Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Survivor BraceletSad news from a dear friend this week. She's

Survivor Bracelet

Sad news from a dear friend this week. She's been diagnosed with breast cancer and is going to start chemo on Monday. Unsurprisingly, she's approaching this with the same bravery and sense of humor that she applies to the rest of her life. But I still want to do something for her. Since we live pretty far apart and casseroles don't tend to hold up in the mail, I decided to send her the next best thing: jewelry, of course. There's more than meets the eye with this seemingly simple and fun accessory. Look a little closer and you'll see that it's actually a pretty powerful talisman...
  • Eight focal beads represent the number of treatments she'll undergo. The word "suvivor" is also eight letters long.
  • Millefiori means "a thousand flowers" in Italian. For this bracelet, the thousand flowers represent my friend's huge network of supporters and well-wishers.
  • The colorful beads are a reflection of my friend's warm, friendly personality. You might choose crystals, ceramic beads or unusual lampwork beads if those suit your friend's style and personality better.
  • Each bead is different, in honor of the way each treatment will be just one page in this chapter of her life.
To design your own survivor bracelet, get out your bead board. Place the number of focal beads on the board that correspond with the number of treatments. Lay the clasp on the bead board along with the focal beads, then use smaller beads to fill in the target length. This version of the bracelet is 7" long. I used .024" diameter Beadalon 49 wire and an EZ-Crimp toggle clasp (yes, I'm addicted to those EZ-Crimps). It's important to use thicker wire since bracelets receive a lot of wear and tear.

Katie Hacker