My May BJP was inspired by my experience at the Liberty to Liberty Triathlon where me and a group of girlfriends traveled from New York City to Philadelphia via bike. You might recall that I had to walk instead of run the last part of the course. While walking, I noticed this thistle which distracted me from my sadness over an injury and got me thinking about how I might stitch it...
Just like most of my bead journal projects, I start out with one, simple journal topic in mind and I start to stitch. But, invariably, my simple beginning almost always transforms into a larger thought, a personal treatise, if you will, on some underlying belief or memory or feeling that I wasn't even aware was there until it was brought into the light by my stitching. The hours spent with needle, thread and my own head sends me down avenues that I never envisioned I would be traveling at the outset.
Well, May was no different. And it became increasingly important over time to make sure I included this thistle in my piece. So yesterday, I pulled together all the supplies.
Luckily, I had a pink rosebud Hanah-dyed silk ribbon in my stash that looked like it would be perfect. I fused two ribbons together to make a more substantial petal and to prevent fraying.
And I had copied my picture onto black and white and reduced it to the size I needed so I would have a good idea of how large my petals should be.
I knew I needed that dark magenta center and I decided to stitch needlewoven picots around the center using silk buttonhole twist thread. SharonB has a beautiful tutorial for a needlewoven picot on her blog Pintangle.
I then cut out individual petals and sewed them into place after first using the tiniest dab of fabric glue to hold them into place before I stitched...
It was also very important to me that a copper penny be in the middle. The final thistle is in the bottom corner of my piece with the Statue of Liberty crown which is also made of copper. It's significance is multi-faceted representing the primary monetary unit of our country and the face of Abraham Lincoln, one of our greatest Presidents who said:
All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.
And so my May BJP started out as a journal of my Triathlon but has ended as a personal exploration of my thoughts and the importance of our minds and how we choose to think about situations. Because it wasn't my actual performance at that triathlon that made it a great day -- it was how me and my friends approached the day, even when it wasn't going so well...
I'm almost finished, just another small section to wrap up and then I will share the whole thing.
Here's a picture of that thistle opened. It turns out that it's a Canadian musk thistle and is considered a noxious weed in all the links I found on google. Well, one of the definitions of noxious is that it constitutes a harmful influence on mind or behavior.
I couldn't disagree more. It helped me more than you can know and I still think it's an amazingly beautiful example of symmetry in nature.
See you tomorrow for Charm School.