Do you have precious mementos from family members tucked away in a drawer, under a pile of stuff? Like many treasures I have from my parents, each item evokes a story that brings with it many fond memories. I like to honour these treasures as much as possible, whether by photographing it, writing a the story to go with it, or creating a shadow box like the one above.
Recently I took an old frame to Ciraco Custom Framers on the Danforth in Toronto to have it restored when I suddenly spotted a beautiful shadow box on the wall. After commenting on it to one of the owners, Danna, she told me the story behind each piece in the box. They were from her grandmother, who is in the photo, and she remembered exactly what her grandmother used to keep in this stunning purse: lipstick, a delicate handkerchief, and a mirrored compact with her foundation. The gloves brought back strong memories of Danna’s grandmother giving them to her to wear to church when she was twelve years old even though they were far too big for her. As Danna was telling me her stories, her eyes lit up with these loving memories.
Ciraco’s will create shadow boxes with all kinds of items, from war medals to jewellery and hair combs. “Anything can go in the shadow box” she said, which leaves it wide open for creative collections. If this intrigues you, check out Ciraco’s website for other ideas. I’m already thinking of something I can do with my parents’ things that I saved.
As a professional organizer, I guide clients through the downsizing process, helping select the best treasures to keep bearing in mind the space they have. Sometimes it’s a matter of photographing the items to make a special album or selecting the top three of a collection of ornamental cats. And once in awhile a shadow box is the perfect way
to bring those treasures into the light of day where they can be admired.
Some possessions bring you great joy. With a little time and creativity, put them where you can see them every day!