by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer, Instructor and Swarovski crystal Ambassador,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Living in a "more is better" society, it's become a habit to look at what's missing and to exist in it's-never-enough type of lifestyle (especially when it comes to beads!) Upon my death bed, my last words uttered will surely be "if only I had that 78th shade of greenish-blue seed beads my life would be complete...." They say the key to happiness is to be grateful for what you have; sure--easy to do if you live high upon an isolated mountain top meditating and Om your life away in a white robe never having attended a bead show! But seriously, let's look at incorporating gratitude into our lives just a tad more and see how it feels.

I've written about Beading as Meditation, exploring the Zen zone of beading. I think of gratitude as meditation's first cousin or maybe even a sibling. Both are simple to practice but easily left off our to-do lists. While recently beading and pondering what gratitude truly means, I glanced around my work area and gave thanks for the pretty tubes of beads on my work table, appreciating their beauty and the joy they bring to me and all who wear them; the lamp illuminating my workspace so I can bead until the wee hours of the night; the books and patterns I use to make some of my jewelry; the nice soft couch I bead on; the cutest puppy in the world by my side (I realize I'm terribly biased); and for discovering this jewelry-making passion before I left this world.

Making a piece of jewelry for someone special you wish to thank still tops the gratitude list. We all have angels in our lives--someone who makes our lives go a little more smoothly, someone who helps you when you didn't even ask, someone who is just always there. Thanking these special people is one of life's greatest pleasures.

Wouldn't your kids' teacher love a bracelet or earrings you made with little apples? How about gifts that incorporate charms to show your appreciation and shout it to the world how you feel about these angels in your life? A keychain for the coach? Maybe your BFF (Best Friend Forever), sis or mom? Perhaps your daughter did something exceptional or you just want to tell her how grateful you are to have her in your life? Don't forget your son and a thank you backpack clip with an All Star charm. What about the babysitter? Would she enjoy a simple necklace made by you personalized with her initial to say thanks for all those late nights? You bet she would. What about a co-worker who's covered for you more than once?

Make one for that special "angel" in your life to let them know how grateful you are.
Earrings with Swarovski crystal, Gold-Finished ''Pewter'' Beads and Gold-Plated Brass Cones

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