A Lifetime On a String...

Posted on April 21 2015

The other day, while cleaning my studio, I came across this string of charms, hanging from a bookshelf, so I took it down to examine it.  I made this back in September of 2002 & probably haven't looked at it since ~

It was back in 2002, when my Dad passed away from cancer, that Judy & I took a bead stringing class as part of an art therapy program for cancer patients & people affected by cancer (you can read the whole story in Our Roots).  Basically, we were asked to collect charms that represented significant points in our life & string them together for a keepsake.  Most of these little charms were from my jewelry box, some I went out & bought, while others were supplied in class.  13 years have passed since & I've got to admit, it's a little challenging to remember all of these "life markers", but I'll give it a try ~

The black & gold (belly) button represents my birth.  The little silver cowbell with the daisy was a gift my Mom gave to me when I was very young, a token from her trip to Switzerland. I'm not certain now what it was supposed to mean, but I imagine it has to do with my love of nature from a very early age on.  The bird signifies many of my childhood weekends spent birdwatching with my Mom & the bunny was my pet rabbit, Magic who I had from age 10 to 18!  The silver horse has to do with my years of Equestrian riding lessons & the crystal reflects my love of rocks & shiny things (which hasn't changed :).



The Australian 2 dollar coin represents my first big trip across the Pacific when I was 18 & the whale's tail, my second trip to Australia & New Zealand a little later on.  The hoop earring was a gift from an old boyfriend who I don't remember, so it couldn't have been that important, but there it is none-the-less.  The owl marks my studies at University, the pewter flower, all my summer gigs as a gardener & the green bead signifies my relationship with Chris.  I chose it because it's his favourite colour. 


The giraffe, my trip to Africa with my Mom & the Rotary pin represents my Dad, Bob, who was a member.  The orca must have something to do with a trip to the coast (?), but I'm not sure the relevance to a major life event.  The lime green glass bead with the yellow swirl must have indicated my excitement over handmade glass beads, which I discovered while in that class.  The globe represents my years in the United Kingdom & travels through Europe & the desire to travel the world.  Finally, the shell with a pearl was a nod to an archeological dig & class I took in the Caribbean.  

So, now that I've taken it down & dusted it off, I'm thinking I should carry on with the story.  I would probably add a little house & 2 kitty beads for Maggie & Nu, maybe another garden symbol & my own handmade glass bead... oh, I know, a tree bead!  If I do, I'll definitely ask Judy if she could make a charm necklace out of it so I can actually wear it.  I think it might be a really fun piece.   

Have you ever heard of a project like this?  If it interests you, I know an amazing jewelry designer that could put it all together for you!



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