In the spirit of the up-and-coming holiday season, the Auntie’s Beads design team (Susie, Shanna, Karla, Deb and I) decided to pack up our beads and visit the nursing home where Susie’s mother lives and help the ladies there design jewelry. Karla whipped up some pre-cut wire with one end of the toggle already attached to save some trouble and we brought extras of everything just in case. We hit the road with a huge variety of beads, not sure what to expect.
When we first got there, I have to admit I was uneasy. I didn’t know if the residents were interested in beading and I feared that something might go wrong. Still, we found a table in the common area and laid out several bead mats. We opened our many bins of color coordinated beads and waited. Over the loudspeaker, the activities coordinator announced our arrival.
Sure enough, a trickle of sweet, excited women appeared. One, then two.. then five! Before we knew it we had split into two tables. Diane, the woman sitting next to me, made a beautiful green bracelet to match her eyes. Then she started talking about how excited she is about the holidays and decided she wanted a Christmas necklace! She created a sparkling piece with lots of chinese crystal and sterling silver. Both her pieces turned out great- she designed everything, all I did was string and crimp. She asked Susie how many beads we’d need to make a reindeer, which cracked me up!
Susie’s mother’s physical therapy classes must be really paying off- she strung her beads herself. The woman next to her giggled the whole time and believe me, her laughter was contagious! Over at the other table, Karla helped an energetic 95-year-old woman named Murtle string a very sassy red bracelet. It turned out cute and after Murtle put it on she let us all know that she’s gonna go find herself a date! As Karla said, she had spunk.
Working with these women made me so happy. I think it put a little sparkle in their days and ours. When I went back to work I just felt better about the world. We all decided we will go back between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This time, we’ll help the ladies make gifts for their loved ones. I’m definitely going to find Diane when we get there, after all, she did request that I bring her some perfume next time.
Happy Holidays everybody!
Kelly McCoy, Auntie’s Beads Designer