Bracelet di Roma

While we were in the Vatican, we managed to walk pass and through every single souvenir shop/stop that they had along the designated route.

How typically Finnish: go on the tour and buy the souvenirs afterwards, not during.


But, we were graciously allowed to walk back - thanks to a really nice security guard - so I got to buy two rosaries (one bracelet for 3 € and one necklace for 8 €) for 11 €. Well, I'm not intending to offend any catholic prayer rituals here, but I bought them so that I could make my own "Roman prayer bracelet" when I got home.

I took apart both today made charms from all but 40 of the beads and the bigger cross, made a chain from 58 pre-cut jump rings and a toggle clasp, and made a bracelet.

My own memories of Rome and the Vatican, on one bracelet. Made from scratch.

The original design idea came I got from the book "Mastering the Art of Beading" by Genevieve A Sterbenz. A most terrific book I might add. The piece I got inspired by was one called "Bisou" (or 'kiss' in French), where the theme was a Paris-inspired bracelet.

These are, or actually 'were', the original rosaries.
Yes, I know, and Micke also commented that they
look like small eyes.
The souvenir "store" was really small and totally crammed, since it was the last store on the way out. While I looked through all the bead variations that they had rosaries in, I finally chose red. Because that red bracelet was the only one left of it's kind in the shop's upstairs, or so the nice nun behind the counter told me. I found a necklace in the same red variation downstairs.

Taken apart.
These beads I found at a 'proper' bead-store in Rome,
not in the Vatican. If you only knew the trouble I went
through to get them, and to even find some beads that would
match the rosary beads. I really like the small coffee pot.
Oh yes, this store (Kouki) sure was something... But that's a story for another time. But I did consider these beads, but they would have clashed too much in color.

So, this is the finished piece.
There is a kind of symbolism surrounding the bracelet.
Firstly, I made it, just like I made my own memories of the whole journey.
Secondly, the charms all have symbolic meaning now: the "Rom"-charm made out of seed beads spells out the name of the city, the rosary-beads and the bead with the portrait of Pope Benedict XVI are of the Vatican, the large Murano-type beads remind me how I got lost while trying to find Via Dei Coronari and how I got hassled by the guy in the store, the coffee pot bead reminds me of all the great coffee we had (yes, as a tea drinker this is close to scandalous, but hey!) and the rest of the charms that I added from my own stash have bees (Pope Urban of the Barberini-family had three bees on his papal and his family's coat of arms) on them.

It really jingles as you move your arm, so it's not a silent piece of jewelry. But that is a good thing, this once at least, because the only time Rome was truly 'silent' as a city was between 5 and 6 a.m.