The Power of Words: Making a Talisman Memorial of Love
I was honored when my friends at ICE Resin asked me to be part of their Talisman project, to make a pendant with a meaningful word in the design. I love their products, their designs, and their team–and being a writer and avid reader, I completely believe in the power of words–so I accepted the offer right away and started thinking about what my word would be.
I love words and have a lot of word things in my house. I have big glitter letters that spell out "oh my!" on my studio door, "believe" and "wish" and "dream" banners and signs and art inside, and alphabet magnets that spell out "beloved" and "joy" and "cherish" holding photos on the fridge. I had no shortage of ideas for words to use and special treasures to embed in the resin pendants. And then something horrible happened: a beloved young cousin passed away unexpectedly.
Two weeks later, when I returned to working on this project, all I could think about was my cousin. He was so handsome, with blond curls, caring eyes, and a smirky shy smile. He loved his family, had hundreds of friends and a few incredibly close ones, and never met a stranger. After he died we learned that he gave the ultimate gift: he was an organ and tissue donor. We were all so impressed that someone could be so thoughtful at such a young age, to make a choice like that. He was full of love in life and continued to love even after his death.
I'd had ideas before, when I first started planning this project, but none of them would come back to me now. I had to get Hunter's talisman done first, and "love" is the only word that made sense.
Everything in this piece is symbolic of Hunter. I used paper with musical notes on it because music was Hunter's greatest passion and he played several instruments. I used walnut ink to darken the paper, because I like the aged look but also because Hunter was an old soul, wise beyond his 21 years. I couldn't leave out the seashells; Hunter loved the beach and we had lots of fun family beach vacations when he was little. The cross is a meaningful symbol of faith that both he and his dad (who we also lost a few years ago) collected as well as of his middle name, Christian. The maroon and silver glitter represents Hunter's school colors and his many, many classmates and bandmates who loved him. My aunt and uncle's house was always full of them.
Hunter had a huge heart and we know at least one little boy will continue to live because of Hunter's donation, so I placed the heart in the forefront, on top of the resin. The bright shining crystal is also on the surface to symbolize Hunter's life and light that will continue to shine through all of the lives he saved. The blue ribbon is Hunter's favorite color, and the wings . . . well, there's no doubt that our family has a new guardian angel now.
The crystal hanging from the bottom has a star on it, and that's possibly the most meaningful part. Hunter loved Star Wars and light sabers when he was little, and like most boys, he never outgrew it! After Hunter's memorial service, I was driving home late at night and saw two stars in the sky that seemed extraordinarily bright. Then it occurred to me that they were way too bright and too large for their spot in the sky. Thinking they must be helicopters or planes, I pulled over to get a better look. But they weren't moving and there was no sound. And then, after just about a minute, they both disappeared.
Though I think our talismans were supposed to be pendants or other jewelry that we wear, this one will hang by my desk this year to remind me to love like my cousin did. Then it will probably become an ornament on my Christmas tree.
After I finished Hunter's piece, my other ideas came back to me. Funny how that works ;o)
Now I have resin in my hair and lots of projects that aren't quite cured. I coated all kinds of organic things in resin–clover flowers, butterfly and dragon wings, flower petals, those whirling seed pods things that twirl off of maple trees. And then, rather than choosing more words, I got the idea to do monograms. Odd, I know, from someone who loves words so much. I think I just love them too much and can't choose just one.
The letters in both of these pieces are rub-ons from my scrapbooking stash, over script and toile paper. I think I'll add some phrases from old books to these pendants or similar ones; the lines below are favorite lines from the brittle and crackling old copy of Sense and Sensibility I read in college.
Thanks for visiting! Here's where you can learn more and see the other ICE Resin Talismans.