Jewelry Making – A Therapeutic Hobby

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By Indu Gosar

HOUSTON: One of the visions of IACAN is that no Indian American will take the cancer journey alone. IACAN offers culturally sensitive services to cancer patients such as navigating the complex and unfamiliar landscape of available medical care. Through carefully selected activities, it offers social, emotional and psychological support to both patients and care givers. These activities are designed to create a “buddy system” in which people going through similar experience and road blocks, get to know each other, share feelings and lend each other the most needed emotional support. One such activity was the “Jewelry making – a therapeutic hobby.”

Hobbies are activities of interests.  There are a whole array of hobbies. Sewing, gardening, painting, jewelry making, knitting, and reading, are such hobbies to name a few.  Hobbies are not just to pass time but to make time for ourselves.  Modern life is hectic and there is no time to unwind. Hobbies give us a breather and gives us some pleasurable down time.

Hobbies are worthwhile activities because they help to keep our minds off of our daily routine. They are a necessary piece of work-free, responsibility-free time in our schedule. Hobbies helps to enhance our immune system, improve flexibility, improve memory and of course self-esteem. They give a sense of accomplishment that makes us move productive.

IACAN had a fun filled evening of “Jewelry making – a therapeutic hobby” on Tuesday, April 21st at 6200 Savoy Drive, Houston, This well attended gathering was lead by Mrs. Kamini Vajapey, a well know jewelry designer. She graciously accepted our invitation to lead the group in a short demo cum hands-on jewelry making session. Kamini, a former Houstonian but presently residing in California, is well known for her simple but uniquely elegant and beautiful sets.

Kamini, using a power point presentation, first explained the variety of tools used in jewelry making. She then explained the various steps involved in making of the jewelry items. She brought in a variety of beads and accessories to attenuate the beauty of the beaded necklaces. One of the tools of jewelry making is the beading tray that is used to place the beads and/or stones and other pieces to accentuate a necklace and visualize the necklaces before it is strung in a wire. This tray helps to measure the length of the string wire needed, design, patterning and a lot more. This is truly a multipurpose tray. The participants had a great time choosing the colored beads of their choice and to design it with a variety of accents. Kamini was at hand to give suggestions and guide us in the design of a simple but elegant necklace from the beads selected by us. The room was filled with laughter, enthusiasm and of course, artistic energy with everyone busy making their own creations. There was a lot of going back and forth between the participants in getting ideas and opinions. Everyone felt a positive stress that keep us vital and lively. This therapeutic hobby gave us the “Eustress” that we need in our lives and helps us view life’s threats as challenges that we can overcome. This also revitalizes our energy like recharging our batteries without in any way overwhelming us. Kamini had a great way to show the participants how to finish a necklace.  Everyone was focusing on the new terms like crump beads, clasps and thin nosed flyers. This activity helped to divert the minds from the life’s curve balls and focus on more pleasant, enjoyable ones. At the end, we all got to wear what we created and there was pride and joy in every one’s face.

Of course, the good evening became a great evening with a sumptuous dinner. Thanks to IACAN Board Members, we had a wonderful home cooked meal with delicious subjis, healthy salad, and wonderful pilaf. Fruits and cake were served for desert. It is always a pleasure to share a meal with friends. Dr. V.K. Dorai, the President of IACAN thanked Kamini for her time and willingness to help us in this wonderful hobby. Dr. Dorai thanked everyone for being such enthusiastic participants and all those who brought in a potluck item. Kudos to the great cooks!

Everyone expressed their interest to participate in many more such activities. IACAN is definitely planning to have such therapeutic hobbies in the future. We look forward having more such fun activities like this one!