A Few Charms (Banner)

A Few Charms (Banner)

Monday, 9 April 2018

Dreaming of summer, charms that is

Pandora has come out with some great new designs for the summer, a departure from the usual nautical and beach themes. It's been a while since I've been this excited about new releases from Pandora.

I usually share stories about the charms I've earned but I've never shared the process of how I decide which charms to buy, and more importantly the ones I want to earn. I've been getting lots of requests on Instagram for photos of the Summer Collection so I thought I would collect them all in one place.

These items are not on the Pandora website because they will not be released until June. And these are not the best quality photos because they were taken with my phone from the most recent Pandora catalogues, and are not Pandora stock photos.

After the response to this Instagram post (above) I realized I am lucky that there are three concept stores in my city - and I'm always quick to grab the new catalogues. There are always two catalogues, a small one that contains just charms and bracelets and a large catalogue that includes the Essence line as well as rings, earrings, and necklaces. So read on to see what's coming soon.
First up there is a new style of leather bracelet. They are double bracelets with a loop and button closure. The end with the button is removable, similar to the closures on the hinged bracelets and the sliding bracelets. I particularly like the stitching details on these bracelets.

Like all leather bracelets you would have to limit the number of charms. I don't like it when all the charms rotate and dangle under my wrist so I usually have just one or two charms - or a dangle - on my leather bracelets.

I have leather bracelets to go with almost all my Moments bracelets except for this two-tone bracelet with the lighter colour carved ("flower") wood muranos. So the "Golden Tan" leather is definitely on my wishlist. 

I'm very curious to see the Spicy Orange. I love orange but this may not be the right colour to pair with my orange Love Blooms Here bracelet. I showed my husband these bracelets in the catalogue and said I liked the turquoise one. He said, "Don't you already have a turquoise one?" Silly husband. Wouldn't you say my triple smooth leather is more teal than turquoise?

There are also leather bracelets with the sliding closure, in both tan and black. I haven't purchased the sliding bracelets but they seem quite popular and certainly look less bulky than the double leathers.

Pandora started creating chokers a few years ago and came out with a new silver one in the Spring Collection, a honeycomb one in the Shine Collection, and now there will be leather ones in the Summer Collection. These appear to come with the feather dangle. The sliding closure necklaces and bracelets are all one-size-fits-all.

My favourite thing about the new collection is the spiritual theme. Included is the "Spiritual Feather" pendant, the "Amulet" (although I have no idea what they are actually supposed to be), and the "Spiritual Dreamcatcher." Just as I researched the Native American Hopi tribe to assign the meaning of the Hopi charm (now retired), I will use these "spiritual" aboriginal charms as incentive to learn more about the spiritual practices of our local First Nations. I think this summer we will do some exploring, see some historical sites, and go to a Pow-Wow. Then I can set some specific goals to "earn" some of these charms, or they will represent some of these activities we do as a family.

If you are not familiar with a dreamcatcher the meaning is very special. Dreamcatchers are meant to protect children when they sleep. One legend tells the story of a chief whose child becomes sick with a fever that causes him terrible nightmares. A medicine woman makes a dreamcatcher by copying the pattern of a spider web. Instead of catching flies, the dreamcatcher will catch bad dreams. When nightmares came for the child, they were caught in the strands of sinew. But good dreams were able to pass through the web and follow the feathers down to the child. In the morning, the sun would hit the dream catcher and burn away the bad dreams (from CBC Kids). I think this charm might be used to help me work on getting a good night's sleep.

Although many First Nations people make dreamcatchers now, they originated with the Ojibwa. According to the Ojibwa story, a mystical and maternal "Spider Woman" served as the spiritual protector for the tribe, especially for young children and babies. As the Ojibwe people continued to grow and spread out across the land, the Spider Woman found it difficult to continue to protect and watch over all the members of the tribe as they migrated farther and farther away. This is why she created the first dreamcatcher. Following her example, mothers and grandmothers would recreate the maternal keepsake as a means of mystically protecting their children and families from afar. I think this is just lovely and the charm could be given to a new mother to protect her infant, or someone whose children will leave home soon - like me!

There are earrings named "Spiritual Feathers" as well and I like the heart-shaped dangles in a turquoise enamel. There are a lot of different meanings associated with feathers, from angels wings to what it means when you find a feather. I am particularly interested in learning more about the spiritual aspects of feathers for smudging. Dancing to Eagle Spirit Society has more information about smudging. Their site also has more explanations about dreamcatchers if you are interested.

I've never worn a "cuff" earring so I'm excited to try these. I have a feeling my kids will tell me I'm not cool enough to wear them. They will come in both silver and Pandora Rose, and there will be one in the Shine collection as well. Best part is the low price point.

