“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.”- Mother Teresa

Life is so many things at so many different times for every person living it. And with this piece, I have made life a memory, to remember it.

A friend of mine lost her Father a few months back and was looking for a piece of jewelry for both herself, her sister and her mother to wear in memory of his life. She brought me small maple leaves from a tree that her Grandfather had planted in her Fathers memory,  3 shotgun shells that they had shot off at his funeral, and a hope that I could pull it all together for her to give as Christmas presents.

...and because if this project my life was both exciting, a challenge, a struggle, an adventure, a lesson, an opportunity, endless nights of pulling my hair out, terrifying... EMOTIONAL!

Crumbled leaves, resin everywhere, 1 shot at getting it right, shotgun shell fireballs, you name it.. I faced every problem in the book and I was terrified the entire time... but I learned from it. And that was one of the best parts of doing this custom. In the end, I couldn't believe what I had come up with, and I was more than excited to unveil them to her and her to her family.

So.. Thank you Amanda. I am honored that you asked me, trusted me, believed in me that I could and would give you something to honor this person that you loved so dearly and that loved you even more than you could ever imagine.

Each of the three necklaces contains: one leaf from the tree encased in resin (each with a unique silver bail riveted with brass to match the shell), one shut gun shell shot at the memorial (on silver backing with heart stamped into the back), and a bar in the chain with the name that each of the three women called their father/husband- "dad," "dados," and "tweetfart" (a play on words for sweetheart).

Apologies for the not-so-wonderful pictures.