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A Few Charms (Banner)

Monday 20 July 2020

Home is where the heart is - in 2020

Are you ready to hear what the charms will be for the remainder of 2020? Let's see if my predictions were correct. But before I do that I want to tell you about the unexpected meaning of the April limited edition charm and what it has to do with the largest mass murder in Canadian history. It hit far too close to home.

The frog, bee and strawberry in the centre section of my 2020 bracelet

My husband reads the news every morning. On the morning of Sunday, April 19 the headlines in Canadian newspapers were about an "active shooter" in Nova Scotia, the province where we both grew up. I lived in the provincial capital, the city of Halifax, and my husband, in the smaller town of Truro. Our 18-year-old twins attend university just 25 km north-west of the town of Windsor marked on the map below. The news was telling us that this murder spree began in a small coastal town called Portapique.

Having grown up in the city I was not really familiar with that part of the province. The first question I asked my husband was, "How close is the town of Portapique to Truro?" (the answer was 40 km) Mike's mother and his three younger siblings all live in the town to Truro, with their significant others and their children. I then asked, "How close is it to Courtney's house?" Courtney is my son Mitchell's girlfriend from university. Although she went to high school in Truro she lives north-east of the town, so farther from the original murder scene. That was a relief.

We spent all of that Sunday on our phones, refreshing the news, watching this situation unfold. We worried about where the killer was going next. We kept checking in with family and friends in Truro and Halifax. As events unfolded we watched as the killer moved from Portapique towards Truro. He did enter the town of Truro but then carried on, and was next seen in Stewiake (#2 on the map above) mere miles from my mother-in-law's cottage. He then drove south towards Halifax. It wasn't until he got to Enfield (#3) that his 12-hour rampage was stopped. He left twenty-two people dead in his wake.

Over the next few days we learned more about what had happened in our small eastern province. The facts below were gleaned from a number of news stories; the information keeps changing as the investigation continues. As someone with PTSD, this was hard to research and write. And it's taken me a few months. I've tried to keep it simple.

On Saturday, April 18 a man in Portapique was at his neighbours' party with his long-time girlfriend. They had an argument and left the party. Once they got home, the argument escalated. He beat his girlfriend, tied her up, and set the house on fire, along with garages and three vehicles. Luckily she managed to escape and spent the night hiding in the nearby woods. The man returned to the neighbours' party, shot and killed a number people, and then proceeded to set that home on fire as well.

The remains of the shooter's home

Two brothers, Clinton and Corrie, were visiting their father in Portapique that evening and heard what they thought were gunshots and could see a glow in the sky. Corrie left to investigate and offer help. When he didn't return Clinton went to look for him and came upon his body. Corrie had been shot. Clinton could see a flashlight bobbing and fearing for his own life, fled into the woods where he spent many hours. Clinton called his father and warned him to turn out the lights and hide.

When the police arrived shortly before 10:30 pm, they found victims on the road and several structure fires. It appears that the killer visited a number of homes in Portapique and set them on fire. People may have opened their door because they saw a police officer knocking. He may have shot the homeowners or they may have died in the fires. By the time the killer escaped the town he had left 13 people dead - in a town with only 100 residents. It appears that he then holed up for the night in a nearby town called Debert.

It wasn't until the shooter's girlfriend came out of the woods at 6:00 am on Sunday morning -  and called 911 - that the police discovered that the shooter was dressed in an RCMP uniform and driving an RCMP vehicle. He also had several semi-automatic hand guns and two semi-automatic rifles.

the vehicle the shooter was driving
identical to RCMP vehicles except for the number

On Sunday, April 19 the killer drove north to the home of a former girlfriend in an area called Wentworth. He arrived there around 6:30 am. It appears that he stayed some time in their home, not leaving until approximately 9:30 am. While he was there he 
shot the woman and her boyfriend and then set their home on fire when he left. Because my husband works for Corrections Canada we knew that both of these people were correctional officers at two different federal prisons in the area. However their names were not released until officials could search the remains of the house fire and identify their bodies. Seeing the fire, a neighbour - and retired firefighter - rushed to offer assistance but encountered the killer and was gunned down. And, for no apparent reason, the shooter killed a woman just walking down the road on her morning stroll. The shooter, who of course appeared to be a police officer, pulled over a driver and shot her. He then did the same to a second driver. These women were both nurses with the VON (Victorian Order of Nurses). One was on her way to visit a patient in their home; the other going to have a socially-distanced visit with her grandchildren. The shooter drove to the home of yet another family he knew, but they called 911 and did not answer the door.

