Happy Valentine's Day!
Last year for my February Bead Journal Project, I made a Valentine for Little Robin. If you'd like to read more about it, see this post.
This year, guess what I'm doing... a Valentine for Big Robin! I got a late start this month and haven't gotten much done yet. This is how it looks so far.
I'm inspired to write this post by visiting Pat's Bird Nest on the Ground blog and seeing her lovely heart quilt in today's Valentine post and a charming heart-shaped door decoration in an earlier post. Like Pat, I frequently use hearts in my work. I doodle hearts... always have.
Below is a little wall quilt, Grandpa's Gifts, I made about 15 years ago. It's a tribute to my grandfather, who was a collector of many things including buttons. A favorite childhood memory is of watching him compare, sort and label items in his collections... especially the buttons.
My brother and I inherited his button collection (which was actually started by HIS great aunt in England in the mid 1800's). Some of the buttons were on cards, carefully labeled in my grandmother's distinct penmanship. Others were strung on a long wire, maybe 20 feet of buttons, many of which are pretty awesome!
I can't recall now what sparked me to make a quilt using some of the buttons. While making it, I remember thinking a lot about my grandfather and his personality. He was a superintendent of schools (Amador County in California) and before that a math teacher. He placed a high value on education and knowledge. A little gruff-seeming, he did not let us talk or play near him when he was working. He would, however, allow me to stand quietly next to his desk and watch. Despite his exterior reserve, I always felt cherished by him... and loved him in return. You might think of this quilt as an abstract portrait of him... cool exterior, warm inside.
This is a picture of him. Charles H. Atkins. Maybe later today I'll find, scan and post a picture of him and my grandmother, Martha Tompkin, taken when they were courting. They're so cute and the photo is so appropriate for Valentine's Day. [3 pm note: I looked for that picture for three hours and didn't find it. I give up for now... rats]
I've been thinking about the heart shape as a symbol. Here is a brief, but fairly good description of it. I want to know more about this symbol and why I am so drawn to it... a subject for further research and contemplation.
In the meantime, may we all have a wonderful Valentine's Day... May we be well-loved... May we open ourselves to as much love as possible!