Framing Collectibles and Mama’s Memories

When we had Mama’s estate sell and divided things, I ended up with several things  and jewelry that I wanted to frame. I love the Victorian shadow boxes with various old items in them. I have made 3 big ones that hang in my kitchen. I have been collecting frames and matte board for years. So I had everything right here at home to do all these. I had had all this stuff spread out on the big table in the sunroom for months. I made one with antiques I had collected. Then several from things and jewelry I had gotten from Mama’s estate. I got the energy to start one afternoon and I didn’t go to bed until I finished it. It was 4:00 in the morning and I was exhausted the next day, but after all these months they were done.



An assortment of things I have been collecting to make another Victorian Shadowbox. The crocheted pin cushion with thimble holder made on a turkey bone was a gift from Pat Eaton. The skull button, deer button, and the flower metal button came from Debbie from her trip to Germany.


This is an ivory bead necklace with a  carved large piece from Marilyn’s House of Gifts I gave Mama in the late 1970’s.


This silver heart bracelet is from the late 1930’s. It was Mama’s in high school. It was like a charm bracelet. The hearts were sold at a  dime store or variety store, not a jewelry store. You would buy and swap hearts with family and friends. each one is a different pattern. There were plain on the back. The Victorian 3-D card was one I found at a sale.


This is a sterling sliver belt buckle that was my grandfather, Papaw. I have had it for years and I had another one I framed for by brother this Christmas. This one has “J.C.G.” hand-engraved for his name, James Carl Campbell. I was named after him. My name is: James Campbell Gatling.


This bracelet is Mama’s original charm bracelet. I has their 25th and 50th anniversary charms with the dates one the back. their 4 boys, Mark, Jim, Lance, and Craig, with their birthdays on the back. Their first grandchild, Blake, and their wedding announcement on the rectangle one. They are all hand-engraved.


Out of all the jewelry that we sorted out of Mama’s estate these were the two pieces I really wanted. The top bar pin was my Grandmother Bessie Mae Williams Gatling. The heart cameo was a gift to Mama from her friend that was an antique collector, Mrs. Swaby.


These three blue delft pins are hand-painted. They are usually tourist things from Holland. The top one was Mama’s. The middle one Debbie brought me from her trip to Germany. The bottom one I found at a sale for $3.50.


The pin was Mama’s Eisenburge rhinestone pin from the 1940. I have had it for years. The charm bracelet is a new one I made up of Mama’s charms and new charms to represent Mama’s hobbies and life.


This is a shadowbox of some of Mama’s jewelry old and new from her childhood through her later trips abroad. Included is things from Italy, Holland, Mexico, Denmark, and Russia. The poodle pin I gave her fro her miniature poodle, Beau. The picture of mama is on white glass and has been colored tinted. The two embroidery pieces are from her two minks.

About Jim Gatling

Artist: primitive watercolors, colored pencil. Quilter: Original designs, Scrap quilts. Craftsman: Woodburning, Recycling Teacher: Retired MHS, SHCS K-12 Part Time. Collector: Antiques, Quilts, Glass, Buttons, Petit Point, Needlepoint, Hankies, Figural Perfume Bottles. Son, Father, Grandfather, Neighbor, Friend.
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