the remains in Wentworth

Around 10:00 am the killer drove through the town of Truro and proceeded south towards Halifax. He stopped in Brookfield to change part of his uniform and then carried on to Shubenacadie where he would encounter the RCMP.

Two RCMP officers on duty had arranged to meet at a gas station near Shubenacadie. The first officer to arrive saw another RCMP vehicle pull into the station, assuming it to be his colleague. When it pulled up beside the waiting officer, it was in fact the shooter. He opened fire, the officer was shot, but he managed to drive away and head to a hospital to treat his wounds. Then came the second RCMP officer. She collided head-on with the killer's replica vehicle. They exchanged gunfire and the officer was killed. The shooter set both vehicles on fire. A local man, just out running errands, stopped at the scene of the accident to offer assistance. The shooter killed him and took his vehicle. The shooter stopped at the home of someone else he was acquainted with and shot her as well. He then removed his police uniform and stole her vehicle. When the shooter stopped at a gas station in Enfield to fill up his latest vehicle, he was spotted by another RCMP officer, who also just happened to be filling up his vehicle. Gunfire was exchanged and the killer was finally shot. 

the 22 victim of the Nova Scotia shooter 

As you can see from the photos of the victims, there were a number of couples killed. Most of these people had children, and some had grandchildren. We heard that one family was taken outside their home and the gunman shot the parents in front of their children. One woman, a single parent and a schoolteacher, was killed in Portapique while her two children were on the line with the 911 dispatcher for two hours, huddled in hiding - while 
gunfire and flames raged outside.

Are you wondering what all this has to do with Pandora? Stick with me. All will be be revealed shortly.

As background, you need to know that in the year 2020 Pandora is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their charm bracelet concept. Each month Pandora is releasing a charm from earlier collections. The idea is to re-imagine some popular or classic charms. In January they started with the iconic strawberry. February's charm was a frog and March was the queen bee.

Like many of my Pandora friends I bought the 2020 anniversary heart charm on Monday morning April 20. When it arrived in the mail on the Wednesday it coincided with me having a melt-down. Let me explain.

On the Wednesday morning I watched a TV show where the main character lost her father - in a fire. I started to cry. After losing both of my parents I cry more often while watching TV shows or movies, especially if we watch someone die, as I watched my own mother die. I sometimes have to pause the show and let myself ugly cry for a few minutes as I let the wave of emotions hit me. On this particular occasion, when someone died in a fire, I was sobbing. Hysterically! And I thought to myself, "What on earth is going on?"

My mind was reeling, "They could have been there. They could have been on that road. They could have been at those gas stations. Imagine if I'd been here alone and they were there! Imagine if I'd had to watch this tragedy and they were 1300 km away. If they were a stone's throw away from this tragedy." As I let that wave of emotions wash over me, I quickly realized what I was feeling. After being embroiled in this tragedy for three days I could finally feel relief. These were tears of relief. I was relieved because Mike and the kids were meant to be there, in Nova Scotia, mere minutes away from all of the murder sites. Near Mike's hometown. Near my mother-in-law's cottage. Near the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park where we took our kids. Near the home of my sister-in-law's father. They were meant to be there that same weekend.

As I mentioned, our kids are going to university in Nova Scotia. The plan was for Mike to drive to Nova Scotia when their exams were finished and bring them home to Ontario. Taylor's last exam was scheduled to be on April 18 and the residence was closing on April 18. They would have stayed with family in Truro. They would have been there that weekend of April 18th and 19th when all hell broke lose.

Taylor and Mitchell in front of their residence
Seminary House
As it turned out, the coronavirus changed all that. Because of the virus, in-person classes were cancelled and students would finish the term online. Our kids were still in residence and still eating in meal hall but we felt they were safer there. There were no cases of the virus in Nova Scotia at the time and we already had a few in Ottawa. And then the university made the decision that res was closing early.

