Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bead Journal Completed June (2009)

My Symphony


"In my next life, I'm going to..."

Oh, how many times have I answered this statement. And similarly, this question:

"What would you choose to do in your next life...?"

How many times have I asked this question of Jim or Jack or my friends??

Answering the question is a way of identifying hidden dreams, of uncovering latent desires, of creating a fantasy story for ourselves or for those we care about. I'd be shocked if you've never thought about it yourself.

Granted, I am pretty happy with the talents and skills God gave me. But, boy oh boy, in my next life I would LOVE to come back as Patti LaBelle or Aretha Franklin -- stand up on stage in front of thousands of singing fans, and belt out a R-E-S-P-E-C-T like there's no tomorrow!


Using all ranges of my unbelievable voice, up and down the scale, no holding back...letting my voice belt out all that is beautiful and good. Maybe this is why gospel music and spirituals have always appealed to me. That deep, soulful singing that comes from the very core of your being...*gulp

OK. Back to reality. I can sing OK...not great.

I mean, I'm probably good enough to be in the back row of our local church choir. And maybe, one day I might join that group when I have more time to commit to it. For now, I have to settle for sitting in the front left side of the church where the choir sits and the music is loud and they drown out my singing when I belt it out! Once, I sat in the back of church because we were late...I was so out of place. There are very few singers in the back of church and the ones who are singing...are definitely not belting it out. More like mumbling and humming. This bird was very out of place back there so I haven't been late to church since...that'll teach me...


And it's not like I just want one thing in my next life. Greedy girl, I know.

I would also really love to be able to paint. I mean, really paint...Like Michelangelo or Raphael or Judith Leyster. I love the idea of setting my easel in the midst of a garden, surrounded by my paints and by nature, with Monet's waterlilies appearing magically from my brush...and, when I was done, they would actually look like waterlilies...*sigh


OK. Back to this life. In this life, I can't draw very well but, just like singing, I do it anyway. Maybe I don't need to be the world's best painter, maybe I would just like to draw better.

So, inspired by my work on this piece, and by Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (she swears anybody can draw), I'm going to take a drawing class at my local art center and see what happens.


But all of this is background soundtrack for My Symphony.

When I began this piece, I was thinking of what I am not. And, over time and many stitches, I have come to embrace what I am.

Simply put, I am a painter with threads and I sing through my needlework.

My medium is cotton and silk and fabric and beads and any other bauble that strikes my fancy. I am indeed standing in the middle of the field, inspired by nature, and stitching my masterpiece of a life.


The music in the background of this piece is Beethoven's Ode to Joy printed on fabric and it underscores my life's symphony. It's joy, it's gratitude and it's the only song I ever learned to play on the piano. And, it's this life -- not the next one.


So, I don't know if I'll ever get a next life or not, but I'm not sure I would want to give up my needle and thread in order to be able to sing and paint.

Thank God I don't have the choice. I am almost certain I would mess it all up if I did.


Thank you for taking this journey with me. It seems like it's taken me forever to finish this piece from when I first started last October. But I liked that I tried a lot of new things while making this piece.

Here are a few back links to the various phases of this piece if you're interested.

Free-motion embroidering the grass

Making the Butterflies
Making the Canvas, Palette and Brush
Dressing the Doll
Glittering the Background Fabric
Painting and Printing the Background Fabric
Self-Portrait Inspiration

Now, I'm off to make a snowman...Maybe in my next life, there won't be snow!

49 comments:

Gerry Krueger said...

June 2009????? Love the whimsy of this piece... And you hit the mark with me with the singing but for me it's Mama Cass and "Make your own kind of Music". The one thing I loved about teaching kindergarten was I could sing often and loudly. But even then every so often some smart ass 5-year-old would say "Teacher, you sound funny when you sing" No respect...

Hugs Gerry.....

Gerry Krueger said...

I should have added I'll be tall, skinny and a redhead!!! Gerry

Marty52 said...

Your "voice" is certainly soaring today, Susan! This is really something else. I've finally started on my January piece. ;0)

coral-seas said...

Well, Susan, you are definitely an artist in my eyes. And not only does your embroidery (and your words) sing to me, they make my heart sing. (I am no singer but inside I sing all the time.)

I love that you love this life. It is the healthiest, happiest way to be. And there is no guarantee that we will get another one.

If you can't have the life you'd love, love the life you have!

