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How To Talk To Your Teens (and Needle-felt)

February 17, 2011

Well, I have two of them (teens that is).  And I know as good as they are, it’s very hard to communicate sometimes.  I ask a question, they sigh and roll their “oh mom, you just don’t understand” look at me.  But I do know that sometimes I can have a very deep and enjoyable conversation with them and it isn’t usually when the focus is on talking.  We can be driving in the car to an appointment, or relaxing in our hot tub.  (Usually, just getting them away from tv, homework, cell phone, etc. is a help).  So, I experienced another family communicate this past weekend and found it very fun and enjoyable, and I think they did too.

Sunday afternoon I had a little workshop scheduled with Pam S. and her family.  She had requested to come in and do a 2-hour workshop for her birthday celebration.  She wanted to do something that they all would enjoy and maybe something that they could each create a piece for themselves and one for Pam to take home as a keepsake.  I knew just the project!  Needle-felting!

Pam brought her daughter, niece, sister and mother (her partner couldn’t come, so I know they will be back!)  It was a three generation get together.  It was so fun to here stories about Pam and her childhood from her mother and sister, some things about her father, sister stories, and stories that the two younger girls had to share too!  And at the same time they were  learning something new and expressing themselves creatively.  Needle-felting is very relaxing and meditative.  There is a repetitive jabbing motion required to fuse the wool roving into the background fabric.  It is almost like drumming.  Had a bad day?? Jab, Jab Jab.  Somebody say something mean to you??? Jab, Jab, Jab.  It all gets worked out.  And the results of the process are beautiful!  It is very much like painting in that you can create an abstract piece or a realistic picture.  Grandma Georgia started selecting a range of wools in pastel colors, laid out and jabbed a rainbow into her first piece.  Soon she had added more details and it turned into the family dog!  And when she shared it with the rest of the family, they all knew what it was even though their dog does not have rainbow fur!  So, anything is possible and when you start a piece you never know where it might take you.  They proceeded as a group to create some fun and beautiful pieces of art.  One of the girls even created a piece dedicated to Justin Bieber!   All the time they were creating and talking, learning a new technique and new things about each other (Grandma learned who Justin Bieber is).  Time seemed to slow down and fly by simultaneously and everyone had a great time.

The “needle arts” are a great way to bring the generations together. They are relaxing.  They are appropriate entertainment for all ages.   They get us temporarily away from our high tech and over scheduled lives.  I would love to schedule a workshop for you and your group, but only if you need to alleviate some stress, slow down time and communicate with your family!

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