My A Hundred Year Old Muse.
On July 20th, 1914, a woman by the name of Ruth Rankin was born eight days before the start of the first world war. Eighty-one years, fifteen US presidents, and three generations later, another woman was born by the name Nicole Rebecca Rankin Nielsen. Jump forward another eighteen years, and we are found again on July 20th, 2014.
My Gran and I at her 100th birthday party as she enjoyed her much deserved cake.
The first woman is my great grandmother, the second is me. For the last eighteen years of my life, I've been very blessed to get to have my gran in my life. Not many people are fortunate enough to be able to say that they've had the honour of getting to know their great grandmother so personally, or to of had them in their life for so long.
In her earlier days up at our cabin enjoying some sunshine.
When birthdays come along, especially significant ones like an 100th, we find ourselves in a state of reflection. For me, my reflection of my gran's life started earlier this year in school as we went through the decades and history of beauty. As we explored the worlds of Clara Bow and Marilyn Monroe alike, it dawned on me that my great grandmother had lived through all of these influential women's time. She got to explore the world of the melancholy brow in the 1920s, the cat eye of the 1950s, the hair of the 1980s, and the sort of jumbled mix that is the twenty-first century.
Me doing my Gran's makeup at this past christmas.
Growing up, my gran has always been a classy lady. My memories of her are of her dressed in pearls, with sparkly bangles on her arm and nails that always looked perfect. When getting ready, I always question on how she, as someone who has lived through so many differently distinct periods in the beauty and fashion world, has distinguished her own personal sense of style. For as long as I've known my gran, she has dressed relatively the same - long skirt and jacket, silver jewellery and sparkly pearls on her ears. I've always found my grandmother to look elegant and chic, even though she's dressed relatively the same in the last 18 years.
My mother on the far left, my Gran on the far right.
I can only dream that I will grow up to be as timeless as my gran. Just as her quick witted and sassy personality has shaped my family and me into the people we are today, I think her sense of personal style has also influenced me and the way that I dress. Though my gran and I are obviously quite different, I see little parts of her in everything I do, and for that I am grateful. If there is anyone I want to be like when I am old and grey, it is my granny - with diamonds and pearls in my ears, a martini in my hand, and perfectly placed sass given to the people I love around me.
Granny on the deck at her birthday party.