So Charmed, I'm Sure

comments: 22

PosiebraceletDo you know my friend Jodi Bloom? She makes fantastic things. Several years ago I had her make me a charm bracelet for my birthday. I told her about myself and she put everything together in her inimitable way. It came out even better than I could have dreamed, and contains charms symbolizing all the things I care about in my life: A pink vintage apple blossom, an "A" for Alicia/Andy/Audrey, Illinois and Oregon symbols, leaves and buttons, a rose for Portland, a snowflake for Chicago, a heart for my love, a thimble for my work, a key to my house, a nurse's syringe, an enamel corgi picture, a rosary chain. It's an incredible piece of jewelry.

Sewingbeeleyla2Jodi sent out her So Charmed newsletter over the weekend and I found something else I loved. This necklace is called "Sewing Bee for Leyla" and Jodi is going to redo it for me with different buttons to match my new quilt — gray, yellow, mint, pink, aqua. I'm very excited. I don't wear jewelry that much, but these pieces are more than jewelry. And they're more than pieces of art. They're really personal, especially since Jodi is who she is. Jodi is an intensely creative person with an incredible ability to "see" people. She gets to the heart of things, immediately, and I always have the sense that it is the heart of the thing that interests her more than any other part of thing.

ChinesenewyearEvery piece of jewelry (and other things) that she creates has a story — she is a writer, too, and it shows. She tells stories through charms, and it amazes me that not only does she tell her own stories through her work, she is completely willing, even seems to get energy from, telling other peoples' stories for them. With them. Her work has an intense, humorous, edgy, rich quality to it that feels just like the life I lead, and the lives I am interested in knowing about.

Valerin It's hard to pick favorites from her site to show you here, and on Jodi's site they're always shown in context, with Jodi's ideas and inspiration alongside. I love reading about every piece, who it was made for, and how it came to be. And it's fascinating to click on the photos and see the amazing assortment of little charms themselves. My grandma had a charm bracelet and I remember going through each and every charm, over and over again, marveling and wondering what each charm meant, and where it came from, and why.


But Jodi has a hefty collection of ready-to-wear pieces, too, as well as earrings, handbags, and now even dresses. Everything is done with precision and care. I can spend hours looking through her things. It's like being invited over to the coolest girl in school's house and checking out her bedroom. Didn't you always want to do that? I did.


Thanks for sharing that site. I love charm bracelets and hers look extra special.

I love reading daily musings.

I just love chunky swingy bracelets!

Jodi's work is incredible. Each piece has its own unique aura about it.

Three years ago I had formed a small group of music students that were to play together as a group throughout the year. I wanted them to bond as friends, and I thought that charm bracelets would be a great way of getting to know each other. So the girls and I all talked together about our favourite colours, hobbies, pets, etc and I went to various stores looking for beads and charms.

The bracelets were a lot of fun to make and the girls loved them. I can imagine that Jodi must love the PROCESS of doing this, because I'm familiar with how much TIME is involved! and what the COST is to amass all those lovely charms etc. And she makes her own charms on top of it! It must be a labour of Love.

Here's one of the bracelets I made (the one with the most charms)


Samantha says: July 26, 2006 at 09:25 AM

When I was a second grader, I visited this girl who was one of my father's co-workers. We lived in Florida at the time. She made me swear I wouldn't share her secret, led me in her closet, turned on a flashlight, and showed me her stash of sparkly jewelry. I know now that it was all rhinestone jewelry but at the time I was just agog at all the diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, purple, pink, orange, blue, and irridescent gems in necklaces, brooches, rings, earrings, and shoe clips. She told me she had found them at the beach - pirate's treasure - and I swallowed her story hook-line-sinker.

These are so lovely, but I like the one that she made for you the best. That is about the coolest piece of jewelery I've seen.

And I love bracelets and things with more meaning than meets the eye, so I'm going to check out her website and may be makinga purchase.

these are lovely! I love the chinese new years one and the last one. very stunning.

These are such amazing pieces - I love the way each one tells a story. Thanks for spreading the word!

Alicia..... to me, YOU are the coolest girl in school with all the neat stuff.

I love to see what you come up with next. With it being a new sewing project or recipe you are wonderful!


Thank you so much for writing about Judi's work! She's very talented and I can assure you I'll be checking out her work ... and maybe even buying something! I love the charms ...

those are incredible - each one so special and thoughtful. thanks so much for sharing her work!

I love her bracelets! My daughter bought me, "Valentine for Zelda," for Mothers day a couple years ago. I never get tired of looking at it.

I love her bracelets! My daughter bought me, "Valentine for Zelda," for Mothers day a couple years ago. I never get tired of looking at it.

oh my, this could be very very very dangerous. i used to be the "gal in the office with the curly hair and the charm bracelet". from an old boyfriend, it was bought in a vintage store and I adored it. i haven't worn it in years, i had just pulled it out again when blueprint magazine did an article on charm bracelets. jodi's are stunning, very original.

i'm not feeling like capital letters today, too hot.

Thank you for letting us know about this. Her items are incredible.

Today we are in Clayton, NM. We decided to take our time getting to Colorado. This Best Western has free wi-fi! Yeah. No good pics yet, but we have gone from 103 degrees to 86. I can live with 86.

I asked for a charm bracelet for my birthday this year b/c I remember my mom's, that I always used to wear, and how she'd tell me about each of the charms and what they stood for...but these are just amazing. Like you, I choose things for their memories invoked or nostalgia--these pieces of jewelry definitely fall in that category. lovely.

oooh lovely fun things!

She makes lovely things.

I found your wonderful blog a little while ago and I love it !
I wanted to post something sooner but I wasn't sure if I could do that without having a blog myself....
Reading your blog and other blogs made we wanted to try it myself.Since this afternoon I'm working on it.I find it very exhiting and also a little difficult but I hope that I can create a nice blog
Thank you very much for your inspiration!

Chris Howard says: July 27, 2006 at 02:14 PM

Alicia, you are the coolest the girl in school, and when I come to your site I feel like I'm hanging out in your bedroom looking at all your cool stuff. I'm just grateful that every once in a while I get to buy a piece of that coolness, bring it home to my not-so-cool house, and stare at it in wonder.

Wow, her work gives me goosebumps!

I've had one of Jodi's charm bracelets on my 'wish list' for at least two years now. I need to convince someone to buy me one- they are just so beautiful.

thank you so much for posting about jodi's website! i came across the site ages ago, and i was desperately trying to recall the url for my post on charm bracelets, and then i saw your post and all was well in my world once again.

Amazing items! I'm sure they were done with all the soul of the craft-master. I would like to order a necklace for me. Give me some tips, what I must ask in personal order form the jeweler?

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at