The second piece in my handmade paper series is based on the early years of my marriage, and when my sons were little. I was thankful I had the opportunity to marry Ray, who had an engineering degree. He didn’t want me to work and he had jobs that paid well enough that I could attend to the household, the children, and enjoy weaving and other crafts.
The circular collage features a photo of flowers (now faded), in a center circle on oatmeal colored paper that has flecks of white and other colors throughout the paper. This was sewn onto a brass ring with a cross stitch. The flower picture is circled with small beads, and then a ring of larger mauve beads. Farther out on the paper, the beads are a variety of sizes and colors somewhat randomly placed.
The gray scalloped shapes are made with narrow glass beads about 3/16ths of an inch long. The faint pink marks were made with a marker and have also faded. I have a thing about the color pink. In actual flowers, like roses I enjoy pink, but it is not a color I wear or use in my house, unless it is darker, sort of a rose color. A small amount of pink paired with larger amounts of green is nice also.
In this piece, I wanted some pink to represent my enjoyment of having a husband, a home, and children. I was thankful I didn’t have to live in Cleveland where I grew up. During these years we lived in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Missouri near Joplin, Nebraska in the southeast corner, and Portsmouth, Virginia.
I had been raised in the Lutheran Church, as had Ray. During our time in Virginia, I made a personal commitment to Jesus, and became close to some members of our church, and believers from other churches as well.
The third circle in this series honors this time. The brass ring is sewn on top of the handmade paper with very fine dark thread. The image is a drawing from a magazine, looking down on the head of Christ with the crown of thorns.
I don’t recall any specific meaning for the arrangement of the beads streaming out from the center circle, but they make a dramatic looking piece. There are some faceted crystal beads sewn onto the ring, which don’t show up well in this photo.
After six years in Virginia, we were outgrowing our house, and Ray wanted a different job. An unexpected job offer came from California, where a huge world of opportunity awaited me.
At Thanksgiving, I sometimes struggle to name specific things I’m thankful for because there are so many. It is good to look back and remember all the experiences and blessings that have brought me to this moment.
Wishing you a joyous day tomorrow, wherever you are.