A Gem of an Idea

Creative Pursuits

It started with a broken bracelet. Then came the YouTube video tutorials followed by an in-person class, where I made my first pair of earrings. Jewelry making has turned into one of my favorite hobbies. I turned out many gifts and custom-made items for special outfits of my own. It also provided a natural opportunity to have conversations with grandkids and others, both boys and girls, while teaching them how to create their own gifts and personal accessories.

Girls adore the necklaces and bracelets they make themselves; more is better seems to be the rule. I think it’s the freedom to choose the exact components they put in it. Even my grandson occasionally accent his camouflage tee shirt with the masculine bracelet he made from black and silver beads with charcoal gray stones. He also has made necklaces for his mother and sister using their favorite colors and charms. These reportedly get lots of hugs when he presents them to their recipients.

It might be because I started this hobby from a repair perspective that I often hunt through yard sales and flea markets for broken or out of fashion jewelry with interesting beads. I like to pair these finds with store-bought beads, stones, and leaded crystals in one-of-a-kind patterns. For me, the most enjoyable part of the process is seeing how individual components work together in different combinations to create something that is better than the sum of its parts. It’s a lot like observing how we, as uniquely created people, can work together and end our time feeling more upbeat than when we began. 

Making jewelry together, or for that matter, sharing any hobby together, opens the doors to talk about deeper concerns of life. At times, children who are working on a jewelry item with me will drift into a conversation about something that is troubling them or one of their future hopes. It’s an organic way to drill down to the crux of the matter without pressure or pretense. We may end up sharing a prayer of thanks or a petition for intervention to God.

Give it a try. We all need time to refresh our minds and renew our souls. Allow yourself the simple pleasure of engaging in a favorite activity or hobby. It could be anything from fishing with a grandchild or teaching kids how to make bracelets to, well, you fill in the blank. Relax, enjoy the time, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and conversations.

Then drop me a note and tell me about your hobby.