My grandmother (my father's mother) has been on my mind alot lately.
Most likely, because her birthday would have been last week... but also because she was such a strong influence in my life.
She was an interesting lady.
She graduated high school with honors. At the age of 16 she got her diploma when so many women didn't go to school beyond the younger grades. She received full scholarships to go to prestigious Bucknell University, and was one of the first (if not the first) woman in our county to go to college.
She thrived in academic studies... and it was this thirst for knowledge and reading that propelled her through her life. But life has a way of calling you in other directions, and she quit college just a few months shy of graduation to marry and become a mother. Life would never be the same, and it would not be easy.
She was a feisty woman, prone to chain smoking and staying up late to finish off the latest bag of books from the local library. She drank endless pots of coffee from an extremely dangerous gas stove. She collected... well... everything. She loved gardening, embroidery and all the hand-crafts. She could look in a store window at a dress, and go home and cut a pattern out of old newspaper and re-create it exactly as she saw it. She loved fantasy... daydreaming... and writing. She even wrote stories that she submitted to Ellery Queen Magazine. She hated cooking and housework, and avoided them at all costs. She could read tea leaves, and often told me stories of her Irish ancestry... of tinkers, inventors, and junk traders... fixers of random stuff. She adored all things French, and still spoke it frequently a full 60yrs after she had studied it in school. She craved culture and art; but was too much of a hermit to go in search of it. She had lots of faults... not the least of which, was sticking with my grandfather. But that is another story.
I've been pondering on her, and that crone wisdom of old that is so easily cast off and forgotten from generation to generation. This week, I've been working on a new line of jewelry that celebrates this grandmotherly vibe... and the wisdom of so many females in each of our lives that have molded us and shaped us into the women we have become. Strong, creative, often brave .... these stalwartly muses of our past.
I have named this line Esther Anne in honor of my grandmother.
Here are a couple of the pieces that I have debuted this week.
See you all tomorrow.