I started September's BJP piece while in Minnesota and Wisconsin during September. I was still using (and liking) the same box of beads that I had originally selected for June, then also used for July and August. On the last evening before leaving, I threw in a few odds and ends of special little things.
The three fabrics in the piece are upholstery-weight silks. A friend and former student bought them to make pillows. When I saw her pillows, I must have been drooling at the rich beautiful colors, because (without any prompting) she offered me some of her scraps. WOW! What a lovely base for bead embroidery! I preserved the selvage edges, as you can see. Also I fringed one edge and braided the warp threads.
In Wisconsin, I worked on this piece during my 2-day improvisational bead embroidery workshop. At one point I always have my students write poems following this model:
- Look at your beadwork and around your beading work area.
- Jot down all of the words and/or phrases that come to your mind as you look.
- Circle the word or phrase that seems the most compelling.
- On a new sheet of paper, write this line: "I am _________." Put the word or phrase that you circled in the blank space.
- That is the first line of a poem about you. Use the any or all of the other words/phrases in your poem.
Here is the poem I wrote that day based on September's BJP while it was in progress..
I am surrounded by more gifts
than I knew I had
before this moment –
a silver kitty,
fabrics coveted, then given
by students and friends,
fairy ribbon on my name tag,
a sterling blessings medallion,
a book of wisdom,
including two green frogs.
My eyes are open
to the delight of these gifts,
the collective enormity of them,
and I am so blessed.
Hearts in all sizes and all textures,
love and friendship,
freely given to me
and woven into my art.
I am humbled and thankful.
From then on, as I worked on this piece I found myself being mindful of what beautiful gifts of friendship and love have come my way through beading. So this piece is a tribute to all of my beady friends and students, wonderful women and a few men with whom I share this passion! All of them have given their friendship, support and understanding to me, and I am greatly blessed by it.