Scenes from a weekend…

This weekend was just about perfect. I spent the entire day on Saturday at a jewelry class, made all the better because my best friend was able to join me at the last minute. We haven’t had an entire day together in a very long time (too long) and this was an unexpected and really wonderful treat.

Four years ago, she and I took a beginning metalsmithing class that really wasn’t very good. It taught us enough to intrigue and frustrate us, and although we both love metal, we wound up sticking with wire work because the metal work just seemed so intimidating. I’ve dabbled in metal clay – even flew to Atlanta for a three-day private workshop with the wonderful Lisa Barth – but the idea of hammering and forming and forging metal always lingered. Saturday’s class was supposed to be a beginning soldering class, but because it was taught by the wonderful Gail Stouffer at Wired Designs, it wound up being about a lot more – design and process and troubleshooting and more. I made a pair of earrings and a pendant in mixed metals (something else I’ve been dying to do more of), and although they all need some final polishing and touching up, I am extremely pleased with how they turned out.

You can see a little speck of solder on the front of the pendant that I need to file off, and the earrings still need to be cleaned, tumbled, and polished, but none of that stopped me from wearing them to church yesterday. My friend Kimmy also made a gorgeous set (no photos, unfortunately – maybe she’ll send me some), and she did such a great job that Gail made a point of encouraging her in her talent before we left for the day. It was just such a wonderful, wonderful experience. And honestly, because working with metal had been a not-so-secret longing of mine, I got a little emotional about these pieces – I really could hardly believe I’d made them. I was so excited about the process and the potential that I promptly signed up for part II of the class, this Friday – another all day adventure, this time learning (and for some things for me, unlearning and re-learning) how to do bezel settings and prong settings. I can’t wait!

Church on Sunday was very significant for me, because the sermon was given by a friend of mine, Darna McGinnis, on a topic that has personal meaning for our family. Two weeks ago, River City started a series called “Surviving the Church” – because, let’s face it, the church sometimes does a really lousy job of being the church. Yesterday’s sermon was Darna’s testimony about her experience in a truly abusive church situation and how God walked her through a process of healing and restoration. She was so brave to open her life up like that, and so intent on using her experiences to point people to the Christ who loved her through it – my family and I experienced something similar a number of years ago, and I was so proud of Darna for the calm and thoughtful way she discussed a very difficult and painful subject.

Then, we spent a few hours preparing to spoil two dear friends of ours – they’re both in full-time ministry and don’t get a lot of down time without the kids. They arranged for a sitter, and we arranged for them to spend time in our pool while we plied them with good food. We ate too much and talked until well after dark, and they left rested, full, and loved-on.

It was a truly wonderful two days – I wish every weekend could be so memorable! I am grateful this morning for the time and resources to do what we are feeling called to do – the classes have been long on my heart, and my sweet husband came up with the idea of spoiling some friends. We have several more weekends planned with other folks who are working hard at their various pursuits, and we’re looking forward to loving on them too. I can’t wait to get into the studio today and work on some more metal pieces – but first, I need to go drool over these Fretz hammers, which have rocketed to the top of my wish list as a result of these classes. Maybe someday…

Have a great Monday!


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