Friday, June 12, 2009

obsessed with monograms....

I have loved traditional monograms for as long as I can remember. Perhaps you remember a time when it was so cool to have a cable knit sweater (with knee socks to match of course!) with your three letter monogram embroidered on it - maybe it was just an east coast thing. I guess I got the monogram bug from my mom, because she (and all her friends) always sported basket purses in the summer with needlepoint monograms glued to the front. My mom even went through a phase when she was covering waste paper baskets (those oval tin things) with vinyl, then cutting out three large swirly initials out of felt and gluing them onto the vinyl - I seem to remember her having a little cottage industry of sorts, making these for friends and family.

So why not bring them back? As you can see, I have found a purpose for one of the frames I bought at the Farm Chicks. I had the three letters already, (Pottery Barn) but it seemed like they were kind of floating out in space all by themselves - they needed to be corralled! I am not entirely sure if my initial should be on the left or the right (traditionally speaking, that is) but it looked better this way.

Here are a couple of examples of time-honored, engraved monogram necklaces that I cherish....

The one on top was my mother's - the date on the back is May 13, 1950. I came to the conclusion that it must have been a bridesmaids' gift, since that date has no other significance that I know of. The other was a gift to me from my mother for my 21st birthday - it has the date engraved on the back.

I am not the only one in my family, these days, who loves monograms - Aleah, my daughter-in-law, designed this ornament to be handed out as wedding favors at their December wedding....

Their invitation had their monogram on the front, so she had it copied onto vellum. (Staples or Office Depot will do this) She then found a scalloped paper punch the correct size and punched out hundreds of discs. She bought inexpensive clear Christmas balls at Michael's, popped the top off, and figured out a clever way to get them into the hollow ball. Aleah rolled them onto a pencil, stuck the pencil into the ball, and pulled it out leaving the "un-furled" vellum behind! So smart, and so beautiful when all piled into silver bowls and used as centerpieces!!! Don't you just love killing two birds with one stone???

Now I believe my mother (and I) came by this fascination with monograms honestly - check out my 80-something year old grandmother in her cute little monogrammed shift! This was taken on the occasion of my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary - check out that blond on the stairs...

Helen Bennett Dunlap

Well I'm going to do my best to bring the old tradition back - I am now designing jewelry using a very traditional monogram. It took me forever to figure out how to create a custom monogram using my own computer (and limited computer knowledge) but I persisted and now I have the ability to create any classic monogram.

This is one of my latest designs - it is a "double" necklace that is strung with vintage pearls and rhinestones from the 1940's - a fabulous way to feature one of my soldered monogram pendants...

These are the pendants that I brought down to California for those lovely Nine Ladies ...

Well I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me - now it's
time to grab my "boat bag" and get out on the lake! Thanks for stopping in....



  1. I just love the monoram necklace, especially the double necklace. What an original design. Just lovely.

  2. I love momogrammed anything and your necklaces are wonderful. And what a clever idea to "frame" around the wall initials. Great wall color, too.


  3. I love the monogram inside the oval frame-clever idea Pam