I have been fascinated with this idea ever since Arlene first approached me about membership in Handmade for Life. How many different times have I wished for some way to make our special flowers and accompanying memories last a little bit longer? Petals pressed in prayer books. Stemmed roses hanging to dry in the garage. Photographs. And that bittersweet moment when I finally and reluctantly relinquish those dying blooms to the trash can.
I recently contacted JNJ Keepsakes to inquire about a custom order I would eventually like to make. Each time my husbands gives me roses, I am reminded of his love and fidelity. I don't need those roses to know he loves me because he shows it in so many ways but he knows I love roses and I'm always delighted. What if I could capture this symbol of his faithfulness and care and pass it on in a keepsake to a child on a wedding day? (You are standing here with your beloved today because of your Father's love and care. Every moment that he sacrificed for me and for you in love has helped to make you who you are and bring you to this beautiful day. May your marriage be as cherished and fruitful...) I thought a rosary or a pretty bracelet for the bride might be a perfect use for beads made from the flowers their daddy gave to me.
JNJ Keepsakes' shop on Etsy features pre-made jewelry in addition to the custom requests that they love to fulfill. They can create your perfect custom piece or just the beads ( 8mm-4mm) for you to incorporate into your own projects. The amount of flower needed for a bead varies according to type of flower and petals but a single rose will make 8 to 10 beads. The dried petals are then ground into a powder before being given a second life in the beads. The extra powder is then saved for 2 years in case the customer would like to order more items.
In addition to their passion for building up a culture of Life, Arlene and Renate also donate all profits from The Jessica Necklace to MADD to help prevent another tragedy like the one they suffered in the loss of their beloved Jessica.
I can think of so many special uses for the talented artists at JNJ. A gift for a new mother. Memorial of the loss of a preborn baby or in memory of another loved one. First Communion or weddings. Memory of a special trip or event. I'm sure there are as many different ideas as there are special occasions.
Thanks Arlene and Renate for bringing your life and gifts to the Handmade for Life family!