Kersti’s Memory Box


This is my memory box. I have had it for as long as I can remember. I have moved around a lot in my life, and it is hard for me to say I grew up any one place. But the address on the box is the one of the home I was born in.


To call it a memory box is a little bit of a misnomer. The ‘memories’ these objects invoke are less specific memories of events, but more so memories of feelings. A lot of these items I don’t remember where they came from, or who gave them to me. But when I hold them in my hands, they invoke in me beautiful emotions of nostalgia, melancholy, and innocent wonder and joy. They are trinkets that center me. They remind me who I am and what is important to me.


‘Protection Courage Grace’ Sage

I got this from a family friend. It came in a beautiful bag with some jewelry that she made for me. I like it because it was hand written, hand wrapped, with a hand made present made specifically for me. It makes me feel special.

Yin Yang Necklace

I got this in Peru when I was very young, about 7ish? It was around the time in my life when I was starting to become very interested in symbology, and I latched on to the yin yang as having very significant importance to me. To this day, it is the symbol that feels most relevant to my life and being. My best friend at the time got one as well, and it also reminds me of the happiness of our friendship.

Kalymnos Keychain

My dad brought this back for me from his climbing trip to the Greecian islands. I like it because it is from a beautiful place, from somewhere someone I loved had a good time. But also simply because it is from my daddy, it is blue, it starts with a K, and it has Nazars on it.

Orange Bouncy Ball

My dad and I used to go to the Gateway Park Fun Center all the time when I was about 10. We went there to play mini-golf and do the human maze mostly, but we also played a lot of the arcade games. Our favorite was the Tornado, a game where a light spins around and you have to stop it between two arches with a button in order to get the jackpot. We figured out that it was impossible to get the jackpot until the point tracker had reached 270. So we would wait for other kids to play to bring it up to that number for us. Then we would swoop in, and steal the jackpot. We were really good at that game. We got tons of prizes from Gateway Park, including a mini-pinball machine that I still have. This bouncy ball was one of the smaller prizes.

Vial of Magnetite

I don’t remember where I got this from exactly. But it is a vial of magnetic dust. This sort of magnetic dust is everywhere in what I now consider to be my hometown of Joshua Tree California. I remember sitting out in the desert with magnets collecting a giant bowl of the stuff so that we could make magnetic sand sculptures.

Nazar Pendant

It got this from Turkey when I was there with my parents. I fell in love with the Nazar symbol because of its meaning, but also for the simple reason that it is blue. A Nazar symbolizes surveillance, awareness, and attention. Is used to protect against curses of the evil eye, which are ill-will and malice made magic. It is like when someone is plotting behind your back, the Nazar is watching your back.

Bottle of Garnet

I have had this for as long as I can remember. I remember we got it at a knick-knack store. A chart said that Garnet was my birth stone. My parents said I could get one thing, and this was what I chose. I remember feeling such magic from those stones, that somehow them being my birth stone, and being near me, gave me power and strength.

Iron Leaf Pendant

For most Thanksgivings of my life I have gone, along with a large portion of my family, to my grandparents house outside of Zion National Park in Utah. It is a beautiful place that I feel infinite privilege to have a reason to go every year. During the week we are there, there is generally an Arts and Crafts fair going on, which we sometimes attend. I got this leaf pendant at the craft fair one year.

Vial of Gold Flakes

Another memento from Peru. My stepdad brought this back for me from the gold mine he worked at. When you shake the bottle, the gold flakes stay suspended in the liquid, then very slowly float down to the bottom like a slow motion snow globe.

Kersti Key Chain

I don’t know where I got this. But it is another thing that I have had forever that fills me with childhood joy. Another Yin Yang, my personal symbol. and a moon, stars, and on the flip side a sun.


I think I got this at a swap meet? I am not sure. But it makes a beautiful little sound. I love its simplicity and rustic uniqueness.

Fuzzy Bead Alien

In Elementary school I fancied myself a trend maker. One day I made these little creature things out of pipe-cleaners and beads, and I called them aliens. I made hundreds of them, and gave them out to my classmates until everyone had one. We would play with them at recess and during class. This is the last one that remains.

Peruvian Worry Doll

Another token from my youth in Peru. The concept of the worry doll is another that made its way into my personal mythology. You place a worry doll under your pillow at night. During the night your worries and anxieties get absorbed by the doll. The next day, you put the doll away in a drawer, and your worries are forgotten.

Homemade Worry Dolls

I loved the idea of the worry doll so much, I made a couple myself one day with my mom. We used wooden clothes pins and some yarn and glue.

Mini Dream Catcher

I don’t know how long I have had this. It was once a key chain I convinced my parents to get me at a knick-knack shop. But the key chain part of it has long since fallen off. The mythology of the dream catcher is another that was very important to me in my youth.

Coin and Beads Chain

My family friend who makes jewelry made this for me. It is meant to be a key chain, but it is too beautiful to put on my keys.

