Memorial Bead Jewelry – Treasuring Moments

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Bruce Lee said, “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” Sometimes, an event, person, or milestone is so pivotal to our lives that we want to carry the memory with us.  We collect baby hair, first teeth, roses from weddings, and even ashes from our deceased loved ones.  We store them in baby books, photo albums, trinket boxes, and urns.  This past month, I decided to preserve one of my most precious memories with handmade memorial bead jewelry by CraftyCompliments.

My Precious Whiskers

My Kitty, Whiskers
My Kitty, Whiskers

I am an animal person.  No really.  I have 5 cats.  Throughout my life, I’ve had dogs, birds, cats, ferrets, hamsters, and fish. I even had one cat that I raised from a tiny kitten so small she wobbled instead of walking.  Her name was Whiskers.

A couple of neighborhood kids trekked down my long, wooded, driveway with this tiny, tailless kitty thinking that she belonged to me.  We knocked on all the neighbor’s doors, but no one claimed her, so she became part of our family.  My youngest son was still toddling and my oldest was only a preschooler.  She grew up with my kids.

She exhibited patience as the boys dressed her in Santa hats, craved their attention and, sometimes, even slept on their beds at night, keeping a silent guard.

For me, she was my constant companion as I suffered through an abusive relationship, a painful divorce, 3 major moves, and a happy remarriage.  She adopted my new husband and his children as part of the family, and even tolerated the traitorous adoption of 3 kittens.  Granted, she was not thrilled with the latter, but she did eventually learn to co-exist.

Whiskers with a lion shave. At 15, she became unable to care for her fur and it became so seriously matted, we began paying a groomer to routinely shave her.
Whiskers with a lion shave. At 15, she became unable to care for her fur and it became so seriously matted, we began paying a groomer to routinely shave her.

My heart broke as she aged.  No longer able to care for her long fur, I paid a groomer to shave her little body. Then, right before our scheduled move to return to Florida from Minnesota, Whiskers became unexpectedly seriously ill and died in my arms one cold January morning.

I was heart-broken that she wouldn’t make the trip with us.  We had even bought 2 large pet playpens for the van.  One for Whiskers – and the other one for the other three cats to share.

I knew that, at 20 years old, she had already lived well beyond most cats.  But I felt completely unprepared.  She was my best friend.  I still miss her.  In fact, as I write this, I am choking back tears.

We had her cremated so we could bring her ashes to Florida and bury her where she was born, in southern woods.  We bought our home, nestled in wooded acreage and I even picked the perfect spot – but I still haven’t brought myself to bury her.

Memorial Bead Jewelry

While I’ve had many furry baby companions, including dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, ferrets, and birds, I had never felt a connection to another fur-child like I had with her.

When I saw this post featuring handmade memorial bead jewelry on the Crafty Compliments Facebook Page, I knew it was the perfect way to carry her memory with me.

A Whisker of a Memory

I got in touch with Angela, the crafter behind Crafty Compliments.  She took the time to listen to my story about my poor, lost, kitty.  She said she had just the thing.  Using a pinch of Whisker’s ashes and a small fur lock, she created a beautiful, personalized memorial bead jewelry so that I can always have Whisker’s with me.

See the “glitter”?  That’s actually Whisker’s ashes.  According to Angela, no two beads come out the same, even if she uses similar materials in each of them.  She can even add names, dates, and small images.  I chose paw prints.

The handmade Pandora-style bead comes on a gorgeous, yet durable, chain, so I am not afraid of losing it while I am out and about.

Thankfully, Angela didn’t make me feel weird since Whiskers was “just a cat.”  In fact, Angela’s sensitivity made the experience a breeze.  She’s easy to work with, too.

Memorial Bead Ideas

In addition to memorializing pets, you can also memorialize people or events.  Your own memorial bead jewelry is as unique as you are.  What can she use to make yours? Baby hair, first teeth, ashes, wedding or funeral flowers, ashes, pieces of blankets or clothing… a piece of almost anything you treasure.

For many items, all she needs is a small pinch, so you don’t have to lose a precious item.

My memorial bead bracelet is a significant piece. Instead of having memories buried in a photo album or stuffed into a shoe box, you can carry them with you.  For more ideas, look through the embedded Facebook album I posted above.

These would make a beautiful gift for a close friend or family member.    Just make sure you ask permission to use the items you need memorialized.

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Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.


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Alicia Taylor

Happily married to the love of my life. It’s just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I’m loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.

32 Comments

  • Feel Powerful, Strong, and Courageous Right Now - TaylorLife.com

    October 10, 2016 - 2:23 pm

    […] sister.  She is one of the most talented women I know.  She operates a crafting business creating custom memorial jewelry which occupies much of her time.  However, she always finds time for others.  She calls.  She […]

  • Toughcookiemommy

    March 11, 2016 - 9:48 pm

    I love cats and I always have. Unfortunately, I cannot have them for pets because my son is allergic to them. As a result, we have a dog from the rescue shelter.

    • Alicia Taylor

      March 12, 2016 - 2:24 am

      I think all pets are great – which is why I thought it was a great idea to get this memorial bead.

