Thursday, March 24, 2011

Charm City

Baltimore is called Charm City. I couldn't be happier to live in this town due to the fact that the people are SO nice, but also that I'm a geek for my charm bracelet. My grandmother gave me this bracelet for Christmas about 12 years ago. It was her sisters. She lost the one she was going to give me for Christmas one year. She was devastated when she went to look for my wrapped present in New York and couldn't find it. She's convinced she dropped it on the corner of 11th Street at 2nd Avenue at my aunt and uncles place. Has anyone seen it in NYC?

I have been adding charms after significant trips. Momma finally gave me one of her two old charm bracelets. I added her charms to mine. I'm still begging her for the one she hasn't worn since she was married to my father like a thousand years ago. But her generosity of the first one left me with some of my most favorite charms. Her little debut book is so sweet.

It opens and has the date of her debut on the back.

My great aunt Dunkie's charms included items from her travels. My godmother Harriet traveled around the world and she would bring charms back to Dunk. This boot represents the Swiss Alps.

I wore this cross every day in high school. I'm almost positive my grandmother Mary Frances gave it to me. The turtle is from my trip to Haiwaii in 2004 and the arms and legs move. This is Mom's tennis racket. I played tennis in high school and college so it fits for me too. Mom said she had a little pearl as the ball when she was in college on the charm. The Eiffel Tower was from Dunkie.

The phone has to be one of my favorites. The ruby dial moves. I remember when phones looked like this. Such an antique. The next one is another from my Hawaii trip and is a fabulous lei with hibiscus flowers that move. Next is a shoe from Siam, now Thailand. Eric lived in Thailand so I love this little slipper. Momma's 17 birthday medallion is so sweet and was a gift from her parents. The next is a shoe from Hong Kong from Harriet or Dunkie, not sure. The bunch of bananas was from Mom. She was a camp counselor in Hawaii. We both clearly love that state.

My all time favorite is my bicycle from our honeymoon. We went to The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island where cars are not allowed. Transportation is only by horse and buggy or bikes. We found the charm on the main drag and I was so excited to find it. The hoola girl is another from Oahu. Next is a wooden shoe from Holland.

Mom knows I love the beach and found the starfish at a garage sale for something like $5. It's 14 karat gold and reminds me of Destin! Next is Mom's ten second hour glass with rose quartz.

Finally is the changing of the guard from Dunk and my St. Cuthbert cross from my first holy pilgrimage. The beefeater moves on a spring in and out of his hut. There is still room and I'm in need of an Irish icon. I think a round tower would be perfect. I also need a fan for DC that represents where Eric and I met, at Mandarin Oriental. And it would be fun to have a gold Pride of Baltimore charm. It would be amazing to have a "Nelle's Castle" from Kalamazoo too. It's sad but jewelers don't make gold charms anymore. That's why it is so fun to hunt them in a new city while travelling. 

Do you have a charm bracelet with a story? If so please send me a photo or link to the comments. I've found this bracelet is the best conversation starter at dinner parties. Men and women are fascinated with it. I have to take it off during conference calls because it can be so distracting but I wear it all the time. My office mates can hear me coming from down the hall, jingling all the way. 

Momma, Francie and Harriet thank you so much for the incredible gifts and stories of your travels. Mom, next year is a big birthday. Maybe you would consider giving me your bracelet. I'm dying to have Daddy's PKA pin! Love you so.


JMW said...

Charm bracelets are not only pretty, but they carry a multitude of memories for the person who wears it. What a beautiful piece of jewelry!

Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore said...

That's stunning! Yay for charms in charm city! xx

Spro said...

I love charm bracelets too, Nelle! I have one that's silver that I started many years ago. I also have one that is all hearts from my mommy. She has one from her mother that is out-of-this-world. The charms are so fun on that one! I got into the stainless steel Italian charm bracelets about 10 years ago and now I have a Pandora. There's just something about collecting charms. If I had a daughter, I would have one started for her too.

Spro said...

I too, love charm bracelets, Nelle! Thanks for sharing. Yours was fun to look at. Someday I'll publish mine too. Great idea!
Love, Spro

sarah said...

So timely! I now have my mom's bracelet and wear it from time to time. She walked me through each charm before she let me leave with it two Thanksgivings ago. I also have my Aunt Julie's bracelet, but it was in pretty rough shape. I transferred one charm from it to my mom's in her memory...

I will try to post pics on FB for you. Maybe a good weekend project.

Nelle Somerville said...

Oh Sproquepooque you have to send me photos! They all sound fun. We gave my MIL a Pandora for Christmas and she just loves it.
Sarah, can't wait to see yours too. Love that you have your Aunt's.

LPC said...

Charm bracelets are the best. I love your bananas. I have one, but it was silver, and I'm allergic. I wore a vintage one on loan, to a conference, and had so much fun with all the jangling.

ilovelimegreen said...

I wanted a charm bracelet so badly when I was eight or nine. Finally, my mother said I was old enough to get one so off we went to the jewelry department at the old Hoschild Kohn on Howard Street. There, I was told I could select a bracelet and a single charm. I was completely devastated as I was under the assumption that charm bracelets were purchased filled with tons of charms and I certainly wasn't patient enough nor would I be satisfied with acquiring one each year or on special occasions. So I never got a charm bracelet and often think of that day when I had the opportunity.

Tiffany from HOLIDAY said...


Hi stanger!

Oh, you are so beyond lucky to have this! I've always wanted a charm bracelet and I suppose I could start one of my own, but it wouldn't be nearly as special as yours! I do covet my aunt's - maybe one day she'll pass it on to me. Anyway, yours is wonderful and the charms and their stories are, well, charming! xo

sarah said...


As promised, this SHOULD take you to a little Flickr set of the charms on the bracelet I got from my Mom...