Pandora is trying a new ring concept, a chain ring; although I know Tiffany has rings in this style. I am curious to try them on. I'm wondering if they will be more comfortable than a solid band. Of course one of the rings has my fav turquoise colour.

And finally there are two new rings named "Vibrant Spirit," and I particularly like the turquoise colour even though the stone has the unusual label of "scuba blue crystal." It looks like it's a bit more of a statement ring than the turquoise birthstone ring, which has been on my wishlist forever.

Another new trend in rings is having something dangling from them. The dangles on this ring are meant to be "Spiritual Symbols" - an anchor, a feather and (although it's hard to tell in the photo) a shell. The smooth heart on the top could be easily engraved with an initial - or a date for a birthday, wedding, anniversary or childbirth.
Pandora has produced a number of different anchor designs over the years. They are popular among the Navy moms, but also suit nautical or beach themed bracelets. This one is engraved with "Anchor Yourself to Someone Special," which significantly limits its use. I like the idea of an anchor representing steadfastness in a relationship but it can also represent faith. Unfortunately the wording here makes love sound like it's a ball and chain, in my opinion.
Although this is not really an aboriginal thing I think this compass charm is supposed to be part of this spiritual theme. I love the "Compass Rose" with that same blue crystal. If you are not familiar with a "compass rose" it is the design you will see on a magnetic compass, a map, or a nautical chart depicting the compass points. Lots of meaning can be assigned to this charm. It is engraved with "follow your dreams" and can be used to represent charting your own path in life, whether you navigate by the stars, listen to your heart, or choose the path less travelled.
Continuing with the turquoise theme there is a silicone clip called Arcs of Love. It is a heart shape but I don't think that will  be too obvious when it sits on your bracelet sideways. This looks like it will be very similar to the Essence Wisdom bead (below) which is labeled "turquoise-colored crystal." I'll be stacking my Essence with this.
I like lots of bracelets in my stacks. Here you can see my turquoise Mii homemade bracelet and a two-tone bangle with the two gold charms I won from Pandora (you can read my stories about the Eiffel Tower Forever Paris charm). In this stack is also the snowflake bangle, my Essence, and my Lucerne Recovery bracelet. I'm thinking that the teal studded lights on the leather will work with some of the new charms from the Summer Collection.
To round off the theme there are new faceted hearts in colours we haven't seen before: orange and turquoise. And then there's something completely unexpected: tassels. I have seen surprising interest in these and some people see the relation to Chinese tassels. From a practical point of view, my worry is they will get dirty or, as a friend said, will get in her tea.

There are a few pieces that are coming out in the Summer Collection that do not appear to relate to the spiritual theme although aboriginals do use feather fans in smudging. These could also represent the rising or setting sun. Some people have used fans on Asian or Chinese New Year theme bracelets. But these charms are called "Fan of Love." I'm not sure if that's a play-on-words, 'cause I am a "fan" of love, but I'm not a "fan" of these. I get tired of the heart charms although these are quite simple with not too much cz. There will be pendants/dangles in silver and Pandora Rose, and heart-shaped charms in silver as well as an addition to Pandora's new Shine Collection.

The other pieces that are coming out in the Summer Collection are more novelty charms. First up is the skateboard dangle which looks like it has cubic zirconia around the edge of the board. The surface of the board itself seems to be textured. 

Everybody loves popcorn but the pink enamel will limit where this charm is used. And somehow pearls seem out of place in popcorn. Regardless, it will likely be a good gift item.

This "Drink to Go" will likely be popular as lots of ladies (and guys) like to represent their love of tea or coffee on their bracelets. And it's a little more subtle than the popcorn.

And finally, the ultimate in novelty, the "Burger and Fries." I can't see this fitting in on any of my bracelets but the biggest complaint I've heard is that some ladies don't like cheese on their burgers. Hard to please everybody!

Carrying on with the emoji trend, joining the kiss emoji for Valentine's Day, and the playful wink in the Spring release, we now have a "Stay Cool" charm and the "Symbol of Peace." Clearly directed at a younger market than this mom of teenagers whose most frequently received emoji is the eyes rolling.

We will see a new Canadian charm, this one titled "Love Canada." It has red enamel for the leaf but it may be quite a subtle colour. Underneath the enamel it looks like there are details to make it resemble the veining on a real leaf. The dangle heart is cute, with "Canada" engraved on it, but I think I prefer some of the other Canada charms I reviewed lately. I don't know if this will be widely available or another charm exclusive to Canada.

I think this last charm depicting a Ferris Wheel will be quite popular. Some folks are saying that they don't see this charm in catalogues from other countries, including the US. Where this will be released is still a mystery but we will have it in Canada, in June. Which charms will you be dreaming of?

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