February 6, 2013

Sewn Souvenirs Part Deux

We’ve learned so much while out cruising. I don’t just mean the things you’d expect to learn: offshore sailing, local history, how to say ‘where’s the bathroom’ in smattering of foreign languages or even how to husk a coconut. No, we’ve learned all sorts of cool things we never even knew were out there to learn: how to custom dye fabric, how to set up a slack line, why that weird looking fish is doing what it’s doing…

Cruisers have some of the most diverse skills and backgrounds of any group of people we’ve ever met. We’ve met botanists and biologists, astronomers, engineers and IT guys, doctors, lawyers and investment bankers, jewellery makers and stunt drivers, and the guy who invented the forth squeeze for orange juice.

And from so many of them we’ve learned things. Real things. Useful things—like which leaf makes a poultice that can help heal wounds, and how to find constellations in the new-to-us southern sky and how to take that huge coin collection and turn it into beautiful keepsakes.

Lauren girl from Pico was our jewellery maker in the Pacific. Lauren’s grandmother taught her to make gorgeous embroidered bead jewellery, and she passed on her skills and knowledge to Amanda from Britannia, who also makes stunning embroidered bead jewellery, and Amanda kindly passed on some of her skills and knowledge to Maia, who aspires to make wonderful embroidered bead jewellery.
Amanda and Lauren's work as inspiration
 Maia is actually doing really well with her new found skills. Her first piece caught the eye of the kids on Viatrix (a lovely French Canadian family we’ve been spending time with) and they asked to learn so she invited them and the girls from Dorénavant (another lovely French Canadian family we’re spending time with—in fact there are currently six Canadian boats here in Brissie, the most we’ve encountered in one harbour since Mexico) over for a jewelry making class.

The class was both a French lesson (Maia can now swear and threaten to eat small children) and a jewelry making class. And as the kids sewed and giggled and Maia struggled with the ‘r’ sound in Merde! while the other kids tried to keep their beads even, I thought about how far this lesson had traveled: from Lauren’s grandmother to her, and then across oceans and cultures. And soon it will spread even further.


Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

You have reaffirmed my faith in the next generation with this post. Thank you very much.

Katy said...

I loved reading your story. It makes me want to go do something crafty. As in handicraft--not mischief. :)