Suddenly Mike had to bring them home. We usually take two days to drive to Nova Scotia, staying in a hotel at the half-way point. I was feeling pretty anxious because of the coronavirus and said, "You can't stay in a hotel. Drive straight through. Don't stop at restaurants. Don't touch anything. Wash your hands often. To protect your family you won't be able to stay with them when you arrive." He brought food with him and traveled all the way through, for 16 hours, to Wolfville. He slept in the extra bed in Mitchell's room. The next day he helped the kids get packed up and drove another 16 hours, all the way back to Ottawa. The day they got home the province of Nova Scotia closed its borders. It was such a relief to have them all back home.

So on that Sunday morning, while we watched the news reports on the tragedy in Nova Scotia, our kids were sleeping here, at home, in their own beds. Sleeping IN of course, because, well, they ARE teenagers after-all.

When that heart charm arrived in the mail on Wednesday, just two days after the mass murder, all I wanted to do was hold it in my hands. And remind myself. They are home. With me. They are safe. We are safe. What a relief! This little heart, only purchased because it was a limited edition collector's item - and only cost $40 - was suddenly worth so much more.

Over the last two months since this tragedy occurred I have realized that my tears were not just tears of relief for my own family, they were also tears of compassion and sadness. I was processing the pain and fear and horror experienced by so many people in Nova Scotia, the victims and those they left behind, especially the children. Even by Wednesday we were hearing that there would likely still be remains in some of the homes that had burned down. It was later confirmed, that of the twenty-two people who were killed, thirteen of those people were shot and nine died in house fires. It is not surprising then that an incident where someone dies in a fire - even if was on a TV show -  triggered such strong emotions in me.

In the days and weeks after this tragedy, as the world grieved for Nova Scotia, and we saw the motto "Nova Scotia Strong," this song was widely shared on social media. This is a song written by Cape Breton's Leon Dubinsky and made popular by The Rankin Family. This version was recorded by a group of female doctors as a tribute to the health care community during this pandemic.

During this coronavirus, I hope you are with your family. If you are not with them, hold them in your heart. And if you have a charm, hold them in your hand. I actually took a picture of the heart charm in my hand. It wasn't very interesting. I think it's better on a bracelet. Scroll down to see how I'm wearing it.

20th Anniversary Classics

Here are the six remaining charms for the 2020 Anniversary Classics. The pig was released today but we're not 100% sure of which month the others will be released.

July: pig's head (original # 790214)
This was a very surprising choice for the 2020 collection. I would not have guessed that it was very popular and it was not one of the earlier classic charms. If you haven't seen the 2020 pig yet it looks very similar to the original. I don't have the original, but looking at the stock photo I'd say the head of the 2020 one is a little more rounded and the ears are oxidized on the inside. The 20 crown logo is not on the front as it was with previous charms, but on the back of the pig's head.

August: love you (original # 790200)
I initially considered this "I LOVE YOU" cube charm in my predictions about the 2020 charms. I thought it may have been a popular charm, especially for gift-giving. But I dismissed it because, at that time, we were expecting all the charms to be (affordable) silver. But we were wrong. They are producing two-tone charms, as we saw with the two-tone clover in May. This one will have the 20 crown logo on the gold heart. I recently purchased the original charm on sale but don't have a home for it yet, so I may put both of them on my 2020 bracelet.

September: simple heart gold clip (original # 750243)
When I first saw the 2020 heart clip I thought my prediction had come true, that they were re-imagining the everlasting love charm into a clip. I'm not familiar with all the gold charms (I only have two gold charms and they were both prizes I won through Pandora contests) and I didn't realize there was a gold clip that looks like the everlasting love. In the photo below you can see the everlasting love, a black and white version of the gold charm, and my drawing of the up-coming clip (I know, it looks like a roll of toilet paper with hearts on it). There had been rumours that there would be a gold charm in the 2020 collection and I wouldn't have wanted to spend the money on that - so I'm glad that they've instead created a silver version of this "simple heart" clip. I hope Pandora realizes that most of us will want two of these!

