Friday, April 30, 2010

BJP for march 2010

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my march-piece in my post Growing Strong. Little did I know it would grow out to the extend that it has! It all started with doodling while at work in late january, early february. (For those who have not  followed me here or on Facebook: I have been on sickleave since february 9th.) I doodled a simple tree with just a few leaves, which is exactly what I started out with on this piece.

Soon I added the heart at the centre of my tree and the fringes that most, who saw this beginning, named roots. They were not intended to represent roots, but maybe they have become roots in the process. I wanted to make the trees connection to the soil visible and the nutrients it gets from it. I thought of those tree-foods as the fuel for the tree to be able to live, the "fire within" or Chi, hence the red/orange/yellow beads.

And then all of a sudden, I released myself from hospital and tumbled into turmoil. Because I have the intention to make my pieces real journals, in the sense that I want them to tell my story of that month, the turmoil has become very visible in the end. This is the landscape the tree grew into:

As I did with my other pieces, I want to tell you in more detail what all the parts mean. So I have once againg devided it into sections:

1. I stand strong
I could also call this piece: I will survive. That is exactly what this sturdy tree is meant to be: the confirmation that through all turmoil I will straighten my back and will stand. My feet connected to Mother Earth, growing and nourishing the fire that is crackling in my veins.

2. I'm working in my garden
The garden has, now that I write this down, become my metaphor for the rough times I am working through. In my february-piece I took a piece of my heart and replaced it in a little garden to heal and grow again. In this piece, the righthand corner is the most peacefull and restfull. I loved to play with colors in the beads as well as the thread, and that did make me feel comfortable. Although being in admitted wasn't easy, I found rest and a little distraction in beading which is visible in this part.

3. where I can bloom and lay back
The grass on the bottom is the last part of the piece that I embroidered while still in the hospital, before the turmoil began. Not that my moods weren't swinging from the highest highs to the lowest lows at that time, but I found some ways to still be able to tune in to my inner needs and wishes: to lay back, rest and bloom again. The first few days at home I could tap into that stream although it became harder by the hour. So when I beaded the bright (white) air and the flowers, I stopped working on this corner and moved up.

4. dark clouds are gathering
After a few days it was obvious that my stay in hospital didn't bring me any good. On the contrary, the events of the last days of my stay made it clear that my depression had gotten worse and I was far from laying back and blooming. In fact, I could feel the tension aching in all the fibres of my body. I felt as though a giant thunderstorm was going to overcome me and would wash me away. There was no movement, no going with the flow, just straight lines of fear, anger and sadness, the absence of colour.

5. growing leafs
Then I returned to the heart of my tree, to the fire within, and realized that I had to grow a lot more leafs to reach out to the world, to get in touch with the Earth and myself. So for a couple of nights I franticly beaded leafs.... first in the color of fire, but as they grew more and more to the outer limits of the tree in pale but promissing green. I call them my "ghost-leaves" meaning that they will grow eventually, although now there may still only be a promiss. Then I refound some peace and the skies turned blue again. With white clouds, but blue, meaning the heaviest part of the storm was over... the sun was going to shine again.

March was quite a month, quite a story... but in the end I have learned that somehow, somewhere there must be a way that I can stand up and say: Hey, I am growing strong!

I won't leave you without a proper piece of music to accompany this piece. To be honest it took me quite a while before I found a piece that illustrated my feelings. I think I have found it in this "Little Fugue" in G-minor, BWV 578 by Johann Sebastian Bach (one of my favorite composers). Originally the piece was composed for the organ, but here it is performed on the piano.The sound in this video is not perfect, but the visualization shows how the simple line (doodle) at the start is accompanied by other melodies into quite a sound and then to return to a more peacefull ending.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Here I am

So here I am, working steadily on my march-piece that is branching out to a level I hadn't expected and hesitantly starting thinking on my april piece, while april is already halfway gone! While pondering about what april means to me immediately our national holiday Koninginnedag came to mind. A tradition that started when our late Queen Juliana was crowned, for her birthday was april 30th. After she resigned and our current Queen Beatrix took over her reign she pronounced that april 30th would stay a national holiday in honor of her mother. So for as long as I have lived, april 30th was a very festive day.

