Do 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.
Jodi 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.
Every 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.
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.