Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And the two shall become one

I have been blessed in my life to have 5 drop-dead gorgeous nieces - two belong to my sister, and three belong to my brother.  Jen, (my brother's child) is my eldest niece and she was married two years ago to Jason - a wonderful guy! Jason is an Engineer and I have to say, a nice guy to have a conversation with - very funny!  He is from Wisconsin to boot - my father's home state, and this family is full of Packer Backers! Jen is expecting not one - but two babies within the next few weeks (squeal!!!)   One of those babies is a boy - and we are super excited for both Oliver and Evelyn to make their entrance into this world!  I foresee lots of drives down I-95 with my mom in tow in the near future!  The arrival of these babies enhances my mother's title to Great Grandma! :)

My one and only Godchild, Rachel (my sister's eldest) was married in May 2012 to a sweetie pie southern boy from North Carolina name Jon.  He calls me ma'am....I don't know if that is his southern upbringing or the fact that he is in the Navy.  He truly treats Rachel like a queen, and I believe he would give his shirt off his back to help a stranger.  He is most definitely a keeper and I love him to death!

About a week or so ago, Sarah's (my sister's youngest) boyfriend Kevin proposed...and she said Yes!  Sarah and Kevin have been together for years now.  Kevin is another sweet heart  - he can build or fix anything (jealous!) and he is just so darn nice!  He is so loyal and has so much integrity - something I just don't see every day now.  She is so very lucky!

It makes me so happy that "my" girls have found their perfect mates!

All 5 of my niece's have HUGE beautiful eyes as you can see from the photo of Sarah and Kevin below - a trait that was not acquired from the Vanderbloemen side of the family....

Sarah and Kevin - taken on the day he proposed at the beach
So, Sarah wanted a unique way to ask her friend's to be her bridesmaids.  After much searching, she found an idea from a seller on Etsy - it was a neon pink stretch ribbon with a silver "star" charm attached, meant to be worn as a type of bracelet.  The seller had a cute little saying on a printed card and attached the makeshift bracelet to the card.  It was a really cool idea.  But, Sarah and I had a better idea - let's make a bracelet that someone could actually wear on a day-to-day basis!

I recently completed some custom jewelry for Sarah's friend (also named Sarah) that included sterling silver infinity links.... (purchased from Nina Designs) I had lots of these links left over, so I came up with this design:

Made from relatively thin, 16 gauge sterling silver wire, the link is attached via a simple loop on one side with a simple hook on the right.  After I made a sample in copper to get the measurements down, I made the bracelets all in silver.  I pounded the heck out of the silver with my rawhide hammer and bracelet mandrel to get the correct shape and hardness.  I tumbled these bangles for a solid 3 hours to harden and shine the metal.  These are also amazingly simple to put on, too!

So, Sarah, being a teacher and an excellent writer by the way (shameless plug!) came up with a beautiful saying that unifies the infinity link with her message and we made these cards to attach the bracelets:

Sarah had some cute ribbon to tie the bracelets to the card as well:

Being a self-imposed Office Supply Queen, I made some little labels to attach to the lid of the box indicating the date to mark their calendars:

And we called it DONE!  These went in the mail Monday morning...

Two of the Bridesmaids-To-Be replied today with pictures of themselves wearing the bracelets - that probably means more to me than Sarah as it is evidence that something I made FITS!

My sister and Sarah like the bracelets so much that I made one for each of them as well.  I am thrilled beyond words that Sarah entrusted me to make these for her - one of so many wonderful memories to come.  Thank you, Sarah, for allowing me to have this small part in preparing for your big day!  Love you!

Thanks for stopping by today! 



  1. What a lovely story, thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow,so much to celebrate, this is just wonderful Patti! It's great to hear of these lovely ladies finding good men, and I can see good people attracting more good to their sphere. The bracelets are such sweet treasures, beautiful symbolism and execution. I stopped to try and remember asking my girls and I can say I don't really remember the moment... They always knew it would be them :) thanks for sharing all the love!

  3. Wow! What a great story. Those bracelets are very special. They are so lucky to have you for their favorite aunt!

  4. Oh gosh, you had me crying! That is such a beautiful way to ask your friends to be a part of your special moment! You know how much I love your designs, and this is just gorgeous! You have made Sarah's special moment even more special with your talent. And what better testimony can we have for what we do?

  5. Wonderful story and beautiful gifts for the bridesmaids to be-fantastic idea!

  6. Oh, Patti, how wonderful!! Wonderful that you're nieces are finding such wonderful men. Wonderful that you're going to be adding two angels to your family. And, wonderful that Sarah asked you to make those lovely bracelets. They are fantastic. Simple but elegant and what a great way to ask someone to be in your wedding. You are all very special people, indeed!

  7. Lucky nieces--to have good friends, good husbands, and such a wonderful aunt (who incidentally can make them such beautiful bracelets)!

  8. Lovely. Those bracelets are a classical beauty. Love them!

  9. This is all so wonderful! Love the bracelets! Great design and the symbolism is awesome. I'll bet the ladies wear them everyday! I got the goose bumps as I read this post!! Continued Blessings to all!

  10. Patti, you are a wonderful Aunt - the nieces are so lucky to have you. And what a beautiful design - your bracelets will certainly be cherished for years to come. :-)