Friday, March 13, 2009

Bead Journal Project -- February 2009

"My Other Great Love"
I am a romantic through and through. And, yes, Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. This is a hard thing to admit since there are so many out there who feel like Valentine's Day was created by card companies to make lots of money. Well, this may be so. But I believe if we have the opportunity to celebrate those we love...well then, why not? I don't have to buy a card from a card store...Plus, everything is pink and red which are two of my favorite colors...and there are just so many things to love about love.


As I was beading February's BJP, I wanted to pay homage to the other great love of my life. My first, of course, is my husband. And yes, I have been blessed with a great marital love. But I also have another that rivals the first; and evidence of this love is everywhere around me. And, there are very, very many similarities between my two great loves.


And so, I suppose it goes without saying that my other great love is my needle "work" -- yet for me, it's hardly "work"-- I'd rather it be needle "joy" or needle "love" or needle "play". And, I suppose, on a really good day, someone somewhere might call it art -- I'm not sure what that is -- for somehow, I feel that for something to be designated as art, it is decided elsewhere...by some council or accrediting body -- certainly not by oneself. Anyway...

I have passion for textiles, for needle and thread, for embroidery. I have an emotional connectivity with my needles, fabrics and threads that gives me great delight, support and friendship. When I can't be with with my needlework, then I'm constantly thinking of it and dreaming about what I will do when I finally get to spend time playing.


My needleplay fills my life. I am devoted to it. I live for it. And I hope to live the rest of my life with it by my side. For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health...you get the picture.

This is a serious relationship and one I began to explore for my February BJP. It started as a desire to use that fine piece of metallic blue silk ruffle ribbon, then that sequined pink netting, and that art deco-like bead applique. These were precious bits of history, someone else's handwork, that somehow needed to be honored.

It was a joy to be with this project and express my love for all things needle-worthy.


And, in my contemplation of this other great love of mine, I realized how I could learn a few things from my love-of-needle; things that might help me in my First Great Love -- in my relationship with Jim, my husband.

-- Both loves require creativity -- some days I just need to show up and surround myself only with him and see what comes of it. If he becomes my focus, suddenly all kinds of worlds open up to me that I could not foresee.

-- Both loves require me to relinquish control. One thing leads to another. I pick up a particular thread, use it, and it changes the course of my creation. Likewise, if I am fully present with Jim, and I follow what he says or does, then the two of us are improvising and arriving somewhere together. The two of us in control, not me alone.


-- Both loves take effort and dedication. Today, I will love this man, though I may be tired. I will love him even when his ribbons are wrinkled and his colors are faded. I can find something here to love even though it may not be what I expected when I walked in...I can create love anew with the materials that are laid before me.

-- Both loves require that I just show up and I say "yes" -- that I put the time in. That I set aside other agendas and I make time just for him. I show up to "work" on our relationship just as I show up to "work" on a project -- if I'm lucky, it all evolves into play...

-- Both loves require me to apply myself -- to be completely present. To delight in the moment and for being alive -- for being able to create -- a garment, a project, a life...

But the similarity that I think I love most of all...is that both loves require finishing touches.


Whether it be a bead or a button that is perfectly placed...or a hug or a kiss on the cheek at just the right moment... This attention to detail, this attention to Jim -- moves us from something that is ordinary -- to a moment that makes life full and abundant, that makes life extraordinary.

And therein lies peace...happiness...and great love. And the greatest of these...is love.

50 comments:

Carol said...

We are lucky. We both know the same kind of love for a man.

But...your love of needlework IS an art. There are not many people that can just create a work of art like you do. The right stitch in the right place while the next project dances in your head. I know a few others like you, mostly CQ artists. You will be renown for your talent one day. Your family will be grown and not demanding so much of your time. What out world, you are coming.

Judy S. said...

A beautiful post, Susan, and a fabulous piece of artwork. I do agree with Carol, you're just coming into your own!

FredaB said...

It is with such anticipation that I read your blog. Not only your wonderful camera work and your own art work but the beautiful way you have of just talking to us. You would make a wonderful writer. I feel very touched after I read one of your columns like todays. Touches my heart for the way you express your love for your family. Your bead work is just wonderful and you have such a way of putting it together like very few others can.

I believe you enjoy every day. This is a wonderful way to live your life.

