Heirloom Memory Necklace: February 2010

silver charm necklace jewelry lotus blossomMemory Necklace 2010, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry):
aquamarine, carnelian, turquoise, lemon quartz, peridot,
sterling silver chain and wire, gold filled wire, and silver charms (lotus blossom and cross)

I worked on my Memory Necklace for the month of February last weekend. She's really beginning to take shape with a whole East West spiritual theme and southwest colors.

sonoran desert arizona tucsonSonoran Desert, Tucson, Arizona

As I perused my favorite memories from February, I kept coming back to our trip to Tucson and our final day out in the Sonoran Desert. It was raining, but still the sky was a gorgeous blue and the rusty colors of the desert came alive.

silver charm necklace southwest lotus blossomJournal Mind Mapping for February

I mind mapped February in my journal, so you can see that Tucson had a lot to compete with such as spring robin sightings, blooming daffodils, Olympic downhill skiing, etc.

cactus tucson arizona sonoran desert
Nevertheless, I settled on the colors that I had seen out in the desert and
thought they would be wonderful translated into gems. This prickly
cactus looked like peridot, carnelian, and lemon quartz to me.

cactus tucson arizona sonoran desert
And the interesting black patterns on this cactus reminded me of the
dark patina I like to put on my sterling chain.

gemstones necklace southwest turquoise carnelianMemory Necklace 2010 (detail), Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry):
turquoise, carnelian, lemon quartz, sterling silver chain and wire

Of course, a beautiful turquoise bead to remind me of a blue southwest sky!

broken ceramic cross mexican southwest
Another really beautiful memory from our hike out in the Sonoran Desert was when I saw this small, ceramic cross near a cactus, sitting there like a tiny altar. It was so touching to see a sacred object completely hidden by nature.

silver cross charm jewelry catholic
To hold this memory close I added a Valiant Milagro silver cross charm to the end of the necklace's extender chain and then wire-wrapped a group of healing stones. I liked the idea of this charm hanging down the back of my neck, hiding just like the cross in desert.

I'm really enjoying this process of putting a piece of jewelry away and then pulling it out again each month to reflect on its design and the memories of the past. This feels a lot like painting or knitting where you can pick up a piece and put it down without any pressure of figuring out where its headed.


  1. What a beautiful necklace. I love that it holds special memories (and love that you can turn them into a beautiful piece of jewelry).

    Your photos are awesome too!

  2. Beth, it looks like your creative side has taken off.. I love the mixture of gems, different textures....and the idea of that charm hanging off the back of the neck... The necklace I bought from you has that gem hanging and I love the look!.

  3. it really is stunning, i'm curious if you will decide to keep it for yourself since it seems so personal?

  4. Thanks for sharing part of your inspirational trip and your creative process involved in designing this necklace. It's something that will be treasured for many, many years - one that will always bring a smile to your face as you remember each moment in the beautiful desert (:


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