Sunday, September 20, 2015


LUCY BURDETTE: John and I are trying to make a commitment to cleaning out some of our "stuff." Drawers crammed full of stuff. Closets filled with things I'll never wear--you get the picture. So when our daughter was last home, I had her go through my tangle of jewelry to see if there was anything she'd like now or later, and also identify things she'd never, ever wear. Those I could turn over to the church white elephant sale.

Then I came across this and just had to share.

I must have gotten the charm bracelet at some point in my teens (note the sweet sixteen.) After that, my mother would give me a new charm for birthdays and Christmas. Multiple cats of course, since she and I were obsessed with a giant yellow tiger named Tigger, plus a German shepherd representing our dogs. You'll see lots of gifts from the sea because we spent every summer either at the Jersey Shore or the Outer Banks, along with charms of places we'd lived. 

I especially love the grand piano, though I was a dud as a student--the top lifts open, can you see? And if you can't make it out, the one with the telephone says "if you're ever in trouble, here's the price of a call." And a dime fits in the slot! That'll date you...

Did you ever do the charm bracelet thing? What special treasure still lives in your jewelry drawer?


  1. My mom bought me a charm bracelet when I was a teenager; my favorite charm was a book that could be opened. Of course, I still have it.
    I have, and treasure, and wear, some jewelry that belonged to my mom.
    Most of the treasures in my jewelry box are gifts from John or from the girls . . . it's never difficult to hang on to things that have sentimental meaning.

  2. A charm bracelet was almost a requirement when I was growing up. You got one for your 16th birthday and started adding charms. I have a ballerina, one of those comedy/tragedy masks to represent school plays, a trombone because we did The Music Man senior year, and others. It's in my jewelry box somewhere (I hope). Some girls had so many charms you could barely see their wrists and they probably had trouble lifting them.

  3. How fun! The Wicked Cozy Authors (and accomplices) actually each have a silver charm bracelet, with a charm for each of our series. Take a look at our wrists next conference! You'll see a trowel, a lobster, a shopping bag, a clock, a carriage, a maple leaf, a four-leaf clover, a dog biscuit, and so on. The bracelet is getting full...

  4. Oh, and I just gave away five fat bags of clothes that, ahem, don't fit any more. My closet is so much happier. And if I ever get back to that size? I'll buy new pants!

  5. Joan, I love the book that opens! And jewelry with a history. I have my grandmother's class ring--that's a keeper!

    Kathy, we must be about the same era. So interesting about the girls with too many charms. The popular kids? Does your tragedy/comedy mask look like the one on mine? I loved playing small parts and helping out with musicals.

    Edith, no way! I can't wait to see them. It's a good thing you didn't decide to do one per book! And yes, shopping will be in order if you shrink:)

  6. LOVE this... and weren't our charm bracelets little Rorschachs? The one I lobbied for was a 10 Commandments charm bracelet (it came with all 10). Now anyone who knows me knows how bizarre this is.

  7. that's so funny Hallie! do you remember why you wanted it so much?

  8. I didn't have a charm bracelet - maybe because I was an 80s kid - but my mother had two, full of charms. When she died, my sister and I each took one. I'm too afraid of breaking it to wear it (I got my grandmother's engagement ring when she died; I put it on a charm necklace I got from my mother that had charms for my two kids. It broke one night by snagging on a car seat carrier and I lost everything on it. Crushing.).

  9. Edith, I love that idea of a charm bracelet for the Wicked Cosy Authors!

    Hallie -- the Ten Commandments???

  10. Totally. The Sweet 16 charm AND the theatre masks. And dozens more.

    And then recently I started a new one, from a quilting retreat. With 1 quilting block for each retreat year. Plus tiny stork scissors.

  11. Oh Mary, that is crushing. So sorry you lost the treasures. Do you remember your mom getting the charms on her bracelet, or was it before her time?

    Susan, great idea for the quilting bracelet with the adorable scissors!

