Friday, August 29, 2014

My Grandmother's Pearls

Both the necklace and the mabe pearl earrings belonged to my Grandmother; She'd have loved the Isabella Fiore handbag  from Nordstrom, dotted with beads and sequins, and the blue and yellow striped and tasseled Poetic License shoes; The pants are Ann Taylor circa 1997; The jacket is Jones New York (see it styled another way here); The watch is Oakley (and you thought they only made sunglasess...)
My mom says I remind her of my Grandma Dorothy in many ways. Like me, she loved to entertain and always paid special attention to even the smallest details of a dinner party or holiday celebration; she had shoes and purses to match every dress; and she loved to get gussied up (usually for an evening at the Moose Lodge). We even shared similar taste in clothes - despite the generation gap, the brown leather jacket she wore in the 1940s is the most treasured item in my closet.  
Wasn't she beautiful?!
I was in college when she passed away, now more than 20 years ago, but I feel like she's with me all the time. It's no surprise, then, that I was thrilled last summer when my mom handed down some pieces of her jewelry, including this fun strand of "pearls" strung on rainbow hued thread. This piece was handmade by Grandma, probably sometime in the 70s. She had mad crafting skills - I would pay money for this necklace today! Of course, I love it even more because it was hers. No, they're not real pearls and, no, they're not worth a lot of money. But to me, they're priceless. 
My Grandma, Mom and Aunt Linda all used to hand make necklaces on rainbow hued thread.  I think they'd sell today if  I had the patience and know-how to make them.
Even so, the material possessions I have of hers are trivial compared to my childhood memories of quality time spent with her and my Grandpa Harold. When I sat down to write this post, I thought it would be clever to share some of Grandma's "pearls of wisdom" in addition to the pearls she wore. But the truth is, one of the things I admired most about Dorothy Coy was that she didn't spend a lot of time giving people unsolicited advice about what they should and shouldn't do, or how they should or shouldn't live their lives. Well, there was that one time when she told the grade-school me to stop eating mac & cheese before I made myself sick, but that's not the kind of advice I'm talking about here... though I can tell you she was certainly right about it - I should have listened.   
I wish I had a window into the world of young Dorothy.  This picture is one of my favorites of her.
For the most part, my grandmother let the way she treated others and the way she led her own life set the example for those around her. She was not a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of woman. She walked the walk. I'm happy I've inherited my sense of style and flair for entertaining from her; I'm thrilled to own and wear jewelry that once belonged to her; but I hope I grow up to share her wise ways, as well. 

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

My Grandma Dorothy also inspired these posts:

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