First, in November, our sweet Labradoodle, Jake, was diagnosed with a cervical herniation and could barely walk. That was followed by the discovery of cancer in one lobe of his lungs. After two major surgeries performed at one time, he is walking (and running!) and the cancer is gone.
Second, while we were tending to Jake, my brother-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has had radiation and continues to have chemo every three weeks and is doing really well. He and my sister hope to take a trip to Scotland soon!
Third, my dear Mama died. Nine days after her 90th birthday. I will be forever grateful that I had driven to see her to help celebrate her milestone day. I even took pictures which I rarely do of family; I usually capture special moments in my memory instead of with a camera.
And fourth, we celebrated the marriage of our youngest daughter, Emily, to Brian Rabe on 11 April. We are overjoyed to have Brian in our family! We now have two of the best son-in-laws in the world; truly the sons we would have been proud to call our own had we not had our beautiful daughters.
So... life is to be lived and cherished. Even in the most difficult of times there are gifts and riches to be found. It's hard to get back to "normal" though. I get distracted by little things that need to be done... hesitant, I think, to find what the new "normal" will look like. It's odd. Can't quite put my finger on what it is...
But... today I found myself back in the studio; drawn by an urge I couldn't resist. I turned my back on all the "shoulds" that needed my attention and climbed the stairs to fill my soul with the joy that comes with creating.
The first thing I did was pure play; a wee sock doll to give to my little grandniece for her first birthday. We will both be celebrating our birthdays this Friday, so I wanted to make her a special gift just from me:
I purposely used exposed stitches and mismatched colors so the bear (I think it's a bear anyway!) wouldn't be too precious. It is meant to be played with, hugged, and thrown in the wash if need be!
* * *Then I found a scrap of the fabric that always sends my thoughts back to the 18 months we lived in Japan. I machine sewed the scrap to watercolor paper and then machine sewed something like a flower. I picked up a micro ink pen and added some designs and more lines...and then cut the whole thing up when it looked overly stiff and trite. After a few more cuts and adjustments I glued the pieces within a rectangle I had embossed on another sheet of watercolor paper:
It reminds me of the ikebana arrangements that would grace our home in Yokosuka. Not nearly as simple or elegant as the arrangements, but it has the elements that my eye would trace when I looked at them. It is very much the way I see the world; in snippets of color and shape and line. Rarely as a whole at one time.
* * *And then... I assembled what may be a brooch or, maybe, a part of a larger assembly of similar pieces. I started with a piece of laser cut felt - adding a layer of white linen sandwiched between the laser cut felt and a solid grey piece of felt. I added stitching and then backed the whole with fuchsia felt to cover the stitches. I covered the edges with a narrow strip of felt; all black except for a small fuchsia section at the bottom. It's about 2" square:
It was good to spend time in the studio today.
My heart was happy to just play and listen to the materials that called me to pick them up.
: : Karen Anne