October: rose bouquet (original # 790414)
This charm has the name rose bouquet on the Pandora website but it is sometimes called rose bud and frequently referred to simply as swirls. I've even seen it called doodles, which makes sense. I didn't consider this charm in my predictions because I didn't think they were doing two-tone charms and I didn't think Pandora could engrave the 20 crown logo on here with the swirls and oxidation. But, as they have done with the clover charm, one of the swirls will be a smooth silver surface without oxidation and have the engraving. On a bracelet, this rose charm will be good opposite the clover charm from May. I wear the original rose bouquet charm on my Vintage Charm bracelet. If you want a special meaning for this rose charm, check out this story.

November: seeing stars (original # 790348)
The rumours were that there would be a star charm in the 2020 collection, in particular the two-tone "golden star" charm. That was an expensive charm ($220 when I started collecting Pandora in 2011) so I was glad to discover that this silver "seeing stars" will be in the lineup instead. I was surprised by this choice because it is not an old charm (it was released in 2012) but it was available in gold before that, so maybe that's the explanation.

December: house (original # 790115)
There were rumours that one of the 2020 charms would be the dog house. That seemed an odd choice on Pandora's part because I can't imagine it was popular. Mind you, they've made a lot of different dogs over the years so I could be wrong. But as it turns out the 2020 charm will be not a dog house, just a house: the original silver house, a very simple, solid (and small) charm. The engraving will be on the roof of the house, on the side without the chimney. I'm glad to see that (in addition to the strawberry) they are using another of the first fifteen charms that Pandora produced. See my last post to see what charms were in the "First Fifteen."

My 2020 bracelet work-in-progress, clockwise from the clasp at the top:
magnolia, seeing stars, bird house (to represent the 2020 silver house), 2020 heart, 2020 clover, curious cat (to represent the 2020 pig's head), feathered clip, nostalgia murano, darling daisies spacer, ridged mini spacer, 2020 strawberry, 2020 bee, 2020 frog, ridged mini spacer, darling daisies spacer, nostalgia murano, feathered clip, I Love You cube, rose bouquet, silver heart, everlasting love (to represent the 2020 heart clips), tunnel of love, and magnolia clip 

Wednesday 1 April 2020

First Fifteen and Twelve for 2020

Are you ready to guess what the rest of the anniversary charms will be? Will they be from the "First Fifteen" charms? Read on to see the official list of the "First Fifteen" charms released by Pandora. See the first catalogues. See my predictions for 2020. And see a sneak peak of the engraved anniversary charm for April.

The engraved strawberry and frog (with the originals)
on a box with the Pandora crown symbol
Before I move on, let me acknowledge that we are in the midst of a global crisis and, by comparison, charms are not that important. But we all need to do the things that make us happy and keep us sane. So I hope my stories are a distraction from the world beyond your front door, and bring you a few moments of joy. But the biggest contribution I can make during this pandemic is to share my stories of my recovery from depression, panic disorder, and an eating disorder. So at the end of this story I will ask you to please let me know what you're struggling with because I may be able to tell a tale that will help.

So now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post...

20th Anniversary Classics

Pandora is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the launch of their unique threaded bracelet. To mark this occasion they are releasing a new series of limited edition charms, one each month in 2020. The charms in the 20th Anniversary Collection will be "classics" that are "re-imagined" and engraved with a special 20-year hallmark using the iconic Pandora crown symbol over the number 20.

The first charm released in this series was a strawberry. Pandora asked fans "Did you know it was Pandora's fist-ever charm?" A simple silver piece, Pandora's iconic strawberry charm is one of its most-recognized charms. Take a look at this cute video that accompanied the release of the.strawberry in January.

The second charm, released in February, was the frog. Pandora explained that "the playful little frog was a favourite charm upon its original release." I might have dismantled my daughter's Pandora bracelet to take a picture with the original frog. The new frog is a little less stout than his elder, has higher googly eyes, and a different curve to his mouth. Pandora's Instagram video just happens to show what happens when you kiss that frog's mouth.

