KEYS TO MY HEART – FIBER ART – This piece was created during a time of deep reflection & a time of great stress after an accident I had 12 years ago. The creation of this piece was actually also a form of physical therapy to get back use of my left hand. I gathered up trinkets & treasures from the first 52 years of life. Some of those treasures are my old girl scout badges, 2 pet collars & a favorite cat toy from my beloved cats, my son’s childhood toy, my baby spoon & my son’s baby spoon, plant tags handwritten by my father for his greenhouse business, guitar picks found on the ground after a childhood musician friend passed away, old calligraphy pen nibs & a huge collection of assorted keys purchased at estate sales. The keys at the bottom (made of shrinky dink) have journal entries written & illustrated about the objects on the fiber art. Each key & each trinket on the art has a number to link them up.
This piece was like saying to myself “OK so that part of my life is over & done. I bless all that has come before & I cherish that part of my life, but time moves on and I must be open to this sacred moment of change & I must have faith that what is coming to me in the future is meant to be.” Little did I know that in the 12 years to come that this accident would turn out just maybe to be a type of blessing in disguise. I suddenly had the luxury of time to create art, to find my voice as an artist by-the-sea, to become a nature photographer, to be an animal activist for the harbor seals & sea lions, start a blog & to live my life everyday with a profound gratefulness of the beauty that this life of ours is. It all makes me wonder if just maybe, maybe, there really is an unseen hand that guides us. Maybe it’s all about faith after all.
Thrift shops, estate sales & garage sales are just like art stores for artists. One estate sale had a torn & worn pillow made of 1950s vintage fabric yo-yos for just $2. A thrift shop had a clump of old crocheted flower doilies for $1. I buy these treasures and take them home never knowing what I may be inspired to do with these acquisitions. All I know is they hold some sort of possibility for an art project, which I just can’t pass up.
What to do with a box of yo-yo fabric circles & flower doilies? I think that sometimes re-purposing something is better than the item being discarded. First, I (gasp) cut them all apart & I put them in a fancy Chinese silk box while I wait for these to speak to me & inspire me.
Suddenly I know what I will do. I will make myself some fancy paper clips, which I will use in my art journals as a bookmark to tell me what page I’m up to in photographing my art journal. I painstakingly hand-stitch each yo-yo and doily flower to pastel metallic-colored paper clips. I also stitch tiny seed beads to some of the yo-yo’s. I want to give some of these as a gift to an artist friend so I decide to “plant” my paper clip flowers in a basket.
I paint watercolor baskets, cut slits in the paper & insert the paper clips.
& Voila a basket of flowers! Almost too pretty to take apart & use them, but thankfully I made enough that I can give some baskets away & still have lots for myself.
I made these Shamrock Clover Pins quite a long time ago after seeing the instructions for them in Martha Stewart Living magazine. The instructions were to: coat fabric with liquid starch, let it dry, iron the fabric flat, cut out the shamrocks and then to add stems with floral wire. It sounded harder than it was and even years later, the fabric clover leafs are still crisp and hold their shape. I liked that I could use and assortment of tiny green fabric prints. I’m still pleased with the simplicity of this little bunch of Shamrocks to pin to a garment!