Hugs

FredaB

Camilla La Mer-Art Dolls said...

Your piece, your passion, and your writing are both beautiful and eloquent like you and your love for your husband!...Very blessed.

karenfae said...

you sure put some work into that--beautiful
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Lil said...

WOW! This is SO beautiful!!!! Every detail is stupendous! I love the thread end with the beaded thread! Simply stunning!!!

Chris said...

Beautiful post and wonderful BJP. I can't wait to see what you create next...I have stash envy when I visit your blog.

Robin said...

To see and acknowledge the similarity between your two greatest loves in this way is a gift! Certainly it is to me, and especially right now when for some reason I'm not showing up, putting in the time or relinquishing control with either my husband or my needleplay. So to think about it in this way may help me to turn a corner... thank you and bless you for your gentle wisdom. Hugs, Robin A.

Hélène H said...

WOW, this piece took my breath away. I love it, it is beautiful, and the work is stupendous. I feel great pleasure looking at it again and again.

And your post about love brought tears to my eyes. And it made me think a lot.

Thank you so much.

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

This piece is beautiful and moving.

pam T said...

Gorgeous page, and as always, such inspiring and thought-provoking writing. Thank you.

a2susan said...

A smile came to my face as I knew what your second "passion" was...thank you for sharing your pearls of wisdom about love with us, your wonderful way with words, and most of all, your exquisite art.

heidibeads said...

This is absolutely beautiful. I loved reading your thoughts and admire you for your art and ability to write about your loves. The page just dances romance to me, I could look at it all day and enjoy it every day.

LindaSonia said...

Oh my, your piece is breathtakingly FABULOUS!!! Love it. LindaSonia

Lynn said...

This is so adorable! I would love to see where you store all those trims and buttons and little bits of heaven. Every piece you make is just loaded with the coolest things, like those beyond amazing crystal scissors!

Simona said...

WONDERFUL piece os art, Susan you are so talented....

Mary Timme said...

Aaa-www-hhh! It is so sweet!

Nellie's Needles said...

What a beautiful analogy for your wonderful relationships with your "loves". It makes me want to take time out from my studio and go play with my husband.

Eva said...

how elegantly you lead us through your stiches to the keys to happiness. seeing their true self in people, recognizing everything they have been in their lives and who they are, what they need in this exact moment, takes time and love to learn. but all that we give is returned to us and can be seen in our every move. your embroidery art will speak love for years to come.

coral-seas said...

I have absolutely no doubt that your relationship with Jim is a beautiful, inspired and creative as your embroidery. You are lucky to have found the great loves of your life but that they are so successful is as a result of all the time and love that you give to them.

Bobbi Pohl said...

Susan, I can"t believe you finished so soon. And I spotted the Accessories of Old button! The block very beautiful with just your special whimsy. And your philosophy is so well put.

Jane said...

Oh Susan, what a lucky woman you are, and what a lucky man.
And the beading is fabulous as well.

jane

MargB said...

Your philosophy is wonderful as is your needlework. Thankyou for sharing.

Julie said...

Oh man, what a beautiful heart in your work and you. I love all the different layers and elements to your work. I love what your saying about your two loves. I think it makes for an interesting relationship to have more than one passion. I feel its necessary and feed the relationship. Thankyou for this wonderful piece. Julie C

CC said...

OMG! This piece made me cry! Just the beauty of it! And then reading what you said about your loves...well, I'm done in now!!! I'm off to create! Thank you so much for sharing this really beautiful piece & yourself!
Warmest aloha,
CC

Lisa said...

This is a stunning piece and your words about it are as poignant as this piece is beautiful. What a great gift you have for both life and needlework! And how blessed you are to have such a beautiful love with your husband!

Maureen in MD said...

As expected your February bead project is just gorgeous.

However, I also think your new header is great as well.

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

I keep looking at this wonderful work of bead art.....fantastic!!!! I really like the "old spool" touch.....oh I could not resist the pun...

Debra said...

Every month your bead journals get better and better; by the end of the year they will be worthy of their own gallery show! You have a beautiful gift and you weave all the parts of your life into your work so well. What a wonderful piece, Susan!

morvoren said...