Check out this Instagram video to see the lovely bee that was just released on the 20th of March. I was not lucky enough to grab it when it was posted on the Pandora website. By the time it finally popped up I didn't even get it in my shopping basket before it was sold out. I am hoping there are a few bees sitting in my near-by concept store waiting for the start of the warm weather, or the end of the coronavirus lock-down, whichever comes first.

I find it interesting to see the differences between the original charms and the new releases. You'll have to wait for my story about the strawberry but the differences are quite evident between the new bee charm and the queen bee that inspired it. Most notable is the redesigned crown. Most Pandora collectors will tell you that the crowns on charms can leave quite significant dents in your wrist, so somebody has been paying attention.

I asked my Australian friend Vicky if I could use her photo of the new silver bee with her two-tone and gold queen bee. Check out her Instagram for photos of her gold and white gold bracelets and lots of classic Pandora rings.


Pandora is about telling stories

One of my favourite things about this 20th Anniversary collection is that Pandora is returning to their motto of telling stories, saying "These charms celebrate 20 years of telling your stories with Pandora." In the last few years Pandora moved away from this idea with their "#DO" campaign, "What do you love?" strategy, and new collections from Disney, the "Reflections" concept, and most recently the Pandora "Me" line. But my journey with Pandora started in 2011 with me earning charms in my recovery from an eating disorder and depression. I started writing "stories" and posting them on the main Pandora Facebook page. With encouragement from my Pandora friends, I started this blog.

This year, I decided I was going to get back to writing stories on my blog. It's been on my mind for some time, and I've been sharing quotes in a Facebook album about why it's important to "share your story." But what would be my reward, my incentive?

And then, ta da, Pandora came to the rescue with a series of 12 charms in 2020. This new marketing strategy hearkens back to the days when Pandora was all about "Unforgettable Moments." And that has motivated me to get back to telling stories about my Pandora charms. Let's see if I can do one story a month to earn the 20th anniversary charms.

The "First Fifteen"

From time to time we see this question pop up on the Pandora Facebook pages: What were Pandora's first charms? The introduction of the new 20th Anniversary charms has renewed the interest in this. Well, here's the answer. Directly from Pandora Headquarters. A little over 5 years ago a number of us avid Pandora fans started asking Pandora corporate to confirm what were the first charms that Pandora made. Turns out there were 15. Pandora called them the "First Fifteen." I've kept the list on my phone ever since, but you can also see the list on this Charms Addict blog post from 2014.

The "First Fifteen." See names and codes below

Official "First Fifteen"
  1. 750117 gold cluster
  2. 790111 ladybug
  3. 790112 strawberry
  4. 790113 fish (aka sideways fish)
  5. 790114 snail (aka Nautilus)
  6. 790115 house
  7. 790116 dice
  8. 790117 silver cluster
  9. 790119 faith hope and charity/love
  10. 790122 king's crown
  11. 790125 gold-tipped flower spacer
  12. 790127GR silver eye (garnet)
  13. 790127P silver eye (peridot)
  14. 790128 sun moon and stars
  15. 790132P bevelled pearl dangle
I only have nine of the First Fifteen

It turns out Pandora didn't have very good archives. The original list that Pandora provided indicated that there was a ladybug with the code 79111. (Pandora's labelling of their charms originally was just 79 for silver; the zero added to 790 later. They use 750 for gold charms.) They referred to this 111 charm as the "old" ladybug with the "new" ladybug having the code 790135. But there was no picture of this "old" ladybug. After some searching, and much speculation, Pandora concluded that the "old" ladybug may have been designed but never actually produced. So the "new" ladybug 790135 is now considered part of the "First Fifteen."

"First Fifteen" by Leann Wu of Charms Addict blog
You will frequently see bracelets that are referred to as the "First Fifteen" but most of them have more charms than just the fifteen. The only bracelet I've found that is exclusively "First Fifteen" is from Leann's post on the Charms Addict blog. Although they were not in Pandora's original list of 15, Leann has added the plain clips to cover the threads. Leann has graciously allowed me to share this photo of her bracelet. So the charms are, starting at the clasp at the top and going clockwise: ladybug, strawberry, king's crown, sideways fish, garnet eye, plain clip, house, sun moon and stars, bevelled pearl dangle, gold cluster, snail, plain clip, peridot eye, gold-tipped flower spacer, faith hope and charity, silver cluster, and dice.

