Monday, May 17, 2010

The Right Alice

Sometimes all it takes is for one person to believe in us. Often we don't even believe in ourselves, but there is someone out there that chooses us...that picks us out of a crowd...that knows we have what it takes to accomplish something for ourselves that we never dreamed possible.


I never imagined that this piece would end up being about Alice. In fact, I started the journey completely infatuated with the Mad Hatter and the idea of perpetually having tea. I knew those two things were absolute.


But over time, as I stitched and studied the story...I chose to remove the other characters at the tea party...the Dormouse, the March Hare and the Cheshire Cat. But what about Alice? Alice was growing in my heart day by day. And so I decided; Alice had to be on the block and she had to be Big Alice.


And holding the key? Well, of course. She's the key to the entire story...and she's the key to her own happiness, her own success, her own life.

Yet it's the Hatter who believes in Alice from first sight of her. Everyone else in the story is convinced that Alice is the "wrong" Alice...and even Absolem, the hookah-smoking caterpillar says that she is "not hardly" Alice...meaning, that he was reserving judgment until she had proven herself.


But not the Hatter. The Hatter needs Alice to slay the Jabberwocky...to free Underland from the treachery of the Red Queen...and he never doubts that she can do it. And to Alice, it seems to be the most impossible thing she could ever dream of...to have the strength to wield a vorpal sword and slay a Jabberwocky? Even in her craziest of dreams, she wouldn't have imagined that possible for herself.

Yet the Hatter did. And he had faith in her and he waited and waited for her to return. Their relationship in the story is very special and Alice becomes Big Alice because of him.


Don't we learn life's lessons through great stories? And isn't the craziness of Alice in Wonderland one of the reasons it has such mass appeal...such outlandish characters saying the silliest of things...and those silly statements resonate with truth.


I love this story. It teaches me that believing in someone I love can mean the world to them. It teaches me that what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger. It teaches me that believing in myself, believing that I can accomplish six impossible things before breakfast, makes me a GIANT. And makes me the star attraction in my own life.


I have really enjoyed blogging this journey bit by bit. And I have to admit that I'm a bit down now that it's over. I always need a few days after ending a big project, finishing a great book, throwing a big party...to wind down...to write the experience to my hard drive...filing the lessons learned for future use.


Thank you for all your support and your encouragement along the way. It means more than you might imagine.


And so you don't have to work too hard...here's what I added to the block from last time.

  • The blue butterfly in the upper right corner to signify Alice's transformation
  • I darkened the center dark grey piece to give it more depth like a hole
  • I added some three-dimensional ferns and more curly ferns to the forest
  • I added more Tulgey to the Tulgey wood
  • and I put a few beads on the seams in the center...
  • And I gave the Hatter a hat pin. It's a size 15 beading needle with two size 15 beads glued very carefully to the tip. I put on my small fingers for that task!

And now it's done.


I put all the pictures in this Flickr album and I made a slide show...it's kind of fun to see the block grow over time...kind of like time-lapsed photography.



Have a great day everyone and thank you for coming on this adventure with me!

40 comments:

MosaicMagpie said...

BEAUTIFUL!

Anonymous said...

There are no words. What an incredible adventure it has been.

Maureen in MD

a2susan said...

What a wonderful adventure it has been to watch you create your Alice block. I keep remembering that the block is only 8x8" because it seems larger than life! Have lots of tea today as you slowly re-enter the everyday world.

Judy S. said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful work, Susan, the details as well as the total block. It's amazingly beautiful and carries a message too!

Coeur de freesia said...

Your work is absolutely fabulous. So many beautiful details ! I really took a lot of pleasure to follow the journey.
Thanks a lot for sharing it.

Carol said...

I was a little concerned when you didn't post for a few days.

I wonder if your creative juices cause a kind of euphoric state that wans as the project is finishing.

When I was reading your commentary I was thinking of The Little Engine That Could. Isn't that funny. I imagine that you knew in your heart that you would do this project proud, but I know there was just a tiny bit of self doubt too. Now, like a proud mom, you can look at this project with pride knowing it is a job well done. Even though you had the story to guide you, your interpretation is superb. The details that you have incorporated are unique to your talent and accentuate your knowledge of the moral of the story.

I have enjoyed watching this block develope and your commentary on the process.

It is a visual delight.
XX, Carol

Rachel said...

Wonderful - well done indeed.

The slide show is also a great idea, as it reminds us of the steps involved. Very pleasing to see the whole project grow.

tattrldy said...

I love this block. It has such depth and texture. Each time I look at it I see something that I missed before. The detail is amazing. Your commentary about the story and the ideas behind the block are wonderful, too. Thanks for sharing your tea party with us.

Robin said...

and... exhale. Thanks for the wonderful journey.

Maureen said...

UNDERFUL!!

Catherine said...

It's captivating!! I must confess that I too am a little sad that the journey has come to an end....but I find comfort in knowing that you are so talented and will be sharing another adventure with us soon!

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

fan-tas-ti-co

Marty52 said...

This block really gives a Wonderland vibe, Susan. All your little details have brought the tea party to life! Alice is so well done, as is the Mad Hatter. Thanks for taking us on your journey, I have so enjoyed watching you bring it all together. Well done!!