  12. Love the charm bracelet, Lucy/Roberta! And I'm glad you still have it.

    Yes, I agree, charm bracelets were a requirement when and where I grew up also, and I still have mine. And now I will forever recall Hallie's "little Rorschachs" whenever I look at it, which is perfect!!!

    I have an addiction to jewelry, I'm afraid. I inherited that particular addiction from my mother. And I have a story about all the jewelry I also recently inherited from my mom - one I plan on sharing here during one of my "Oh, Kaye!" dates.

  13. Lucy/Roberta: My mother's bracelet has charms from when she was in high school through when she got married. Trips, events, the works. I still have it tucked safely away in a box.

    Since Mom died right when I found out I was pregnant with my son, the charms for my kids were things I bought. But I also lost the charm for me that my mother had (she had one for each of her four kids).

  14. The bracelet is charming! (Can't believe no one else said it first!)

    My mother had one, with just two charms, and she gave it to me. I have two, each with two charms. We appear to be a lame kind of charm bracelet crew, I'm afraid.

    But when my oldest daughter's mother-in-law died and I helped them decide what to do with all her lovely jewelry, I got a chance to really examine Jan's charm bracelets. She and Jim were married for nearly 45 years, and he had given her a 14k gold charm every year on their anniversary (and other occasions), to fill three bracelets. They were really lovely. Oddly, Jan had kept every box they'd come in, as well. She had an entire bureau drawer full of little boxes.

    I'd seen her wear them, of course, usually only one at a time, but had never had a chance to see them close up. Now I wish we'd had a conversation about what each of the charms meant to them. Lots of Michigan-related ones, since "up north" was such an important part of Jan's entire 80-year life.

    And after helping clear out my own in-laws' home, Jan's home, and then helping my mother condense her big house down to fit into a suite at my brother's new home, I'm even more committed to getting rid of excess stuff. It's exhausting, managing it all.

  15. My sis had one. I don't know why I didn't. When the family took a road trip she got a new charm for each state.
    A year or so before she died, my mom gave me an opal (my birthstone) ring.

  16. Karen, love your story! A bureau full of boxes, wow. Remember when a gold charm was affordable?

    I had a friend who had a 10 Commandments bracelet so I wanted one. I wasn't a terribly original child. Ironically that friend now makes jewelry... as a profession... and her pieces are made up of vintage charms. (Cue Twilight Zone theme music) Really.

  17. I remember getting a charm bracelet for my 9th birthday. I have no idea what happened to it. The last time I saw it was in my parent's house. I took a lovely trip down memory lane with the charms. They were a sweet way to commemorate life's milestones and memories. A version is coming back with a more modern twist. I was recently invited to a milestone birthday party for a friend and when I asked for gift ideas, the response was a charm for her Pandora bracelet.

  18. I had a charm bracelet and I would get new charms for birthdays and Christmas and when we went on trips. It was lost. But I have a little Scottie Dog necklace that has my name engraved on it. I wore it my first day of school and I let my daughter wear it on her first day of school. I still have it in my jewelry box.

  19. I do remember the Ten Commandments charms. That's so funny that you coveted one, Hallie.

    And remember the broken halves of hearts? One half was for your best friend, but the broken look of them always turned me off.

  20. LOL Karen, you are missing the charm Gene! I love the story of all the little boxes too. A death in the family is what got me thinking about sorting out some stuff, but if we don't do it someone else is going to have to and may not care about things the way we do.

    And, so curious about why your sister had a bracelet and you did not? The ring sounds lovely though.

    Kait, what in the world is a Pandora bracelet? Does it have something to do with music?

    Genie that is sweet that your daughter wore the Scotty on the first day of school. She'll always remember that!

  21. Charm bracelet…not sure about that! SO that means if I did, it wasn't such a treasure as this one is. Aw. This is history, and it is so touchingl, LUcy!

    Hallie, that is--so funny! I cannot even imagine. (And is that a clue for you? Bracelet?)

    I do have Alex and Ani's, though. WhichI love. And I can't really figure out why.

    Reds, should we steal the cozies idea? It's a great one, Edith! Cannot wait to see it. And it's very--sisterly! Or I should say: wicked sisterly.

