Shortly after I started collecting beads, my oldest, who was almost three at the time, asked when she could have a bracelet like mine. Clearly I wasn’t about to spend much on a bracelet for a three year old, but I thought that it was sweet that she wanted to be just like me.
A few weeks later, I found a set of simple bracelets on Etsy. Each bracelet had a glass bead, a few spacer beads, and could be adjusted. I bought the set, hoping that this would satisfy her desire to match, and when they arrived, she happily put hers on.
Later that day, she lost it somewhere in our house. When we couldn’t find it, I gave her mine. Which she promptly lost. In our house. Every once in a while, one of the bracelets popped up, only to be lost again. In our house.
Not that it really mattered, because over time it became clear that what she really wanted was a bracelet where she could swap the beads out. I can’t count the number of times over the last four years that she’s asked to have her own bracelet like mine. Adding to the chorus is her younger sister, who has also taken an interest in my beads and expressed a desire to have a bracelet of her own. But, both of them have a habit of “misplacing” items (in our house) so I’ve always said no.
(I can’t be too hard on them for losing things in the house. I lost my watch in our house at least five years ago and have yet to find it.)
Near the end of last year, both bracelets from Etsy reappeared and each girl claimed one. And, for the first time, didn’t lose them! I began wondering if they were ready for their own small bracelets, but held off. The idea gained momentum earlier this year when I stopped in at my local Trollbeads dealer, who were retiring and closing their business, and I spotted the I Luv U bead and Pink Gold on the rods. My youngest loves the colour pink and, at 70% off, I figured that I should buy them even if I had to hold onto them for a year or two! I knew that it would be easy enough to pick up another I Luv U bead and, since the Chakras are similar to the Pink Gold and come in a range of colours, I was sure that I could find one that my oldest would love.
The harder part was getting the chains and locks. I wasn’t giving up any of my locks and most of my chains are too long for my kids, so I had to find two short chains and two locks. Luckily, I had one short-ish chain that I used for single beads before I had a bangle and one basic lock, so I just needed one chain and another basic lock.
As I’ve stated before, I hate paying for chains, but I knew that someone would eventually have a “buy a lock, get a chain” deal; I just had to be patient. Unfortunately, while I will pay for a lock, the basic locks don’t count towards free chain promotions, so I knew that I’d have to buy that separately. Although the basic lock is only a little over $30, you can get them for about $10 on the secondary market, so it hurts to pay triple that from a store. Still, it’s better than paying $50 for a chain.
In August, Danish retailers offered a free chain with the purchase of a lock and production bead, which is a slight twist on the standard North American offer that requires you to just buy a lock. But, I needed a glass bead for my oldest, so it still worked for me! I ended up getting the bat lock for myself, the shortest chain for my youngest daughter, and the Root Chakra bead for my oldest.
The final item that I wanted for each bracelet was an initial bead. I like the Trollbeads Letter A, but wasn’t too thrilled with their Letter E, so that was out. I thought of getting the Pandora Vintage A and Vintage E, but worried that they would be too large with the small I Luv U beads. I had almost settled on making my own initial beads when I came across the retired Ohm letters; they were perfect!
The original plan was to wait until Christmas to give them to the girls, but I got too excited and decided to give them their bracelets and initial beads for their upcoming birthdays and save the rest for Christmas. Of course, these bracelets will be for special occasions only, not for wearing to school, but I think that they will still be excited.
And, I admit, I’m a bit excited at the thought of more bead shopping, even if it isn’t for me! :D