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The sky was filled with low clouds, and the wind was causing the tree branches to sway violently. Weather reports suggested tornadoes could develop in our area, so I began to think what I might move to the basement for safekeeping. I saw the row of scrapbooks on the living room shelf and considered how heavy they all were. How many trips up and down the stairs it would take to move them all? Even if I moved them, would rain water still ruin them if our home sustained serious storm damage?

I turned instead to my bedroom and gathered my jewelry. My wedding set I wear always, but there are other special memories and relationships represented by pieces that I don’t wear every day, but are still meaningful to me. The gold filigree pendant my great-grandmother, grandmother, and I all wore on our wedding days, the pearls my father brought back from Vietnam when his tour of duty was over and he could be reunited with my mother and meet me for the first time, colorful earrings bought as souvenirs on trips, little gifts from friends…

In space no bigger than a bread box, I have collected tangible reminders of family and friends, the births of my children, my husband’s thoughtfulness at birthdays and anniversaries, and this is what I carried quickly and easily to the basement.

Like many people, I’ve read articles on decluttering, and I’ve more than once urged extended family to consider giving us the gift of an experience, rather than a “thing” at holidays and birthdays. But tangible reminders of love have their place as well. A piece of jewelry made with care from materials that will stand the test of time can be passed through the generations, linking family together. A charm bracelet could recall special vacations, a watch might mark the time of a graduation or retirement, a ring or pendant the endurance of a spouse’s love.

As the storm intensified, my teenaged daughter noticed what I’d brought to the basement and decided she should bring her jewelry box downstairs as well. I’m sure she was thinking of her grandparents, who’ve given her some special gifts, and her aunt, whose wedding delighted her as a young flower girl.

The storm passed us by, and we carried our jewelry back up to our rooms. I’d choose to try to safeguard those memories again, when another storm threatens.

Earring Jackets – such a versatile accessory, there’s no need to check the weather!

Do your ball studs lack sparkle? Do your diamonds lack presence, but purchasing larger stones seems out of reach? Would you like to add interest to classic earrings by adding movement or more up-to-date styling?

An affordable way to enhance your existing earring collection is with earring jackets. Slip the post of your stud into the post hole in the jacket, put the earring in your ear, add your regular back behind… and voila!

A bigger look, more sparkle, more fun!
Adding a diamond halo to diamond studs not only creates the illusion of a larger diamond, it also creates an on-trend look often seen in today’s favorite engagement rings.

Or add the same diamond halo to a colored gemstone or small, colorful bead for an entirely different look.

Put a pearl into this black and white diamond jacket for a stunning look that makes a statement, day or evening. Diamonds or colored gemstones could take a turn in the spotlight as well.

Jackets can also be used to add movement or dangle to earrings that lack presence as a stud.

With options like these, any weather is jacket weather.

When I was chair of the costume committee for Tulip Festival, I was in charge of the costumes for the Queen and Court. I have always loved the South Beveland costume but was afraid of the hats, specifically the oorijzers. Working with metals really isn’t in wheel house, so I asked Scott at Windmill Park Jewelers if he would be willing to help me out because he willing to take on a challenge and does beautiful work. (read more)

Brande Pals

I have never made a request of Windmill Park Jewelers that couldn’t be filled. From unique, handcrafted, custom work to engraved name badges for my board members and volunteers, WPJ’s work has been timely and professional. Scott took great care and pride in the custom work we had him create and I continue to receive positive feedback on our professional appearance at art festivals, exhibit openings, and community gatherings.

Yankton Area Arts
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