Monday, September 28, 2009

Honestly ...

Here's a sympathy card that gets right to the point.

Many Tears Remembrance Necklace

Words are always so hard to find when we want to convey our sympathy. Here's a meaningful option - a customized, sterling silver Many Tears Remembrance Necklace by Munchkin Mama. Although there are many hand-stamped necklaces out there, this one is special because of the briolet beads, a "cluster of tears" that discreetly yet beautifully symbolize grief.

This necklace will last longer than a sympathy card, and at $20, it's also very reasonable. Instead of stumbling to find the right words, convey all of your love with this simple yet significant gesture. By the way, mention this blog to Munchkin Mama and receive and additional 10% off!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Remembrance Wreaths

Wreaths and remembrance have a long history. From ancient Rome to Scandinavian traditions, wreaths made from hearty plants symbolize strength and perseverance. According to Wikipedia, wreaths made of pine, holly or yew convey immortality, while cedar sends a message of healing. In Northern European countries, wreaths made from firs represent remembrance of those who have passed.

And while laurel leaves and fir needles may fade and fall, the leaves from books will never leave a wreath. Simple Joys Paperie creates gorgeous paper wreaths, perhaps the perfect everlasting sentiment. These wreaths are elegantly constructed from antique book leaves. As these items are made to order, perhaps a favorite book could be repurposed as an elegant, custom order wreath.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Memory Blankets

This blog is dedicated to remembering all of those who mean something to us. I hope to promote meaningful repurposing - taking items that have been outgrown, and creating something new that will help us remember.

I've previously posted on repurposing mens' shirts to become cute dresses for girls, redesigning heritage jewelry, and other projects that keep those cherished items in close reach. Petit Amour creates custom Memory Blankets out of baby clothing, a perfect solution to giving new life to those precious little jumpers, shirts and dresses that are so hard to give up. Just send the clothing to Petit Amour, and you'll receive in return a gorgeous memory blanket. I absolutely love this idea, and hope that it catches on!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Haute Hearse

The sudden sight of a hearse is enough to cast a shadow on even the brightest day. It's a motorized memento mori, interrupting our daily lives with a grim glimpse of our ultimate destination. Yet with so many people being cremated these days, the hearse is quickly becoming a relic.

Not to worry, here are some Etsy artists who are keeping the has-been hearse alive, at least in spirit.

Also from Pillbox Designs, here's a Landau "S" bar vinyl decal to for your car, or even your laptop.

Hearse necklace by Graphic Maniac

Notecards by The Rasilisk

Keepsake Pins

With silver-toned frames, swarovski crystals and delicate ribbon, these keepsake pins by Galsfly2 are a sweet, contemporary interpretation of Victorian mourning jewelry.

Galsfly2 writes, "I wanted to take a small gift-token to a friend or loved one, and just couldn't find the appropriate gift, especially when they had a family member that had passed on and flowers didn't seem to be the right thing. I've even gave them to friends to wear on Mothers Day or Fathers day. A gentle reminder that they are missed."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sympathy Wings

This is a sympathy card with a sweet little souvenir.

Created by Art Mind, the written message is simply "With Sympathy" but the little handmade wooden wings, add an enduring message of hope that'll last long after the sympathy cards are stowed away.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sympathy Prints & Cards

I just love these sympathy prints and cards by Yardia, they feature quotes from my beloved Victorian heroines, models of stoic strength and perseverance despite hardships of the heart. This violet Charlotte Bronte sympathy card is one of my favorites.

I also love this sentimental, Victorian Valentine inspired Forget Me Not original drawing. I think the sentiment can be applied as a daily reminder for all those we love.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Dandelion Wishes

This is a sweet alternative to the typical somber guest book found at many services. Dandelion Wishes, created by The Wedding Perch, each dandelion is an opportunity for guests to write something - a wish, a prayer, a memory.

I especially like the image of a dandelion - something scattered to the wind, yet lives on with the promise of a wish. Seems appropriate when we've lost someone.

On another note, many of the items I feature are originally created for weddings. Although this may appear contradictory, I believe a remembrance service should be parallel to a wedding - an opportunity to gather together and honor the love we hold for one another. It's a promise to cherish someone forever, a bonding that transcends death. I wish that funeral services were half as creative as weddings!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Flowers Become Beads

What can you do with the flowers after a service? They typically overstay their welcome because we feel too guilty to throw them away. Here's a brilliant solution from JNJ Keepsakes - you can turn those flowers into jewelry!

JNJ takes custom orders, so just send the flowers and they will be returned as a necklace, earrings or bracelet. What a wonderful way to hold on those sentimental flowers! This would also make a thoughtful gift for a woman who's recently lost someone - ask for a few of the funeral flowers, and return them as a keepsake that will last forever.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sympathy CDs

Words are rarely enough to truly express sympathy, yet music has a way of going straight to the heart. One of the best ways to remember someone is through the music they loved. A CD complication with favorite songs makes a wonderful gift to pass on others at the service.

Megasmiles makes lovely customized CD holders, available in a variety of designs. These examples are for weddings, but the same concept can be easily applied to a memorial service. Wrapped in a ribbon, monogrammed with a playlist inside, these CD holders provide a precious packaging for precious memories.