Saturday, August 11, 2012

Found on the Beach

Something happens when we go to the beach.



When we start sifting through the sand and the piles of debris tossed up by the sea...


We're never sure what we will find.


But we know if we show up every day, rain or shine, when the tide is low...


We are rewarded by the magic that occurs in this transitional space.

Where land and sea mix together in an endless dance of creativity and expression.


An ecosystem at play, re-making itself day in and day out to accommodate the elements that act upon it.


The beach is the great eraser.


What was there yesterday, will not be there today.


And what we bring to the beach...our worries, our fears, the self-imposed pressures of our modern life...
are erased too...

Blown away in the wind, swept away in the surf...beaten out of us in time to the rhythm of the waves.
And what is left is pure treasure.

An opening.


To the purest essence of our true selves.

And our busy, complicated lives seem ridiculous and mis-directed when face-to-face with the marvels that have washed ashore to teach us our lesson.


And we feel humbled here amongst the crustaceans, the corals and the marine animals that share this world with us...this sand and sea.

We leave the beach with a blank slate:  a renewed spirit.  A profound peace.  And a re-commitment to all that is most important.  


And we take with us a bit of the beach...the shells of cockles, conchs, urchins and scallops...


To remind us that there is the greatest beauty in the smallest of things.

That what we do and who we become is less important than what we leave behind. 



Happy 16th birthday Jack.

68 comments:

Nana said...

This is very touching!

Nana, who became very silent

a2susan said...

Beautifully said, as always, and illustrated by your amazing talent.
It's been a delight to watch Jack grow up. Enjoy his birthday and this wonderful transitional time in his life.

Светлана said...

Ваши работы также фантастически красивы, как и сама природа!

Annette said...

I cannot express words on how beautiful this is just flat WOW thanks for sharing with us of what can be done with a needle and a few pretties. xo

Linda H said...

Susan, this is absolutely exquisite. Your block is awesome.. there are not enough words to describe how beautiful it is... Your thoughts and reflections are equally touching. How lucky Jack is to have you for a Mother...
Happy 16th Jack!

Alisa said...

I wait on pins and needles (pun intended) for each next glimps of your art. Each piece seems to be more stunning than the last.
So very glad you share with us.

Happy Birthday, Jack!

judy423 said...

your work is amazingly beautiful

Suztats said...

Wishing Jack a wonderful 16th Birthday!
Susan I marvel at your creativity recreating a moment of fleeting beauty on the beach, and your words which express so well what many feel but do not find the way to speak it. Thank you.

Pattiemc said...

Susan,
You are such an inspiration! I have enjoyed the journey of your beach block. I love your postings on your process and decision making. You are a true artist. Thank you so much for sharing this. And happy birthday to Jack!

Vicki W said...

I can't tell you how I look forward to every glimpse ar you beautiful art work! Spectacular!

biddie1031 said...

Susan,
Thank you for articulating so beautifully what it is about a trip to the seashore that always restores the soul. And, thank you for another journey through your wonderful world of embroidery.

H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y, J A C K ! ! !

Anonymous said...

I look forward to every post. You always have beautiful things to show me and profound words about the creative process and life in general. Thank you for sharing your life with us!
Katherine

Heather M. said...

What beautiful sentiments. I will remember them next time I'm at the beach.

Happy Birthday Jack!

FlowerLady said...

Happy 16th birthday to Jack. He is blessed to have your as his mother.

This post was deeply moving in word and exquisite in your needlework.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Wendy said...

What a beautiful post, a beautiful creative block and a beautiful son in celebration of his 16th birthday! May he have many more years as he grows into the man you have raised him to be!

Rachel said...

Beautiful, intricate work, and thoughtful words. It's always a treat to visit you, Susan!

Oh - and Happy Birthday, Jack!

Thearica said...

Gorgeous piece of art!!

hanneton said...

Que dire devant tant de beauté ....rester sans voix et surtout ressentir beaucoup d'émotion ! Quel prodigieux travail ! Merci pour ce moment magique et ô combien réel !

Oriel said...

You are a very inspiring woman and I am grateful for your many insights and such lovely needlework. Family life is ever so precious and time spent with family is to be treasured.

PatSloan said...

your work is incredible.. I hope we meet someday so I can see it in person!

Marie Alton said...

Love your persective on the special things that nature shares with us ...and how you integrate them into your creations ... thanks for broadening the scope for all of us.