Lucky Penny

Who knows where exactly this lucky penny came from. But I remember it was special. The day I picked it up was a particularly good day, so I decided to keep it, and give it an honored place among my memory box treasures.

Star Stick

In early Middle school we went on a field trip to a river to pan for gold. On that same field trip, one of my teachers showed us how when you crack a specific type of stick at a specific spot, you can see a star inside. I always thought it was beautiful, the idea of a tree with a million tiny stars lighting it up inside. I don’t think this is the original star stick I found, but it is one of them.

Heart Seed Pendant

This is another trinket I have had for practically my whole life. I think this came from my dad’s mother, but I am not sure. The metal part that would allow one to hang this from a necklace is broken, but the pendant itself is still beautiful.

Heart Rock

I think I found this on the street one day, I don’t remember where. I’ve seen them sold in trinket shops before, but am pretty certain I did not buy it. I thought it was cute. So I kept it.


Primary Art Supply Pin

This is a pin from the art supply store near my college where I got a lot of my art supplies. It was a really neat store, and was the first place where I independently fell in love with art supplies.

Bell Key Chain

I got this from a Buddhist temple I visited in California. It makes a beautiful sound.

Kersti Butterfly Key Chain

One of the first dates my boyfriend and I went on together was to a Maker’s Fair in Colorado. There was a laser printer on demo there that was giving away free laser printed key chains. My boyfriend and I both got one.

Japanese Key Chain

I don’t remember who got this for me, but it was fairly recent in the grand scheme of my life. It has a little bell on it, which I love. The characters are adorable. This thing is far too cute to risk putting on my keys.

Wooden Ganesha Key Chain

Another gift from my family friend who makes jewelry. Ganesha is my favorite god in the Hindu pantheon. He is the god of wisdom and intellect, remover of obstacles and patron of the arts and sciences.

Mouse Finger Puppet

When I was young, I had a large set of finger puppets. I would put on entire plays and shows with these puppets, entertaining myself for hours. I had many animals, and people. This mouse puppet was my favorite.

Blue Glass

I got this piece of glass in France on a trip I went on with my aunt. I don’t remember exactly where it was, but there were a whole bunch of the pieces, used to decorate an outdoor planter like those glass beads used in vases. I thought it was beautiful, so I took one.

Plastic Spider

I think I remember we got a whole bunch of these plastic spiders for Halloween one year. They came with the fake webbing. We threw them all out once Halloween was over, but I saved one spider because I liked it. I have used it for a couple practical jokes, but for the most part it hides in my memory box.

Metal Dragon Pendant

Another trinket from a knick-knack shop. There were various metal animals, and a chart detailing the significance of each. I forget what the dragon meant, but it was something I needed in my life at the time, so I got it. Its tininess combined with its ferocity makes me happy.

Hug A Tree Cloth

One day I wore out my favorite pajamas to the point where they were unwearable. I cut out a piece to remember them by. The art still makes me happy.

Stuffed Frog

I remember having this frog, and 2 others back in preschool. I gave the other two away to my friends, and kept this one. It reminds me of my youth and my friends.

Heart Lock

This was the lock of my first diary. I have never been much of a diary or journal person. I liked to record my thoughts every now and again, but not often enough to merit an entire book. When I got rid of my first diary however, I kept the lock. It seemed like a symbol of an important right of passage.

Peach Pit

The origin story of this peach pit is a mystery even to me. I’m sure its only significance is that of its intrinsic mystery and beauty, as well as potential. I have always loved seeds as symbols of growth and potential. It used to be a regular practice for me to eat peaches down to the pit and spend several minutes striping them clean in an almost meditative way.

Kersti Bead Necklace

I think I made this at the YMCA while I stayed there after school for daycare during my elementary school days. I loved daycare mostly because of all the crafts. This necklace is awesome not only because I made it, and it has my name on it, but also because it glows in the dark. :O

Sparta Pictures

I had a mini camera for a while before the gimmick of it wore thin. One good thing that did come from that camera though were these pictures of a kitten I once had named Sparta. These pictures are some of the only pictures of her that exist.

Worry Doll Bag + Llama, Man, and Woman Dolls

I got these worry dolls in Peru. I loved how small and dainty they were, and I was able to not loose them by keeping them in this bag that they came with. I have a specific memory of riding the bus up to Machu Pichu when we were visiting. I was playing with my llama and little man. The little man was riding the llama across the rounded backs of the seats like mountains.

Blue Heart Pendant

Obviously a cheap thing, the blue is chipping away, I still loved this pendant to death when I was young. I wore this on a necklace all through elementary school.

Letter Opener Sword

I think this is other trinket I picked up on my Europe trip with my aunt, but I don’t remember where it came from. It is a very sturdy well-made thing. It makes me wish I had a mini knight doll to carry it.

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