This is the charm bracelet I had as a young girl. Sadly, I do not remember what age I was when this bracelet was started for me but I'm going to guess maybe 12 or so? Somewhere in that neighborhood. It came to me, I believe, as a birthday gift from my parents with one charm. Then over the next half dozen years-ish, I was given more charms, each signifying an important event.
The black cat was for my my cat Posh. The dog stood in for my mother's various Dachshund dogs that she had over the years. I do not remember the reason behind the "tree of life" charm though I'm sure it had significance.
I'm pretty sure the lobster and the boat represented various summers in Maine while the piano, musical note and violin were most probably due to performances. It's safe to assume that the birthday card, candle and American Flag were all about my July Birthday. I'm not sure what the clown was all for because I am not a big fan of clowns (although I'm told that at one time I collected them. I'm pretty sure that collection was not my idea). The Coo-Coo clock is cute but unless it's there because I'm a little "Kookoo", I'm not sure what that is about either. But the sewing machine I remember vividly. It dangles from that bracelet as a memorial to the fact that I got kicked out of Home EC do to a tragic sewing machine accident that was totally NOT my fault by the way. Ahem.
The bracelet was very in fashion at that time which was rare for me. It fell perfectly, just enough, over my hand and jingled just a little bit when I walked. When the light caught it, it seemed to twinkle in reflection. Just a pretty little thing. And fun to play with too. The piano lid lifted up and down, the wheel on the sewing machine turned and the pendulums of the clock kind of danced around when I moved my hand even the littlest bit.
While I loved the idea of the charm bracelet, and it was a very sweet thing for my family to do for me and clearly they put a great deal of thought into the selection of each of those charms, I actually didn't wear it often. Wearing it posed grave danger to my clothes.
All those picky edges and moving parts tended to snag on my outfits. Obviously delicate things like sweaters were in immediate danger of destruction at all times, but even blouses and things as unlikely as tee-shirts could be torn or caught by my bracelet. And once there was damage, there is no turning back. It's impossible to hide. The only thing I could wear it with safely would be a sweatshirt and well, that looked stupid so I never did.
Consequently, I still have that bracelet in pristine condition by the way, in the bottom of my jewelry case. I hadn't really given it much thought until maybe ten years (or so) ago when my sister gifted me with the beginnings of a new charm bracelet.
A completely different entity this new one. The charms had no picky edges. The sparkles and twinkles on this bracelet were from the facets of "jewels" and, the very best part, the charms were all removable. Joy gave me the bracelet with just a few charms to start and gave herself one too with the idea that we could, for gift giving occasions, give each other charms. What a great idea!
Over the years the number of charms have grown enough that we each have pretty little boxes
to keep the charms all together in one place. There are a lot of charms necessary to customize the bracelets to the occasion, our moods and our outfits! There are even multiple different bracelets at this point!
We have started bracelets for our daughters and in my case, daughters-in-law, and for very good friends who feel like sisters and have continued to help the charm and bracelet gallery continue to grow for every gift giving occasion for each other for years.
Oh we branch out occasionally. We have even made grand and sweeping statements to each other that we aren't doing charms anymore. Then Christmas tide or Birthdays rolls around and we find ourselves wandering around the Brighton store again, drawn in by new sparkle and new shapes and new bracelet options.
Oh we might deviate a little bit and buy each other earrings or a necklace now and again. And they are lovely and beautiful and we love them. But occasionally, we have to go back to the beginnings and add a new charm to someone's collection. And I love it.
This is a little different for many reasons. None of these charms has ever damaged any of my clothes for one thing. And I love that we can take off and put on new charms with ease, each combination creating an entirely new bracelet. It's so much fun to play "bead" now and again. I admit that I do not remember what each bead symbolizes although I do remember who gave me which ones. One of the best parts is that these bracelets do not sit idling in the bottom of my jewelry case, I actually wear them. Often. They are colourful, fun and super important to me, sparkly. And one of the biggest surprises is that if something should befall one of these beads, I can take it back to the Brighton store and they will either fix it or replace it. Holy Cats!
I had heard that rumour about fixing/replacing but honestly I didn't believe it until...... One of my beads was missing a stone. While probably nobody but me would notice, to me it was like a glaring neon sign was pointing at the bead blinking, "missing stone, flawed bead" for all and sundry to see. So I didn't use that bead which is dumb. Yup I completely took it out of circulation and when I built whatever bracelet I was wearing that day, the missing stone bead wasn't a consideration. It was rediculous. Finally I got brave. I walked into the Brighton store, fished the bead out of my pocket and asked them if it would be possible to replace the missing stone. Without a moments hesitation and a smile on her face the saleslady assured me that it would be taken care of, got my information and promised to contact me. A few weeks later, I receive word that they couldn't fix it, so they replaced it! Free of charge! Holy Cats Again!!
True to their word! Astonishing! How often does that happen anymore?
So now that the Christmas season is fast approaching, soon I will be off once again to the Brighton store to see what treasures lay awaiting. I do not know for fact if this will be a Bead Christmas or not until I explore the possibilities. But it's likely.
From childhood to adulthood I've gone sort of full circle with Charm bracelets. Bracelets, Circles. Hah! I like that ;)
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.