Another collector Celia started a "First Fifteen" bracelet and then discovered people were including different charms on their "First Fifteen" bracelets. So she ended up with more charms than she could fit on her bracelet. Hopefully the list above will help clarify which charms are in fact from the "First Fifteen," but she definitely has some of Pandora's earliest charms on her bracelet, starting at the clasp at the top and going clockwise: peridot eye, ladybug, heart with cz, silver cluster, strawberry, king's crown, DNA, dicegold-tipped flower spacer, snail, confetti, sun moon and stars, sideways elephant, house, circles, heart, faith hope and charity, rose leaf, bear head, garnet eye, sideways fish, bevelled pearl dangle, and the loose charms in the middle are gold bubbles spacer, gold graduation cap dangle, gold cluster and gold flower clip.

Classic Pandora

Of course there are a number of charms that were released after the "First Fifteen" but still in the first few years. To create this list I identified early charms by their codes and included charms from Pandora's earliest two catalogues (pictures below). The codes for the frog and the queen bee indicate that they were not particularly early charms - or in those first catalogues. But I have added them to this collection because they have already been released as part of the engraved 20th Anniversary Classic Collection. In this screenshot you can see the names and codes of all of Pandora's earliest charms. To prevent confusion with the "First Fifteen" let's call this whole group "Classic Pandora." 

Classic Pandora charms, clips and spacers

You may notice in the stock photos above that there are a number of spacers. There were quite a few spacers in the first catalogues Pandora produced. These are my spacers (below) from the "Classic Pandora." From left to right: two-tone gold-tipped flower spacers, large roses spacer (originally produced in gold), crisscross spacer, candy cane spacer, small roses spacers, flat spacers, smooth spacers, big bubbles spacers, small bubbles spacers, line spacers, and ridged spacers. In the Photo Gallery at the very bottom of this post you can see how I've used all of these spacers in my completed bracelets. If you go to the web version of this blog (as opposed to the mobile version) you can scroll to the bottom and see all 21 of my bracelets.

My collection of the "Classic Pandora" spacers

Birthstone Dangles
In addition to the first pieces above, Pandora introduced their first collection of birthstone charms in their second catalogue. These are the charms (below), starting from the top left: garnet for January, amethyst for February, aquamarine for March, quartz for April, chrysophase for May, freshwater pearl for June, carnelian for July, peridot for August, coral (and sapphire) for September, tourmaline for October, amber for November, and lapis lazuli for December. Note that there are two birthstones for September. I have the coral dangle which looked great in the stock photo but it has darkened over time so I suspect that is why they switched to sapphire.

Pandora's First Catalogues
In our discussions with Pandora in 2014 they provided images of their first two catalogues. As I mentioned, they did not have thorough records, and these catalogues have no dates, so speculation was that they were released between the years 2000 and 2002.

First catalogue front and back
First catalogue pages 2 and 3
Charms from first catalogue starting at top left:
circles (also in pink CZ), gold cluster, king's crown, silver eye (garnet), silver cluster, bevelled pearl dangle, ladybug, heart (pink cz), faith hope and charity/love, gold bubble spacer, dice, house, plain clip, heart (referred to as the "big smooth heart"), elephant (referred to as the "sideways elephant"), star dangle, curls and dots (or confetti), strawberry, sun moon and stars, gold-tipped flower spacer, gold flower clip (buttercup clip), fish (we tend to refer to this as the "sideways fish"), bear head, silver DNA

Charms on bracelet starting at the clasp going clockwise:
gold cluster, bubbles spacer, garnet eye, smooth spacer, bevelled pearl dangle, smooth spacer, gold bubbles spacer, sun moon and stars, bubbles spacer, king's crown, gold flat spacer, circles, ridged spacer, sideways elephant, smooth spacer, gold-tipped flower spacer

