Posts Tagged ‘inheritance’


I meant to do this when I arrived home from Nevada in May. Well, I started to do this in June. Between the books, the clocks, and the myriad of little items, Mom’s jewelry box kept getting shoved aside. Then I broke my foot on the first day of summer, and I haven’t even looked at the books, clocks, or anything else (except to read some of the books – I have done a LOT of reading this summer).

This evening, I tackled the jewelry box. I sorted everything: broken jewelry (beads I can reuse), trash, odd items I can glue onto my Art Deco Horse (sorry, I don’t have a pic, just trust me on this – I’m gluing odd items onto an abandoned American Girls™ horse), costume jewelry to give away/sell, and stuff I want to keep. There are a lot of photos to follow. I did not take pics of everything, only the items that fall under costume jewelry to give away/sell and stuff to keep – and not even all of that. Just the more interesting or collectible items.


029 028

Four pairs of earrings to convert to pierced earrings. My mother never had her ears pierced; I could never stand to wear clip-ons. I pierced my ears when I was 23 and have never regretted it. The above earrings should be an easy conversion.


No, I have no idea where this souvenir came from. Someone went to Paris and sent it back home, and it ended up in my mother’s jewelry box. The photos have come loose. It’s meant to wear on a chain. It is silver, and I found one like it on eBay for $59 (starting bid). Vintage 1920’s or ’30’s. No, I won’t sell it.

026027I *love* brooches. Some of the pins are just fun – others I got rid of (not pictured). I adore the enameled animal cracker (the lion, in case you don’t quite understand, was once an edible animal cracker. It is now an enameled brooch). The bumblebee thingie is not a brooch, but it’s just odd enough that I want it.

057 058

SO Vintage 1950’s! Have a nice, white, pressed shirt? Want to look highly professional with these collar pins? Not worth a whole lot of money, but certainly very unique!


Vintage! Vintage Avon! My mother was known as “The Avon Lady” to many of her contemporaries in 1960’s Winnemucca, Nevada. She only sold Avon for a couple of years before she moved into reception and secretary work, but her Avon collection is “too die for”. That white necklace with matching earrings? Of, the memories!! Avon.


This photo didn’t come out as I quite hoped it would, but: I believe all of these earrings are vintage Avon. Not so certain about the collar pin with chain. The photo doesn’t do any justice to the navy blue earrings on the bottom there.


More items I am not keeping – I had to untangle all of these chains, plus several more chains that had nothing attached to them. Oy. I probably won’t wear any of these. The bottom one is actually a tie slide? It works like a slide. You can move it along the two chains that go through it. Vintage, of course. Eventually, for sale on whatever website I decide to sell this stuff on.

030My mother loved to stop and buy things from the local women who sold jewelry along side the roads in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. This is a beautiful juniper berry and yellow bead necklace my dad bought her in 1977 from a Navajo woman in Monument Valley, AZ. It held some sentimental value to him as he labeled it for posterity. I kind of wished he’d kept the woman’s business card, but maybe she didn’t have one.

One of my girls will get this. Yellow is a color that hates me (and I hate it right back), so I’d never wear it. Then, again, maybe it isn’t meant to be worn, but to be preserved as a relic of roadside artists in the southwest?

061 062

Not sure the photo does justice to this bulky bracelet with blue glass. Top is the side you see, bottom is the interesting way it is put together. Again, vintage. And bulky, but cool.


Not sure what these are: melted glass? Old bottles that made it through a fire? Something my sister created? I’ll take them in to a jeweler for an opinion. I have six and two chains.

015016These items fall under “I don’t know” and “They need cleaned”. The ring is 10 carat gold, so the stone can’t just be paste, but it is in rough shape. The green “stone” looks like melted glass. I have NO idea. Another item to take to a jeweler.

017I could easily dismiss this as “just”rhinestones. But something niggles at the back of my mine and says not to jump so easily to a conclusion. Another one for a jeweler to tell me it is/is not worth anything. (I’m pretty certain it is rhinestones – and not a single one missing!)

031Sigh. I did not get a great photo of this plastic bracelet. Doesn’t matter: I am keeping this.

063But I am not keeping this bracelet.

034035Poignant items. My father took the time to label these: he gave them to my sister. Black Hills gold. I will pass them on to either Chrystal (first) or her little sister, Jessi (second). They are not mine.

033 032More of my sister’s jewelry in my mother’s box. Chrystal has first choice, and what she does not take, I will send to Jessi. There are two spoon rings – my sister made those. She loved silver and turquoise.

038 039These were in a little box together, but they don’t actually go together. I have not opened the iodine swab container. The other item I take to be a screwdriver for eye glasses, but that’s a rather pointed blade.

040 This item is a vintage abalone tatting shuttle (thread is still on it). I’m pretty certain the little felt pouch belonged to a fancy cigarette lighter (dead giveaway: “Ronson” embossed on the bottom). My mother was quite the smoker. Fortunately, these items have been away from cigarette smoke since she died in 1995, and there’s not even a trace of odor on them. Some of the print items I inherited from her still have a bit of a musty cigarette smell to them.

042 043Gold and garnets! These are just beautiful. Brooch, necklace, adjustable ring, bracelet. Not for sale – definitely a keeper!

052Yet another pocket knife from the estate! This one has my mother’s initials crudely etched into the side. There’s only the two blades. I left my lens cap in the photo for size comparison.

