“When I was a girl, my mother and I used to walk down the alley looking for cool rocks,” said Renee Lindeman earlier this week. “We were always interested in rocks and beads.”
Renee’s mother, Leah Dolezal, took it to the next step when Renee was older, introducing her to the fun of making jewelry.
“When we’d come to the store in town, they’d sell seed beads in tubes,” said Renee. “I used to make choker (necklaces) to wear to the swimming pool. Later we moved on to bracelets and earrings.”
About a year and a half ago,Renee decided to repay her mom for the favor.
When Leah moved into Garnette Gardens in Redwood Falls, Renee brought over supplies for making jewelry.
Very quickly, it became a group activity. As other residents of Garnette Gardens saw Leah wearing her new necklaces and bracelets, they asked, “Can we do it too?”
It’s since turned into a monthly meeting for up to a dozen residents and family members at a time.
“You’ll see them walking around the halls or going to dinner wearing their jewelry,” Renee said.
“I’ve never done crafts before, but I enjoy this,” said Shirley Hintermeister. “I have no trouble threading the needles!”
The jewelry supplies, paid for out of the Garnette Gardens activities fund, are chosen to appeal to a senior audience.
At this month’s event on Sept. 13, Theresa Zins said, “We make the necklaces nice and big so we don’t need to use latches.”
Lois Wilshire came Sept. 13 wearing a green necklace that appeared as if it could have been made the week earlier.
“My mother made this,” she explained to the surprise of the others.
Hazel Palmer had a plan this month: she wanted to create something in black and silver to match a dress she already had.
Some of the residents’ jewelry is sold at the Garnette Gardens gift shop, but most of it goes to friends and relatives.
“I wanted to make something for the Garnette Gardens volunteer,” said Leona Fangmann.
Every now and then, a resident will bring a daughter or granddaughter to the monthly sessions to learn jewelry-making.
And perhaps the cycle will continue for another round....