Sunday, February 8, 2009

Charms, Charm Swaps, Charm Bracelets: All So Charming!

While I was waiting for charms to dry this weekend, I decided to photograph some of my bracelets from past charms swaps. These beauties contain all original artwork from so many special art friends. They're really too bulky and noisy to wear, and I don't want to break or lose any of the charms, but I have worn some of them before, to art events. I wish I had a good way to display them all the time so I could enjoy looking at them.

I also photographed my high school charm bracelet. It's the mostly silver one above, containing Monet charms from the 1970's. The black and white charm bracelet above is one I made for myself in recent years. The turquoise bracelet was made by the talented Altered Kat/Great Musings of ZNE and on Etsy. I have purchased several from her for gifts. And the very full white and clear bracelet is by Miss Vicky, who sells these gorgeous versions in all colors and all themes in her store, The Funny Pharm.
The charm bracelet with antique brass and the silver one with beach-y charms like the pail and sand dollar are bracelets I have made and sold in my Etsy shop, Lilly*s of London*ish. The silver one uses fantastic lampwork beads from Marianna as well as Coach charms from a deconstructed keyring.
Some of the most full bracelets above are made from charms swaps. The very top one represents charms collected at Art & Soul, Hampton 2008 and contains 32 different charms from 32 artists. The bracelet with the soldered 'G' Scrabble tile front and center is from a swap at the ZNE Castle in the Meadow event in Detroit this past summer, and the silver bracelet with the fabric circle charm, soldered Marie Antoinette charm and brass and metal findings charm, among others, is from Art & Soul Portland, October, 2009. At Portland I was lucky enough to swap with members of the exclusive Charmsters group, thanks to my 'in' with art buddy Michelle Geller, who also made several of the charms on this bracelet.
One of the best parts of charm swaps is the presentation of the charms. I have received charms in matchbooks, match boxes, test tubes, mint cans, on Moo cards and in some many creative and elegant presentations it makes it tempting not to take them apart to attach to a bracelet.
So with charms due for the Arte du Blythe charm swap and a charm swap sponsored by Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, as well as wanting to turn in a project for my pitifully-neglected spot on the Hannah Grey Design Team, I banished myself to the basement to see what I could do.
The "I Dream in French" charms are made by stamping on rolled-out paper clay with a rubber stamp from Hannah Grey and a basic ink pad (Staz-On does not work for this project). I cut the charms out with canape cutters and poked a hole with a wood stick. The charms dry light and hard within about 24 hours. I sprayed some with a clear finishing coat and some, I sprayed the backs with silver or gold spray paint and edged them with a silver or gold leaf pen. I added a French brass charm also from Hannay Grey and jump rings and tied them to watercolor paper artist trading cards. The cards are stamped in French script with a large stamp from Stampin' Up; the stickers are from Paula's Kit Club as well as the ribbon.
The "little girl" and "eyeball" charms are a completely different project, obviously. There are eight members of my Arte du Blythe group making and swapping charms, for a bracelet hosted and finished by Miss Vicky. Some of the charms are just outstanding. Check out my Blythe blog for a sneak peek.


Lilli said...

Well well, these gorgeous bracelets remind me of a certain green sparkly piece of jewelry that you gave me last year :)

Joanne Huffman said...

Well, what can I say...except to proclaim this all very charming!



I feel like a magpie. Love all the baubles!



Just stopped back by to wish you a lovely day and to invite you to enter my blogversary giveaway. Just stop by my blog and leave a comment to enter. Thanks!


*emilie* said...

oh my !!!! these charms are all so pretty !

m i c h e l l e said...

Hello Dear Gina!!! Oh man I have been terribly remiss in visiting you!!!!

These bracelets are marveolous and so happy to see some of mine in there! I finally got around to getting all of mine on their little bracelets too. Quite the task, isn't it??!

Hope all is well with you and your friend! :-)

Big hugs,

MaygreenFairies said...

Hi Gina, I found your blog via the Art Cirus Book, I too am a featured artist in Lisa'a wonderful book and I wanted to stop by everyone's blog and say Hi. Your work is beautiful and I've enjoyed visiting your blog. Mandy x

Rebecca Ramsey said...

What fun!
My bare wrist is berating me now! I should dress it!

Beverly Ash Gilbert said...

Love the charms, the colors and the meanings behind each of your pieces. Way to go girl!

Retro Cafe' Art Gallery said...

Gorgeous bracelets!!!!
A fun way to display would be to get a wooden frame, attach chicken wire (or large screen) to the back with staples (I've made these before and it's sooo easy). Then you could hook the bracelets to the screen with trinket pins or something. Put a hanger on the frame and hang on the wall :).

Rebecca said...

Gina they are all lovely! What a great way to not only capture parts of yourself in the tiny works of art but to also collect the art and work of others.

The frames screen idea sounds nice. I want to say I've also seen shadow boxes with doors on the front. Those coffee tables with the glass tops and display sections underneath may be an idea as well. Certainly something where you can see them and enjoy all the detail but also get them out easily to wear if you wanted.