Well finally!!! At last the words, felt, painted paper and beads all flowed together easily (and fairly quickly)... Here is Forgive, my BJP piece for April!
It must be due to the fabulous hand-dyed felt that Sweetpea gifted to me. She made it in a workshop taught by Chad Alice Hagen. When she showed me the precious bundle of resist-dyed felt she had made in the workshop, I about went nuts... drooling, petting it, rubbing it on my face (sooooo soft!), tracing the patterns with my fingers, admiring the saturated colors... What could she do? Of course, she gave me not one, but TWO, of the pieces!!!!
Until this month, I've used store-bought, wool felt and covered it with beads so that you couldn't see it. I was bored with it... bored with plain, solid color... and frustrated by the way the beads would sink down into the felt. I kept wondering WHY on earth I had decided to use felt this year.
Well now I know! Working of this piece of butter-soft felt with its uneven, felted edges (must be a proper term for this type of edge) was such a tactile pleasure!!! I did not use paper or any other stabilizer under the felt, which made it pleasing to touch on both sides of my piece!!!
The other thing that made this piece come forth so beautifully was the lime-green felt. I was visiting my family in Minnesota and beading with Julie (my brother's wife) and we got to wondering if it would work to rubber stamp on felt. It does! She had a scrap of lime green felt from which she had punched out a Christmas tree (see the shape on the bottom?) So we stamped it with a bird stamp. I liked it and asked if I could have it. (Who me a shameless beggar? You bet!)
The scrap looked a little different when she gave it to me. For this piece, I cut it in half (the lime green beads flow between the two parts), frayed out the edges using a needle and embroidered the birds and branch using single strands of standard embroidery floss (mostly back stitch).
I painted the tags in the same colors as the background paper and wrote the words on them with a #3 micron pen.
The words are special to me for the month of April and so is the piece because of some personal changes I began making then. To forgive myself and others is an important part of this change... I see the words flow and forgive working together in this piece to guide me in the process. The other words are part of it too, especially to rest and to finish what I've begun.
One other reason this piece went together so easily is that I worked improvisationally, without a plan. On last month's piece, I worked more representationally (the mesa or butte), which is always more difficult because I'm trying to make it recognizable.
Unexpected things happen when I work improvisationally. In this case, after completing the piece, I noticed the over-all shape of the felt reminded me of a house... a bird house? a house for a Robin? This metaphor applies to the changes I am making, yet I didn't plan it at all! Improv just works for me and I'm always more satisfied with the end results.
I hope you like it too.