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Gifting Deep

Gifting Deep

Growing up there were six members in my household. I am the second of four girls our ages spanning a decade. Early December my parents would give each of us $50, $10 to spend on each family member for Christmas gifts. I honestly would think about what I wanted to give for months in advance of the Holiday, especially what to give my parents. Sometimes we would join forces and pool our cash to get something extra special for someone.

I can still recall the delight in watching our father try to guess his gift, often mysteriously guessing correctly. He was goofy and delighted unlike his typical responsible Dad self. I loved this ritual. 

I have a particular memory of buying my Mom “chain by the inch” at the Frederick Towne Mall kiosk, having had pooled with a sister for the sterling option. It didn’t take long for me to discover that you could get a lot more mileage from the 10 bucks if you bought raw materials to make something. JoAnn Fabrics usually did the trick.

These early teachings about selecting, or making gifts honed in me the joy of giving a gift well considered.  And what makes it so? At the heart of it is listening, observing and paying careful attention. What would delight them, surprise them, or bring them joy? What would they never buy for themselves but secretly crave? What colors, textures, styles, flavors do they enjoy? Do they collect some quirky thing you would never think of enjoying yourself? Then it’s the perfect item and I say bend over backwards to find it for them. Remember the mix tape? I made a few in my day.

Also consider what would support the makers in your very community, our dare devil designprenuers, restaurateurs, chocolatiers, alpaca yarn spinners? Of course I gift a lot of jewelry but not always.

Gifting anything handmade trumps big box plastic land. Try local theatre, a concert,  a gift certificate to a favorite small restaurant or chocolatier or nursery, a subscription to a CSA, a class at the art center, a massage or my all time favorite as a child a handmade coupon book full of sweet favors.

Be it an experience or a handmade piece of jewelry, a well thought out meaningful gift makes memories and communicates Love.  We all crave to be seen, understood and appreciated, with the gift giving season upon us, this is your chance to give deep this year.

Here is a list of some of my favorites locally in Frederick County, it's short but it's just the beginning…

Jewelry           

InBloomJewlery - We are offering Gift Certificates to use online and FREE Shipping through December!

Chrissy Gemmill Jewels

Isabelle Glass

Stacie’s Jewlery       

Handmade Gifts

The Muse

Potters            

Robert Strasser

Jude Swafford

VanGilder

Forged Knives           

ErinAylor, Hawkwood Farm

Spun Alpaca Yarn & Gifts 

Sugarloaf Alpaca Farm

Fine Art & Classes

KesraHoffman

Ann Quinlin

Griffin ArtsCenter

Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center

Yoga

Mountain Spirit Yoga

Anadala Shala

Sol yoga

Chocolate       

Zoe's Chocolate Co.                       

Theatre 

Maryland Ensemble Theatre

Weinberg Center for the Arts

Nursery & CSA

Thanksgiving Farms

SurreybrookeFarms

Massage

Angie Tressler

Jennifer Peppe

Local Holiday Shows where you can find InBloom Jewlery...

Alexandria Holiday Market

DC Downtown Holiday Market

Chantilly Sugarloaf

Jewelry Means What It Means

Jewelry Means What It Means

When I dropped out of graduate school half way toward my Master’s Degree to pursue a career as an independent jewelry artisan I was deeply torn. Was I no longer going to serve others or worse was I being selfish to pursue self-expression over a career as a Social Worker? Fifteen years later I can say with confidence it was the right decision. I realize now I do serve others in a ways I couldn’t have imagined. Here are a few recent stories that stand out...

 

This past summer my Aunt Marti remarried in a loved filled ceremony. She had lost her husband eight years prior to cancer and has been blessed twice with Love. A year before they had asked me to make their wedding bands. They requested a simple matching carved leaf design. They were a joy to make. When I truly arrive and focus at my jeweler’s bench it is a deeply fulfilling mediation I’d never describe as “work”. It was during the ceremony when I witnessed the rings consecrated and rise to symbols of cherishing Love and enduring partnership that I was moved to tears.

 


This young bride sent a hand written note with a gorgeous photograph of her on her wedding day. She is simply stunning.

 

An interracial couple celebrating their wedding anniversary and honoring the Love that dissolved the early disapproval that surrounded them were asked to sit for a photo shoot for a New York Times article. She chose to wear the piece he purchased for her during the Philadelphia Flower Show. It suits her perfectly. It’s beautiful on her. They are beautiful.

 

This spring after two years of holding onto our InBloom business card with a description scribbled on the back a proud grandmother ordered a special bracelet as a graduation gift for granddaughter. She was heading to Notre Dame on full scholarship as an academic scholar and a Pole Vaulter! What an unusual combination. She sent me photographs of her and a link to her very moving graduation speech.

 


My fellow jewelry artist and friend Chrissy Gemmill requested a donation of special pieces for an Autism Awareness auction in honor of her son Marcus. It was awesome to be included in this event and brought me even closer to a dear friend that I admire.

There is no doubt in my mind that this life path is service. It is my job to sit at my bench and fully arrive in heart, mind and body then make something beautiful. What meaning is ascribed to all those pieces I’ll never know but makes my heart full to think of them out there.

Jewelry means what it means to the giver, the wearer and even those that surround them. I wish I knew all the stories of the pieces that we sell.  If you have one please send it to me because it keeps me going when things get challenging.