Seahorse Ranch Girl said...

I've typed several praises, that all fall short of my impressions upon seeing this final result and reading what the journey has meant to you. Brava!

Lisa said...

Delightful! As always, your insight and eloquence is amazing ~ as is your stitching! I just love how three dimensional this block is. Congrats on a fine finish!

Front Range Stitcher said...

Your block is full of life, whimsy and beautiful stitching. I've looked forward to each and every post and am so glad I'll have the slide show for future viewing. It's really been a treat to go along with you on this adventure Susan. Special thanks for taking the time to so thoroughly document each idea and process.

Give the right side of your brain a chance to rest and rejuvenate-you've more than earned it. We'll be here always.

Createology said...

This is truly OVER THE MOON fabulous. You have created a masterpiece and you should be super proud. Not only your stitches but your words have so much to them. Thank you so very much for sharing your Alice journey. Enjoy your cup of tea...

Loralynn said...

Watching the progression on the slide show is nothing short of amazing! I have so enjoyed watching you develop your block. You are so talented and make everything seem so effortless. Bravo!

Anne said...

Amazing work. I am always in awe of your work. Just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it.
Anne

Debbie said...

Susan, Susan,Susan,my HAT is off to you! What an adventure! I am in awe of your work...Debbie (Maine)

Kaite said...

and thankyou for dreaming up such a beautiful adventure...k.

Penny said...

I am in awe!!! This has been an incredible trip for those of us out here urging you along. To have put all of this detail in such a small space -- you know what this means don't you? It means you can do ANYTHING and on top of that do it beautifully. Thanks for the adventure - the slide show is wonderful

Marnie said...

All I can say is Wow. Extreme Wow. Wow to the nth power.

Allison Ann Aller said...

"Through the Looking Glass"...it is one of my favorite metaphors for private, personal adventure and expansion of the soul.
You have taken us there with you through your stitching...what a gift.
Thank you, Susan!

Alisa said...

Amazing!

Sweetpea said...

Susan, although I have not commented for a long time, I have followed your *Alice* journey and enjoyed each and every one of your stitching steps. I almost wish we could speak in person....I know there must be more tales for the telling, more introspective secrets you have gleaned...

BRAVO, I say!!!! What a story you have told with YOUR imagination!

coral-seas said...

What an adventure. What a master piece. Your artistry thrills me but it is made so much more muchier by your words, your story telling. It's been a real page turner and I'm slightly sad that it's over but I'm already looking forward to your next adventure.

Grab a cuppa, I want to talk about Absolem. I never thought that he doubted Alice for a minute. When he said 'Not hardly', I thought he was refurring to her own self doubt. Again and again, he asked "Who are you?", challenging her to remember, to be herself. I saw Absolem as her mentor (or even her inner self). Did you notice that his metamorphis matched hers.

An other layer of detail I enjoyed was how the characters of Underland reflected the 'real' people in Alice's life, Absolem/Lord Ascott, the Red Queen/Lady Acscott, the White Queen/Margaret, the Tweedles/the Chattaway Sisters, Stayne/Lowell, just as Lewis Carroll molded the characters in his tales to real people known to Alice Liddell.

Nellie's Needles said...

Thank you, Susan, for the adventure of your creation, your thoughts about the story and life, and the slide show to take us through the process again ... and again ...
BIG hugs!

Robin said...

What a trip!

One of the many things I love about this block is that with all the story and amazing applique, it's still very much a CQ block!

I love your final additions... the blue butterfly, the lime green curly things and, especially, the darkening of the grey piece with the suggestion of a hole. Brilliant!

After a masterpiece like this, it must be difficult to put it down and begin the process with something new.

We are your Hatter, Susan... we'll always have faith in you!

Lynn said...

Time to celebrate! Amazing. Looking forward to your next adventure.....

Denise said...

Oh wow!! That is amazing! Thanks so much for the adventure!! Your artwork is inspirational and your ability to share it, explore it out loud and gift us with it is truly a wonderful experience!!
Thanks so so much,
Cheers, Denise

Balwearie said...

Gorgeous -- this has been great fun traveling down the rabbit hole with you!

Elmsley Rose said...

Can I say anything that hasn't already been said?

Congratulations on a great piece!

My fav bit is the Mad Hatter's head, with the hair and the hat, and the hat pin.

Ati. said...

Congratulations Susan, the block is done. It is amazing what you have created the last weeks. The result is beautiful and I like how you discribe the journey making it.

Barbara C said...

I'm late to the reveal party, but I want to congratulate you on your beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing your process. It has indeed been a journey.

Annet said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful work! I enjoyed your journey with Alice.

Chris said...

Spectacular work Susan! I'm awestruck!

Ardith said...

I honestly think that is one of the most beautiful things I have seen in my entire life. It seems museum quality to me (and I wish it were in one so I could go see it in person.) Thank you for sharing!

poussine03A said...

que de créativité et quelle technicité!
c'est somptueux...

Annette said...

oh beautiful my dear, funny I am doing an Alice in wonderland sort of book. It will look nothing like this treasure. Love all the close ups you create for us and will hunt the video I know will be so delightful oxoxoxox

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