“She gave it to me at my christening,” Krowicki says.
The 39-year-old believes the heirloom was part of a set, but doesn’t know its history or value.
But it's not the keepsake's price tag Krowicki hopes to discover when the TV cameras start to roll. She's hoping for a conversation with her father -- who's deceased.
Welcome to the Antiques Psychic -- a new Calgary-produced TV show with a different take on reaching into the past using antiques, heirlooms and other memorabilia.
Unlike hit TV series Antiques Roadshow, to which people bring personal treasures for monetary appraisal by an expert, the memorabilia brought to Antiques Psychic is used as a conduit to the afterlife.
Calgarian Kim Dennis, otherwise known as Clairvoyant Kim, is the medium making that connection. (Note: Skeptics, please suspend judgement for a few moments.)
The show's premise is simple. Ordinary folks are invited to bring in their treasures to learn more about the items' past and the people behind them.
In a brief, on-camera interview with the show's host Christina Rowsell, participants reveal what they hope to learn about the item.
From there, Dennis takes over, holding a 15-minute reading in another room with the object in hand and participant by her side. (This is psychometry, the divination of facts about an object or the object's owner through contact or proximity to the object.)
All of this is done with cameras rolling.
"It's like having an extra antenna on my head. I pick up a higher vibration," says Dennis, who gives private readings (that's what a session with a psychic is called), and is also a regular guest on Rowsell's nationally syndicated radio show, Christina At Night, heard locally on Country 105 and QR77.
Images, words and feelings pop into her mind, says Dennis, and she just relays the messages verbally.
She describes the vibrations as "cigarette smoke dancing through the sunlight." Her eyes dart about the room as she follows the message.
Rowsell calls Dennis' readings "a cure for death."
Dennis is careful about what she says aloud during a reading. You won't find out about impending doom or death from her, she says.
"You can't be too serious about this stuff because you don't want it to be scary."
Thirteen episodes of the 30-minute long show have been picked up by Canadian Learning Television (channel 70) and will air this September, on Thursdays and Saturdays.
There are discussions underway about also running the show on Access (channel 13).
Antiques Psychic taps into an already well-established industry of psychics on television and radio. While the legitimacy of psychics and their work may not be close to being universally accepted, no one can deny the industry has a huge following. The popularity of American medium John Edwards and his syndicated television show attests to popular culture's acceptance.
Psychic Sylvia Browne, a regular on talk shows Montel Williams and Larry King Live, also lights up the phone lines and spikes ratings. Browne herself wrote about eh connection of people to their objects in her book The Other Side and Back: A Psychic's Guide to Our World and Beyond.
"A spirit might have a lingering fondness for an object and want to come visit it," writes Browne in the 2000 offering. "Every object is capable of holding an imprint that may or may not be a happy one."
Meanwhile in Calgary, Krowicki is hoping for a happy reunion of sorts, with her father via a tarnished napkin ring that has spent a lot of years tucked away and forgotten.
But first she waits as four other participants, all women, get readings from Dennis in another room in this Mount Royal home. One by one, they file in and out over the three hours of taping.
Dennis sits at a table and "reads" a family ring, a silver cigarette box, a set of circa 1900s sheets that apparently were on a ship before it sank, as well as old telegrams and postcards.
One woman finds out a daughter, or maybe two, is in her future from Dennis's reading of her gold ring.
"I don't even have a boyfriend," says Shannon Dyck, 32, who nonetheless admits taking hope from the information.
Another woman, 39-year-old Beverly Holt, learns her dead mother watches over her while she gardens.
"It's nice to know she is there...it's comforting, I take comfort from it," says Holt, with tears in her eyes.
Dennis has also revealed, from holding a cigarette box and a gold watch in side, that Hold's mom is often with her grandson, whom she never met.
Krowicki is the last one in for her reading. She goes in with an open mind, but also really hoping for an appearance from her Dad, who died five years ago after a long battle with emphysema. Before he passed away, Krowicki gave him a code, two words for him to use, to send from beyond, if ever he was going to make his presence known after death.
Krowicki won't reveal the words, but is hoping Dennis utters them aloud as a sign from her father.
Dennis doesn't come through with the two words, but Krowicki says it's hart to deny the reading isn't bang on in a lot of other ways.
Dennis holds the napkin ring and asks if it was a gift from Krowicki's grandmother.
A few more questions about the ring. "Is this a bracelet?" asks Dennis.
Who's the man with the lung problems, who can't breathe? asks Dennis.
Krowicki bursts into tears. Her father is making his presence known, she believes.
Dennis tells her the family will go overseas soon. In fact, Krowicki and her family are leaving later this month to live in London for a year.
Dennis continues. "Who's Harry?"
"Oh my God," Krowicki gasps. Harry, her father's dearest friend whom the family called Uncle Harry, is by her dad's side, Dennis says.
"Far out, man," is all Krowicki can muster.
It's reactions like these that translate into television gold for producer Rod Coates, whose company Shaneco is behind Antiques Psychic.
"These are the same people that would watch Oprah, the same people that would watch John Edwards and the same people that watch reality shows," says Coates, quickly adding that the show doesn't want the reality TV tag, but share some of genre's characteristics.
"There are no actors, it's not staged, you're witnessing the actual event," he says. "In effect, you're watching real life happening."
The show is taped every Saturday and Sunday from now until the end of August, on location in several homes in Calgary and at the Leighton Centre south of the city.
Participants leave with a video tape of their reading, but are not paid for their appearances. More participants are still needed to fill out the roster, says Coates.
"All they need is an open mind and a family heirloom or an object from someone who has passed over."
For Krowicki, her time with Dennis, her father and Uncle Harry left her feeling "quite peaceful," "comforted." and "definitely feeling better," she says.
"I am skeptical about these kinds of things, but I think she does have some kind of gift," says the mother of two girls.
"I don't think these are things she could have come up with on her own," Krowicki says. "She freaked me out. It's more than I expected."