Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Unexpected Jewel

A few weeks ago, I received a package in the mail from my blogging needle friend, Sheila.

I wasn't expecting it. She hadn't told me she was sending it. It just arrived.

A little shabby velvet box with a tiny mother-of-pearl clasp.


Inside was an antique stick pin...it has no jeweler's mark...But I'm fairly certain it's made from white gold and yellow gold...with a real diamond chip in it's center. It's not very big, just shy of 1/2" long...


She sent it to me just in case I might need it for my Breakfast at Tiffany's piece.

How did she know?

At one time I had thought it would be wonderful to include a real piece of jewelry in my block, but I didn't really have anything in my jewel box that would work. It was just a wish and I had dismissed it.

Yet here it was.

Along with a handwritten note that told me the story...


"I mention in particular the diamond stick pin from Mr. Miller. He was a retired mailman who daily walked our neighborhood and who befriended all the children as we waited at the bus stop in the mornings. When he cleaned out his house in 1987 to move to his son's, he gave this to my mom to pass along to me. Honestly, I treasure my memories of his morning visit even more...And this has sadly sat in the dark for too long. A celebration of love, tucked away."

There is so much beauty to this whole story.

The love of Mrs. Miller who went to a jewelry store to buy the stick pin for her husband.

The special fondness of old Mr. Miller for little Sheila, a young girl who must have given him great joy as he walked through the years of his retirement and his wife passing away.

The protectiveness of Sheila for Mr. Miller and his legacy...to ensure that his story continues to be told and his treasure is no longer left in darkness.

And finally, Sheila's trust for me and my creative process. A friend whom I have never met, yet feel as if she lives next door.

And that's the beauty of blogging isn't it?

The connections we make and the life dreams we share.

It's amazing how much I am influenced by all who choose to stop by here and participate, even for the briefest moment, in my life.

I have read books I would never have read. I have tried new techniques I never would have known about if not for you. I have traveled to places I wouldn't go by myself. And shared the joys and sorrows that inevitably are part of living our lives...births and marriages; divorces and deaths; triumphs and success; fears and failures...

I had never anticipated how rich life could become by writing a blog. I now have a whole community of friends that enlarge my circle and who choose to play a part in my story -- and I in theirs.

And yet, their photographs are not in frames that others can view.

I often tell the stories of my blogging friends to my family around the dinner table or to my friends when we're on a walk. And they're always amazed at how much I know about these people I've never met. And how much we help and support one another through these vehicles called "blogs".

You are all the unexpected jewels in my life's treasure box and bravo to my friend Sheila for bringing that to light.

I am honored to be the next steward of Mr. Miller's jewel and it will be my greatest treasure at Tiffany's (the Susan Elliott version)...


Thanks to Sheila and to everyone who has ever sent me a tip, a book, an encouraging remark, a button, a smile, a hank of "hair"...

I am very grateful for your friendship.

See you tomorrow...

25 comments:

Kelly said...

What a lovely story. The pin looks great as part of the butterfly.

Dolores said...

Thank you for this wonderful blog post and thanks also to the beautiful, caring, sharing Sheila.

Teresa said...

I believe you have captured the true meaning of blogging. Enjoy you newest treasure. I am looking forward to seeing placed in just the right spot to inhance "Tiffany".
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

coral-seas said...

You have summed up, very well, what blogging has given to me. When I was thinking what to name my blog I wanted something that reflected what I blog mostely about, my embroidery but also something that spoke of the connection between bloggers. I imagined all of the invisible lines connecting us and that is how I call to call it "Threads Across the Web".

I love this story of the beautiful pin. It is wonderful that it will have a place on your quilt. I'm already excited to see its metamorphsis.

Evelyn and Lise said...

Your blog is an inspiration to us all. I look forward each day to check and see what you have done and especially your caring words. What a lovely way to participate in you art by sending you little parts of peoples treasures. I am sure Sheila will feel that a little bit of her life story will be in good hands. Lise

Robin said...

It's kismet.

Vicki W said...

Yes, the blogging world is amazing. What a perfect addition to your Tiffany.

Suztats said...

A beautiful story, and I'm looking forward to seeing the next life of Mr. Miller's stick pin.

Carol said...

Well, you gave us all food for thought today.

