Monthly Archives: October 2015

Army Uniform Remembrance Keepsakes by Once Upon a Time Creation

Honoring A Special Uncle with Army Uniform Keepsakes

Sometimes a memory is too painful to talk about. The heartache and grief are just too much to bear, so we do what we can to get through the day, the weeks, and the years. This family lost their son in Vietnam and the physical memories of him were tucked away until the next generation found them and wanted to share his story.

Army Uniforms in the trunk before the keepsake creation by Once Upon a Time Creation


They wanted to honor his life by sharing memories of him, both in word and deed. Through the creation of keepsakes from his uniforms and sharing them with siblings, nieces, and nephews, this family found a way to share a piece of their own history.

Army Uniform Keepsakes by Once Upon a Time Creation

Sometimes a physical memento is the catalyst to converstaion. Our senses of touch, sight, and smell all help us to spark memories, remember moments, and ask questions. A memento, whether a picture, artifact, or keepsake, can also help explain events and stories to the next generation.

Army Uniform Keepsakes by Once Upon a Time Creation

Sharing a family history is different than reading a book about the bigger picture. It’s about understanding who people are and how they got there. It’s about seeing physical and personality traits trend through generations. It’s about appreciating that who and where you are today was directly affected by the decisions and circumstances of those that came before you.

Army Uniform Remembrance Keepsakes by Once Upon a Time Creation

Army Uniform Keepsakes

Sharing your own family history makes stories of the past real for the next generation. Reading about how many soldiers were lost in Vietnam in a book is vastly different than hearing your grandma talk about the day the letter arrived or feeling your uncle’s fear as he talks about the days he spent overseas. Our image of the world is shaped in many ways. Personal accounts of our own family are valuable pieces to the puzzle that we pass to the next generation.

Army Uniform  Keepsakes by Once Upon a Time Creation

What are your thoughts? How do you share your family history? I would love to hear from you.


If you have saved clothing from a lost loved one and would like to create custom keepsakes to share with your family, please visit our website Once Upon a Time Creation 

Custom Keepsake Ornaments by Once Upon a TIme Creation

The Beauty of Ornaments

There are no rules when it comes to tree trimming in our house. We do not have the decorator-variety tree where all the ornaments are coordinated and the latest garland trend is draped perfectly over the evergreen branches.

Heart Apron Ornaments by Once Upon a TIme Creation

Remembrance Ornaments created from a beloved apron.

Our tree is adorned with little feathered handprints, laminated snowflakes proudly framing a preschool picture, quilted treasures from my aunt, wooden creations from my grandfather, different Nativity scenes, the varied collection we have amassed from places we have been, the few glass balls we have left from our first tree (when we ran to CVS for decorations realizing we had none), JoePa figurines, and so much more.

Heart Remembrance Jean Ornament by Once Upon a TIme Creation

In loving memory of a hard working dad created from his paint-covered overalls.

The collection I am most proud of will not be hung on our tree forever. Every year we give each child an ornament that represents an activity, a favorite occasion, or something they love from that year. When we pull out all their ornaments, we see all the things they have done, learned about, and obsessed over.

Irish Heart Ornaments by Once Upon a Time Creation

These are not fancy ornaments. Some have been purchased at the mall kiosk, some have been ordered online, some have been locally purchased, and some have been handcrafted. Everything is represented, from karate to video games to movies as well as princesses, dance, and instruments.  Seeing them together creates a little “this is your life” snapshot that will go with each of my kids when they have their own tree someday.

Penn State Ornaments by Once Upon a Time Creation

Outgrown pjs turned into fun ornaments.

And then there is the collection that is not hung on the tree, but will go with them also. This group is displayed in our studio all year. These are the ornaments designed from clothes that they wore when they were little. For some of you, you may be experiencing this now and for some, you may remember, that there always seemed to be a favorite piece of clothing from each year. It may have been the camo pants with the big pockets for collecting rocks or the Spongebob pjs, or maybe the Cinderella dress or the comfy romper. Now that they are both teenagers, each ornament brings me back to when they were little, and how parenting then was easier and harder at the same time.

Angel Wedding Dress Ornament by Once Upon a Time Creation

A beautiful wedding dress becomes angel remembrance ornaments.

Decorating the Christmas tree has always been a big deal in my family. My grandmother hosted her annual tree trimming party to bring family and friends together to eat, drink, and adorn her enormous tree. She believed in the miracle of family and Christmas so this was her time to shine. After she passed away, we created angel ornaments for everyone in the family out of her red and white pjs. My hope is that when that ornament is hung on each tree we can all feel her smiling down on us.

Angel Remembrance Keepsake Ornament by Once Upon a Time Creation

To me, ornaments are not just decoration. They are a family history to be enjoyed, displayed, and shared every year in that magical Christmas time we all love.

Vintage Linen Ornament by Once Upon a Time Creation

Heirloom vintage linens can now be enjoyed on the tree.

Do you have an ornament or Christmas tree tradition? I would love to hear about it.


If you would like us to help you create ornaments from special clothing you have saved, please visit our website ( or contact me (610-202-7850 or

Heart Shirt Remembrance Ornaments by Once Upon a TIme Creation

Remembrance ornaments for the family from favorite shirts.