Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ornament Thursday - Motherhood

Welcome to Ornament Thursday! Today's theme is "Motherhood," a topic on which I had zero knowledge until the Short One arrived and kindly agreed to educate me. (It's been quite an illuminating couple years.) While the SO and I continue to journey on this great adventure together, I thought it would be a good idea to sit back and reflect a little on our special time together.

I'm convinced that nothing emphasizes the passage of time so much as spending time with a young child, because the child changes and grows so darned quickly. With this in mind, I wanted to create a memento of our current time together. The SO is still quite young, but he has recently reached that stage where he finds simple paper crafts very entertaining. He cannot use scissors on his own yet, but he's quite fascinated by the paper chains, dolls, snowflakes and origami that I make for him from time to time.

The focal of this necklace is actually a small origami boat that I folded using paper-type PMC. (You can click on the photo for a closer look at the focal.) For anyone unfamiliar with this medium, this metal clay come in sheet form and feels a bit like vinyl. It can be folder, cut, stamped and otherwise manipulated in a way similar to paper. After firing, it leaves behind the usual fine silver. I must confess that I've had a single sheet of this sitting around in my tool box for almost a year - it came with the starter kit I purchased last May when I decided to give metal clay a whirl. While it's been on my list of things to try, I just hadn't gotten around to using it. (Having tried it once, though, I feel pretty motivated to continue using it.)

There are many simple origami boat patterns available, but this is the one I remember from my own childhood - the instructions for folding it used to be included in the basic pack of origami that my mother would buy for me at the local Japanese market. The SO has had many fun adventures with such paper boats (and hats - what's a commodore without a fancy folded paper hat, after all?), so I felt it would make a fitting focal for this necklace.

To finish the necklace, I added faceted aquamarine rondelles for "water" underneath the boat, and faceted round amazonite beads for the sky above the boat. The encased, dotted lampworked beads are my own practice beads from when I was learning to use the torch last spring - I thought they made a nice child-like suggestion of a rainbow. I set these colored beads off with small freshwater pearls. I had a nice sterling clasp that had a slightly nautical feel to it in my stash, so I used that to close the piece.

My son is young enough that it's unlikely that he will remember our time together playing with small paper boats. Moreover, in a couple years, these simple toys will be too crude to hold his interest. However, the time I spend with him now, as I continue to learn how to be a good mother to him, is precious to me, and I will be happy to wear this reminder of his childhood for many years to come.

Please visit these talented artists to see their own interpretations of Motherhood:

5 Generations of Mothers
Hali's first attempt at an altered book featuring family photos of great grandmother down to her niece.

Art Bead Scene
Add art beads to needle-felted flowers for the perfect Mother's Day corsage.

Candie Cooper
See a sweet project that Candie and her mom made together.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Celebrating Mother Earth with a ceramic pendant tutorial

Katie's Beading Blog
Make this easy talisman for new moms or moms-to-be

Linda at Make It Mine magazine
Quilts inspired by Mom's Mom

Modern Glass Link Earrings
Modern Glass Links for the Mom who's a classic!

Mommy-isms by Michelle

Strands of Beads
Melissa and the Short One celebrate motherhood with a little origami

The Swell Life - Swelldesigner's blog
Make this cool and colorful buckle inspired by the iconic "MOM" tattoo

UR Charmed Mother's Necklace
Easy to make and personalize necklace for Mom or Grandma!

Thanks for visiting!


Lisa said...

That is very pretty! I love the dangles.

Katie Hacker said...

What a great way to preserve the memory of this special time with your kiddo. It goes too fast, doesn't it?

Michelle McGee said...

Wow! That is so unique!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks, everyone!

Katie - I can't believe how quickly they grow! ABCs today, college tomorrow (well, I hope not, but it feels like it, sometimes...)