National Grandparent’s Day – Ronnie Delmar

Twenty-five years of Jewel Riders. Twenty-five years of memories.Twenty-five years of shenanigans! And who was one of my number one cohorts? Of course Chris… But I’m thinking about my grandpa!

My Grandpa was pretty handy with a piece of wood and saw. Together we created an entire set of wooden Enchanted Jewels, Crown Jewels and Wizard Jewels. Grandpa cut the jewels with accurate precision. Even the intricate snowflake Enchanted Jewel featured in the “Trouble in Elftown” episode was a perfect replica. After the jewels were cut, I used his vast selection of paints (he would paint-by-number) to color each of the jewels by hand. The coloring was matched to the show. To the Enchanted Jewels I added a special glitter paint giving them a magical sparkle. The Heart Stone was my jewel of choice, of course. Grandpa even helped me to make a wooden Crystal Carriage! Many years later, I thought I had outgrown these and threw them away when I moved from home; juvenile stupidity. I urge anyone out there who may be thinking about throwing something away. You will regret it. Don’t do it! So many things my 19 year-old self thought I wouldn’t miss…hello, eBay! These are irreplaceable though. At least I had the good sense not to throw away my recorded VHS.

Not long after the shows run, my Stepdad took away all of my Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders collection and locked it up in a spare room…in The Office. It became a graveyard for my fondest possessions, a place littered with toys, childhood memories, and all things I held dear simply because they were branded as “for girls”. But as it usually happens, when you are kept from something, you want it that much more! Away from home, Grandma’s house became a refuge, a place to hide away my secret collection of new assorted dolls, books, movies and among them were the Jewel Riders! I was able to recover most items from The Office, but not all. I kept these in a living room closet. Perhaps a combination of fear and adrenaline was that the closet holding all of my possessions was just a few feet away from anyone visiting my Grandma’s house; it was so close to the ones who had locked the same items up in the first place. But my collection remained a safe-guarded secret.

 

I think a toy that everyone seems to have made were the Enchanted Jewels. Who didn’t want at jewel?! But it was the manner in which each of you designed and crafted your unique magical jewel that truly inspires us. I want to tell you the story behind my set of jewels. You can learn more about my story in our about page, but for now let’s talk about the wonderful memories I have of my grandpa and I. Grandpa Joe was always keeping busy! I think it was more of a retreat from Grandma, but you would often find him in his work garage outside. Inside the garage there was a treasure trove of artistic pieces that he crafted by hand. He loved to paint by number, and he would make wooden frames to showcase the artwork. It was combining the paint by number and the woodcarving that gave me the idea of how to create the jewel set. One summer we started with the basic Enchanted Jewels – Sun Stone, Moon Stone, and Heart Stone… and it just grew from there! I first used either a trading card or a still image from the series to draw out what the jewel looked like. I transferred my illustration onto a block of wood. Grandpa took the piece of wood and delicately, and in the instance of the snowflake and some others, very intricately cut out the shape. Then using the vast selection of acrylic paints, I painted each Jewel to be almost the exact color from the show. To the Enchanted Jewels, I used a glitter paint coating to add an extra layer of “magic” to the jewel.

And we didn’t stop with the Enchanted Jewels, or even the Crown Jewels or Wizard Jewels! Grandpa even helped me make Merlin’s staff and the One Jewel! We never did make a Jewel Box though… I wanted to. Grandpa also helped me make a wooden Crystal Carriage for my favorite Tamara doll. He measured the dolls to ensure that they would fit inside of the carriage, we designed a heart door and heart finial for the top of the carriage. And from mom’s sewing bin, I found red cloth to use as curtains. I used Ninjara, the white snow leopard from the Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic doll line, to pull the carriage in place of the bear. Ironically enough, along with my favorite line of 90’s Disney Princess dolls, Greg helped to create and design the Tenko dolls too. It is really fascinating how so many of these toys and shows are interconnected!

In memory of both grandma and grandpa, and as a closing to a chapter, Ronnie decided to recreate the wooden jewels which have been lost to time.

Chris and Ronnie met at the childhood home to re-create the Lost jewels. Working together, they marked out and cut New Sunstone, Moonstone, Hearthstone, forest Stone, and dark stone wooden jewels.

What I love about this story is that it’s more than just rediscovering childhood, or about the powerful memories a show can invoke, but it tells how Chris and I created something together as a legacy to my grandpa. in the Amazing 25 years that we have been friends, we’ve shared more than just share a love for Jewel Riders… we have created a lasting bond that will last a lifetime! And now this childhood memory has come full circle.

It’s the same reason why we celebrate anniversaries. It’s the fondness for our beloved memories. And it’s to these two that I dedicate this blog: Grandma Lee and Grandpa Joe. I love you so much.

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