Sunday, January 24, 2010

For starters

I started my january piece for the BJP. It took me some time to get everything together, but I even managed to find a long lost small treasure chest I got when I was a kid. I knew I had saved up some small trinkets from when I was a little girl, and because I want this piece to be about my little sister I hoped to find it so I could incorporate some.

For starters, I knew there had to be a broken hairpin in there, with two tiny little doves holding a heart between their beaks. I had found it too lovely to throw away at the time, after it lost its use, and because it belonged to my sister I wanted it to be part of the piece. So far I haven't been able to decide how to fasten it to the felt though. The doves are so tiny and delicate that I cannot think of a way that does them justice and won't harm the pin even more. I'm still out on that one.

Among the many other things I found were a Danish øre (the coin with a hole in it) and 3 Swedish öre: I just superglued them to the felt. The ribbon came from a Swedish julbocken (a christmas decoration) that came out of the box broken last year, and has the right colour blue. These Scandinavian things remind me of the many summervacations we spent together in Sweden and Denmark when all three of us were little. At that time my sister was still the boyish, joyfull girl I want to remember most.

I wrote earlier that I wanted to cut a hole in my piece because of the loss I feel after her death. I guess cutting the hole was the hardest part of the piece so far. But I did it. Right after I started with the Danish coin, ribbon and a peyote beaded bezel, I took up my pair of siccors and cut the hole. I trimmed it with a picot stitch and mounted a black buddha bead right in the middle. I felt very relieved after I had finished this part. As I said I not only found one Danish coin, but 3 Swedish ones as well and so far I have been beading around them for the next phase. As I mainly used different shades of blue, I added some green and was amazed at how well it worked. It made the blue stand out better and added life to the piece.

Next thing I realized that I had 3 separate divisions in my work that were not connected. The simplest answer I could come up with was: then just bead a path to connect them and so I did... Today I have come to this point and with one week to go on januari I hope to finish in time, so when I write again I will be able to tell you more about what this first journey was all about and what it brought me.

I would like more sisters, that the taking out of one, might not leave such stillness.
Emily Dickinson (1830–1886).

Monday, January 11, 2010

On ordinary life

When reading my posts, you could easily get the impression that my life consists of thinking through deep thoughts about music, beading and beading materials, browsing the www to find nice videos to illustrate my points or just for sharing beautifull things, educating about Dutch custom and history... It raises the question: do I have an ordinary life? The answer is as obvious as easy: Yes, of course I do. So today I am going to give you a sneak view into my ordinary life, which is as much a work-in-progress as my beading.

Take the previous weekend for example:
my youngest (a 5 year old boy) had the pleasure to be invited to a friends birthdayparty friday-afternoon. When he came back around 4 PM we were told that the birthday-boy himself had been sick all through the party. This could mean two things: either he had been so anxious about his first birthdayparty that he purged all the tension out of his system when it finally arrived... OR, there was a nasty virus going around and we would be hearing more from it this weekend. Need I say more? On saturday my boy got sick, and sunday-night his sister joined him. Today is monday and both stayed home from school, my sweet husband being the designated WAHD for the day.

As the wheather forecasts were not inviting us to spent a day outdoor, we had planned to play games and bake cookies. Instead I spent my saturday emptying a bowl every so often, trying not to breathe through the nose. Comforting a very upset preschooler and trying to get his sister to find something to do for herself. On sunday I decided to do the ironing I had been needing to get done for over a week now and then mend some stuff as that had been needing to be done for over months! So, I sewed loops back on bathrobes, buttons back on trousers, mended holes in jeans with nice aplications, and became the Doc at service for many stuffed animal and doll... I am not the perfect housewife. I do like a clean and tidy house, but hate the work it takes.

Still, I will try to use this "ordinary" life of mine as inspiration for the journal pages I am going to create the next 12 months for the Bead Journal Project. A journal is like a diary, except it is less frequent.  The Wikepedia even states that they are the same, but a diary is a personal journal. I don't mind so much, I just want to try and make something nice and in the meantime enjoy life because it is mine. And I don't say this lightly. Why not? Told you I was only going to give you a sneak view into my life. Maybe next time, but in the meanwhile: just remember that getting too comfortable is never a wise thing to do.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ready? Set... Go!

So this is it, today is january 2nd and we're off for the Bead Jounal Project 2010! I had planned to get my backing before New Year, but unfortunately the store was closed for the holidays and didn't open again until today. I have still not decided on the size of my pieces, but knowing I didn't like the Lacy's Stiff Stuff, I have decided to go back to woolen felt again. It is sturdy and still has a nice and warm feel to it.

My january piece will all be about my baby-sister Karen who died january 9th 1997. It has been an awfull long time these 13 years and I am still not used to missing her. Not that we spoke very often, but from the day she was born she was my soulmate. I was 7 at the time and knew that my mom was expecting. Already having one sister I longed for a brother, a Big Brother that would protect me... but I was realistic enough knowing that as I was the eldest in our family the chances of ever having a Big Brother were nil. So I decided I would settle for a little brother instead.
What a disappointment when I woke up that september 30th  of 1976: my dad was still home and my mom was missing. Where was she? At the hospital my dad reassured us, and she had given us a little baby sister that night. Getting to treat classmates on beschuit met muisjes (a typical Dutch treat at baby showers) was little comfort. But then later that afternoon my mom returned from the hospital, and while my dad and the neighbour helped her into the house my little sister was still lying in her carry cot in our red Renault 4. All the neighbour kids came out to take a look and with their repeated asking if that was "my baby?" my pride grew. Yes, that was my baby and no one would ever touch her or else...

And now I am lost without her. She was the funniest little sister one could have, always a prank up her sleeve, always in a good mood, creative, a true friend with a genuine interest for people. She was all that at least for the major part of her short life.

As I set out to buy some felt I thought I would go with a nice off white shade to make it easy. Then I found just the perfect shade of blue for my first piece. As a family we spent our summer vacation in Denmark a couple of times and  my sister fell in love with a particular hue of blue that we only saw there. We called it Danish Blue (not the cheese). My heart jumped as I knew this piece of felt was just perfect for a start. So now there are two things settled at least: my first piece will have a blue backing in a shade Karen loved so much and it will have hole in it, maybe heartshaped, but a hole it will be to illustrate the emptiness she left behind.


MY life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,

So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

Emily Dickinson (1830–1886). Complete Poems. 1924.


Related Posts with Thumbnails