My Necklace Rack

This is definitely a project, but more of a family project than an individual one. When we moved to Pasadena in August, I asked Eric to build me some kind of necklace rack so I could see my glorious bling, which was languishing in a cardboard box with no place to call its own. I have kind of a lot of necklaces, but that’s because most of them are plastic:) I drew up a few sketches for Eric, he did some calculations, we bought wood to build it…and then we got really busy. Dissertation busy, new job busy, new house busy. And we never really got around to it. Eric’s sweet parents came to visit us for New Years, and one night before they arrived I said to Eric, “Hey, maybe your dad could help us with the necklace rack.” Eric said, “Don’t think I hadn’t already thought of that!” Eric’s dad is a mechanical and carpentry genius. He loves fixing things, taking them apart and making them work. It’s a joy to watch him at it. He did fix many a thing while he was here, for which we are supremely grateful (hey, now our front door closes again!), but the sweetest and most beautiful thing of all was how he built this necklace rack for me, carefully and expertly and lovingly, and how the whole family joined in. It was an overwhelming reminder of how very much I am loved, and I will treasure it forever.

Here is my rough sketch on a paper towel, scrawled out after dinner one summer night. I think that is some plum juice in the corner.

Here is a sketch Eric made, with actual measurements and things, and then some notations in the sweet hand of my father-in-law. It turns out that we had bought exactly enough wood: only two inches to spare!

Eric’s dad sawed every piece of wood by hand, and then sanded them all to smooth perfection before drilling the holes for the screws. He did all of this on the hard stone of our entry hall. And it took about three days altogether. He is too sweet.

When the rack was put together, it looked a lot like set of bleachers, and I like that about it:) It seemed appropriate, given that we were going to the Rose Parade to sit in just such a structure.

After he drilled all of the holes for the hooks for my necklaces (72 in all!) he and Eric’s mom lovingly screwed each one in by hand, to keep from creating grooves that might snag my necklaces.

 My sweet husband got in on the action too, and it was so wonderful to see them working together, father and son. (In other news, yes, this is the blog premiere of my handsome and charming yet photographically elusive husband!)

Here is the finished product! Magnificent, is it not? There are three different sizes of hooks, and there are hooks on the front and the back of each beam. Amazing.

Now that is some fine craftsmanship.

While Eric and his dad were finishing things up, Eric’s mom helped me untangle all my necklaces. There were some tough ones!

Everyone helped bring the necklaces into the bedroom to hang. Going through them all was a lovely trip down memory lane, and I realized how many stories are locked up in these beads and baubles of mine. It doesn’t come as a surprise to me at all, but I think it’s an abundance of narrative worth celebrating. Once again it’s the everyday objects around us that hold our lives, our stories.

Every time my eyes fall on this necklace rack, I can’t believe it exists and belongs to me. It is such a precious treasure, such a pure product of the labor of love.

We had such an incredible time with Eric’s parents, and I am so glad to have this daily tangible reminder of our happy end of 2011 and still happier beginning of 2012. I could never count, even on the hairs of my head, how many things I am grateful for, but having such a wonderful family, including a new set of parents who truly love me as their own, is definitely very high on the list. 🙂

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