What better intersection to explore during February than my relationship with my husband?
Since we're struggling right now, working with a marriage counselor, trying to fix problems with both expectations and communications, my Bead Journal Project piece for February seems to be more about what I wish than what is.
I started out thinking this piece would be about our current relationship (and maybe it is that... more than I realize). But as the beading progressed, it seemed more and more to represent how I'd like the intersection of our pathways to look. I'm curious what our counselor might think of it... maybe I'll take it to show her next time. Maybe I'll ask my husband what he thinks it means. That would probably throw him for a loop, as he usually doesn't know what to say about my beadwork.
Clearly there's love at the center of our relationship, not a glamorous love, more like a plain, wooden, heart-shaped button kind of love with two funky, silver wedding-rings attached. Yet the large heart dominates the center of the story.
The line of me in the intersection is represented by red/pink beads, my favorite colors since childhood. The line of my husband is represented by blue beads, the color he painted his room when a boy, the color of his eyes, the color shirts I like to buy for him. I notice that his color gets into my line and vice-versa, which I think is important, although I'm not sure why.
My work is improvisational which means I don't start with a pre-conceived plan of any kind. Rather, I select whatever beads I'm drawn toward and start sewing them on the piece. It's fun to do it that way... and fast.
For those who like to know:
-- fabric: cotton batik
-- thread: nymo, size D
-- stabalizer: interleaving paper*
-- finished size of block: 9 1/4 inches across the diagonal
-- length of the "arms" on the beaded X-shape: 5 inches
-- beads: size 15, 11 and 8 seed beads, vintage nail heads, pressed glass shapes
* I'll remove the interleaving paper from the underside in all areas that are not beaded. Thus when I sew the blocks together to make my wall quilt, the fabric will have a soft/natural hand.
The heart and the spiral are my favorite symbols, both appearing frequently in my art and beading. So let's go with it! Let's revisit my February pieces for the past three years of the BJP:
February, 2008 - This is Valentine for Little Robin, a gift for the child within, the little sweetie who loves flowers (fossies, as I called them at age 2), bunnies and duckies.
February, 2009 - This is Abundance, like a candy box filled with love, each cluster representing a special loving relationship in my life.
February, 2010 - This is a detail image, showing the beaded portion of Cry, a piece that tells the story of my relationship with my wonderful mom pictured in the tear-shaped center of the heart, the heart being my love that surrounds her always. She is 94 and still hanging on, although sometimes only by a thread.
It's fun for me to look at these again, to see how strong the heart is, to view with gratitude the abundance of love in my life!