Friday, July 20, 2012

Bee's Memory Bracelet

Last week, I received some very sad news. My old friend, Bee, lost her father to complications after a heart attack. Bee and I have known each other for 10 years. While we've never really been "best friends," we met each other early in our college career because we were in the same (very small) major. We then also wound up in the same grad program at the same grad school, and ultimately were President (her) and Vice-President (me) of a student-run publication on campus during our last year. We've definitely argued plenty during all of these years we've known each other. Underneath all of that, though, we've continued to be friends. It broke my heart to learn the news about Bee's dad, especially because she's the only person I know that's closer to their family than I am. Bee is also planning her wedding for early 2013, and I can't imagine going through all of this sadness while preparing for something so joyful.

I decided to make Bee a bracelet. I know she doesn't wear a lot of jewelry, but I hoped she might have occasion to wear it, especially because she's going to have lots of events in her future, celebrating her dad's life and her marriage, in addition to holidays and other occasions. I wanted to incorporate Bee's Dad's initials into the design in a way that would let her know it was dedicated to him, but that did not scream "Ask me about my bracelet so I'm forced to tell a sad story!"

I decided I wanted some initial beads that were a little more subtle than what you might find at Michaels and JoAnn, which seem to be marketed to kids. I went to my local bead specialty shop, The Bead Monkey, to see if they had something a little different. As I expected, they had a few things that were different! I selected these:
These beads were exceptionally difficult to photograph, and I apologize for how difficult it is to read them. They spell Bee's Dad's initials, JAS. While I was there, I also noticed these "India Glass Beads."
The country-blue color of these beads is Bee's favorite, and I could see in the bin how they popped against the darker blue. I particularly enjoyed shopping for these beads because they were in bulk and I could select the precise ones I wanted with my fingers. I noticed some beads that were cute but pointy, which would probably work for earrings but not for a bracelet. I also found some beads that were designed for double stranded jewelry, and since I wanted to use a single strand, I was able to leave those behind. The beads were perfect and an awesome deal because I got just the right kind in just the right amount.

So this is the finished product! I am a little nervous it's too small for Bee's arm, but hopefully she'll let me know if it doesn't fit, because making it a smidgen bigger wouldn't be hard at all. Because I know Bee is busy with her family, I decided to mail her the bracelet so she would have it sooner - rather than trying to schedule a get-together before giving it to her!
I decoupaged this round box and tied it up with a matching ribbon. I put this and the card in an envelope and shipped it away. I'm thinking of you, Bee!

1 comment:

  1. That is such sad news, but a very thoughtful gesture by you. Hope Bee finds solace and peace in her memories of her father.