Saturday, May 04, 2013

Bead Embroidery Makes Me Happy

Getting back to bead embroidery definitely makes me happy, although this piece really isn't about being happy. It's my Bead Journal Project for April, a month that was all about separation and change, about moving, about finding a new way of being, living alone and being single rather than married. Both the beading and the process of changing my life are still on-going. I don't know what the future will bring with either.

I worked on this piece (no name yet) while teaching two different Improvisational Bead Embroidery workshops during the month. As always, I have the students write poems on the second day of class, poems about self based on words and phrases that come to mind while looking at their beadwork. These are the two poem I wrote based on this piece.


I am scattered
I want to be one of the other
words or phrases
such as I am peaceful
or I am purple
or I am flowing
but the truth is
I AM scattered right now
as I cut through
the crumpled remains
of the soft colors
of my marriage dream
I am scattered
as I pack all my things in a box
drained of energy
traffic noise in my head...
oh flower fabric and aqua beads
may you refill my cup of life
               March30, 2013


I am delicate
emotionally delicate I guess
a little unusual for me
my heart is folded
my wedding rings still on my finger
my life flowing along
as if everything was normal
as if everything was the same
I am circled by beads
beautiful, graceful, pretty beads
are supporting a new phase...
like the butterfly
I will take a new form
yet with the same life blood
and the same heart as before
                  April 14, 2013

I'm doing post-card-sized (5 x 7 inches) pieces again this year, like the first two years. This one seems to be going in the direction of being solidly beaded, which takes a lot of time. I don't know if the others will be encrusted or not.


  1. stunning,and its a butterfly ,which represents freedom ,beauty and joyous movement.

  2. oh Robin, I hope it all goes well for you! I think that butterfly is going to be soaring soon....and I'll be watching on the sidelines and cheering it along!


  3. I love this piece as it is. the fabric enhances the beadwork and you have to look twice at some of it.
    keep on smiling.
    New Zealand

  4. Change. It is one thing that's constant. You will find your wings again and fly. For now be kind to yourself, as kind as you would be to a friend in the same circumstance. If you did not feel sadness, grief and loss you could not feel happiness, joy and love. I'm so glad to see you have been beading. Your work has inspired me and I thank you for that!

  5. Love, love, love! Those little wings are gonna help you soar to a better, healthier, happier you!

  6. My heart goes out to you.

    Your bead work is beautiful as always and full of meanings for you.
    Your poems are speaking deeply from you, heart and soul.


  7. I always find any sort of handwork therapeutic in ways only understood by the person doing it..your pieces are lovely, and the poems are a great idea for centering the mind on the personal, as well as the work, because the personal is what infuses the work with magic..

  8. It's beautiful, Robin. Thank you for sharing the poems, too.

  9. It seems to me that you are well on your way back to yourself, a different, but wholesome self. Each added bead will be a small step on that way.
    It goes without saying that the bead-embroidered piece is very lovely and builds a unity with your two poems. I don't think that butterfly will sit there for long - it will FLY!

    1. Maybe it will fly over the ocean and land in on your beautiful tiled wall!

    2. Lovely thought! I will look out for it each day, starting from now.

    3. Good positive thinking! ;>}

  10. I can't wait to see this, Robin! It has such movement and calm, all at the same time. I know you haven't felt *calm* a lot of the time but it hasn't shown. What shines through is your resiliency and that has been absolutely amazing!!

    1. You are such a good friend to grace me with the word "resiliency." Thanks!!! Want to see the beading? You know where I live, so comeonover!

  11. Robin it is a beautiful piece and your words are also so thoughtful and beautiful. Best wishes for you for the future.

  12. I agree with the other descriptions... beautiful, thoughtful, meaningful. And also the white beading over the background gives such a delicate effect, and then I read the poems, and the second one used that very description. It's touching to me how your beadwork mirrors so well what is in your heart.

    And the butterfly also represents transformation into a wonderful new thing... so that, too, is very symbolic for you.

    1. I always love your comments, Retta! Thank you so much for reading and mentioning the poems. Makes me feel "heard".

  13. What a beautiful piece! I can't think of something much more delicate than a lace butterfly, but look! She's starting to fly, and soon will be soaring among gorgeous beads. This seems to speak directly to me, as I'm going through a major change in my life right now. It's for the good, but everything will be different. I'm going to be thinking of that butterfly, flying high.

  14. You have my support and understanding as you go through your major change, Lois. As with my change, it is for the good, yet still it makes for some up/down emotions and a lot of uncertainty. May you too find the butterfly guide to help you with the transition.

  15. Anonymous2:48 AM

    Simply a hug from me. I think your poetry shows light filtering through and a strong thread of bravery.

  16. I really like your style. But while reading your poem, I felt that it’s the opposite way around. Too different from the vibrant colors you are using with your art piece. Well, life is too short to spend regretting over the past. It’s time to move on! Cheer up! Life has more things to offer for you!

    1. I wonder if perhaps you've missed a few of Robin's recent posts... she has gone through many changes and is in the process of gently moving on... she is sharing her heart here in this tender, honest and vulnerable poem.

      To me, the poem and the art are a wonderful interplay of hope, healing, honesty and transparency. Sometimes I think when we read what others are going THROUGH, it can feel uncomfortable and we want them to rush on through and be done with it, get over it, get ON with it. So in our desire to help, we can say simplistic things... I know, I've done that, too.

      Yet the healing comes by honestly feeling it and going THROUGH it, coming out the other side richer, stronger and wiser. And yes, able to feel compassion for others because we, too, know the inner pain of that journey to wholeness.

      Sorry to go on and on... I identify with Robin's journey, and am in awe of her courage to bare her heart. It makes me want to hold that heart tenderly and protect it from those who do not understand. I know I can't really do that... but I am just offering you a different point of view. And I agree with your last sentence, there is more wonderful life to come.

  17. Please post update photo on progress on this one - so pretty so far! love, Peg

  18. Such a wonderful blog! Congratulations.

  19. Anonymous5:14 PM

    Hi, just found your blog and your work with the beads and all is very beautiful, love it!!!
    (smjohns63 at yahoo dot com)


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!