My Charmed Life…

February 28, 2011

I have a very classy Godmother.  When I was born, she started a charm bracelet for me.  Whether this helped mold me into a jewelry obsessed woman or she knew instinctively I will never know for sure, but I know that this piece of jewelry is intricately woven into the tapestry of my life. 

 How exciting it was for me to have a birthday, because every year would bring another charm commemorating something about me or something special that happened that year.  There is the first day of school – an engraved report card in Sterling Silver.  My Baptism, First Communion and my Confirmation are all there.  So is a slim, beautiful clarinet to commemorate the place music began to play in my life. 

 As the years went on and the charms became more plentiful, it became difficult to wear due to the wonderful but obvious jingling noise it made with every movement…I had to make sure only to wear it to somewhere where it wouldn’t cause distraction.  This was difficult because for me, it was always a distraction.  I have never tired of looking at each charm, re-living the events and the childhood joy of receiving them.

 I loved this idea so much I did the same for my wonderful Goddaughter Katie when she was born.  I hope that her bracelet means as much to her someday as mine does to me.  If you need an idea for a Goddaugher, granddaughter, niece or other little girl, consider a quality charm bracelet.  Maybe you will help mold a jewelry fanatic.  And maybe, just maybe, she’ll write a blog post about it someday!

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mom for blog

A client of mine recently contacted me to do a piece for her.  She had a bracelet made by her child on a piece of black string.  It had 7 brightly colored beads on it. The bracelet was her pride and joy.  But she was concerned about longevity.  She wanted to make it a strong piece of jewelry she could wear every day and keep for posterity and did I have any ideas?

The main thing for her and for me was keeping it as close to the original design as possible.  I strung black seed beads and then 4mm onyx beads between the original colored wood beads to hold them in place.  I used pewter letter beads to spell out “MOM” in between and finished it off with a toggle closure. The 2009 charm will be a reminder of when her son gave her the bracelet.

I really admired her desire to keep the bracelet as close to the original as possible.  She could have added and changed the design to make it more fashionable.  She could have put it away in a drawer and never worn it.  Instead she thought of a way to preserve both the memory of the gift and the original design.  I believe this client and I created something she will be able to treasure for years to come.

What do you think?

Gratitude

February 26, 2009

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I’ve been watching too much news and I need to kick the habit.  It keeps me in negative thinking much too much of the time.

So I need to think about my blessings.  The economy?  Well, the recession will end and eventually I will find my ideal job.  Until then I have my jewelry business and a part time job that will keep food on the table.  No jobs?  I will have a Bachelor’s Degree in May that will eventually pay off, if not immediately. Weight?  Hmmmm.  Too much to eat – many people in the world will never know what that’s like.  Too busy? I don’t have to worry about sitting around bored or lonely. Old van with 196,000+ miles on it?  It’s paid for!!  I’m trying to learn the art of being more grateful.  My blessings may be different and less visible than others people’s, but they are worthy of gratitude and thanks.

The bracelet above is from my “Fiesta” line and is for sale at my etsy site: www.sweetanniesjewelry.etsy.com.  I make quite a few variations and earrings to match – they work especially great with summer clothes.  Check them out and let me know what you think!

paws & bones necklace

paws & bones necklace

Further down I tell the story about my claim to fame.  This is the prequel to that posting, so you may want to read this first!

I have a very good friend named Julie.  She is, without a doubt, the most passionate animal lover I know.  She and a group of equally passionate people worked very hard and were able to start the Menominee Animal Shelter here in town (http://mashelter.org).  She has worked tirelessly for the last five years fundraising and doing everything in her power to bring notice to the needs of the animal community.

A couple of years ago, she called me up and asked me to create a necklace and bracelet set for her mom’s birthday.  She learned her love of animals from her mother, and she wanted the jewelry to be animal related.  We tossed a couple of ideas around and I said I’d work on it.  I found wonderful charms with paws and bones, and I paired them with Sterling Silver and gold plated accents (a mixture I LOVE).  Well, to make an even longer story short, her mother loved them, and so did Jules, who ordered several more sets for gifts.  I decided it would become my way of helping the Shelter (other than adopting more animals I don’t have room for…now) and I decided I would donate back a portion of the proceeds to the Shelter.  I have been able to donate to a cause near and dear to a lot of hearts while creating the jewelry I love. 

 Someday when my children are grown I have no doubt I will become the crazy cat lady who lives with a houseful of feline companions, and I will be a frequent visitor to the Shelter for that reason.  But for now I will help in the way I can – by spreading the word about the Shelter and helping by giving back to a good cause.

Paws earrings

Paws earrings

Summer is Fiesta time

When summer roles around, I enjoy creating my “Fiesta” line in which I incorporate as many brightly-colored, fun gemstones as I can find.  The colors just scream summer to me.  When wardrobes get more basic due to the heat, my accessories stand in the gap and brighten things up!

Of course turquoise is a favorite all year, but it sure says “summer,” doesn’t it?  Added into the mix are coral, amethyst, lapis, chrysocolla, jades, and every other bold, brightly-colored stone I come across.  I mix in some fabulous Hill Tribes Silver, and they are ready to “fiesta!”

We don’t have a lot of parties planned for the summer so far.  I’m hoping that some spontaneous ones pop up for us.  Memorial Day weekend is the kick-off of a season of outdoor fun, and there always seems to be lots of get-togethers on the calendar from now on.  Until the invitations come, I will continue to be ready for the party with my jewelry!

 

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