Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Gift of Time – Jewelry Crafting with My Niece

My niece has loved Hello Kitty stuff and the color purple for a very long time. When I tripped across a pair of earrings featuring Charmmy Kitty (Hello Kitty’s cat) with purple bows in TangerineDog’s Etsy shop, I knew that my niece would love them. Only one problem, she doesn’t have pierced ears and rarely if ever wears earrings.

Crafting to the rescue. Instead of just using the Charmmy Kitty charms to make something that my niece might actually like and use, I decided to give her the charms with a promise to have her over and make some jewelry out of them for her to wear.

A couple of weeks later, my niece came over to craft her jewelry. I prepared by pulling out a selection of beads that I thought would go well with her charms. We talked about what kind of jewelry she wanted to make using the Charmmy Kitties and which beads she liked. She decided on making a necklace and a bracelet. We figured out how long the necklace and bracelet should be and began to design them on a beading board. We talked about what colors looked good together and while I guided the design, my niece had the driving vision of what beads she wanted to use and ideas of how to group them together.

When the designs were complete, I helped with the trickier task of finishing off the ends and my niece strung the beads. While we worked, we had a chance to chat about school and whatever else popped into our heads. I enjoyed being able to share some of my crafting skills with the next generation and just spending some quality time. My niece was pleased with being able to help create her jewelry and has a new found appreciation for jewelry making. (It takes time and dexterity to string all of those little beads.)

What skill do you have that you could share with someone as part of a birthday, holiday or just because gift? I hope that you can think of something, since you and the recipient will be enriched beyond the giving of the physical gift. Time is a precious commodity that is wonderful to share.

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