Projects from the editor of BeadStyle magazine Cathy Jakicic   Hip Handmade Memory Jewelry is one of the newest publications from Kalmbach Books.  Cathy says the idea for Memory Jewelry came after she attended a scrapbook event with a friend of hers. While there, working on a beading project, she began to realize how these 2 creative endeavors were alike. The scrapbooking group was fascinated by her project and how she designed and constructed it.The result is over 25 jewelry creations that are inspired by special occasions, divided into 4 categories: milestones, hobbies, vacations and remembrances. Yes, we all know the endless varieties of charm bracelets and pictures in small frames on pendants and keychains. But Cathy’s projects go far beyond these common theme designs.   


Be sure you check out the decoupage bracelet; who thought of creating a way to remember wallpaper or paint. The handmade birthstone jewelry was very personal and I liked these much more than pre-made, pre-formed standard pieces.  Yes, the mini memory book pendant was a bit too trite for me, but other scrapbookers might love the concept. Creating beads from special paper, such as gift wrap, or napkins from your baby shower was another neat idea others might like, but not exactly my cup of tea.  Cathy describes a reward bracelet—-I liked using this for myself, adding a bead for each POUND lost on my diet, and maybe a slightly larger one for every 5 lbs.  That is a prime example of how you may look at one of her designs and immediately see a new and innovative way to turn it into your own project. 


Cathy described a project to commemorate a child’s recital….while that didn’t particularly appeal to me, it did spark my own creativity, as I thought about how I could take a program and use it to create a memory keepsake. I also like the pop culture project; I may have to use this to create a design for my best friend, who is dedicated movie buff. I could use movie posters and create a unique bracelet and earrings, with a slightly large set for a necklace. I think this could also work for books or album/CD covers. Oh, all of us remember our grade school art work being displayed on the refrigerator door (wonder what they ever did before refrigerators?). Cathy has a neat plan to co-op those into pendants.  


I enjoyed the photobook/memory book charm or bookmark project; there would be endless variations on just this project alone! An earlier project showing how to personalize a sports bag or backpack could also be a variation on this theme. Her map bead project was also very original and could be used in many ways to commemorate a trip.  


Cathy has different projects with photos, and a piece of cloth from your baby blanket or christening dress. But my fav was one that created a keepsake memory box with an autograph, quote or even haiku, if you wish. And, the baby blanket scrap is just fun and funny.

I thought the way she structured the book into 4 design ‘types” was great, since it helped me, at least, to think about the types of events that I might like to commemorate from my own life.  As an example, I have small dried flowers from my husband’s grandmother’s funeral that I plan to put between microscope slides and solder for pendants for my step daughter, sister in law and mother in law.  No, it isn’t the same as some of Cathy’s projects, but it is a way to remember someone without being maudlin or dramatic.  I think that is one of the things she accomplishes with her projects; giving us positive, unique ways to keep a special memory “alive.”

Well I do hope I didn’t spoil all your fun…..if you like creating personal keepsakes, or are a scrapbooker looking to “branch out” this book may be a great place to start. I think these projects would be wonderful to create personalized gifts. College girls, or your younger daughters might enjoy this to create thoughtful gifts that would be cherished but not expensive.  You can find this online at Kalmbach Books.

Source by Teri Baskett