PS. The page is fabulous. I love all the little details and have very much enjoyed the journey.

SHELL'S SHED said...

Oh Susan! Beautiful, Stunning, Inspiring - those are the words you make me think of in this life time. You are a wonderful craftswoman and an artist in your heart. Sing as you're working as you've got your dream life. (well with snow aswell, but you can't build snowmen if you ain't got snow!)

thanks for the video yesterday too - it was lovely to put a voice to the face and work - even if it was a bit out of breath, lol.

Take care and have fun and don't forget to keep belting them out - R E S P E C T......
Shell xx

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

First Impression...freaking amazing, freaKING!

I would embrace you too Susan, for who you are!

Lisa said...

Oh! It was certainly worth the wait to see this piece! It is so exuberant and joyful and full of life! (and you included a favorite bunny of mine!). It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking "if only" or "I wish" and losing sight of the now. Half of drawing is learning to see, not what you assume is there, but what is really present... I think you'll do fabulously!

Nellie's Needles said...

IT's fabulous!
And YOU are, too!

Front Range Stitcher said...

Hi Susan,
I don't know where to start to comment on your awesome journal. Blown away, bowled over, flabbergasted, astonished and floored for starters. Your creativity abounds. I am new to your blog and am looking forward to perusing the archives. I thought whimsy was my middle name, but you're the mistress-o-whimsy.

Vicki W said...

So many great details! The hat, the butterflies, the socks...everything. Don't be too hasty to trade out your current talents for new ones!

méri said...

This is fabulous, wonderful, and surely you are a painter with threads (i'm sure you sing very well too)

Pia Nygaard Pedersen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cathy K said...

Wow, you ARE an artist, with fibers and beads and words! I've been waiting to see this piece, and you did not disappoint. It's waaay better than I imagined it could be. Just stunningly beautiful and happy and JOYful!! Loved hearing and seeing your video - you sound just like I imagined. I'll be seeing you in April of 2011 at the CQ Event!! Can't wait! Hugs, Cathy

Dee D said...

This is wonderful.

Debra said...

Another amazing piece of needlework!

Sharkeysday said...

Fabulous! I just adore the look and the bunny is sweet - LOVE the 3D look to it.

Amazing - as usual! (grin!)

Carol said...

Yes, you definitely sang in this piece. It is a work of art. Better than any oil painting could be.

What I am wondering is..in your LAST life did you long to be talented in needlework......

In my next life I would also be an entertainer...more the Lady Gaga persona. Yes, I would definitely feel at home in costume strutting around in 5" heeled boots thrilled that I inspired the audience to move to my dance music.(My alter ego).

In my LAST life, I owned a millinary shop in the west and I was a friend to the Indians. That's where I met Terry the first time.

Barbara C said...

What a lovely exuberant piece! It's quite a contrast to the cold winter, and I love the vitality (and the mis-matched socks).

Jane said...

What a wonderful song!

jane

Liz Schaffner said...

All I can say is ...
Magnificient!!!
Liz

Maureen said...

You are an artist! This is wonderful. xo Reen

Ati. said...

As always I am beaten by the beauty of your work and the words which go with it. It is a great piece Susan and you are só right: here and now you have lots of talents and thank you to show us a part of it!

Diane said...

I love the way you work at these pieces. So much detail and it's easy to tell you enjoy it thoroughly. Those odd socks are wonderful!

beadbabe49 said...

Your persistence is awesome and the piece is utterly charming...good job!

Zinaida said...

Your "Symphony" is so wonderful! I like the idea, colors, lots of details,...

Loralynn said...

Darling! Charming! Whimsical! Those are the top three words that come to mind when I look at this piece. You are so talented and I adore this project! Have fun in your class and keep us up to date on how it goes!

Dees said...

Girl, name a thing you really - no, I mean REALLY - can't do. You are so gifted in this life... Keep singing out your Ode and all will be fine. The next life can take care of itself.

Evelyn and Lise said...

Susan, Your symphony is stunning!!! Love the little details . This piece sings to me also. P.S. Love the bunny Lise

Chris said...

Beautiful work, beautiful post. You are speaking directly to my heart. I know there is a painter in there that just hasn't found wings yet. Have a wonderful weekend!

Mary Corbet said...

Oh, Very Nice! I love the colors! I love the canvas! I love the BUNNY! The whole thing is just Fun and Vibrant!!! So cheery, and a perfect uplifter for a chilly winter day!

