**this piece was inspired by a show and tell during Nina Bagley's class, Gatherings, at Artfest 2008. Nina's friend, Judy Wilkenfield, was taking the class and Nina asked Judy to show the class this necklace she was wearing that Nina had made for her. I can't remember the exact details of the necklace, but the focal point was a little leather (?) or maybe metal purse that Nina had built a necklace around. and inside the little purse, Nina had tucked some secret things for Judy to enjoy. it was a wonderful piece, so when i found this metal mesh doll purse in Pennsylvania i wanted to do something similiar. while i was working on my necklace a little story started going on in my head. some of the story is true, just embellished a bit to play along. so here's some pictures of the necklace and then you can read the story.
update: Judy read my story and gave me some more information about her purse from Nina. she said " my necklace purse was leather, hand crafted by Nina - the necklace is for when i interview Holocaust Victims - inside I have a miniature book that i handmade showing photos of my family that we lost". thanks, Judy.
When I was 7 years old, my beloved grandma, whom I called, Nanny, gave me a special present. It belonged to her when she was little and now she was giving it to me. She called it a "doll purse" and it was made of metal. Oh how I loved playing with that purse!I use to put the ends of it in my mouth because I liked how the metal felt against my teeth. Inside the purse I placed my most prized possessions: an old metal shoe charm, a beautiful pearl and rhinestone broken button from my Nanny and a locket. Inside the locket, I put a picture of myself on one side and a picture of my Nanny and Pa-pa on the other.
That summer my parents rented a cabin at a lake near where my Nanny lived. I was so excited for our vacation until I found out that my cousin would be there too. I didn't care for my cousin too much. He was always teasing me and taking my things. I was afraid that he would take my doll purse so I decided to hide it in the room where I was staying. I felt better knowing that my special treasure was safe and sound. The week quickly came to an end and we were headed home again. On the way home, I sadly realized that I had left my doll purse behind. I was devastated, but too afraid to tell my mom that i forgot it. We never went back to that lake as my father's job made us move.
Over the years I have often thought of that special purse and how much joy it brought me. I would wistfully wish that I could have it back. Then a few summers ago I was visiting my mother at that same lake when she pointed out the old house we had rented. We could still see the huge boulder where so many family photos had been taken. A few days later while mom was at work, I set out for a drive around the lake. I drove by the old rented lake house when I noticed a sign that said "Open House Today". I decided to stop and see the old place. The realtor was busy with another family, so she told me to come on in and look around. As I went room to room, memories from long ago came flooding back. What fun we had there! From the living room I could see the dock we used to jump into the lake from. I was always so afraid to jump off that dock! Finally I came to my old room. It had barely changed in all those years. I was sitting on the bed enjoying the nostaglia when I started thinking about my old purse and how well I had hidden it. Maybe it was still there! Nah, I told myself, there's no way. Someone probably found it years ago. Still..... I went to the closet and knelt by the floor looking for that old loose board. I found the board and after a little tugging managed to get it out. I peered into the dark hole but could see nothing. Disappointed, I started to put the board back. But something told me to look a little further. I squeezed my hand into the hole and reached around until suddenly I felt something. I tried not to get too excited as I lifted the item out. My purse, I sighed. I've found you after all these years.