12.17.2008

Sisters

Plum Creek, Beth Hemmila: handcrafted pendant by Lynn Davis,
garnet, freshwater pearls, fine and sterling silver


Last month Lynn Davis of ExpeditionD gifted me a lovely pendant in celebration of her jewelry shop's one year anniversary. For those of you who haven't visited Lynn's blog, it's a must see. She is the most generous and creative spirit out there, continuly sharing resources, experimenting with new techniques, and unearthing hidden artists. What a delight to open a package and find this elegant lady on the inside paired with the image of another Victorian woman on the back of the pendant. Lynn's concept of two women and oneness opened up a place inside me that longed to tell the story of sisters.


Growing up with only brothers and never having experienced a true biological sister, I've always felt a gaping hole inside of me -- like I'm still waiting for my little sister to walk into my life. Over the last three months I've experienced a new kind of sisterhood, and it came from a surprising place -- through the graciousness of my mother.

Since I was about 13 years old my mother and I have been traveling different paths, which now separate us by 3000 miles. Four years ago I had a devastating realization that it was more then just space that separated us, for I felt as if I didn't know her and she didn't really know me.

In October, I asked if she would read the whole Little House series with me, and every day I spend in gratitude that she said "yes." Each week I look forward to the phone call from my mother, sharing memories and discoveries about the sisters in Laura' s books, where we enjoy being part of the Ingalls family, experiencing snowstorms, grasshoppers, and pioneer adventures.

The ladies Lynn chose for her pendant reminded me so much of the women in the Little House series -- strong, compassionate, and enduring. I designed this necklace Plum Creek to honor the memory of the book club I've shared with my mother and the spirit of sisterhood in the Little House on the Prairie.

For color, I chose garnets, pink and plum freshwater pearls to tell the story of the many wildflowers Laura and her sisters gathered on the prairie. In addition, I incorporated one of my Tree of Life charms that looks as if it is from the 1800s because it was accidentally over tumbled. This slightly over worn but everlasting charm is my way of symbolizing the timeless interconnection between women in families.

This necklace is a reminder of my new found relationship with my mother spun each week through words and memories. I am most grateful for the surprising opportunity to experience sisterhood in such an unexpected place...at home :)

13 comments:

  1. I have this set of books you talk about. My mother reads them and rereads them. I never have. I think I will now.
    :)

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  2. Oh you must! Every day is an adventure for Laura and her family and some of her writing is like pure poetry.

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  3. Beth, I'm all teary-eyed by your story and the lovely necklace you created using my humble pendant, giving it so much meaning and sweet history! Thanks so much ... I liked that little pendant and made up a little story around it, I'm so glad it went home to live with you! Lynn

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  4. Such a beautiful necklace and heart warming story. I've had "missing sister" syndrome my whole life as well...

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  5. Wonderful Gaea! Now I have a phrase for that confusing feeling "missing sister" syndrome. What a comfort to finally be able to express it in a way that makes sense. Thank you!

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  6. Lynn, I'm so glad my story touched you. I can't wait to here the story that you created. Hopefully you will post that on your blog because I'm sincerely intrigued :)

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  7. missing sister syndrome...i guess i have that too and never knew it. I find that the sisters we meet throughout our lives effect us just as lynn did you. I love the idea of reading a series and discussing it, much deeper and more intimate than reading one book. The way you weave your life stories into your work inspires me.

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  8. Laura, I totally agree with you. Reading a series together allows relationships to build on and interconnect these stories in a magical way. Maybe we should do the whole Nancy Drew series? :)

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  9. Such a warm story Beth. Many blessings to you and your mother along this new path :)

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  10. Beth,
    Yes, that would be fun! Maybe we could brainstorm a series- Nancy Drew might not be might first choice, but I do love the idea.
    And with all this cold weather, reading is so cozy and comforting.

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  11. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Barbe :)

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  12. I saw this on flickr then followed the story. I love your description and what moved you about this piece. It's amazingly inspiring.

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  13. Anji, thanks so much for following the story and connecting to my inspiration for this piece. It's good to meet you!

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I'd love for you to share your ideas and stories on my blog! Please know that I may not always be able to e-mail you a direct response, so be sure to check back to my blog and continue the dialogue. Many blessings for connecting with me through word and image :)