Hand-crafted jewelry created from authentic flowers is a unique niche filled by Everlasting Memories, an independent business owned by Tracy and Perry "Chip" Carnovale of Kersey.
"We make a variety of items out of dried flowers," Tracy said. "We've gotten flowers brought to us from funerals, weddings, birthdays--basically any type of special occasion."
Upon receiving fresh flowers they are immediately dried out. Some customers even bring in flowers already dried.
"We can work with any type of flowers, from lilies to mums. Roses are the most popular flower we work with," she added.
From there, Carnovale sculpts the individual flower petals into miniature beads, which are used to create such pieces as rosaries; chaplets, which are a smaller string of prayer beads featuring a single decade of the rosary; car medals; necklaces; photo pendants; bracelets; earrings; and keychains. The beads are joined together with silver jewelry pieces. Each piece may be customized with an array of charms, crucifixes, crosses or saint medals.
Carnovale said some customers bring in pre-purchased beads or charms they would like included on the piece.
"The whole process takes about two days, but takes a little longer for rosaries because of the amount of beads," she said.
Each piece varies in the amount of beads used. On, average a rosary features 60 flower beads. It takes about 13 beads for a chaplet, nine beads for a bracelet, three beads each for a necklace, keychain and car medal and one bead per earring. Carnovale emphasized that additional beads may be added to pieces. Approximately five roses are needed to complete a rosary, three roses for chaplets, bracelets and necklaces with a cross and one rose for a necklace with a medal, car medals or earrings.
The items she creates range in price from $20 to $75.
Rosaries created with funeral flowers are packaged inside a wooden box with a religious emblem on the lid or a ceramic cross-shaped case, complete with the deceased's initials and date of death.
"In the past we have donated pieces to area families to show our support to them," Carnovale said.
She added that they also work closely with area funeral homes, receiving referrals from Lynch-Radkowski, Carlson's in Brockway and Meehan-Shilk in Ridgway.