My intrigue with vintage religious medals and beads began when I was given the metal cross from atop my great grandmother's coffin. Raised in the Catholic faith, she converted to the Methodist faith during her 30's. She was such a prayer warrior and a powerful female role model for me. Stella Mae lived her faith by feeding hobos on the back porch of her home and taking in ironing to support her family during the Great Depression. Although my memories of her are few, the one I cherish the most is of being in her kitchen after school and watching her open the heavy door to the old oven. Mmmm . . . the smell of freshly baked anise cookies with various animal pictures stamped on top. Of course, I seek those yummy cookies out every Christmas season; but, somehow they just never taste or smell quite the same.