Brooches: The useable, the beautiful, and personal!

16Jan12

I have recently discovered the magic accessory that is the brooch.

When a button went amiss from my spine-buttoned cotton tank top: I fixed it with a brooch.

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<Foremost, they are quite practical. 

A glorified safety pin, if you will. I’ve used them to tighten the straps on a racer back halter after it stretched in the wash. Also, to repair (or fasten for wear) a broken skinny strap on a red dress. The brooch serves my seamstress shortcomings in a more fashionable way than unsightly safety pins.

A bauble to add a touch of elegance, a flare of fun - that something extra to your outfit that, in taste, is personal.

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They are the handcrafted garnish for a clothing cocktail.

With the layers of drab winter clothing, and seasonal penchant to ornament everything: it seems no coincidence that brooches appear with greater frequency this time of year. I’ll admit: my juvenile self thought they were an out of place accessory. It seemed funny when, to spruce up an outfit, my mom would pin a little bojangle to the front of her shirt. Just hanging there! Like a dorky name badge!
And they were indeed very dorky looking. Like this one of a little raccoon face with real fur and all. But! As time honored traditions go, I’ve found myself using plenty of brooches (sometimes multiple on one sweater!) this winter.
My favorite is a real rabbit foot pin
I inherited from my grandmother.

This is essentially an autobiography of my grandmother's life.

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<They say something about who you are.

Look at this very silly looking collection of brooches! A gilded ship, a Celtic knotted arc (with clovers as clouds!), a beaded rendering of the United States’s flag, a…real rabbit’s foot… complete with a ring around its middle toe and a purple jewel upon the end. These were actually collected by grandmother for their significance to her life. Born in Dundee, Scotland, she immigrated to the United States during WWII aboard the Queen Mary. She was 17 and only one of two women on the ship.

So, mom, grandma, lock your jewelry boxes: I may raid them (even more) soon.

The rabbit foot I use to adorn my sweaters is actually a kilt pin my grandmother used to fasten the tartan of her family clan: the Moffats.

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