In my post "Do you remember?" I told you my sisters story, the link to why my BJP for january has grown the way it has. Still I owe you the story behind all the different stitches and cabochons I used.
I have borrowed a little trick from Sharon Bogon over at Pintangle, who explains blocks of her Crazy Quilts like I have done in the picture below.
1. a ribbon for life
In the center is a Danish coin with a hole in it: 25 ore. I glued it to the felt after I had already put the ribbon on. Then I fastened it with a round of backstitch and then continued to bead with peyote stitch. Around the ribbon came a round of backstitch again and I worked that out into a snake-stitch, which looks quite intricate, but is in fact very easy. From the start on, this part of the piece resembled a medal of honor of some sort and I guess it is. If anyone has struggled through life and deserves to be honoured for that it is my sis.
2. there were 3 of us
As I wrote before I am the oldest of 3 girls and when I turned my little treasure chest upside down, I was surprised not only to find the Danish coin, but 3 Swedish coins as well. All are remnants of our family vacations to Scandinavia. There is no point in saying that when you are used to have a 3-some, all of a sudden becoming a 2-some will never be "normal". The most astounding thing is that 2 out of the 3 coins had a different design on the coin-side. (If you click-to-enlarge on the picture above you can see what I mean.) I felt like this even more emphasized the fact that our pact was broken. These coins I glued to the felt as well and embellished with backstitch. The darker blue, fake pearls are sewn to form a Triskelion, an ancient Celtic symbol of power.
3. out of her hair
I got my treasure chest out to find the blue hairpin in the first place. My sister had worn it and it was so delicate that it broke. I loved the two tiny doves, so I asked her if I could have it.... that was 25-some years ago. Seems like eons since we were kids. The piece of fur is from a bunny. I put in in there because at her second B-day my sister got a guinea-pig that unfortunately had to leave our home in shorter than a year because both she and our mom were very allergic to it. Aside from some birds and goldfish, it was the only pet we were ever allowed to my great distress. It took some time to decide that I had to not only sow the back of the pin to the felt, but had to somehow sow the doves stuck too...
4. peacefull, loving memories
It is often said of some items that you should get them and not buy them for yourself because that would mean bad luck. This is true for rosaries and Buddha's to my knowledge. So when my sister wanted a Buddha for Sinterklaas (at least I think it was for that occasion) I went out and bought her one. It was in a time that her peace of mind was far away and she deserved some quiet, happy time. I put the Buddha-bead in the middle of the hole in hope that where-ever she is right now, she will have peace of mind.
5. in the bloom of her life
My sister took her life in the bloom of it, she was too young to die but didn't see a way to continue living with so much pain in her heart and mind. Now that I am going through one of the worst depressions in my own life (I am struggling with severe, recurring depressions from when I was 15 up to now), I know how hard it must have been for her. I know her struggle, for I am battling that same urge to put an end to things every day.I feel her sorrow, for it is my sorrow too partially. I love her even more for it, that is maybe the most strange outcome of this. The past years I have wished every day I could put my arms around her and tell her we would be all right, and today I know more then ever we could have been here together. Still, she left in the midst of her season... she loved the flowering bulbs in spring and when we drove to the funeral home it was an overpowering, sunny day with crocusses, daffodils and snowdrops everywhere. Because of her love for the color blue, I bought blue anemones to lay on the lid of the coffin. That's where the blue flower derives from. If you would like to give the flower a try yourself, visit Beading Arts. She has an excellent tutorial on how to make them.
So all this is behind just one piece of bead-embroidery and I haven't even started on what I learned about me from this... For now, I just want to leave you with the wise words of a Little Prince:
"You're lovely, but you're empty," he went on. "One couldn't die for you. Of course an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than you altogether, since she's the one I've watered. Since she's the one I put under glass. Since she's the one I sheltered behind a screen. Since she's the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except for two or three for butterflies). Since's she the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she's my rose."