Tuesday, September 28, 2021

You Deserve a Medal

Medals for valiant children

Every once in a while life throws you a scary curve ball that requires true grit. I believe those life moments warrant some sort of acknowledgement and recognition. I have offered various options for entertaining medals over the years, including medals for myself stitched to my ongoing Awards Jacket, and the funky delight of making medals out of recycled ribbon and scrap in the post, Recycled Ribbon Awards

This time around, the medals go out to my two grand-nieces who have just been uprooted from the town and school and friends they have known their entire lives to move to a new town and new school. Of necessity, everything happened very fast, they found out about the move a week before school was to start in August, and the family had not yet found a house in the new location. As a result, they started a new school and plunged into the great unknown during an interim stay in a Quality Inn. Now that is tough. And that deserves a medal. I proceeded to make some and sent each of them an awards presentation package in the mail.

Label on each custom-made award box

Before the move, the girls and I had been discussing the concept of multiple dimensions, parallel universes, and those critical moments in life where one move or one decision or one seemingly trivial even sends you down an alternate life path. The twelve-year-old began to refer to these as the great "what ifs."

The awards were accompanied by the following documentation:

The medals incorporate old chains and salvaged jewelry findings and bits of broken jewelry. They also each include a small copper charm with the letters "Aug." on them because they entered a parallel dimension when they moved in August. Note that I just happen to have an entire small bag of these copper "August" charms purchased as a scrap find. This is the first time since I found them over thirty years ago that I have had occasion to use them.  The medals also incorporate a feature piece — a vintage piece of French theatrical costume appliqué, purchased from the collection of French opera and theater costumery at the store Tinsel in Berkeley, California. They may be worn as a necklace or hung on a wall.

Medal for a 12-year-old entering an alien middle school

Medal for a 10-year-old entering a new elementary school

Let's face it, times are tough. And sometimes you deserve a medal.


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Weave Yourself a Metaphor


Weave Yourself a Metaphor

This assemblage combines scraps and elements from a range of different projects: native grass roots and the chiffon ribbon and broken jewelry bits the roots were supposed to miraculously and organically turn into jewelry (but didn't); knitted strips of eco-dyed cloth; and strips of paper dyed with coffee containing notes from the spiritual window shopping I have been doing over the last several months.


Broken Bird

A gift from a friend who knows my inner nature.

Broken porcelain chick

Roots, Ribbons and Jewelry Bits

Technically, this is part of the ongoing Roots project. Here we see the native grass roots, chiffon ribbon, and broken jewelry bits in situ. The idea was that this stage of the project would give the roots agency and they would assume control of the jewelry-making process. That didn't happen — the roots did not bond and intertwine with the ribbon as envisioned. So...they have been recycled into this assemblage.

Native grass roots trying to fashion jewelry

Eco-Dyed Recycled Cloth

Scraps from an eco-dyeing session, cut into long strips, knotted together, and then knitted.

Cutting cloth into long strips

Knitting cloth strips

Paper Scraps with Notes

The notes contain ideas that captured my attention in recent months, like: "An ideology is one's imaginary relationship to reality." To encourage the notepaper to blend better with the rest of the elements, I dunked the notes in a cup of coffee and then let them dry. No photo - use your imagination.

The Assemblage

When this piece began, I was focusing on the poor little chick's plight and was using the working title, "Broken." As the work evolved, it transformed into "Weave Yourself a Metaphor," which, as far as I can see, is what we are all doing every morning when we wake up.

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