Saturday, February 14, 2009


A shape...a color...even a delicate butterfly's wing - all can convey the spirit of romance in the hands of the right artist. In December I announced my Romancing the Charm Swap in which artists/crafters/brave souls who signed up here would each make a "romantic" charm for each player and mail them all to me. Then I would send a complete set of them out to each participant so that each player would receive enough charms by Valentine's Day to make their own piece of jewelry. Many of us had trouble getting our charms done by the due date, myself included. Overall, I think the swap was a great success and I want to share the results with you.

There were almost as many different mediums represented as there were participants.

Wendy made a charm with wire, beads and silver charms:

Linda made ones from beads and wire harvested from deconstructed necklaces:

Michele used a silver bezel, cloth and beads to make a 3-D charm of tiny pink flowers:

Melissa made a charm with pink rhinestone, little silver hearts and tiny pink and pearl beads:

Amy made little silver charms to which she added cloth and words:

Kelley and I both constructed charms from bottle caps. Kelley filled her bottle caps with sparkly stuff and a rhinestone heart:

I folded over the sides of each bottle cap and then pounded them flat. It took a lot more pounding than I had anticipated. I smeared each bottle cap with black textile paint and silver lumiere and then wiped some of it off. On the inside I glued a little rose reproduced from a bit of a vintage postcard (as a signature for "The Tattered Rose"). On the outside, I glued various paper images reduced from vintage postcards, photographs and bridge tallies. I even made my Sis, also in the swap, a little charm with a tiny colorized pic of our parents and the word "Valentine:" I used Sparkles to accent the charms. After they were good and dry, I covered each side (letting one side dry overnight before going on to the next side) with a generous helping of Diamond Glaze.

Jessica and Pat both made charms from Polymer Clay. Jessica made hers into a tiny little valentine stamp with a tiny red bead at the end and presented it on a shipping tag wound with loads of laces and ribbon for future projects:

Pat made her heart charms from red and white clay that look good enough to eat:

Wanda made a clever little charm from a little glass bottle containing little pearls, glitter, and pink and white sequins attached to a tiny frame containing the words "No. 9". I confess it took me a moment to figure out it was Love Potion #9!:

My sister Sharon and my friend Marianne both made felted charms. Sharon felted little red and pink hearts and decorated them with little beads, buttons and rhinestones:

Marianne made dangle with two tone pink beads and attached them to little glittered and cloth hearts:

Holly hand painted little love birds on shrink plastic: and built them up with different paints:

Susan made a quilted heart and added colorful little heart shaped buttons:

Corrine made micro-macrame charms into which she wove little silver hearts and beads:

Bobbi G. carved little hearts from gourds and hand painted them red with little squiggly designs and the word Love:

Barb trapped little bits of butterfly wings between glass and soldered a charm:

I made everyone a little card stock charm of the swap from the original vintage postcard I used to announce the swap. I admit that I had numerous troubles with this little baby as it was my first time trying to use the new Melt Pot I bought myself for Christmas. I covered the little card stock images by dipping them into molten UTEE. I made myself send them out even though they were not as perfect as I would have like just so everyone could see how simple a medium (and inexpensive) a design could be.

I truly hope that everyone who participated had a great time and that posting our results here may encourage others to try their hand at charm making. It was a great pleasure to give myself permission to experiment in a new medium and an even greater pleasure to see how everyone else rose to the challenge. It has made my Valentine's Day all the merrier and I hope that everyone who participated enjoyed making and receiving their charms. My great gratitude goes out to each and every one of you for making this a great charm swap! Please stay in touch and I hope all of this year's participants and anyone else who is interested will consider signing up next year for "Romancing the Charm Swap - The Sequel. Watch for the announcement in December 2009.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

The Tattered Rose