons from the craft store I used for scrapbooking. I also had some old skeleton keys I purchased on Ebay a while back, tape measurement ribbon, and a humble watch that belonged to Justin's dad. Imagine grandma's costume jewelry, grandpa's military buttons mixed in, a belt buckle, eye glasses, bobbins, and bits.

Word of the wise, do not use cheap candles for this or you might ruin your family heirlooms (like your great great grandfather's pocket watch). I find that Crate-n-barrel has the most inexpensive even burning candles. If your vase is big enough, you could also use a separate glass cup to separate the candle from the filler, in which case you could use a flameless LED candle. I've seen some that come that way too, from Target and Pottery Barn I think. I just used what I already had and pushed objects around with a knitting needle.

This would look nice in a large apothecary jar as well, candle omitted. Reminds me of "I SPY" or something fun like that and it's way more special than tucking your treasures away where no one ever sees them. Quite a conversation starter actually. You can always buy pretty things, but you can't buy memories or the people in them.


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