Charmed

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a treasure post, and I wore one of my most precious treasures the other week, so I was inspired to write about it.

This is my charm bracelet.

Silver charm bracelet

It was a gift from my grandmother when I was young. She had two charm bracelets herself: one gold and one silver. I remember them as being loaded with charms and full of memories. My ambition is to create the same with my bracelet. Over the years, I’ve slowly added to it, always looking for opportunities to remember a special trip or a momentous occasion with a charm. Friends and family know that I collect charms, so they also give them to me every so often. Every link now has one charm, and a few have two.

I can tell you where each charm came from and who gave it to me. It started as a memory of my grandmother, but it has become so much more… so many people and places that have been special in my life.

Silver charm bracelet

Just in case I ever forget–or on the off chance you’re curious what everything is–I’m including the list here. Bottom row left to right: teddy bear charm from my friend Catherine, bag piper from Halifax, Nova Scotia, green stone bear from Jasper National Park in Alberta, Hershey kiss from a visit to the Hershey factory during a family trip, heart locket (my very first charm given to me by my grandmother when she gave me the bracelet), goose from my mother, maple leaf from myself, thimble to symbolize my love of sewing, Cupid given to me by my grandmother one Valentine’s Day, coin from Matt’s and my trip to Cuba, good luck symbol from my friend Catherine’s trip to Mexico, 20th birthday (and the year 2000) charm from my aunt, amethyst from my Dad and sister from a school camping trip to Sudbury, knitting needles and a ball of wool to symbolize my love of knitting, green stone totem pole from Jasper National Park, round charm from my university, fairy from my friend Laurie. Along the top, there is a running shoe from my brother Adam to symbolize my love of running, a sapphire (my birthstone) from Matt, and interlinked hearts from my sister’s engagement party.

Over the weekend, I picked up a new charm to add to the bracelet. At my sister’s baby shower, her mother-in-law had charms of baby footprints.

Baby footprints silver charm

I think this will be a great memento of my newest niece or nephew. This baby will be the first grandchild on my side of the family, so it’s definitely a momentous occasion.

Anyone else have a charm bracelet? Do you collect mementos? How do you remember special times in your life?

Memories of Muriel

I’ve said that I didn’t do any gardening last year, and that’s not entirely true. I planted one thing: this lilac.

Double French light purple lilac

This lilac came from our first house. It had lived for six years in the flower garden Matt and I made in the front yard. It never bloomed. It didn’t really grow very much. But I nursed it along because this plant is another one of my special treasures.

This lilac was a shoot that I transplanted from a beautiful bush my grandmother had growing in her backyard. She was always very proud of her lilac and its prolific double blossoms. A few of the grandchildren took shoots to plant in their own gardens.

Last spring as we sold our first house and moved to the farm, I carefully dug up the lilac, cleared a space in the overgrown garden at the front of the house and transplanted it.

Double French light purple lilac

Over the past year, it has finally started to thrive. It’s grown taller and bushier. And for the first time ever, it’s blooming.

This is a banner year for lilacs at the farm and it turns out we have lots: a large bush outside our bedroom window, others scattered around the gardens, a hedge stretching nearly from the house to the pond. However, this, our smallest plant, is my favourite.

Treasures

In the most recent issue of Style at Home, editor Erin McLaughlin talks in her column about what makes a house a home. She writes, “It means filling your space with things of significance, things that are a reflection of who you are.”

Then this week Jen at Rambling Renovators posted about a painting she had made of her wedding gown as a reminder of the feelings she had that day wearing that dress.

These two articles got me thinking about the different treasures that I have gathered through the years.

One of my favourite treasures is a watch pin that I inherited from my grandmother.

Watch pin

My grandma wore this everyday. She couldn’t wear a wristwatch, because they always stopped–I have no idea why this was. My mom told me once that when a dowser came to dig a new well at their family farm, my grandmother found out that she could witch water, so maybe she had some unusual energy?

My grandma wearing her watch pin

The watch is for the wearer, so it hangs upside down. When I remember my grandmother, I can vividly see her tilting the face up so that she can see what time it is.

I treasure this pin for its uniqueness–I haven’t seen many watch pins–and also for how it signifies my grandmother and the times we shared together. For a small metal object, the associations this pin has for me are very strong.

What about you? Do you have any treasures that remind you of favourite people or occasions? What makes a house a home for you? How do you enjoy your treasures? Do you wear them or display them around your home? What are some of your most treasured things?