Monday, February 20, 2012

Memory Keepers

Apologies in advance for the Very Bad Picture Quality. . .

A year or so ago, my friend Cilla gave me a big plastic bag filled with jewelry in varying stages of repair and including many different styles of beads. The jewelry had been her mother's, who passed away in the last few years. Cilla's request: Custom-make a piece of jewelry for each of eight women in her family, plus one toddler.

Have you ever been rarin' to go on a project, yet overwhelmed by the choices at the same time? What direction to take?? Which beads to favor over others?? How to accommodate the different ladies' preferences for styles, colors and actual piece of jewelry (necklace vs. bracelet, earrings only, hippy vs. uptown girl, one request for a Gothic Lolita style)? And what to make for a toddler that I would consider safe from swallowing or breaking??

I dug in, starting with the piece of my dreams--a knobbly necklace made of round beads for one of the adult women in her family.

As I finished each piece, I emailed a photo to Cilla to make sure I was on track.

Despite the blurry photos (my ace photographer, aka teenaged son, wasn't available at the drop of a hat), Cilla sent back encouraging replies.

I was still flummoxed over what to make for the little girl. Finally, I took a wire snowflake ornament form and filled it with blue and crystal-clear beads from her grandmother and lots of smaller beads from my supplies, then added a pretty ribbon.

I sent off the finished collection and heard back that the recipients were delighted. After listening carefully to each of Cilla's requests, it seemed that I had nailed this very important commission.

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