I thought I'd try to replicate the bracelet in the first catalogue.
(with a few substitutions)
Charms on my bracelet (above) starting at the clasp going clockwise:
row with dots, small bubbles spacer, peridot eye, flat spacer, birthstone dangle  chrysophase (May), smooth spacer, large bubbles spacer, sun moon and stars, large bubbles spacer, mushroom, flat spacer, circles (clear cz), ridged spacer, sideways fish, smooth spacer, gold-tipped flower

Second catalogue
Charms on necklace starting at top left:
moon, flat spacer, ring, plain clip, gold roses spacer, bubbles spacer, snail, gold flat spacer, lotsa love, bubbles spacer, heart (pink cz), plain clip, crisscross spacer

Charms from second catalogue starting at top left:
silver DNA, heart (pink cz), rose leaf, ring, web, band, snail, moon (amethyst cz), snake, swirl dots, silver eye (garnet), silver cluster, mushroom, bevelled pearl dangle, row with dots, dice, blossom (amethyst cz), four-leaf clover, sun moon and stars, circles, lotsa love, plain clips

Second catalogue
Charms on bracelet starting at the clasp going clockwise:
moon (amethyst cz), smooth spacer, big smooth heart, birthstone dangle (amethyst - February), small roses spacer, ribbed clip, gold-tipped flower, gold bubbles spacer, love hope and faith, king's crown, small bubbles spacer, bear's head, web (diamond), plain clip, gold heart dangle, large bubbles spacer, gold roses spacer, crisscross spacer, gold star dangle, crisscross spacer, snake

Charms from second catalogue starting at top left:
ladybug, 8-ball, band (clear cz), birthstone dangle (peridot - August), heart (clear cz), circles (clear cz), strawberry, silver DNA, house, bear's head, moon (clear cz), turtle, moon (amethyst cz), sideways elephant, sideways fish, ribbed clip, blossom (clear cz), confetti, silver eye (peridot), zodiac sign (Scorpio), and big smooth heart

I also thought I'd try to replicate this bracelet in the photo above
(with a few substitutions)
Charms on my bracelet (above) starting at the clasp going clockwise:
moon (clear cz), smooth spacer, big smooth heart, birthstone dangle (coral), small roses spacer, ribbed clip, gold-tipped flower, big bubbles spacer, faith hope and charity, mushroom, bear head (Winnie-the-Pooh), web, gold flower clip, birthstone dangle (chrysophase), big bubbles spacer, big roses spacer, crisscross spacer, turtle

Second catalogue
Charms from second catalogue starting at top left:
gold flower clip, ring cluster, gold smooth spacer, gold cross dangle, gold bubbles spacer
gold big roses spacer, gold heart dangle, web (diamond), gold star dangle, gold-tipped flower, waves and dots, gold cluster, gold graduation cap dangle, apple with worm, gold flat spacer, gold big smooth heart, king's crown, and gold quilt pattern

First sample bracelet with First Fifteen and Classics
Charms on my bracelet (above) starting at the clasp going clockwise:
ribbed clip, DNA, mushroom, snail, faith hope and charity, gold-tipped flower, big smooth heart, ladybug, confetti, circles (clear cz), row with dots, strawberry, heart (clear cz), gold-tipped flower, sun moon and stars, sideways fish, dice, peridot eye, and gold flower clip

Second sample bracelet with First Fifteen and Classics
Charms on my bracelet (above) starting at the clasp going clockwise:
ribbed clip, web, ring, 8-ball, blossom, Zodiac sign (Scorpio), gold-tipped flower, starburst clip, waves and dots, snail, rose leaf, strawberry, ring cluster, starburst clip, gold-tipped flowercloverdice, spple, band, large roses spacer, gold flower clip

My Predictions for the 20th Anniversary Classics

My predictions

In trying to predict which "classic" charms would be used as the 20th Anniversary series, I looked at the "First Fifteen" charms and the earliest "Classic Pandora." I considered which were likely to be popular charms that people would buy for themselves or buy as gifts. And I also thought about which charms Pandora would be able to engrave without making significant changes to the charm, ruling out those with too much pattern or depth, the ones that had stones, and the highly oxidized.

