I finally decided to make something to keep. Usually it ends up being sold. But recently I have been sorting through my mother's house, preparing to get it on the market. It has been a bittersweet and emotional experience looking through old photos, keepsakes, files and jewelry. It occurred to me that maybe a niece way to preserve some of the memories was to put them on a keepsake mirror. But not just any mirror would do. I found an old dresser mirror at Good Will and thought the unusual shape would make an interesting "canvas."
I used chipped china, old pottery, and recycled glass bottle pieces (including the bottoms) to lay the base foundation. I laid them out first to get the look I wanted and then glued them with E4000 glue. Then I added all kinds of memorabilia. I wanted to include photos of both my husband's parent's and mine but felt they should be small. I wasn't able to find gold frames which I thought looked better than silver, so I removed the glass of the ones I found at a local craft store and sprayed them with gold paint and then reinserted the glass. Then my husband scanned the photos and shrank them to the correct size.
Also incorporated are pieces of jewelry from my mother and grandmother, signatures of my children taken from a card they had given me, an old dog tag, a beaded bracelet that says "daddy," and many, many other items. The mirror was very heavy when done so my husband mounted it over our mantel by drilling into the brick.
I hope my children continue the tradition of adding to the mirror after I am gone. The fun part will be deciding who in the family gets the mirror.
You might also want to look an an heirloom mirror I did for a friend. LeAnne had saved several special pieces of broken glass (from and heirloom bowl) and chipped china. She also had two small antique mirrors she wanted me to incorporate the shipped china onto. I thought they turned out very pretty and she gave them to her mother and sister as mother's day presents. Here's the link. What to Do With Broken Heirloom Dishes.