Before we left our old apartment - it seems like ages ago, now - I packed up all but a few favorite pieces of jewelry. Carefully wrapped in layers of tissue and stored in a variety of jewelry boxes and small containers, these pieces of my past have been dormant for nearly two and a half years. Intricate necklaces of tiny seed beads strung in high school and college, costume jewelry from my grandmothers, gifts from my husband. Since then I've made new designs that I love and wear constantly. Unpacking, sorting, reorganizing began to feel like a chore - what's worse, an emotional chore. Procrastination became something akin to dread, until finally, I could no longer wait.
Recently, the time came. This jewelry armoire was a tangle of lone earrings and broken necklaces. With the help of a few sushi dishes and some colorful business cards, I've corralled earrings and long necklaces into a semblance of organization. I even wore Grandma's rhinestone bracelet for the first time in a long time.
Old necklaces were unwrapped and introduced to new favorites. Some still require a bit of polish, others are ready to be trotted out on my next night on the town.
Pieces that I never or rarely wear, yet can't bear to part with are stored in the 'archive'. All the crazy beads, inherited vintage pieces and sentimental memories rest here, waiting to be remembered. Those colorful plastic bangles were a gift from my husband on our first date. I crocheted the necklace next to it when we were first dating for him; I found the instructions on microfiche in the college library.
The brass locket above was a gift from my grandfather when I was very little. He searched and searched and found tiny photos of each of us to put inside. When I was eighteen I strung it on the lacy daisy chain you see above to wear to my grandmother's funeral. My Auntie Karen commented wryly, whenever I see you, you're working on a necklace. You always have a deadline and it's always tomorrow. Some things never change.