I think it was about 4 weeks ago that I committed to cataloguing my costume jewellery during this crazy lockdown time, in an effort to keep myself sane. I’ve found it hard to write for joy in the last few weeks, mainly I admit through laziness, but also because my writing for work has been constant and hectic and my head just hasn’t had the space for anything else. It has been the strangest of times.
Today we’ve had a very welcome bank holiday and I don’t know if it has been the break in work, the passing of the full moon, or just a general acceptance of the times we are in but it feels like a good time to start talking and writing about the costume pieces I love.
We are starting with panda. A Lea Stein panda in fact. He was a surprise gift from hubby for christmas and encapsulates an obsession that goes back over 40 years (yikes!).
My godfather and uncle, Gerard gave me a panda for Christmas when I was 2 and I fell in love. Mum has just been going through old photos and sent through one where this very important panda features, siting tall with a bright yellow ribbon! Adorable. Gerard sadly died a few years ago, and although he tried for years to (very unsuccessfully) turn my football allegiance from Liverpool to Spurs, he did leave me with a sweet lifelong panda obsession instead 🙂
I drew endless pictures of pandas (and 1970s WonderWoman!) when I was little, and was absolutely mad about a 1980s cartoon called Padamonium (check out the titles on youtube, it was amazing!). To me pandas epitomise sweetness, innocence, happiness, contentment…all positive things. When I’m in a bad mood, pandas will always cheer me up!
I suppose it’s a very clear and simple connection – they remind me of childhood joy. And that’s what makes this panda so special. Lea Stein brooches are also an obsession. They are expensive by my usual brooch spends, usually retailing from £55 upwards. Panda is not my first (we’ll come to Alice the Fox later) but he was such a thoughtful gift, and such a beautiful version. Carefully chosen by Mr GLV. Like all Lea Stein animal brooches, there are a range of designs. You can read more about her work at the Lea Stein Appreciation Group on Facebook – it’s a wealth of information and pictures.
I love Panda. He’s a got the most perfect, sweet face and expression, and he is in lovely vintage condition. When I wear him he’ll always remind me to be of good cheer, and how lovely it is to be married to my best friend who knows instinctively how to surprise me and make me smile. What’s more important than that?!