Friday, August 13, 2010


I recently traveled to Utah!  With my parents!  And my three kids!  And my cousin!  And her baby!  By van!  We had many wonderful adventures and beautiful moments with family and friends.    But it wasn't what you'd call a relaxing trip.
And that's why my mother's childhood friend, Kathleen, was such a saint to host us.  She knew what to expect -- our family has been staying at her house every-other-year for decades now -- and yet she welcomed us enthusiastically.  This time there were seven of us sprawled throughout her home (me, my parents, my three kids, and my sister), plus all my other siblings (7 more) and their kids (25 more) visiting throughout the week.  We were a loud and messy crowd.
But Kathleen is the world's most gracious hostess, and didn't seem to mind our crash 'n trash protocol one bit.  With closets full of toys and freezers full of homemade ice cream, her home was a haven.  My kids couldn't wait to get back there after each daily adventure.  They even begged during our two-night stay at a mountain ranch -- where they could swim, ride horses, paddle boats and eat snow cones -- to "go back to Kath-a-leen's house" so they could play with legos.  Needless to say, we all  had a wonderful time!
So I wanted to make Kathleen something special to thank her for her hospitality.  Her house is full of vintage linens, precious collectibles, and artwork by Thomas Kinkade.   With that in mind, I wanted to come up with something delicate and floral. I didn't have my full stash at my disposal, just a few basic supplies (tools, chain, jump rings) and some miscellaneous items I'd ordered from Fire Mountain Gem's clearance section and had shipped to meet me in Utah.  (The majority of the order was jewelry for my sister's wedding, but I'll get to that later.)

I lucked out with this pendant/ brooch, which I ordered on a whim, thinking it looked nice enough, and that at 84 cents it wasn't much of a risk.  It's so much prettier in person than it was on the website, and I'm kicking myself now for not stocking up!     
It came with a removable stick pin you can slide through two brackets at the back so that it can be worn separately.
photo from Fire Mountain Gems
And because I love versatility, I also wanted the chain to be pretty enough to be worn alone, single or doubled, clasped in front or back.  When worn together, the pendant can be hooked to the heart-shaped clasp, like so.

I'm very happy with the result.  And I'm still kicking myself for only ordering one pendant/brooch.

I hope Kathleen gets lots of use out of this.  And I hope that when she wears it she doesn't dread our (possible) return in 2012.

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