Miriam said...

Happy Birthday Jack!!! Many Happy Returns.

Arts and Crafts said...

Absolutely wonderful, exquisite and inspiring, thank you so much for sharing and many happy returns to Jack.

Arlene

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Happy Birthday Jack!!

Someday in the distant future when you can no longer bend in the surf, you will look at this piece and remember all those glorious days you spent shelling with Jim.

Gosh I love that CRAB!!
xx, Carol

pamelaric said...

Susan - This piece is pure magic!!
Pamela
(Tucson)

Createology said...

Happy 16th birthday! This block is pure beauty and now your words are thoughtful and magical. Life's lessons in the ebb and flow of nature in all its awe. You have once again created such a piece that should live forever in history for future generations to admire and ponder. Susan you are amazing dear...

Cheryl said...

Of all the blogs I look at, yours is truly the best,I look forward to see what you will do each day ,and by Far this one has to be the best of all. I love the ocean and sea life ,I am amazed at how you manage to find everything you need to the tiniest detail to get such wonderful art in your crazy quits. Beautiful !!!
Tell Jack Happy Birthday!!!

char said...

Oh my goodness, this is just the most beautiful piece ever!! It leaves me speechless! Its just fabulous! You are amazing.

Jubama said...

c'est magnifique !!!

Sheila said...

I think you're leaving an amazing legacy behind with each new block, Susan. Truly a gift to your family, these are amazing heirlooms. Something to navigate the future by. It's a beautiful way to celebrate a milestone birthday.

flower friend said...

A lovely sensitive post Susan and like the breezes at the seashore I am blown away by your block and great pictures.

Happy Birthday wishes to Jack :)

Kimberly said...

Seems everyone has already written what I feel when I see your work. Thank you for giving us a close up of each little nuance you've stitched into this exquisite piece.
Every stitch with all the special little touches, even the sprinkles of beads that mock crunched up sand, my head wants to take it all in.
And I want more than anything to go put my feet in some sand and hear the ocean ... Thank you for this glimpse into your creative world.

Robyn A said...

Hi Susan, last time I was here you were just starting this (have been ill for some time) - amazing and sooo beautiful. Really, you are a creative genius! By the way I bought Allie Aller's book on your recommendation and it is just wonderful. Thank you for the beauty you bring in to the world.

Beth Ferrier said...

Susan, I am in awe. Gobsmacked. Speechless.

Your work and your words are like a shiny penny on a rainy sidewalk.

Put together all of your posts on this project and you have a chapter in a book.

Happy Birthday to Jack! (And hugs to the parents who have to help him learn to drive!)

Judy S. said...

Carpe diem, I agree! Your block is just beautiful, Susan. You found a perfect spot for the Ghost! Just noticed the tiny starfish... The beach calls me too, and the mountains as well. Great post. Oh, and thanks for the video. It was shared and got raves!

Lisa said...

What a beautiful finish!

Having had more "beach time" than I've ever had before during my current trip gives me new appreciation for all you've been sharing about it! And your words... always so perfect and moving. The Emerson quote was the perfect complement to all.

P.S. Happy birthday to Jack! It must be a great day of the year, because it appears he shares the date with both of my lovely daughter-in-laws!

black bear cabin said...

absolutely gorgeous...and i love the last shot of jack and dad! happy 16th birthday jack...time to hand over the keys mom :) hehhehehe
hugs!

coral-seas said...

Every thing about this post is stunning - your art, your photographs, your words - it is utterly delightful.

The picture of your two men walking together melts my heart :-)

Happy Birthday, Jack. Sweet sixteen ...

Jennifer Vance said...

Beautiful!
I love the beach,too.Wish I could go there every month during the summer!

Cathy Lloyd said...

I am absolutely speechless! What a beautiful piece Susan! You are one very talented needle artist!

Mary Ann said...

Wonderful piece of art:)

Happy Birthday Jack!!!!

Jillayne said...

Happy Birthday Jack! I hope you had a wonderful day.
This piece and this post are beautiful Susan. Your needlework is exquisite, and I can't decide if the crab or the starfish are my favorite - so glad you were willing to put in all those hours! I'm so awe-inspired I don't know what to think!

Ingrid Mida said...

Extraordinary post Susan - filled with beauty and wisdom. Happy birthday to Jack. I'm sure those sixteen years seem like they have flown by.

