Last weekend my son and his wife came for a visit bringing their wonderful family with them: Sophie, age 4, Owen, age 2 and James, also 2. We had a wonderful time while they were here. One of the best parts of the weekend for me was the evening before they left. Sophie had been wanting to see my studio which had been off limits all weekend. So, around 8:30, after the boys were in bed, Sophie and her mother joined me in my studio.
We began by looking at finished pieces that I had not yet gotten up in my store. I didn't know this about Sophie but she is a toucher. Each new piece of jewelry we brought out had to be touched to be enjoyed. Her eyes were big and she was smiling. She was having a good time.
Next, I brought out my stash of focal pieces for them to look through. Kara wanted to do some shopping and Sophie just wanted to touch. Not finding anything that got Kara excited, we moved on to my bead stash.
My bead stash is pretty incredible, even if I say so myself. Like Sophie, I enjoy the texture and feel of my beads as much as their beauty. With each bead strand that I brought out, Sophie's oohs and ahhhs became more and more giddy. She had oh so many questions. I really loved watching her making the connection to my beautiful toys. Now, of course, I can visualize Sophie and I spending the day together making jewelry. If she is still interested when she gets older, I'll teach her wire work and soldering and all the other fun things she needs to know to enjoy the craft.
After an hour or so, it was way past Sophie's bedtime. When Kara told her that, she began it cry. She had also just learned that they were heading home in the morning. The combination to bed time and leaving was too much for her. In an effort to calm her down, Kara offered Sophie the opportunity to make a necklace with me at some future time. Sophie than asked me when I thought she would be old enough to make a necklace with me. I responded that I thought we could do that the next time we were together. Sophie came back with the idea that she wanted to make a necklace this trip instead of waiting. I agreed to help her make a necklace in the morning and she happily went off to bed.
I spent a bit more time in my studio starting the necklace for Sophie. I thought since her mom and dad wanted to leave at 8:00, I should start the necklace so all Sophie had to do was put on some beads and a clasp. I guess I should explain what leaving at 8:00 a.m. usually means in our family. It usually means leaving at 10:00 if we are really lucky. More likely though, it means leaving at 11:00 or 12:00. When they are leaving from my house, I'm thankful for every extra minute that I get. It isn't easy preparing 3 kids and all the stuff for a 10-12 hour car ride.
Immediately after breakfast, I brought the started necklace out to Sophie along with all the supplies we would need to complete the necklace. As I brought out the beads, I realized that the beads I had picked for her were really small. The supplies included size 15 seed beads, the smallest size sterling silver spacers and 6mm Swarovsky bacons. I was worried that I should have picked beads that were a bit larger and easier to handle. At first Sophie struggled to get the beads on the beading wire so I told her if she couldn't do it, I'd help her by doing it. She worked at it for a few minutes and before I knew it, she was handling even the smallest beads with ease. Sophie worked diligently for about 30 minutes stringing the beads in the order I gave her. However, just as we were nearing the end, Sophie asked me to finish for her. Her brothers had just gone outside to the backyard to play. There are just some things that a 4 year old cannot resist. With Sophie, one of them is playing outside. She is, after all, only 4.
I finished up the necklace and put on the clasp. I think the necklace is perfect for Sophie. It is dainty with a simple marcasite 4 leaf clover as a focal piece. The beads are bright and colorful. Sophie adores bright color. The brighter the better. Here is the necklace we created together:
When Sophie put on the necklace, she told me that she would use it to think about me when we were apart. Grandma is thrilled. Now that they are gone, I'm left with a warm, warm heart and a quiet, lonely house.