Sunday, May 24, 2009

Charm Bracelet

My charm bracelet. Organized roughly by date, starting from the right:

1. I played clarinet as a kid. I also played--and still play--the piano. My repertoire is limited to about five songs*, which I play over. And over. And over. And badly. And Loudly.
2. I was a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding, and this charm with my initials was my gift.
3. I was a cheerleader in high school.
4. My first trip to Europe was over Christmas break during my freshman year of college. I went to Vienna and Salzburg.
5. Son No. 1
6. I finally received my B.A. from Penn State (after three other colleges and two months in Dallas Texas). At the time, I thought I might start a gold charm bracelet but that never materialized, so it's the only gold charm on a sterling silver bracelet. I think it adds a certain...charm, no?
7. Son No. 2
8. During my first career, I worked briefly in the Sears Tower. 62nd Floor!
9. I was lucky enough to live on the Monterey Peninsula for a couple of years, This is the famous Lone Cypress in Pebble Beach California. A part of the charm broke off. I still have it, in case I ever get up the guts to try and solder it together.
10. My husband and I took a trip to lovely Bermuda. On the charm, you can see a moongate and Bermuda's distinctive longtail bird.
11. I went to law school, then grad school, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
12. To celebrate the end of law school and to recuperate from a grueling summer of preparation for the bar, my husband and I spent an incredible week on Nantucket. This charm represents one of the beautiful Nantucket Lightship baskets, and has a faux scrimshaw on the top. It used to have a penny inside, but it tends to fall open and the penny is long gone.
13. After grad school, I moved to Los Angeles and taught at the University of Southern California. I've since moved back to Illinois, but my youngest son just finished his freshman year of college there.

I started collecting charms when my parents would bring them back from their trips. Now I usually buy them for myself. I love how individual charm bracelets can be; I determined that this charm bracelet was going to reflect milestones in my life alone, and so I all the charms my parents gave me from their travels have been relegated to a sterling silver charm necklace that I wear on occasion. But that's the beauty of it! I'm considering creating another bracelet on which I could document my passions, like fashion, books, and travel, because there are so many gorgeous charms available! For example, if you have children, you might consider splurging on these Absoleutely Precious charms by Lester Lampert:

In addition to personally selected charms, I also covet charm bracelets put together by someone else. Like this Chanel charm bracelet:

Or this slightly garish, but nevertheless fun Juicy Couture model:

And I would love to get my hands on this Louis Vuitton scarf with charm drawings. (Scarves are my first love, and I'm working on a future scarf post.) A limited edition from 2004, this beauty was created by artist Jeffrey Fulvimari, the illustrator of Madonna's book The English Roses.

Charm bracelets don't have to be expensive, though, since you can add charms over time and if you opt for sterling silver, they won't break the bank. While talking about bracelets, I do recommend you buy a Bracelet Buddy. It's not foolproof and generally takes a few tries, but what else are you going to do when a guy isn't around to get the clasp for you?

Now, I tag anyone who has a charm bracelet to take a photo and share on their blog! Then, please put a comment on this post with a link to your entry so we can all enjoy.

*In case you're interested, they are:
The Entertainer (duh)
The Merry Widow Waltz
Lara's Theme, from
Dr. Zhivago
The Missouri Waltz (a Truman favorite, I'm told)
Gypsy Song, from


M.Lane said...

Great post! Now we have to get you one of the "martini in florida" charms...


Maggie May said...

How absolutely precious. I'd be terrified I'd lose it.

vicki archer said...

I love your charm bracelet and it's history. I wish I had collected one such a beautiful way to remember special times, xv.

g. said...

I collect as well and have been collecting for my youngest daughter since she was a toddler. My hope is to give it to her when she marries so she reminders of her history as she starts a new life. Love them. I collect lockets, myself and they are so precious to me.

Bee said...

Are you familiar with James Avery? V. Big in Texas. Lots of cute charms, silver and gold both.

My best friend from TX started bracelets for my girls . . . such a great gift.

Off-subject: Have you ever told the story about how you went from being a lawyer to a librarian?

Anonymous said...

Oh what a lovely post! Well thought out , too. Couldn't stop reading. Now, where do I start? First, I love charm bracelets and I promise to share mine (I have just added you to my sidebar!)
Second, I regret not buying a lovely one I saw in Florence during our Easter vacation. I thought we would go back in time and purchase it then, but we did not. I can spot a lesson, here!
And I love scarves! They flatter me and they are a relatively inexpensive way of lifting the simplest of outfits.
I wholeheartedly wish you to get your hands on the object of your desire!
Have fun, and thank you for stopping by.
You Frivolous Mommy @

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

I love charm bracelets! They remind me of my childhood because my mom had one that she was always adding to. I used to love to play with it. I wonder what she ever did with that? I need to ask her! :-)

The Daily Connoisseur said...

How lovely - thanks for sharing these memories with us- they were very *charming* :)

Pink Martini said...

I love this post! The life charm bracelet was also one of my goals that I started to collect for when I was in Job's Daughters. No one knows what that is anymore but anyway, they all sit in a box. You have truly inspired me!! And I do think the gold one gives it character! Congrats to your son for his first year being a Trojan! If you read my post yesterday with references to USC, don't worry. That was a looooong time ago! ;) What did you teach? xoxo

Mademoiselle Frou-Frou said...

ooh, you have a cool charm bracelet - and i love that each charm is significant to you. i like the vintage look, like yours. i know Sarah Jessica Parker has an amazing's worth finding online.

The Mrs. said...

Okay I will play along for sure!!

miss cavendish said...

I heart my old charm bracelet. It has only charms from my childhood, but seeing yours inspires me to add to it.

pve design said...

My charm bracelet was stolen and now that I see yours, I think I am going to start a fresh one!
Thanks for the inspiration full of charm and whimsy.

Imran Ali said...

I love the gold charm bracelets and your blog have nice collection of these designs.


bracelet buddy said...

As a child I was terrified of an creepy old aunt who you could hear coming from along way off because her huge charm bracelet would rattle so much!

pandora charm bracelets said...

A very good post and the blog. Very stylish and girlish :-)

gold charms said...

I have always loved charm bracelets. I have a charm bracelet with charms from every state of america. =)