Cyn said...

Hi Susan,

Love your new journal project and what you have written. Especially it's spring colors. Just what we need here in snowy Maryland. We've had a bit less than you up here in Carroll County but it's still a mess!

My paternal grandfather could sing and was in a Barbershop Quartet. My paternal great-grandfather was Welsh and was a champion singer. Dad could not sing at all and unfortunately neither can I. And I don't mean no talent, I mean our singing is painful to listen to. LOL!

I also wanted to be able to paint but I have no talent at all. I'm at the drawing stick figures level and even then they are hard to recognize! :-)

I refer to myself as a maker as I am a maker of things. Not a creator of things. I'm okay with that as we need all types of some of us need to be responsible for making things. Would not want to change my life for anything!

Well, okay maybe winning the lottery so I can spend all day stitching but I know me. I like people too much so I'd have to do volunteer work or something to get out around people every day! LOL!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Cheryl said...

Simply amazing Susan! I love the colors, the message, the cohesiveness, and the sheer presence of this beautiful piece. You are one amazing woman that can't be stopped!

Allison Ann Aller said...

What can one say about this wonderful piece???
Joy, color, talent, committment, exploration, innovation, love...all pour forth in total exuberance!
So wonderful, Susan..
....and I have to add, I am just crazy about that brush!

GraceBeading said...

WOW... this is absolutely amazing, I could (and did) get lost in the beauty of it, all that wonderful detail.

To say you sing through your needlework is an understatement, truly.

Thanks so much for sharing it.

Dovilė said...

Charming! Love all these details:)

Lynn said...

Oh my gosh! This piece is so adorable! It must have done your soul good to have all that color at your fingertips after the snowstorm. Keep snuggly safe!

Elizabeth said...

Everytime that i see your latest work, i think that you ahve outdone yeourself!! your talents are amazing and I would bet just about anything that hyou underrate yourself as far as your singing talents go!! This piece sins such a wonderful song- so rich in the details and harmonies- so much to see so much happiness and joy to feel!! Your writting style is also wonderful- I would add writing to your current list of true talents!!! I am blown away by this piece!!
Hugs,
Elizabeth
BTW as of 1:30pm Feb 15 it is snowing in Stafford VA- here we go!!!!

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

i love LOVE this!!! every bit of it, and the story that goes with it. you are one talented lady!!!

Wanda said...

Full of fantasy, wonder and awe..that's what I see. How beautiful. I know what I'm going to be in my next life....a woman that tends the animals up high in the Alps during the summer! It's my dream. Too bad I can't do it in this life but the fear of, well, the animals and insects and creepy crawly things....

Elmsley Rose said...

Well, it goes without saying I love the piece. So personal!

Do you know http://tenerifesilversurfer.blogspot.com/ ?
She recently found me, and gave me the link to her beading blog.

pétronille said...

Magnifique ! Quel talent...j'adore

BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO

Robin said...

Your Symphony is remarkable in every way, Susan! I just spent 35 minutes first looking at details, then reading, then looking at the details enlarged! What a full-surround-sound-symphony it is!!!! From bee in bonnet to mismatched socks to beady leaves, I love it all! Both your work and your thoughts amaze me beyond what I can express. No need for an afterlife for you... somehow you take every crumb life offers and make dreams come true building shell trees! Hugs, Robin A.

Hélène H said...

Wow, what a delightful zestful piece, and so many different techniques !

Pumpkin Delight said...

Wow! Your work is amazing. The design is so intricate. Plus, I love your blog name. Very cute!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Heather said...

I found you by accident today- what a lovely accident. I love your beaded fiber creation it is a Symphony!! I love fiber art and jewelry and polymer clay and everything else I have time to try. Hope you post more often because I will be looking for more of your luscious work.

Lynn said...

I am in awe of you who do such wonderful work as I am a new crazy quilter. Beautiful work! Thanks so much for sharing!

Sandi's Samples said...

All I can say is WOW!!! your work is beautiful!

FlowerLady said...

I just saw this and it is wonderful. So 'joyful'. You will have a next life and it will be more wonderful than you can imagine.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Cheryl Pinta said...

Your writing is as beautiful and fun as your work. You paint with words, beads, and thread. I suspect if one of the great artists that you mentioned saw your work, they would think to themselves...in my next life I would like to work with thread and beads! :)

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