As I mentioned yesterday, I've been bequeathed my grandmother's massive stash of jewellery supplies. When my mother heard I had decided to try making jewellery, she said, "Your grandma's got boxes of jewellery things. I can bring some over if you like!" I said, "Brilliant!"
Might as well have said, "Back the truck up!"
Grandma used to make and sell gemstone jewellery, so she has piles of gems, opals, pearls, chains, pendant settings, earring posts, faceted crystals and all manner of weird little decorative knick-knacks. I received a tower of boxes full of these supplies. Buckets of supplies. Sooo many supplies.
Why am I getting all my grandmother's hobbycrafts? Well, as I've said, Grandma's moved into care. My mother and her siblings have been cleaning out the old house before its new owner knocks it down. Over the past forty years, this building has transformed from a sweet 1950s family home for seven kids, into a wastaway shack stuffed full of collections of knitting wool, matchboxes, newpapers, and mountains of dusty junk. Mum is thrilled to find anything that anyone might actually want amongst the dust. As far as I can tell, the main stuff Mum actually wants is what's in this box:
Yes, it's a box of elephants. Lots of elephants. Etcetera.
Anyway, I visited the house last weekend. There's a big sexy skip in the driveway:
Which is making many trips to the dump filled with bewildering objects like this one:
Mum identified it as a coconut shell, but we can't work out what it's supposed to resemble. Yes, it is utterly coated in dust. No, we don't know how long it's been sitting on the lounge room cabinet. Yes, it went in the bin after the photo was taken.
Mum thinks Grandma probably saved every letter she ever received. While I was there, Mum found some train tickets:
...from 1953. Naww, Australia Day!
But there is beauty amid the flotsam. I got my greasy paws on this:
It's a set of six gilded china teacups. I have been slightly obsessed with pretty teacups ever since I started my adventures on Etsy, so I went into rapture when Mum waved at the whole set and said, "Hey, would you want those?"
Anyway, so regarding the jewellery: I realised pretty quick that I wasn't going to be able to start making stuff right away. Partly because a lot of it was made already. But mainly because the boxes of jewellery findings were covering the whole dining table and all the chairs in my dad's house. He does not like clutter. So I launched into cleanup mode and sifted through every box and bag and threw out masses of crap and held onto things like these:
|Many, many opals|
|When I say "buckets of supplies"...|