Make Lemonade ~ Cope with good memories ~ Part 4

This is the last post for this series. I put together a couple of things associated with Marilyn in a shadow box.

Last Paw Print

When the vet took Marilyn to cremate, they took her paw print for us.

Her nails were long, but we didn't bother trim them since she got stressed by her front paws being touched. At her last vet visit, one of their vet techs did a quick trim for her saying just making her a little more comfortable. Her long nail was marked on it, too.

Putting Things Together

There were some things I wanted to keep together. The bottle of the champagne we had a toast wishing Marilyn's safe travel to the Rainbow Bridge. The paw print. Her hair.

Her hair is in the keepsake glass bottle. You can find various shapes and designs as jewelry making supplies.

I started arranging them in the 16 x 12 shadow box. It was deep enough to have the bottle.

Setting the Background

The color of the backing was ok, but it was damaged from the label glued on it.

I tried to cover it with the objects, but it was impossible because of the location of the damage. So, I decided to re-surface the box.

The process was pretty simple.

  1. Opened up the box.
  2. Here, I used two sided fusible web for applique and quilts, which was leftover from my other projects. It's thin and easy to handle.
    Simply cut some sheets to cover the box.
  3. Placed the backing fabric, which was the same fabric used to frame the collars, over the web. Press the iron on the fabric being careful not to stretch it.
  4. Trimmed the excess of the fabric, then stitched together the corners.

The box was ready to hold the keepsakes.

A Little Spin Off — Going Back to the First Beach

Crane Beach in Ipswich was the first beach Marilyn went with us. She enjoyed long walks and met horses, doggie and human friends. She also tasted the sea water for the first time there.

We took some of her ashes to the beach in this early summer. It was breezy with beautiful blue sky. We took a long walk just like we used to. Once we found a quiet sunny spot, we put her ashes there with her favorite treats. She can enjoy seeing waves come and go, sandpipers hopping around and horses walking the beach.

This is the view she has. The ocean looks far away since it was low tide when the picture was taken.

Whenever we went to the beach, we always picked a bag full of shells and sand dollars at the long walks. I expected to find some sand dollars this time as well, and they were supposed to be very special ones. But, any of them we saw were missing some parts. None of them kept their whole shapes. I picked up some half missing ones as the biggest pieces I could find.

I was quite disappointed that I couldn't find whole shape one. I was sad that I couldn't find whole shape one on this special day for Marilyn. Then, one idea popped up in my mind.

They were meant to be halves. Marilyn has the other halves. We are still connected each other. We are still together. I believe that that was a message from her. I was not sad anymore. That made me happy. I did find the special ones.

Which Marilyn?

The special sand dollar halves were added with some shells we picked on that day and the sand from the beach to the box.

Then, I couldn't make up my mind which picture of her.

So, I asked the doggie groups on Facebook. They voted their favorites. Some also gave me great suggestions. After all, it was hard to give up her smile, so one with the smile was enlarged to show her face better.

Some of the group members suggested switching the pictures, so I don't need to decide one. I loved the idea. Originally, I was going to glue the frame in the box. I got small nuts and bolts instead.

The heads of the bolts are glued on the back of the mini frame. The nuts can be easily loosened, and the frame can be detached from the box. The picture can be changed to another anytime.

My Monkey with Monkey Buddies

The shadow box sits in my office. She hangs out with me when I work there just like she used to lay on her bed next to the desk.

Thank you so much for coming along with my sentiment.

These projects I worked on have helped me to cope tremendously. Even happy memories sometimes felt nothing but sad. But now, they make me smile. They make me feel happy thinking back those moments again. I find myself mumbling "What a silly dog you were!" thinking back a moment.

I don't know if my journey has been over or not. Only I know is my heart is lighter, and I can smile at her memories again with peace.

By the loss of somebody you care... if you are in a pain, I hope you will find something to easy the pain soon. If you are in darkness, I hope you will find a light soon. Somebody could tell you what you could try, but nobody could tell you what actually works for you. You are the only one who could help yourself. I hope you'd start your journey soon.

You might be given the sourest lemon. But, you could make the sweetest lemonade out of it with your secret ingredients you find through your journey.