Yes agree with all others here Susan, such a beautiful post.
Love your spirit it comes through in everything you do ( and it shows)
What a great antidote to the negativity in the world your blog is..if a few of us can all be positive and create beauty a better world it will be for sure.
Hugs Pam

Sheila said...

Beautiful work and a moving post! Susan, what will you do with your monthly squares when you are finished? Do they get framed? Are they gathered together into a collection? Just curious. Also, I wondered what size they are?

Plays with Needles said...

Hi Sheila! My BJP pieces are 5"x5" == I think I'm going to mount each one on foam board and lace them and attach velcro to the back -- I am then going to have a shadow box built with a hinged front so that I can change out the pieces month by month and rotate them -- I think it would cost too much to frame them individually.

Thank you to everyone for all of your lovely comments~! It's a joy to read them.

KV said...

We have been traveling this weekend or I would have posted sooner -- this is such a special, soulful, exquisite piece.

I feel privileged that you shared this artwork with all of us . . .


Kathy V in NM

Joan Cromley said...

Beautiful work, and wonderful post - so many insights. I thought of my beadwork, my husband, my children - the same concepts can relate to so many things! I can't wait to share this with my friends!

Balwearie said...

Absolutely gorgeous -- artwork and philosophy!

Angela said...

Susan,
I think that your work shows how much of an artist you really are, you put your heart and soul and passion into all you do.

I agree that our passion to create no matter what form can teach us a lot about life and love. When we are lucky enough to have a romantic passion as well as a creative passion we are very blessed.

Your piece is incredible and full of yummy details, the kind of piece you just want to have around you because you know it has so much more to show you. Keep up the great ART ~ Angie

Elizabeth Braun said...

I love those scissors and the button as well.=)

Thanks for your nice comment. Yes, it's a pain losing 8 days of life to illness, but, to tell the truth, I've actually lost much of the last 8 years!=( I wish that was exageration, but it ain't. Still, the one good thing that has come from it has been taking up various forms of stitchcraft.=)

Barbara C said...

What a beautiful and inspiring post, and what a gorgeous piece of beadwork. Your jeweled scissors are lovely, and your beading is just stunning. Brava!

Sabine said...

You created an unusual, beautiful, special piece of art, and you wrote a wonderful text to accompany it. Plus all the great photos! It was a pleasure to stop by and see it all.

Sabine

Allison Ann Aller said...

I feel like I am in a fountain of joy when I see your work and read your words.
What a blessing to have you in our lives!!!!!!

Marty S said...

It's a beautiful page. I so enjoy reading your blog and seeing your art.
Marty S
Crackpot Beader

JoWynn Johns said...

One more note of appreciation, Susan. This is a beautiful, thoughtful, illuminated essay. I have so enjoyed both your writing and the photographs of your work. I agree that you are creating art. Is that enough validation for you--the opinions of your peers and admirers?

TattingChic said...

This is absolutely exquisitely gorgeous! I love every bead, charm and thread that went into it! So beautiful! Thank you for sharing this inspiring piece! :)

Godelieve said...

Stunning work!

Tracey N. said...

I would have sworn i left a comment on this page already, but I cant seem to find it. Anyway, I am leaving either another one or my first one. This is completely stunning along with your story and photography too. You are one talented lady and I adore your style. I am trying to find a way to incorporate sequins in my work, but when i do, it seems to look trashy instead of beautiful like yours does!

Muriel said...

Really, I think you are extraordinary, and not just for your art!

anne said...

I didn't have yet the time to read your comments. But the photo of your block is printed and will be hanged on the wall on my workshop. Unless you prefer not.

Aaron said...

Oh Susan this has always been my favourite peice of your work and now I have found out where it came from and read the most beautiful posting of your love for Jim and your art, thank you so much for the blog spot . I enjoy it and it has helped so much this past year when I have felt down, you have a truly lifting spirit and I thank you.

FlowerLady said...

This post is so beautiful in words and pictures. The love for your husband and the love for your needlework shines right out and blasts the reader with graciousness and inspiration. My throat has a lump and tears are filling my eyes.

Love, hugs and blessings ~ FlowerLady

warm the heart of winter said...

I am awestruck with you work. I was looking for inspiration for my own creativity and I have found it in your blog and creations. I will follow all of your entries with a fond memory of today.

Grace and Peace be with you
Averill Trotter

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