Friday, February 7, 2014

Throwing like a girl.

Fight like a girl!

A friend from high school used to tell me I "threw like a girl".  My response was "sounds good to me, since I am a girl!"  Besides, why is throwing like a girl a bad thing?

My last post got me thinking about that, and a few other things as well.  One was the fact that I'd mentioned not being sure why I tried jewelry making as a hobby, other than that it seemed like a good idea at the time.  But looking back more closely I've remembered that's not entirely true.

The process started a little over a year and a half ago, with my older daughter.  When people ask what her hobbies are, they're often surprised to hear that Tae Kwon Do is up there at the top of the list.  They're even more surprised to find out that she's a first degree black belt.  Yep, she could take me down in five seconds or less if she wanted to...makes me think twice before asking her to take out the garbage or do some other icky chore.  :-)

Here she is at black belt graduation.  Not the greatest picture, I know.  But hugely important to me.  She's bowing in respect to a fellow student, the pair having just sparred for two minutes.  She'd probably use some of those skills on me if she found out that 1) I'd posted her picture here, and/or 2) I mentioned that her opponent (who was a good six inches taller and two+ years older) knocked her on her butt twice.  I was never so proud as when my kid stood right up each time and got back into it.  She held her own.

This is a kid who, in general, is the shy, quiet type  She rarely calls attention to herself if she can help it.  Put her in the dojang, though, and she's a different person.  I wanted to recognize that when she graduated to her black belt by getting her a necklace listing the five tenets of Tae Kwon Do:  courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit.  All of the qualities that were emerging in her as a result of her participation in martial arts.  But I couldn't find anything like what I wanted out in the marketplace.  I even contacted a few jewelry vendors asking about custom work.  While their initial response was "What a great idea!", in the end nobody ever followed through with a workable design.  I ended up giving my daughter a collage of photos from her various colored belt graduations, and making her a photo book of the black belt graduation afterward.  She loved them, but as she approached the time when she'd be ready to start preparing for graduation to second degree black belt, I still wanted that necklace.  I decided I had plenty of time, so I'd try to make it myself.  I ordered a stamped metal starter kit and had at it.

Stamping turned out to be more fun than I'd thought, and I ended up making a lot of other things.  Initial necklaces for my cousins, charms for my girls in the shapes of their favorite animals and accented with their birthstones, bracelets for my mom.  And I enjoyed every minute of it.  So much so that I gave myself a rotator cuff injury before Christmas, from repetitive motion (in other words, too much hammering!) trying to finish up a bunch of projects.  The bad news is that I haven't been able to make many new pieces since then.  The good news is that I graduate from physical therapy next Friday and get the go ahead to work as long as I'm careful and don't over-do.  That means just over a week until the jewelry-making will be gearing up.  Hooray!

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