  • Ave

    March 11, 2016 - 10:17 am

    I really like all kinds of bead and charms. They give you a great way to personalize your jewelry and at the same time remember the great times.

  • Valerie

    March 11, 2016 - 8:08 am

    I just adore the thought of personalized jewelry for a memorial. I am so glad this brought you some happiness.

  • Liz Mays

    March 10, 2016 - 9:43 pm

    I think that’s a beautiful way to remember your sweet pet. It doesn’t replace her, but it’s nice that you have her near you in a way.

    • Alicia Taylor

      March 11, 2016 - 11:46 am

      No – it can’t replace her, but I do love the beauty and simplicity of having her memory with me.

  • ron

    March 10, 2016 - 5:26 pm

    wow 5 cats, that’s a lot! that accessory is beautiful. Lucky cats.

  • Neely

    March 10, 2016 - 5:00 pm

    Such a lovely sentiment so glad you have this

  • adriana

    March 10, 2016 - 1:00 pm

    This is such a sweet idea! I love this – it makes for really cute jewelry too!

  • Scott

    March 10, 2016 - 8:24 am

    I remember hearing about a similar service that you could do with human ashes as well. I think it’s a wonderful idea to be able to keep them close!

    • Alicia Taylor

      March 10, 2016 - 8:50 am

      Yep – like I said in the post, she will also make memorial beads from human cremains – or to memorialize happier events – wedding flowers, baby teeth, pieces of clothing, locks of hair,etc. She can make one for almost any occasion.

  • Keikilani

    March 10, 2016 - 8:13 am

    What a sweet way to remember someone you loved. So sorry for your loss.

  • Claudia Krusch

    March 10, 2016 - 7:26 am

    What a great way to remember your pet! Love the bracelet and the bead!

  • Khrista

    March 9, 2016 - 8:06 pm

    What a lovely way to remember your sweet pet. I’ve never seen these before. Your bead turned out beautiful.

  • laura londergan

    March 9, 2016 - 7:16 pm

    this is such a great way to remember our pets. It certainly stinks that they don’t get to hang out longer with us but it’s inevitable and Especially since they are such great companions for us while here.

  • Mama to 5 Blessings

    March 9, 2016 - 7:04 pm

    Those are a great way to remember. Do they have ones for people too, to remember a loved one?

    • Angela Banister

      March 9, 2016 - 7:16 pm

      Yes ma’am I do cremains. Feel free to email me if you would like me to create one for you. I would be honored to do it.
      angelabanister1@yahoo.com

    • Angela B.

      March 9, 2016 - 10:48 pm

      Yes ma’am I can make them with your loved one also.

  • Jessica

    March 9, 2016 - 4:21 pm

    I love these memorial beads. Having some of your sweet cat’s ashes actually in the bead is very cool. I completely understand the feeling of loss when you lose a furry family member. This is a beautiful way to remember her. 🙂

  • Pat Mallette

    March 9, 2016 - 3:57 pm

    I appreciate your link to the bead site, but even more I appreciate that you keep Whiskers with you in a bead. She gave her life to you, and you welcomed her love for 20 years. Now you love her memory.

    • Alicia Taylor

      March 9, 2016 - 4:05 pm

      She was a special kitty indeed, Pat. My son said that if I get a bead for every cat we have now, it will be the finest in crazy cat lady accessories 🙂 LOL. One thing I do love is that she can make it for any occasion – not just loss

  • Heather Lawrence

    March 9, 2016 - 3:39 pm

    I wish something like this had of been available when our Brodie and our Jinx had passed. All I have in their paw prints on a piece of paper tucked away in a book. This would be such a nice way to remember them.

    • Alicia Taylor

      March 9, 2016 - 4:06 pm

      I agree. It’s a unique service – and she’s very good at providing it.

    • Angela Banister

      March 9, 2016 - 7:13 pm

      Heather I can do one up with the paw print if you would like.

  • Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy

    March 9, 2016 - 3:33 pm

    What a beautiful idea. I just lost a very special cat last month to cancer…we was only going to be 10. His buddy is still so sad that his friend is no longer here. I still cry…and will for a long time. We had a slate picture made that I look at every single day. It is so hard to lose a very special friend.

    • Alicia Taylor

      March 9, 2016 - 4:07 pm

      Losing family furry friends is heart-wrenching. It’s been 2 years, and I still cry sometimes.

  • Helene Cohen Bludman

    March 9, 2016 - 3:31 pm

    That is such a nice way to remember our departed pets. I know what it feels like to lose one.

  • robin masshole mommy

    March 9, 2016 - 3:14 pm

    What a lovely way to remember a beloved pet. The beads are gorgeous.

  • Angela Banister

    March 9, 2016 - 3:09 pm

    I am so happy that this brings you a lil peace and happiness. I love to make each and everyone of these. And consider it a true blessing that you allowed me to have a part (even a small part) of your relationship with Whiskers.

    • Alicia Taylor

      March 9, 2016 - 4:08 pm

      Thank you Angela. You definitely made a treasured keepsake for me that I am proud to tell the world about.

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