Marianne said...

Susan, you have me a loss for words, the exquisite beauty of your stitching and prose are inspirational. Happy Birthday to Jack! Hugs, Marianne Squire Maszer

deb said...

This block is absolutely amazing! Thank you for sharing. Love the crab! I live near the beach so share your sentiments. The photo of Jack and his dad is just lovely.

Tracy Marie said...

I love what you've done here! I just can't figure out how you attachd Real shells! And the sea urchins? How can one possibly stitch those? Yet you did! And that Crab! I was watching for a close-up. I thought you might have attached a skeleton of a Real one! Ha! How? How? How? Amazing!
I crochet and have shells. I've seen jewelry, but the crochet covers up the shells too much.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I came here to see your stitching genius via Craft Gossip and received so much more. Your writing along with the beautiful stitching is wonderful. Thank you!
Wendy R

vicki said...

Susan-- unbelievable-- you have out done yourself here!! This quilt block defies anything that I could have even imagined. This needs to be in the Smithsonian museum!!! You are a master at this craft--
Vicki

Barbara C said...

Beautiful work Susan, on the boy and the needlework. Your beach scene is realistic and romantic at the same time. It's just lovely.

Laurel's Quill said...

Oh Susan...you so amaze me. What a gorgeous piece of work and I love how you wove in the words with your photos of it.

elmsley rose said...

oooo..do I get to be the 51st comment?!
Stunning, once again, Susan. Just stunning.

wendy said...

I'm speechless! The beauty of this post as a whole is beyond words. Thank you for sharing.

Elizabeth said...

Amazing Stunning glorious and exquisite!! i could look at these photos and read the process posts for hours and be constantly amazed and inspired!!!!!

That picture of your dear hubby and the crab cracks me up!!! Love the last shot of your two men from behind. I do love catching private tended moments like that!!! Brava again you stitching magician!!!

Gerry Krueger said...

Just catching up with blogs and am blown away by this block... It is by far the best you've done.. The detail is incredible... I'm going out to ring my bell just for you....

BTW I feel "renewed and recommitted" when I walk in my forest....it puts everything in perspective... Hugs Ger

Marjolein said...

When you introduced Casper, I was pretty sure he would sit in the bottom right corner. I can imagine why you put him on the left side. The spume of the surf on the right is too beautiful to cover up.
I wish all shores could be as beautiful (and clean!!!) as this one.

Teresa said...

Susan, your words and your work are beautiful

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

Beautiful post Susan! Your words are as beautiful as the block. I love your analogy. Happy birthday to your son!

Gisele said...

wow, your needlework is amazing, I adore all the intricate details of this beach block & am in awe of your talent!

Colleen Anderson said...

Susan, your work is just exquisite! and your thoughts through it all ring true and are so inspirational...makes me want to go create...RIGHT NOW! Thank you so much for sharing your talent and yourself.

Colleen Anderson

Connie said...

Gorgeous and sweet. (-;

Madame Mooshi said...

Hi Susan!

It's Olivia from Mooshi in Australia! I have not visited your blog for a while and thought it was time for a catch up. I love what you are doing and the Beach embroidery! It is fabulous! Thank you for being such a generous soul and sharing insights into your talents! Very inspiring!
I'm going to take a look at the courses you offer online.
Blessings,
Olivia

Shabby Royale said...

Hello Susan,

Happy that I found you.
This work is so beautiful and inspiring !!
I signed in as a follower and
hope to visit you more often.

Blessings
and Happy Easter to you.

Wilma.
Shabby Royale.

ramblin' rose said...

Thank you, this is truly inspiring
Rose

Cheese Hunters said...

I absolutely love your quilts...this beach one is over the top....I could stare at it all day....would you be willing to tell me how you do the shell with the twisted bugle beads...I know how to do the basic stitch, but I don't know how you leave the space for the beads...just awesome!!!!!

annamaria magda said...

My godness, what a wonderul and picturesque thing, congratulations,
YOU ARE GREAT, bye, anna

Nancy said...

Beautiful photos. What an exquisite crazy quilt block. Just beautiful and the colors and embellishments are perfect.

Anonymous said...

Breath taking work!

KittyAnnArt said...

So inspiring! Thank you for putting your thoughts out there and your gorgeous workings too! >^,,^<

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