So I'm predicting that eight of these ten charms will be included, starting from the left: ladybug, turtle, big smooth heart, suitcase, snail, sideways fish, cupcake, apple with the worm, everlasting love, and the silver rose. My apple is not the one with the worm, but I thought I'd include it for the photo. And I suspect they will also include the king's crown, because it was engraved as a gift for passengers on one of the Pandora cruises, but I don't have the charm to include in my photo.

I took my photos in February and it looks like one of my predictions was correct: the big smooth heart for April.

Final Request:
Please tell me which charms you would like to hear about or what topics you want to read about. You can leave comments below or you can email me at shift.training@gmail.com Stay tuned for monthly blog posts.

Related Posts

How many balls are you juggling? - a story about how it feels to be juggling so much in your life, you feel that if someone throws you one more ball they may all come tumbling down around you. Seems like a timely topic when some people are suddenly working from home, teachers are thrust into online teaching, and parents have their kids at home while we all practice social/physical distancing. Read about the "waves and dots" charm and why I'm talking about "The Cat in the Hat."

Advice on managing anxiety - from a turtle! - a story about my very first charm, on the very first day of my recovery from an eating disorder, and one of the most important reminders when I'm in fight-or-flight mode and tempted to binge. I share one of the most effective ways to slow down racing or anxious thoughts.

The turtle part 2: advice for anxious parents - a story about how heart-breaking it is when you see your children struggle, with strategies we used for helping our son with intense emotions like anger and anxiety.  You can also read one of the best pieces of advice I've come across for anxious parents - from a turtle!

Prescription for panic: ice, ice baby - a story about how to calm a body revved by stress, how to understand what's going on in your body when you're angry or anxious, and how to rescue yourself from a panic attack.

Pandora bras and butts, oh my! - a story about bare butts, titties and studs, and the charm that reminds me not to take life too seriously. I hope this story won't ruin the meaning you assign to the April charm, the engraved big smooth (or "puffy") heart.

Moving from self-criticism to self-acceptance - inspired by a simple silver rose - a story about negative self-talk, how to stop criticizing ourselves and how to be at peace with wherever we are at the moment, inspired by the rose charm (one of my predictions for the Twelve in 2020)

Will he always love me? My explanation of panic attacks - a story about what triggers panic attacks for me, the therapy that helped, and the reason for the Everlasting Love charm (another of my predictions for the Twelve in 2020)

Photo Gallery

This was my first bracelet called my Lucerne Recovery bracelet. The name references the Lucerne dangle and Lucerne clips. On this bracelet you can find the rows and dots, sun moon and stars, candy cane spacer, crisscross spacer, web, birthstone dangle, and faith, hope and charity/love.

My Sacred Woods bracelet is home to the peridot eye charm (on the right). On this bracelet you may notice one of the original "mini" spacers called the "ridged" spacer, right beside the clasp. Often an openwork charm will be large enough to slide over the threads and get tangled with the clasp. One of these mini spacers prevents that from happening. I've done the same in the Lucerne bracelet above.

The Sparkle and Shine bracelet is a collection of retired charms with clear cubic zirconion. On either side of the centre dangle you can find the band, circles, blossom and heart with cz .

band, circles, blossom, heart

This bracelet, my mother and son bracelet, contains the turtle and the sideways fish.

This bracelet is all classic/vintage two-tone charms, many of them with diamonds. You can see the gold-tipped flower spacer on either side of the central vintage heart dangle.

I love the gold-tipped flower spacers so much that they are one of the few charms I have repeats. You can see them on this two-tone Serenity bracelet on either side of the central Serenity dangle. In the central section of this bracelet you can also see the two-tone apple and two-tone cupcake, two of the charms I predict will be in the Twelve for 2020.

This bracelet is a chronology of my late mother's life. You can see the confetti charm beside the centre dangle, representing the confetti at my parent's wedding. There is also the DNA charm and the suitcase charm on the left.

This is my True Colours bracelet which has the ribbed clip at the end and then the silver charms, snail, ladybug, clover, dice, strawberry, mushroom, and then right by the clasp a smooth spacer. 

This Treasured Hearts bracelet, named for the central "treasured hearts" charm, contains the 8-ball charm. When designing this I found that the hidden romance charms seemed to cover part of the central heart-shaped charm so I placed a smooth spacer on either side to give it more, well, space.