Ericka has habit of shelling peanuts. She doesn't eat the peanuts, mind you, she just enjoys shelling them to have something to do with her hands while she is reading. While this is a great boon to our compost production, it struck me as not necessarily the best option. Also, Ericka has complained about her thumb hurting from this repetitive activity.
So I thought a cool thing to do would be to get her a rosary. I went looking at on-line shops and over on eBay. I just couldn't get past the cross thing, though. (I later discovered that a friend of hers from the pool had given her a rosary with what she thinks is an image of a shrouded Christ. To her, however, it looks like Han Solo trapped in carbonite so she calls it her "Star Wars rosary.")
Not finding anything of the appropriate style, I contacted my friend elisem to commission a piece. The result is a thing she calls "The Penguin Who Likes Quilts." It has multi-colored, patchwork-looking lampwork beads that look like little cylinders of quilts strung on silver wire and separated by little grey beads with peanut-like texture to them. The central piece of the work is a penguin bead suspended in a silver roll-cage. The length is just right to fit over Ericka's head should she want to wear it as a necklace, but that's not its primary purpose.
After I gave it to her Friday morning, she promptly put it on, however, and was still wearing it when I woke up that evening. She went on and on about how cool and perfect it was, how the penguins roll-cage was just the right size for her hand, how the lampwork beads really did look like little quilts and like that. It was a hit!