When I think back on my childhood, there is one consistent thread…I was always making something. Sometimes it was tangible like candy cane reindeers for all of my family members at Christmastime or a crochet scarf. Occasionally the making was a little less tangible…starting a babysitting club (hello child of the 90’s) or organizing a neighborhood food drive. I always had something in the works.
I’m not really sure how much of my creativity is genetic (I’m not necessarily artistic or creative in my own right, I’m simply a really good copycat), but I definitely had people who nurtured creativity in me.
My Tia Del was one of those early creative influences. She was super crafty and was always making things. My cousin Jimmy was her only child so I got to be her sort of “stand in” daughter. Although she dabbled in many things, her passion was jewelry making. It was only natural that she would want to share that passion with me.
I have the best memories of her picking me up for a day trip. We’d start out by blaring country music as we drove through the windy roads heading to Santa Cruz. We’d hit all the coolest bead shops, have lunch together, and head home to play with our goodies. She’d ooh and ahh over everything and I could see that her mind was whirling with ideas. I usually just followed her lead and let her be the brains behind our little operation.
She bought me all the tools I would need for basic jewelry making; some needle nose pliers, wire cutters, various wires and findings, and of course beads. She had trays and trays and trays of beads. If I didn’t find something at the bead shop, I was certain to find it amongst Tia Del’s collection. As a little girl, it was the best experience! They are memories I will always treasure.
My Tia went to be with Jesus several years ago after a long battle with cancer and while it pains me that we won’t be making any new memories, there is so much joy in reliving the memories that I have. When I think of her and our time together I cry, but I also smile. I smile because she had the heart of a creative, and she shared her whole heart with me.
It’s been years and years since I’ve picked up a tool to do any sort of jewelry making. After scouring Pinterest and Anthropology I figured I’d give it a go. Without my Tia as my guide, I stood in the bead aisle of Michaels for WAY too long, threw some things in the cart, and came home for a jewelry making session to honor my Tia Del.
It would have been much easier with her here to straighten out my loops and tell me where to cut the wire, but I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I got to work through the creative process that she shared with me so many years ago.
Who are the people that have poured creativity into you? Is there a hobby, passion, or craft that you’ve walked away from? Let go of the pretense of perfection (I know I certainly had to in order to tackle this little project!) and jump back in! Make time to pursue your creative interests.
It’s sure to bring joy to the soul.