Monday, April 25, 2011

Something New!!!

Tranquility, bead embroidery by Robin Atkins
First of all, thanks to everyone who made such warm and supportive comments on my last post about my Mom passing away. Every time one of you commented, it bolstered my spirits. I appreciate you all so much for helping me to get through the initial period of grief.

Since she passed, a little over a month ago, I've been hibernating, quietly concentrating on projects, allowing myself time and serenity to remember, grieve and accept. Out of this period has come something new...

Create, bead embroidery by Robin Atkins

I've decided that I need to lighten my load, that maybe it's time to part with some of my beadwork (and other things too). I've kept most of my bead art as samples to show when I teach. Now that I'm semi-retired and not teaching so much, why not let others have it?

To that end, I've been preparing the one-of-a-kind, miniature beadworks created as technique samplers for my book, Heart to Hands Bead Embroidery, to sell. Above, you can see a couple of the pieces. There are 22 in all. Below, you can see my presentation of them, sewn to fabric, stretched over a 3 x 3 inch canvas and mounted on a mini-easel. Each piece is named, signed and dated on the back side.

Hope, bead embroidery by Robin Atkins

Roots, bead embroidery by Robin Atkins
I've actually sold 7 of them already (to locals who knew I was preparing them to sell)! Today I put up a webpage offering the remaining 15 pieces for purchase. If you have any interest, you can check them out here. I'm going to post about this on my Facebook page, but will wait about a week.... That's so you, my wonderful Beadlust followers, can have a head-start.

This isn't the end of it! Eventually, I'll list some woven treasure bracelets and necklaces shown in my book, Beaded Treasures, and a few pieces featured in books by other authors. Who knows, after that, I may even let go of some of my stash.

With deep gratitude, I thank my mother for showing me how important it is to travel with a lighter load in our later years.

* * * * * * * * *
Update, Tuesday morning, April 26...

Thank you Ann S, Anne-Marie B, Diane L and Carol C for choosing a miniature bead embroidery piece for your very own! I am pleased and honored that you will have this part of me among your beady things!

Nine pieces are still awaiting new homes... The webpage listing is current.

Friday, April 01, 2011

I Love You, Mom...

Ferne Cook, Robin's Mom, Spring 2010

Those of you who know me, know that I'm very close with my mom, and that we have maintained our connection even though she was in Minnesota and totally deaf (unable to talk on the phone), while I live across the country in the NW corner of Washington state. She turned 94 this past January.

Mom's Pouch, bead embroidery by Robin Atkins

Over the past three years, as her health declined and I made more frequent trips back to Minnesota, I've cut back on teaching. This year, I also turned the leadership of the Bead Journal Project over to other wonderful and experienced volunteers, so that I could be free to go to my Mom at a moment's notice.

Ferne Cook, Robin's Mom, 2009

The time I've been dreading finally came. Three and a half weeks ago, Mom started showing signs pneumonia, running a fever, no strength, difficulty breathing. They started her on antibiotics. For a while she seemed to be improving, as she has in the past, but then her fever spiked up again. She did not regain consciousness for two days and passed away two weeks ago today. I flew to MN and stayed for a week. We had a beautiful memorial service for Mom, a very sweet tribute to a remarkable woman.

Mom, bead embroidery by Robin Atkins

Now, back home again, I feel that her enormous love still surrounds me somehow, just as my love surrounds her wherever she is. Yet at the same time it's a strange, empty, lost feeling to know I'll never hug her, rub her hands, kiss her, touch her cheeks, or "talk" with her using a dry-erase board again.

Ferne Cook, Robin's Mom, Fall 2010

My April BJP piece will be about my relationship with Mom, as have been several other pieces over the years. I've shown two of them above. I love you, Mom... you, who've I've known and loved for 68 years, are always a blessing to me.