Look how you have turned a blog friend's generosity into an all encompassing statement of love. Its the stuff a good movie is made of...what makes it good...as does a visit here. Its part of what you will remember as you create the butterfly and gaze upon it displayed on your wall.

But see, you have given us this thought to keep in mind. That even the smile of a small child, or a small token given to a cyber friend can impact someone's life in unknown ways.

I love this post. Its so YOU.
xx, Carol

char said...

Beautiful story, can't wait to see your block finished. Thanks for sharing.

Catherine said...

Wonderful story and generosity! What a beautiful way for this pin to be used - makes one wonder what the next part of this pin's journey will be..

Sheila said...

Oh Susan!

Drat...now the bottom of my shirt is all wet from wiping up my soggy nose. I didn't visit your post prepared with a handkerchief. And I should know better by now. I swear, I think you're related to Nicholas Sparks!

Your post is beautiful, and my heart is full. The butterfly idea is perfect. Okay, I have to walk away now...

You're such a stinker to make me laugh and cry at the same time.

Hugs! :)

Judy S. said...

Thanks for sharing such a great story, Susan, and so adeptly summarizing the special nature of blogging. And bravo, Sheila, for adding an extra special touch to this already amazing block. The butterfly is perfect, Susan..can't wait to see it acquire some color/sparkle or however you will choose to bring it to life.

Gerry Krueger said...

Absolutely the perfect touch....and even more so with the story... Hugs Ger

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

i hole...er..whole heartedly {despite spell check, i did NOT spell that wrong in my opinion} agree with you about learning from this blogging world!! you and i, susan, are totally different in how our art is presented...you are polished and fine, i am muddy and messy, but that's what i love about your work. because it is so polished and beautiful! and you show us the steps and even the missteps, and that is wonderful too!

i better stop...the gushing might make me hurl...

Marty52 said...

Such a sweet thing to do, Ms. Sheila and a great post to commemorate the gift from you, Ms. Susan. It will be verra cool as the butterfly's tummy. ;0)

Allison Ann Aller said...

Very, very lovely, how you write about what we bloggers know and feel but can't articulate. And then you go and add those spectacular photographs! I LOVE the one that has your friend's beautiful handwritten letter in it.

Susan, thought is more real than substance. Thought is what we exchange here in "cyberspace", so of course we become real friends and truly know each other.

The best is yet to come...

Thank you, Audrey, for instigating this latest.... ;-) ....can't wait to hear your story, Susan, about your personal connection to B at T's.....

Ingrid Mida said...

They say that what goes around, comes around and it is your generosity and kindness that brought you this gift. It is such a lovely gesture by Sheila and she put this beautiful gift in the perfect hands where it will live on as a work of art, to be enjoyed by many.

LilyStitch said...

Gorgeous. Beautiful. One of the most touching posts I have ever read. Can't wait to see the quilt finished!

Createology said...

This beautiful story speaks to my heart and soul. Susan your little gifted stickpin will live forever in your amazing handwork Tiffany art. You have said it so well...the friends we make here in Blogland are precious treasures who enrich us beyond words. Sheila you are wonderful to share this beloved story and stickpin.

Wendy said...

What a wonderful story and gift that Sheila has passed along to you.....the butterfly will be a lovely showcase for this wonderful gift......thank you for sharing....

Elizabeth said...

Youa re so very correct aobut the effects that our blogs have on our lives!! i agree with you wholeheartedly and I am always so excited and heartened when I see new posts put up by my best blogging buddies!!! Your posts are especially anticipated my friend!!!
What a sweet and wonderful story!! Sheila is so very right to entrust you with the keeping of this treasure and the accompanying story!!!!You make this happen and we all are a community of people who are so enriched by you!!

black bear cabin said...

what a lovely addition to your block! and a fabulous gesture from a friend...i do believe that pin has found a new and happy home :)

Rachel said...

What a lovely story - thank you for sharing it with us!

Sandra Henderson said...

I have tears in my eyes. This is so beautiful. Thank you. I'm so glad my friend Cathi at Quilt Obsession blog, told me about your love blog....
I TRULY know what you mean about blogging.
I closed a chapter in my life in May and closed out that blog (we lived on a barrier island, very remote) and now am beginning a new blog soon and a new journey. Same blogging friends and new ones now.. Life sure is fun, isn't it?!?!
GORGEOUS work. I look forward to following you now that I"ve found your wonderful world...

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