  22. Hank, yes, charm bracelets!!! Wouldn't that be fun?

    Hallie, you made me snort in my tea. The Ten Commandments? Really??

    Lucy, your bracelet is lovely. You should definitely keep it.

    I did have one, started probably in junior high and added to over the years. Then, when I'd first moved back from England, our little rent house was broken into and all my jewelry stolen except for the things I was wearing. The sterling charm bracelet, my college class ring, the beautiful gold and emerald ring my parents gave me for my 21st birthday, my opal pendant... None of the things were all that valuable but they had great sentimental meaning. Funny, though, that I can't remember the individual charms, although I know quite a few were from Mexico.

    I'd love to have a charm bracelet now. Going to check out James Avery! Two bracelets. One for me and one for REDS!

  23. I had one charm bracelet as a child, one that my folks gave me when we were stationed in Alaska in 1959. All the charms were Alaska-related : a map of the state, a sled dog, and others I don't remember. Alas, I lost it years ago, but I remember it with great fondness.

    Currently, I have.a collection (although not on a bracelet) of Weight Watchers charms. Each marks a different step in my weight loss/ maintenance journey, very satisfying.

  24. Oh yes! Charm bracelets were almost a requirement. My parents gave me one when I was in junior high. It was gold and the first two charms were the school mascot and a pennant with the school name and colors. I added charms through high school. Through job change and moving I ended up in a private school for my last year of HS. I used to volunteer at the lower school library for the totally nervous and wacky librarian. Wacky weird, rather than wacky funny. Anyway, at the end of the school year she gave us seniors who volunteered silver charm bracelets with a mortar board charm with our initials and year. How sweet and unexpected that was. So I added to that through college and then just stopped. I gave my granddaughter a silver bracelet with a sand dollar charm (James Avery, Debs) for her birthday one year. I got her a silver Nessie in Scotland to add to it. My goddaughter also rated a bracelet and charm for her Quinceanera (sp?) a couple of years ago. I don't know if the girls will keep it up or not. Hopefully they'll look back someday and think of them as a little history of sorts.

  25. Oh, I love charm bracelets, and am so happy that this post prompted me to get mine out and look at it. I'm fairly certain that I received it for Christmas when I was 12. There is a Merry Christmas charm on it dated 12-25-66 and above that Love Mommy and Daddy. Other charms include a Happy 13th Birthday, a bunny, a bulldog (our high school mascot), a clarinet (what I started out on in band before I changed to bassoon) a four-leaf clover, a crate of oranges (must have commemorated a trip to Florida), a miniature of my senior class ring, You're Tops (from a friend with her name on back), and a birthstone (amethyst for February). I have a couple of loose charms in the box (Karen, it's the original jeweler's box) that I now want to have put on, and I need to get the bracelet cleaned.

    Thanks, Lucy for such a fun post and one that brought back so many fond memories. I'm thinking that I need to get the granddaughters charm bracelets now. Just such a precious keepsake!

  26. My mother was queen of charm bracelets. She bought a charm for every event, every travel in her life. She had a silver bracelet with a charm in every link and a gold bracelet ditto. When she died I had all the charms cut off and made into bracelets for my daughters and granddaughters. I still have the gold bracelet (really heavy and valuable and have hesitated to cut that apart).
    I started a charm bracelet to represent each of my books but I'm afraid it fell by the wayside only half finished. Too many other things to think about.

    I bought a Pandora bracelet a while back but I never wear it as it's too heavy and I can't put it on by myself. It's pretty in theory.

  27. I have my great grandfather's pocket watch chain that my mother had made into a charm bracelet. Charms include a VW with wheels that roll, 1/2 mezpah, cable car, whale, sewing machine and a Scorpio. One of my favorite things.

  28. I have my great grandfather's pocket watch chain that my mother had made into a charm bracelet. Charms include a VW with wheels that roll, 1/2 mezpah, cable car, whale, sewing machine and a Scorpio. One of my favorite things.