Friday, January 26, 2018

Friday Fricassee

I have a lovely story to tell.

I've recently become enamored of Instagram (and I hope you'll take a moment to FOLLOW ME THERE).  Amid my daily perusing, I noticed that a recent follower's account was a collection of lovely handmade jewelry that she sold.  One necklace in particular caught my eye--a glorious collection of keys on an antique-finished chain.  I hastened to her Etsy store, only to discover that the necklace had already sold.

Undaunted, I messaged her on Instagram and asked her if she intended to make another necklace like it.  She told me that that would be easy to do, and that I should let her know.  No pressure--all graciousness.

A couple days later, a message awaited me on Facebook--she had made another necklace, and if I liked it, I could buy it.  No obligation, no worries.  The necklace was gorgeous, except the chain was shiny instead of the antique-finished look I had so admired on the original.

"No problem," she said.  "I can change that."

Now, as soon as I'd opened the Messenger box, I discovered, to my surprise, that I'd chatted with this gal a number of years ago.  Hmm, thought I, this must be someone I'm already connected to.

So I said something to her.

"Yes," she replied, "we were already connected; we are friends on FB and Twitter.  I have been following the famous 'Red Hat' since the beginning."

How fun, right? Except I felt bad for not remembering her name.  So while we continued to chat about slight changes to the necklace, I sneaked over to my inbox and searched for her name there.

And I discovered something wonderful.

Way back in 2010, a kindhearted reader sent me a $50 donation and told me to use it to buy myself a box of Teuscher truffles--my favorite chocolate in the world.

Yep.  Same gal.  Her name is Tammy Archambeau, and I knew her as "RubyRed0" on the blog.

(See THIS POST, which mentions Tammy and the chocolate.)

So I shrieked and squealed at her, and she couldn't believe I remembered.

Well, I hadn't.  I mean, of course I remembered the gift, but I had no idea I was talking with the same person!  And I was overcome with a beautiful sense of full circle--as in, she blessed me with such a generous gift all those years ago, and now I was able to, in a small way, give a little back by buying one of her necklaces.


Keys on necklaces mean a lot to me because of a novel I wrote quite a few years ago.  The story is dear to my heart (and I intend to resurrect it at some point), and one of the main characters wears a large key on a chain around his neck.  For months, I wore a single key on a chain, in honor of my character (and in the hope that the novel would sell, which it didn't), but it wasn't beautiful and it kept getting caught on everything.


After I took it out of the envelope, I reached in again to remove any shipping papers.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was another jewelry bag in there, containing these:

Yep.  More teary eyes.  A note on the back of her business card read, "A little something extra."

This woman cannot be outdone!  I don't even have words to describe how much I love these earrings.  It's an intense, I-should-have-been-born-wearing-these sort of love.

This has been the highlight of my week.

It's not unusual for writers to also have "other artsy talents", and I'm so delighted to be able to share Tammy's work with you.  You'll find her on Instagram HERE, and on Etsy HERE.

Thank you, Tammy, for your huge heart and remarkable talent.  I'm honored to be on this journey with you, and I'm so excited to wear my new jewelry!


  1. Hey, Jilly=bean, the key in the center looks like our old key for our downstairs bathroom!!! What a lovely gift!!!

  2. Now I'm in tears, you are so sweet, thank you!! ❤❤❤ Tam

  3. Goodness! I am crying just reading this! What a wonderful soul! I'm going to follow her in Instagram right now!

  4. This is very cool, the re-connection and the jewelry! I just followed her on Instagram too:-)

  5. How terrific. I am awed by the jewelry and the story. I am desperately in search of a lost skeleton key for my grandpa's bookcase (which must be somewhere in my house, right??)... Love it!