Charms are Charming - "A Charmed Life"

 "Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests, I bear a charmed life, which must not yield To one of woman born."  Macbeth (5:8):        Recently trying to find the origin of the phrase "a charmed life", I was surprised to find that the phrase "a charmed life" actually originated with Shakespeare.  Doing a little more research, I found that charms (or objects used to protect, give luck, and show status) date all the way back to the stone age, with records of the first actual charm jewelry appearing in ancient Egypt.

vintage sterling and enamel charms
vintage sterling and enamel charms
eggs and bacon in pan enamel charm
eggs and bacon in pan enamel charm

I love charms - mostly the vintage ones that look like pop art to me, depictions of every day objects, sometimes enhanced with bright enameled colors or that have interactive themes such as mechanical movement or a view of a special scene through a tiny telescope charm.         

For one of my adult birthdays, my mom gave me a beautiful gold chain bracelet and said she was starting a charm bracelet for me.  She was an avid flea market shopper and had a knack for finding the best bargains, which she many times turned around and sold for a profit.  After that birthday, I received vintage charms for several birthdays, which I added to my bracelet.  I still have two charms that need to be added onto the bracelet.  I don't wear my charm bracelet too often, but take it out occasionally to enjoy the special charms and to reminisce.  I would like to have it eventually added to another chain and made into a necklace. 

gold charm bracelet with vintage charms
gold charm bracelet with vintage charms

 Charms left to right:

  • Miami palm tree and flamingo
  • removable dice in crate
  • trapeze artist
  • bee (or fly?)
  • baby bootie
  • small puff heart
  • enameled frog
  • winged roller skates
  • enameled ladybug

I also started collecting vintage sterling charms.  I found a couple of vintage sterling chains and decided to make some charm necklaces.  The finished necklaces are special to me, and I always get compliments on them when I wear them. 

sterling necklace with vintage charms and chain
sterling necklace with vintage charms and chain

Charms left to right:

  • abacus with moving beads
  • bike with moving handles, wheels, and pedals
  • scissors with moving parts
  • helicopter with moving main rotor
  • flashlight with glass bulb
  • tractor with moving wheels
  • typewriter with moving carriage
  • crate with orange Florida oranges and Fort Lauderdale tag
  • old fashioned telephone
  • camper with moving wheels
  • eraser with brush and real spinning eraser
  • working hourglass
  • scooter with moving handle and wheels
  • railroad hand cart
  • lawn mower

Please stay tuned for an easy tutorial on making your own charm necklaces in a future post.