053I smiled when I saw that. If I had known it was in the jewelry box before I brought it out of the house, I would have left it with its rightful owner: my nephew, Johnathon. I’ll mail it to him (sometime this year)…

054I’m stumped. There are two, both plastic. The back sides are identical. The fronts are identical. Who sews or is into antique buttons and such? What are these for? They’re about the size of my lens cap – say 2″? My husband couldn’t figure them out, either.

048Just some quartz crystals: two very clear ones that are less than half an inch in length and one amber colored one. It isn’t like *I* don’t have a similar collection of quartz crystals somewhere in this house!

066070This lovely fresh water pearl choker necklace is very vintage! I’m surprised it is still intact. It is on a very fine fishing line.It’s one of my favorite items, but I’d never wear it or I’d worry all the time about breaking it. If my girls don’t want it, I have someone in mind who I think would totally rock my mother’s vintage style.

Last – and definitely the least! – is the little round cup full of…

050ROCKS! I am so “my mother’s daughter”: I pick up rocks all the time and slip them into my pocket, drop them into a jar or a box or an old unused ash tray (I don’t smoke, so what else are ashtrays for?). My mother must have liked these tiny, flat, stones in particular, for she kept them in her jewelry box.

This post is long as there are a lot of photos -and I really only showed you some of the items in the jewelry box. There were broken necklaces, loose beads, single earrings, and odd buttons of no value. Several gold chains that are no more than ornamental gold chain necklaces. I have a bag of items to look into selling or giving to certain children or a close friend into that sort of jewelry. I’m pretty certain the rocks – along with the tons of rocks already inside my house! – will make it back to the outside world, to be buried in the soil and loam and eventually resurface again to the joy of another rock collector (not rock hound).




Read Full Post »

Last week, I set out on a journey of closure. I traveled with my brother (and only remaining immediate family member) to Ely, Nevada, to watch my sister’s youngest graduate from high school (her mother died in 2000). I’ll post on that in the near future. The trip also included a visit to the WW1 Memorial in Eugene, OR, to look for my great uncle’s name so I could draw to an end the story of Dale D. Melrose (another future blog post). And for a more complete closure of the loss of my parents and my baby sister, my brother and I loaded up all the stuff I left in Reno five years ago and hauled it north to my home.

Today, I unloaded the three Dow Chemical crates full of the stuff my mother used to switch out in the china hutch. The crates are round, stand about 23″ tall, and have a radius of 15″. 001The contents of crate #1, packed in 1970 when we moved from Winnemucca to Ely.

002Crate #2, also packed in 1970.

008Crate #3, packed in 1973.

I am missing the box with the items that were inside the china hutch when Dad died. I may yet find it in the boxes I brought home, and I hope I do – Chrystal’s things were in that box.

It’s a lot of stuff, and the wonder of it all, is that I actually have room for most of it in my own storage places. Some of it, I may let go – but that is a bridge I do not have to cross today.

012Pewter, silver, and tin.

013I see myself researching this dish in the future. It’s some kind of serving dish, very ornate, with the pedestal welded on.

014This is very cool!

015A memento of travels (my lens cap is also in my hand).

0211933 Chicago World’s Fair memento.


017Love this vintage green crystal dish!

019The swans are beads upon beads set into a styrofoam base. Beautiful!

023Ceramic mantel clock.

025Holy cow! A lead crystal dinner set for six. The leaf dishes don’t actually match the set, but are a newer pressed crystal. But the rest?? Oh, yeah. Beautiful and precious!

028My mother’s entire collection of dogs.

032Mom’s collection of tea cups. Sadly, some are chipped or cracked.

037Mom’s salt and pepper shaker collection.

030This one made me nostalgic. The kitten on the left is mine and I named her Diamond. My grandparents Melrose brought them to my sister and I, and I had first choice. Deni felt I took the cutest one and deliberately broke Diamond. Mom carefully glued her back together. Now I have both, but Deni’s kitten is missing her rhinestone eyes.

033A china baby doll. She’s so tiny!

034Milk china. I’m not really into milk china, so am debating keeping all of these.

036Self explanatory whimsical creatures. Mom bought these in Mexico.

038Centennial ash tray.

039My grandmother liked to go to a ceramics place and glaze her own items. The wood ducks were one of her creations (the glaze, I mean, not the actual mold). They were wrapped in a 1970 newspaper which means they were packed away then and never retrieved for display afterward. Grandma signed them on the bottom (EM = Emma Melrose). I’ve always loved the wood ducks.

040Tell me that isn’t the cutest darn giraffe!??

042Awwww… Bunnies for my Easter decor!

046This luster ware is amazing. I have my mother’s set of luster ware set aside for my oldest, and will add this to the set.

049And then there was this.

I earned that in Sunday School in the 1960’s. I carried it around with me well into the 1980’s, when I decided my little sister needed it more than I did, and I mailed it to her. I have often missed it, but considered it a gift well given. And now it is home.

009The frog was not inside the Dow Chemical crates. He was carefully wrapped inside his own box. Years ago, my father told me that he was going to be reincarnated as that frog. Dad left that frog to me. I’m happy to have Dad home with me, finally.

Postscript – I did not photograph every single item out of the Dow crates. And wait until I get to the books…

Read Full Post »