Saturday, 9 July 2016

June 2016 Bead Journal Project

I'm a little late with this piece.


The inspiration for this one was the idea of bravery and courage. This has been on my mind this month for two reasons. Firstly, a number of people in my family have made quite brave decisions recently. For some this has been to do with their careers, others it has been whilst travelling and others have broadened their horizons by doing new things. Each of these have required courage and the conscious decision to do something that they personally might have found quite a challenge, even if someone else wouldn't have. 

The second reason that bravery has been on my mind is because I had the chance to visit my great grandfathers grave on the French/Belgium border. My great grandfather joined the army as a volunteer in the first world war despite being in his late thirties and blind in one eye. He was not considered fit for front line service and spent some time working in the ambulance service in the UK, but as the war progressed and more troops were needed even those not considered A1 (fit for the front line) were sent abroad. He worked for more than a year in the labour corps not far from Ypres. His letters home played down the danger and indeed, as a member of the labour corps, he was always behind the front line. Unfortunately, just four weeks before the end of the war the supply line he was working at was shelled and he, along with four others and a large number of horses was killed. He is buried in a small cemetery on a hill by a wood in a very peaceful spot. 


I chose the colours purple and gold because they reminded me of medals and medal ribbons (the British Military Cross is hung on a ribbon of white and purple, and of course there is also the US medal, the purple heart.)

The fabric is a piece I made using flour batik just over a year ago. I've kept the beading to the edges so that the lovely design of the fabric still shows. I also used one of my favourite buttons.


It was one of the buttons which came from the gumball machine in the church-turned-antiques market. I've been back since and the machine is gone sadly. I often struggle to use 'special' beads and buttons but this piece felt worthy enough!

This piece is also a good example of necessity being the mother on invention. When I marked up the fabric I accidentally used a pink fibre tip pen instead of my fabric marker pen. I then missed the sewing line and ended up with a pink line visible round the edge of the square. In order to hide this I embroidered scroll stitch over it. I quite like the effect but probably wouldn't have done it otherwise. I've made the same mistake on a few other pieces so I'll have to find a variety of inventive ways to cover it up.

I haven't posted anything since last month's bead journal project but I have been working on something. It combines a lot of embroidery as well as beading and seems to be taking me a long time but I'll get there in the end.

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