The final charm in my Thanksgiving series dedicated to those I love, is my signature charm, a ladybug or “joaninha”. I lead a charmed life in many ways (if you backtrack over the last 6 days, you’ll read why), so I felt like I deserved a place on the chain as well:
The bracelet in its entirety follows below:
The placement of each of these charms was not accidental. Neither was the fact that I designed fully 3-dimensional charms. I wanted the charms to be beautiful seen from whatever angle they fell when the bracelet was worn. And, while my husband’s “Pisces” and my ladybug charms are stationed at opposite ends of the chain when the bracelet is open, when clasped together we are side by side again.
All my gratitude and thanks go to the friends, family and kindly strangers who have made such a difference in my life.
Today’s charm is dedicated to my soul-mate, my husband Andy:
I’ve naively wondered why my husband is a Pisces when he’d rather be eating meat than fish; furthermore, water, whether it be for swimming or showering, has to be precisely a certain temperature before he’ll even test it with his little toe. Since he didn’t come with a manual when we got married, I’ve learned how to combine my sign (Taurus) with his somewhat by trial and error, the school of hard knocks, and lots of love (which has always been reciprocated equally.) Today I researched Pisces for this post and had one of those “ah ha” moments.
Traditional Pisces traits are:
Imaginative and sensitive
Compassionate and kind
Selfless and unworldly
Intuitive and sympathetic
On the dark side…
Escapist and idealistic
Secretive and vague
Weak-willed and easily led
While I won’t reveal which of these traits jumps off the page at me most, I will say that my husband is one of the kindest, gentlest, and most compassionate creatures inhabiting my earth.
(If you are curious to read more about Pisces, please click here.)
This charm is dedicated to my father, Gil, who also happens to be celebrating his birthday today. I designed the charm as a top since my Dad has a fabulous collection of spinning top toys:
My father, who often comes across as very serious (degrees in law and music, a European upbringing, and years spent teaching as a professor in academia certainly foster that image), has a very impish side as well. He has played his share of practical jokes on his family, and I never tire of hearing of the funny escapades he had with his Portuguese nephews and nieces when they were little.
One of my favorite stories?
One summer when the family was traveling to the south of Portugal to vacation, he stationed each little nephew and niece at one of the windows in the train compartment. When the train rolled into the stations along the way, he coached them all to yell out the windows to each other (in Portuguese), “Oh no! you spilled the wine!”, “Pass the chicken!”, and other such rowdy comments. Like this, he insured that the family had the entire train compartment to themselves for the trip!
One Thanksgiving when I was still living in the Twin Cities, I found myself in the city without any place in particular to go for the holiday. It occurred to me that I might find a new way to celebrate the meaning of Thanksgiving. I decided to see if I could volunteer for the day at a soup kitchen or battered women’s shelter. While those places didn’t need my assistance at that time, the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly program did need drivers to take some of their elderly members to a Thanksgiving church dinner. I was sent detailed instructions not only with the names and addresses of the three elderly ladies I was to drive to and from the dinner, but also directions for how to prepare my car, what to do in an emergency situation, and other precautions. Needless to say, I started to feel trepidation about what I had gotten myself into!
To my delight, all three ladies, though fragile, were wonderfully lively companions – one even corrected my driving when I made an illegal U-turn – and they regaled me all afternoon me with fascinating stories. When I dropped them off at their individual apartments late in the afternoon, one of them gifted me with a two-dollar bill.
That day I felt gifted with much more than two dollars. Perhaps, for the first Thanksgiving ever, I felt truly thankful…thankful to be able to help someone else and to bring joy and companionship to others. This charm therefore is dedicated to the spirit of Thanksgiving:
May all of your hopes, dreams and wishes come true.
My sister has traveled the world, seems to survive any difficult situation she encounters, has an uncanny knack for picking up not only the customs but the specific accents of different regions, and is fluent in three languages. Some people say we look like twins; others, that they can’t tell that we’re even sisters. The way I see it, she is a uniquely beautiful, intelligent and very special person.
Day 2 in my week of dedicated Thanksgiving posts was designed in honor of my dearest friends near and far:
This platinum and diamond heart pendant is symbolic of the strength your support and love gives me. Thank you for listening, for being there, for cheering me on and for laughing with me!
(For those of you who are paying close attention, you may have noticed that the light is coming from the right in this rendering rather than from the customary top left of the page. At the end of this week, I’ll be posting the charm bracelet in its entirety. You’ll find out the placement of each charm then…or you can see if you can put the puzzle together on your own before then!)
As I was musing on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, it occurred to me that it would be nice to pay tribute with a dedicated design to the people whom I love most dearly. Conveniently, there are a week’s worth of you…ok, I admit I am lumping all of my dearest friends into one group. For my design, I settled on a charm bracelet. You each bring charm and blessings into my life for which I am so grateful. Much as the chain binds together these charms, I am linked to all of you by our shared love. When we are together the circle is complete, but even when apart, our ties can never be severed.
The first charm is dedicated to my mother, Sharon:
As my college roommate used to say to her mother, “Thanks for laying me when I was just an egg!” A few of my mother’s charms are an exuberance for life, a very generous heart, and a love for nature – in particular, flowers and her gardens. (She also is one of my biggest fans and reads my blog religiously.)