Monday, August 13, 2007
August BJP (Bead Journal Project)
I started August with something completely different than what I finished with. I did not like at all where the original idea was going, so much so that I just stopped. I spent a couple of days thinking about this month - what it means to me - now and in years past.
I was looking through my beads, cabs and other embellishments when I came upon these wonderful little brass crowns - I immediately thought of my grandmother (well I thought of my friend Teri too since she is pretty sure she was born into royalty and switched at birth, but wait... that is a whole different story).
Thoughts of my grandmother always conjure up good, warm, loving memories for me. She was born in 1900 and died August 1998 (the same day as Elvis by the way). She was, and is to this day, the most amazing human being I have ever met. She outlived all of her siblings by many years, her husband by 58 years and all three of her children. I do not ever remember seeing her sad.
She was the epitome of goodness and kindness, she would describe herself as a good christian and one of the few I know that honestly fit that description. Never judged, always loved... everyone. Never uttered a cross word or raised her voice - neither was necessary. She never drove a car, she never wore pants - it never occurred to me that she ever would or should do either. She instilled in me the importance to vote, because I could. She told me how much trouble she got into at home when, at the age of 17 she had the audacity to cut her hair short, without her father's permission (what a rebel!). She described how my grandfather courted her before they got married. She talked about her first job as a cashier at the 'moving picture show'.
She stepped in and offered guidance and hope when I lost my parents 6 months apart at the age of 21. It is from her that I have felt and known unconditional love. I miss our conversations and I miss hearing her laugh, but I feel her presence and think of her every day. It is a comfort to me.
I used various vintage items on this piece, in the upper left there is a crystal pendant with a cross - I found it in a grab bag of vintage beads. Other vintage items: the brass crown, the heart which is a crystal cab that had been glued to a shank to make it a button (I cut a small hole through the fabric and pellon to secure the shank - a trick I learned from one of Robyn's books I think) , the beautiful nail heads on her lower body, and the flowers in the lower left are vintage german glass foil back sew-on's.
I added bit of fiberfil before I sewed on the backing so it is very soft - almost like a little pillow.
Below are some WIP photos
Here's the back before attaching the ultrasuede
And here it is after attaching the back
This was before I knew I would be adding wings.
Here's a photo of me and my grandma taken in 1995:
Leaves of Grass
This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body - Walt Whitman