The Dutch national color is orange, because our royal family is of the House of Orange-Nassau. Personally I don't care at all for the color orange, so I decided to find a way around using this color. (Note that my april piece has not one bead on it yet!) Staying in line with my wanting to make a Dutch piece, I thought of another well know Dutch thing: Delfts Blauw. Anyone who has ever visited the Netherlands will have seen the little blue and white souvenirs of windmills, clogs, and a sweet girl&boy kissing. I do like this color-combination because of it's simplicity and it's great variation in hues.

Next I also realized that I did not want to make another solidly bead beaded piece, as my march piece is turning out. Not that I don't like it, but is more work then I ever phantomed. I wanted to do something with two layers of felt and realized that I have a handwork encyclopedia with a vast amount of crafts explained in detail. While just browsing the pages I stumbled upon a Hungarian technique of sewing two layers of felt togehter and then cutting out shapes that were outlined in the sewing. I have tried to find an online example of this technique, but haven't been able to.

So here I am, with my april piece taking shape in my mind, and nothing to show for it. It is growing in the shade of my march tree waiting to get a chance...

Climb a tree - it gets you closer to heaven.
Author Unknown

Sunday, April 11, 2010


OMG! I have been nominated by Lisa Criswell at Indigo's beads for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Now I feel very honoured and thankfull! Lisa, if you didn't already get this award and I could nominate someone you would sure be nominated by me (but I guess this shouldn't go back and forth.)

I got to know Lisa through the Bead Journal Project and Facebook and found we have a lot in common and share a virtual history. It is amazing how a project can bring you contacts from miles away and make you feel that you should have been nextdoor neighbours.
Now as I understand it, I have to follow 7 basic rules to accept this award, so here we go:

  1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
  2. Copy the logo and place it in your blog.
  3. Link the person who nominated you.
  4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know.
  5. Nominate seven 'Kreativ Bloggers'
  6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate
  7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.
Items 1 through 3 can be checked... so here´s for 4 through 7:
  1. I was an exchange-student at SIUC (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale) from august 1991 untill june 1992
  2. My favorite dish has always been the Dutch version of Rice Pudding. If you realize that my birthday is in the middle of summer, you can easily deduct that my family was not always that amused
  3. We own so many books, that we don't have enough space to store them. Most of them are in cardboard boxes on our attic (what will not do them any good). That is why I dream of owning a Sony E-reader with touch screen...
  4. I was born on a thursday, as were my husband and my daughter... only our son decided saturday would serve him better....
  5. but there must be a higher reason for his choice, as his birthdate and time read backwards are the excact birthdate and time of our daughter (!)
  6. I have 2 cats and a dog and like to give the the cats peculiar names: our red Norwegian Cat is called R2D2 (yes, after Star Wars) and our black and white one Lbs. (cause he weighed exactly 500 grams, a European pound, when we got him)
  7. I did not become a musician as I dreamed of as child, but did marry one!
And the nominees are...... (rolling drums):
  1. Robin Atkins from Beadlust whom I am endlessly thankfull for her inspiration and her brainchild - the BJP - that got me hooked on beading
  2. Susan Elliot from Plays with Needles whom I admire for her versatility and skills and being a wonderfull far friend as well
  3. Pam Truog from Of beads and other things without whom the BJP would have no blogs, and who is brave to be so to the point in her posts and so honest and personal in her beadwork
  4. Soe from Soe beads a lot who is also Dutch and beading for the BJP on her second year!
  5. oh Heck... I would want to nominate all 3 BJP blogs and all the woman that are beading, so lets break a rule or two and just go for it: Here's to beadjournalproject 3
  6. more beadjournal project 3 
  7. even more beadjournal project 3 you all deserve it!
You will have to visit all of these blogs if you want to make sure I did follow rule number 7!

All this friendship and connection to new and far away friends, got me thinking of a beautifull piece for piano solo by Robert Schumann: Kinderszenen, opus 15 - "von fremde Länder und Menschen" or in plain English "Scenes from childhood, opus 15, of foreign lands and peoples".


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