Finally, yesterday was OK weather for photography! I've been waiting for slightly overcast skies to photograph my finished Sept and Oct. BJP pieces...
Above is the start of October's BJP.
Before starting it, I had spent a fabulous day at the Quilt Museum and Quilt Festival in LaConner, WA. It's a show I try to see every year, because they exhibit the "best of the best." Only ribbon/prize winners from other shows around the country are eligible. The word "stimulating" comes to mine, but is inadequate for the amazing, creative and technically excellent work I saw! Also, be still my heart, they have vendors! One was Peacock & Periwinkle, an online fabric/ribbon/bead/button vendor with a lovely assortment of Dupioni silks.
I didn't have my camera with me, so you'll have to imagine a huge punch bowl filled with vibrant silks in all colors. Each piece was a 9" x 12" rectangle, folded in to a triangular-shaped puff. I pawed through them, selecting a few favorite colors, but not wanting to spend money that day, I put them back. Then my friend decided to buy some and I learned they were only $1.00 each. Wow! Can you see me diving back into that bowl? Yup! 22 pieces immediately jumped into my hands.
OK, so I chose three that appealed to me and layered them on my backing paper, as shown above. The picture was taken near the end of the first day of my Improv Bead Embroidery class taught in Baltimore, Oct. 3 & 4.
I beaded quite a lot in Baltimore, as I had a couple of "free" days (see here). By the time I got home, it only took a couple more days to finish. Here it is... Love in Delicate Balance.
When I started this piece, it was all about three fabrics that appealed to me. As I began to bead, I seemed to be making a "fence post" of sorts. When I put a heart on the cross-rail of the post, it looked like it could tip over, and I began to think about what a balancing act love and marriage can be sometimes.
Several years ago, my husband had an accident lifting a heavy object on his job of 17 years in the maintenance department at the Port of Friday Harbor. For months and months, he worked nearly every day with constant back pain. Several different types of treatments failed to improve the situation. He was on Dr. prescribed pain meds. About a year after the accident he had spinal fusion surgery. The pain levels were still very high 3 months later, different than before, but still high. With the help of pain meds, he continued to work at the Port.
Then at work about a year ago, he was on an aluminum extension-ladder which was balanced on a float leaning against a pier, when suddenly the bottom of the ladder disintegrated. Down he fell into the water, grabbing and tearing out many feet of electrical conduit on the way down. The incident resulted in more pain and increased levels of pain meds to compensate. However, this time, he found that he could not manage to work as he had previously and the Port didn't have (or wouldn't create) a less physically demanding position, so he became unemployed.
Not a pretty picture... a formerly active, able-bodied man, now with back pain, on pain meds and unable to work. Do you think he got kinda depressed? Yup, he did. So what happens to a marriage when suddenly he's home every day, sleepy from the meds and too depressed to do much? It gets challenging, really challenging. Maybe not for everyone, but for me it's been what I call character-building.
There is one possibility for which we both hold hope. His surgeon thinks the pain may be caused by the hardware (pins) holding the two fused vertebrae in place. Wanting to have the hardware removed, my husband had a bone scan to determine if the fusion was complete. It was not... far from it. So, since then he's been wearing a "bone growth stimulator" every day. Next month there will be another bone scan. If the fusion is complete, there will be surgery to remove the hardware. And maybe, hopefully, that will relieve the pain.
Meanwhile, try as I may to be a good, understanding wife and partner... I sometimes feel that our love is in delicate balance. You can see how that looks in my Oct. BJP.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I showed you a picture of my incomplete, September BJP, Depression Lifting, here. Below is a picture of it completed.
I haven't decided yet what I want to do with this year's BJP pieces. Last year, I turned the edges and put picot edge stitch around them immediately after finishing each piece. At the end of the year those finished edges seemed to limit my options as I considered what to do with my work. So, this year I'm going to leave the edges unfinished until I decide.