Holiday Heirloom Wallhanging

Reader Contribution by Cindy Conner and Homeplace Earth
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I think of myself as a permaculture educator and usually write about sustainable gardening. This post is not about gardening, but it sure is about permaculture. In permaculture we like to make use of everything we have. Well, I had accumulated a box full of jewelry that I never wore, so I decided to put the items in a wallhanging that we can get out every Christmas when the family is all here.

Each item seems to tell a story, especially the charms on the two charm bracelets I had. The activities they represent happened so long ago, I might not have even mentioned them before.  I used to wear a necklace now and then until the children (now ages 31-44) came along. The babies would quickly pull off anything dangling on the chains. In my wallhanging the empty chains are now garlands and the trinkets pulled off are ornaments on the tree, along with all the charms that never made it to the bracelets.

Being an active person involved in my community, I have accumulated pins given as awards, recognition, or membership. I can’t think of a better use for them other than putting them on this tree. Relatives who have passed are remembered here with pins they used to own.

If you don’t feel you are ready to give your jewelry up to a wallhanging, if your mother or grandmother are still living, you might make one with their jewelry. It could be a great bonding experience and the stories behind each piece can’t help but come tumbling out. If they have already passed on, you might have their jewelry, but you will miss out on the stories. You can find details about how I made this Christmas wallhanging and photos showing more detail about the pieces on it at Homeplace Earth.

It might be that you aren’t into Christmas trees, but some other idea will pop into your head for a wallhanging. Maybe the memorabilia that you decide to preserve for all to see won’t fit on a wallhanging, but would be great in a shadow box that you could hang on the wall. Whatever you decide on, enjoy the process and share it with others.

Cindy Conner is the author of Seed Libraries and Grow a Sustainable Diet and has produced DVDs about garden planning and managing cover crops with hand tools. Learn more about what she is up to at Homeplace Earth.

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