Sunday, October 5, 2008

Charmed Words, Charming Life

I've been making charms with words taken from a shabby old book, taking the words and sentences as I find them and letting them tell a different story. Language is a powerful thing, and words can define the world as it is seen. To describe something is to add a meaning to it, to draw on the many meanings of words.

Families have stories that they tell, about times when children did or said special things, and about times when events happened and how the family came to be the way we find it today.

When I was very young I lived on an American Air Base outside Paris, France. I'm very attentive to things that are french, and I started school in France. It creeps into my designs sometimes, that attraction to french words and images, places and people. Movies in french, or in english with french locations. And so on.

So these little charms came about from finding the word 'Paris' in several places, and deciding to use them to create. And the charm with the stamped copper strip with the word 'W-I-F-E' and the brass mat surrounding the vintage photo of a woman. The written word on the reverse side also says 'W-I-F-E' in the handwriting of a relative generations back, on a document saved and cherished for a long time.

For someone else, looking at the charms without having the same history, they may tell a different story.

Celebrating a trip to Paris, or cherishing a wish to travel. A remembrance of a wife, or an invitation to marriage.

Could be for a charm bracelet, an addition to a collage or a necklace. Like advertising tokens from the flea market on the left bank, replicas of hotel key rings.

Little snippets of words, thoughts and ideas that frame a moment of time and places near and far. Memories, and tales of things that haven't happened yet.


Cindy Gimbrone said...

Oooo Lynn, I LOVE the charms - they're well, so charming! The curly q's and the text is just perfect. Thanks for sharing a snippet of your childhood. How exciting to have lived in France! I have a fascination with all things French probably because my grandmother was French Canadian.

Charmingly yours,

LLYYNN said...

Wow, Cindy - do you have any french words or legacy in your life, was your grandmother from Quebec? I went to Montreal as an adult and felt like I was walking the streets of Paris, it has the same feeling and look to the buildings. It's funny, sometimes I dream in french and when I wake up I realize all that language is still in my brain somewhere!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Lynn,

She was my paternal grandmother and since my mother and her despised each other, there isn't anything left except a few memories - sitting on her warm lap, her hug and soft arms. She disliked my mother but loved us :-) probably because my dad was her pride and joy.

Cool you dream in French - I dream in sign language. The language is definitely still in you!

Love the style of the charms and now I know why! They're so French! They may dislike us but we LOVE the French!

linguistically yours (wink)

Gaea said...

I have such a love of all things Parisian! These are so beautiful!

LLYYNN said...

Gaea, I like them too, I want to make some and send to family members but it feels like sending coals to Newcastle - if you aren't familiar with the expression, Newcastle was where coal came from. So if I send things about Paris to relative from Paris ... see what I mean? So I will make some for me, I guess that's the only thing to do, I'm sure you agree - LOL!