At different times in the past, charm bracelets have been all the rage. I think they are kind of timeless, but they do go in and out of fashion as far as popularity. Recently, artist Andrew Thornton was commissioned to make a charm bracelet that turned out great and also made another beautiful charm(ing) bracelet that got me to remembering my charm bracelets. I hadn’t looked at them in a while, so they were fun to revisit.

This is my first one. It was actually my mom’s to start with. I can see she had some traditional things like a marriage certificate, a baby shoe and baby carriage, a house. She also had things from visits to Florida and perhaps California. The Illinois charm was probably hers. Both she and my father grew up in Illinois and both my older sister and I were born there.  After my mom gave it to me, I started adding my own charms. I suspect the Wisconsin charm is mine, as I grew up here.  I added the shoe and purse. I love charms that add color, and that was my shoe and purse fashion phase. I always loved those split charms, and I got one where one side was “mother” and one was “daughter”.  I wonder if my mom knows where hers is.  I added things I thought were pretty like the encased flower; I love that one!  My parents got the articulated jogger and jester for me on a trip to New York as I remember. That’s a big part of the fun of charm bracelets – the memories!

My pre-etsy shopping site for beads and the like was ebay. I believe that is where I purchased this one. I don’t think I added any charms; they all came with it. It looks like this person was a traveler, or wanted to be. Again, I love the ones with color – the rooster, the eye on the whale, the streetlight and the orange crate.  It’s fun to think of where each charm might have come from and the adventures the person had.

Then I decided to start a new one that was just mine. I got a couple of my colorful charms in there with the grapes (I see I really liked grapes because I have a silver one too) and the garnet dragonfly.  Garnets were my first gemstone crush, and I still love them now. Again, I love the traditional charms, and someone gave me a round “happy birthday,” The tea set is very me. For many years my family in Wisconsin would go for tea each December (my birthday month) at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. It was lots of fun. My sister who lives in New York has treated me to birthday tea at a couple of tea rooms, including this past year. I love a good English tea. The computer mouse symbolized my career shift. I had been a sign language interpreter and was in school for computer networking.

The chakra symbol is a bit of transition to my “new” bead life. I had gotten into yoga during this period to help me deal with chronic migraines at their worst. This was also my introduction to art beads. I remember bidding on the set of these handmade chakra symbols on ebay. I loved that there was so much attention to detail in handmade such as the artist kept the charms unpolished as a sign of humility. I ended up buying a second set of those charms because I couldn’t stand the thought of using one and no longer having a “full” set. I still do things like that!

Thanks for coming along on this trip down memory lane!