By some meandering path of thoughts this morning, I remembered pleasant hours of craft-time back in the 1950s. For a while my mother's hobby was making jewelry from tiny, tiny seashells. Sometimes she'd let me work with her. (My little sister, too, I think, though I don't remember for sure.)
I can't exaggerate how small and fragile the shells were: about the size of the hulls in a bag of popped corn and not a great deal sturdier than that, either. They came in little cellophane pouches, sorted by shape and color, and each new package Mother brought home was met with "oohs" and "aahs" and individual visions of design possibilities.
We mostly made brooches and clip-on earrings. The jewelry hardware came attached to flat plastic disks. Using tweezers, we painstakingly glued the shells to the plastic disks to form flowers and other designs. I searched for images on the web before beginning this post, and the closest ones I could find to show you were on a blog called Style Me Betty. (Thanks, Betty. Nice site!)
Mother was always crafty. She sewed, she knitted, she sketched occasionally, mostly for the amusement of kids and grandkids, and did paint-by-numbers art. If it interested her, she tried it, and she was usually good at it. You can't see it very well in the photo below, but she made the amber-colored glass top on the round table from crushed and melted beer bottles. (Daddy, crafty in his own way, helped. He also provided all the beer bottles.) There's something amusing about the juxtaposition of the beer-bottle-topped table so near Mother's cabinet full of fine china.
I liked the artsy side of Mother's nature. When she was engaged in an activity she enjoyed, she was relaxed, happy, and not inclined to unleash her sharp tongue. That's how she was when we worked together making jewelry with the tiny shells. Happy memories, those.