Saturday, June 25, 2011

Charm Bracelet with a Story to Tell

30 Days of Creativity Day 10

I was cleaning out my cabinet where I keep my jewelry when I found a little pile of sterling charms.  I remembered that a "few " years ago I had made a special request at Christmas.  I asked that Marty give me a sterling charm bracelet.  I then asked that the kids each get me a charm that represented them.  That year they all did just as I asked.  I am sure I was thrilled at the time and I put all the pieces in a safe place until I could get it together.

So...here it is a few years later-not put together! I gathered all the charms -some from then and some that were new and set about putting it together. Every charm had a story.

Katie gave me the comedy/tragedy charm.  Perfect.  She had always wanted to go into performing and was involved in many performances through high school.  Josh gave me the football helmet as he was playing football at the time. Here my memory gets fuzzy but after talking to Megan, we think she gave me the crystal butterfly.  She may have given me the bunny but I may need to talk to niece Rachael about that.  The stingray and dolphin were purchased when Megan and I went to Discovery Cove. The Birthday Cake may have been given to me by Marty-my birthday is Christmas Day. The Bible and Angel...not sure.  May have to talk to sister Daun on this.  It is possible my niece/nephew also gave me charms that year.  The silver charm on left bottom is from Mexico when Marty took me on the cruise.  It's neat because it has pictures all over it of things people consider lucky.  The teacher charm...not sure.  The pearl, totem, and blue flower all came from Alaska this last year. The maple leaf I picked up in Vermont when I visited my niece.  The last two I just got this last December.  Marty gave me shopping money for Christmas and Birthday.  I got the charms free when I made a purchase.

As for the charm bracelet Marty bought me-it was in a safe place-I could not find it.  I decided to put the charms on a chain maille bracelet I had made.
My chain maille bracelet.
I arranged the charms in order-four didn't make it!

I laid out the bracelet, then arranged the charms as I thought I would put them on. I slipped the football charm right over the clasps and to the middle-it had a very large bale and did not need a split ring. In sorting I-four charms that just didn't seem to go. They are pictured at the top of the bracelet.

I put each charm on a split ring and then put it on the bracelet.  The work was a bit tedious but not difficult.  I did use the split ring tool most of the time to open the rings and get the charms on-then to thread it onto the bracelet.  One thing to consider when doing this is the placement of the charm on the chain.  Keep laying the bracelet flat to make sure placement is correct.  My chain maille bracelet had double links-I place charms on the bottom set of links so that it lays nicely.

After getting all the charms on I was pleased but it seemed liked it need more.  I had a necklace I bought but never wore.  While the stones were beautiful the chain was not what I wanted and I did not like the piece.  The great thing about jewelry is once you learn a few skills-nothing is wasted.  You can change/alter/embellish until you are happy.  I decided to put stones in between each charm.

I did not have a lot of space to work with
but I did not want to redo
each stone with a new headpin.
I loved the stones, but not the chain.

Now this was a bit tricky as each stone was on a short headpin with a loop at the top.  I did not want to redo them so I had a very short piece to work with. The little extra effort was worth it though.  I saved using my stock of headpins and I do like the way the stones are close to the chain and the charms are further away-it adds depth. I was very happy with it when I finished it.  It was nice that while I worked on this, my friend Dawn was here working on a project of her own.  Having company doing projects distracts you from the sometimes mundane parts of the process. Of course I had to add a finishing touch-I had a cool charm and added a Swarovski.  I attached this near the clasp.

I love this charm and I love the sparkle of Swarovskis.

As I said previously, having a few skills working with jewelry means you can do so many things.  I realized the four charms that did not make it onto the bracelet were all from travels.  I decided I would make a travel charm bracelet. Then I decided that I needed to take the maple leaf off the current bracelet and put it on the travel charm bracelet. I may add to this bracelet a "big sister" charm give to me by my sister (I usually wear it on a chain).  This bracelet is all about family so that would make sense. Soon after this I found another partial assembled charm bracelet with an igloo charm my friend Mary bought me from Alaska and a few other charms.  So now I will change things again-but that is ok. I found the braceletbracelet.

I am very happy-even tho I have already more changes!

Want to make your own memory charm bracelet?  One year for your birthday ask those that love you to give you a charm that represents them.  You could even ask them to write out why the charm is meaningful on their card if you want the extra memory.  Then assemble them all and create your memory bracelet. Craft stores now have sterling charm bracelets in their stores-you can use sale coupons to purchase one.  You can also purchase the split rings or jump rings.  If you do not feel skilled to assemble yourself, surely you have a friend that is.  If not-I would be glad to help!

A final note-As I was sitting here assembling the bracelet with my friend Dawn I was debating the year this all started.  I could not think of when it was-I knew it had been a few years.  I called my stepson Josh.  I told him I was working on something and it would really help if he could tell me when he played football.  He told me.  I then asked him if he remembered the year I asked for charms and he got me the football charm.  He said he did.  I told him, "I just made the bracelet." He laughed, "Twelve years later?" Yes that's right-he played football in 1999.  Oh well-it makes for a good story.

1 comment:

Conda V. Douglas said...

Charming, truly charming--and lovely all.