Thursday, June 28, 2012

Black Velvet and Lace

I've been feeling a bit nostalgic ever since I went through a box of my dad's old pictures for a post I did for Father's Day.  I feel so fortunate to have so many old family treasures that belonged to my Nana (paternal grandmother), including this picture of her in a beautiful black velvet dress.

This was taken around 1930 when she was 33-34 years old.  The color and special effects were added by an artist around the same time....no help from any photo editing software.

This is her beautiful black velvet dress in 2012; it's one of my most cherished possessions.
I always wondered if she made this for a special occasion.
The years have been very kind to the lace and silky soft velvet.

A few thin wires were attached to the back of the lace collar to help it stand up. 

About a year ago I made this necklace out of the watch that Nana gave me for my high school graduation.  I wore it for several years until it stopped working, but I could never part with it.  I replaced the inside parts with a tiny picture of her, added a glass bead, and hung it on a sterling silver chain.

This version had a little help from PicMonkey with the new Sketchedy frame.

I'm sure Nana would be so proud that her dress has held up so well all these years, and I don't think she'd mind that I repurposed my graduation gift.

I'm linking up to these fabulous parties:
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
2805 for Potpourri Friday
My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
My 1929 Charmer for Sunday's Best



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32 comments:

Lululiz said...

A beautiful treasure indeed. How rare to have a photograph of the person wearing the beautiful dress you have, and knowing it is your grandmother makes it so much more special still.
When I saw her picture and then looked at your little photo almost next to it on your sidebar, I thought the two of you looked ever so much alike.

Anne said...

Betsy,
That is a beautiful dress.You are very luck it has held up.I have a dress that was my husbands Grandmothers.It had layers of tobacco smell on it.I washed it and slowly it is falling apart.I still have it.But it is too worn to be displayed.What a lovely photo of your Grandmother.
(((Hugs)))
Anne

helle said...

How lucky you are to have such beautiful memories of your family, the dress is awsome and so is the portrait!

Peggy said...

What wonderful treasures! It's no wonder you have such an eye for beautiful vintage pieces. I'm sure your Nana would be so happy to know how much these things mean to you.

Marsha @ Tattered Chick said...

Oh, WOW, Becky, your Nana was such a beautiful woman! (My nieces and nephews called my mom Nana)

You are so very fortunate to have her painting and her gorgeous dress! I have next to nothing that belonged to my mother. What treasures I did have were stolen when my house was burglarized many years ago.

I love what you did with the watch. A beautiful remembrance.

xoxo
Marsha

Glenda/MidSouth said...

She was a very pretty lady! What treasures to have - the picture, dress and love how you repurposed the watch she gave you.

Kathy said...

Betsy, she is beautiful and this is such a sweet post. I think she would love it!

Roxanne Reinhart said...

That is beyond cool!! I love the dress and the picture of your nana!! What a great heirloom you have and the watch makes it even more perfect!

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

Oh she is stunning!! What a beautiful tribute to her -- that dress is so lovely -- isn't it amazing the handwork that was done during that time to create things that would last so long?

Jill said...

Love this post!! What a special remembrance of your grandmother...the dress looks in excellent shape!

Olive Cooper said...

The dress is a vintage delight. That it is a family piece ups the delight a bunch of knotches for me.

Honey at 2805 said...

How wonderful that you have this beautiful picture and dress from you Grandmother! What a precious treasure!

Thank you for sharing your charming post at Potpourri Friday!

Beth said...

Wow! Your grandmother was really beautiful. She looks a bit like Charlize Theron, I think. The dress is gorgeous too. I like what you did with the watch. You must have inherited your grandma's sense of style!

EllenaElizabeth said...

Your grandmother was stunning! Very special to have a portrait of her as well as her dress. Great work with your graduation gift. I don't know if I could have done that to the watch but you have made a beautiful job of it. Thanks for sharing.

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

Oh wow! You look like her! You really do:) Beautiful. I know just how you feel. I have (and wore at my wedding in 1995) my mother's wedding dress from 1945. I had to have it a bit revamped (my designer was a miracle worker out of New York who knew all the right people, we had it "dipped" to restore the satin to it's original white). I will treasure it always. It was especially poignant in that my mom had died 7 years earlier. Also, the necklace you made is fabulous. I've made a few vintage watch face/relic/vintage family treasure necklaces and they're my absolute favorite to make (and wear!). I know your Nana (what I called my grandmother, too)is so happy you have the dress and wear that necklace! She's smiling on you, kiddo. I can feel it.

xoxo
Kathleen

Mary Ellen said...

What a beautiful treasure and keepsake!!What a great idea to upcycle the watch like that!

Something Special said...

You are so fortunate to have that keepsake and the picture.

Faire Notions said...

Simply Stunning!

Connie Mercer said...

what a fabulous rich story!!!

Michelle L. said...

Oh, man, I love that you have the photo AND the actual dress! Your delicate refashioned watch necklace is a cool tribute to her, and no, I am certain whe wouldn't mind - she would love it!

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Fantastic Frugalista said...

So amazing that you have these treasures from her! I wish I had something like this, thank you for sharing such a special tribute. I think the change to the watch is wonderful and agree she would't mind. Thank you for sharing!

Maureen said...

How beautiful - your Nana and her tings! The dress is absolutely amazing and in such unbelievable condition.

Laurel@chippingwithcharm said...

WOW!! How cool is that? I can see why you treasure it...and I think that necklace is wonderful! Laurel

Yesteryear Embroideries said...

She was so lovely! Love your necklace and the dress is stunning! Wonderful work

Audrey said...

Beautiful woman and the dress is really a treasure. Love what you did with the watch too. So clever and it is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings,
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures. Thanks for visiting and becoming a follower.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How wonderful to have her gorgeous dress. She was a beautiful lady and I was just thinking today about sharing some of my memories! Enjoy your week!

Kathryn said...

Oh Betsy!!! This was a sweet and wonderful post! You are fortune indeed to have these things and more importantly to recognize their value as memories and treat them with such care. Treasures of the best kind! Making the watch into a necklace is a wonderful way to wear a memory incorporating your creativity. Nana must have been creative to to have made this gorgeous dress!
A beautiful tribute! Thank you, I enjoyed it very much!
xo
kat

Kathryn said...

P.S. I love the old photos that were hand colored and had painted backgrounds! You should have this reproduced on canvas. It's an easy process now.
xo
kat

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

I so love old photos, and your Nana's dress. I really enjoyed this sweet post. I makes me remember my Moma. I also love how your turned the watch in to the necklace, priceless. Thanks for sharing your Nana and yours creative inspiration over at Sunday's Best!

Rhissanna said...

What a lovely article. Nana was a real stunner and that dress is a dream. The lace collar is in beautiful condition, and thank you for the information about the wires. That helps explain the look of a lot of Deco gowns.

Rhissanna said...

What a lovely article. Nana was a real stunner and that dress is a dream. The lace collar is in beautiful condition, and thank you for the information about the wires. That helps explain the look of a lot of Deco gowns.