Heritage Photo Pendants- a great family gift

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My old friend, Diana Glasgow had a wonderful idea for family reunion gifts.  She made everyone in the family a photo pendant.  It was a huge hit with her family.

She generously agreed to share her project with us. Read her story below:

 

 

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It began with a 1936 family photo

It began with a 1936 family photo and a family reunion scheduled for this July.  The photo came to me as an emailed file of not the highest quality, but it included every descendant of Grandpa Bergner alive in 1936, including all the spouses and children of his 8 children.  Three generations in their living entirety at that moment in time, a winter day in 1930’s dust bowl Oklahoma.

I had been toying with the idea of using resin to make heritage photo pendants of my family, and had even ordered some brass settings from Earthly Adornments to make them with.  It occurred to me now that it would be fun to make gift heritage photo pendants for every female descendant who came to the reunion. And so I began, fortunately with 6 weeks of lead time.

By the time of the reunion I had made 24 necklaces or bracelets and one pin!  I learned to use Mod Podge with ICE Resin ™ or glass domes. And I used a selection of vintage style pendant settings and chain from Earthly Adornments.

My favorite pendant setting was b9-0596, because it had a lovely antique brass patina and reminded me of the homestead farm area where we all spent at least part of our childhoods. The images included (to my mind) wheat, wild grape, sand plum, sunflowers and wild purple asters, each one a precious part of our rather bleak natural world.

I bought a pair of fine craft scissors to cut out individual family members in silhouette, like paper dolls! I could then group individuals…mother, father, child or children into a single 30x40mm bezel in collage fashion.

Some tips for you, learned the hard way:

  1. Read the directions that come with Mod Podge and ICE Resin ™.
  2. Copy your images on a laser printer (not ink jet). I used a local print shop.
  3. Resin, brass, and ink on paper don’t mix well. Seal your images in Mod Podge first…front, back and sides. The Mod Podge acts as both a sealant and an adhesive to fasten the image down to the brass setting. Let the Mod Podge dry well before proceeding to the resin stage.
  4. ICE Resin ™ is an easy, high quality resin to work with in the dual syringe package. Use as little or as much as you want; the rest is sealed and ready for future use.
  5. Don’t “pour” the stirred resin directly into the brass setting. Dip a craft stick into the stirred resin, then move to the setting and let it ooze off into the bezel.
  6. The best antidote for bubbles in resin is a butane lighter, the kind with a long handle used to light a gas camp stove. Pass the flame across the top of the freshly poured resin until bubbles rise to surface and pop.
  7. Work on a (heavier) white plastic garbage bag surface. It catches the resin drops and they peel off when dry, so your jewelry, if the resin overflows, won’t get stuck to the work surface.

Good luck!

P.S. Everyone loved their heritage pendants. Surprisingly, some of the most appreciative and emotional responses were from older male relatives (yes, I saw tears) who had never seen photos of just themselves with mom and dad.  A bit of collage magic that worked.

Smaller bezel settings made a great charm bracelet

Smaller bezel settings made a great charm bracelet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each pendant got its own silk bag lovely gift wrap. A perfect family present!

Each pendant got its own silk bag lovely gift wrap. A perfect family present!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a great selection of various sizes of solid back pendants in our Settings, Bezels & Frames pages that will work with this type of project.    Below are some suggestions.  For a complete selection please browse our category pages.

Fred Harvey Era Bracelets

The Fred Harvey Era is a genre of lightweight mass produced jewelry made to sell to eastern tourists passing through the southwest. Native American crafts were extremely popular along the Santa Fe railroad lines and were also stocked in hotels and retail stores primarily run by The Fred Harvey Company.

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The tourist trade saw incredible growth in the southwest from the end of the 19th century through to 1930. Indian-made jewelry was a popular item that Anglo tourists purchased, to serve as a wearable souvenir of their experiences traveling in the southwest.

Jewelers quickly realized the Anglo taste in jewelry differed from the traditional styles of Native Americans (Navajo Indians) who favored heavy, larger statement pieces and Anglo Americans particularly sought after light weight jewelry with smaller embellishments and stones.

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The Fred Harvey style bracelets are commonly decorated with stamped arrows, eagles, scalloped edges, The Fred Harvey Co. Thunderbird logo and turquoise. These gorgeous bracelets bring a southwest flare to any modern day attire. We have acquired a fabulous collection of Fred Harvey era Native American jewelry.

Captivating Carnelian

Carnelian is a variety of chalcedony, ranging in gorgeous sunset hues of reds, yellows and oranges. It was said to be one of the luckiest gems to wear; an old proverb states, “No man who wore a carnelian was ever found in a collapsed house or beneath a fallen wall.”

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A stimulating gemstone known for motivation, endurance, power and courage. Carnelian has protected and empowered throughout history.

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Carnelian was once a symbol of the noble class and people of high social status were often buried with it.  Ancient warriors wore carnelian around their necks into battle for both courage and physical power. It was also the first stone in the breastplate of the high priest meant to symbolize the blood of the martyrs.

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Today carnelian is known for helping its wearer find strength and confidence when conquering insecurities. Adorn yourself with the warmth this gem exudes, we have a variety of beads, pendants and jewelry waiting to be worn.

Centuries of Cameos

A tradition that began in the 15th/16th century and popularized by Queen Victoria of England, the cameo has endured the whims of shifting fashion throughout history.

Shell cameos became popularized in the Victorian era and were often worn as a casual accessory during the day. In the 19th century shell cameos became especially trendy, causing skilled artisans to utilize other man made elements like gemstones, stone, coral and lava to produce diverse cameos.

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Women began collecting cameos in the Elizabethan period to promote class and prove cultural status. In the Hellenistic era women used cameos as charms to express desire. Early Greek and Roman carvings featured images of gods and goddesses with themes from mythology as well as depictions of biblical events.

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Many cameos throughout history depict living heroes and rulers.  They evolved into a versatile adornment often seen on rings, military accessories, vases and dining sets.

Cameos stand as a timeless and elegant accessory still seen in modern day jewelry and fashion.

 

Fall in love with Rose Quartz

Rose quartz is a gemstone full of divine history and significance, a gemstone symbolizing the energy of love. One legend notes that Cupid and Eros brought rose quartz to earth in hopes that its alluring pink color would spark love and desire among people.

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Ancient Roman and Greek civilizations used quartz crystals as talismans, where as Egyptians believed the stone could hinder aging. In the Middle ages, medical practitioners used quartz in their healing potions. In early cultures of the Americas quartz amulets were used as well. Commonly referred to as “the love stone,” it was said to balance the emotions and sooth anger and disappointment. There are infinite diverse legends surrounding rose quartz, with the commonality of its ability to inspire compassion and acknowledgement for ones self and for each other.

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Fall in love with our stunning high quality rose quartz carvings, pendants, beads and jewelry!

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Help! Bail out a pendant!

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We’ve got new bails! These are oxidized solid brass filigree connectors that have been  folded over by the manufacturer. Perfect for hanging a glass ring, or an oval jump ring to connect a pendant and then thread your chain or velvet ribbon through the folded over bail. We have a variety of filigree listed in our bail section that can be similarly folded with a mandrel, or rounded pliers.

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Here are our new filigree bails.

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You can make your own bails, using filigree connectors like these.

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Here are some ideas for using these bails.

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Use bails to make a stunning pendant like this one.

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