Friday, January 9, 2009

December: Foxes and Tulips

December's block came about more quickly than I thought it would with Christmas cards and gifts, travel and everything else I was feeling way behind and like I really didn't have time to just create for me.  We were planning a trip to Philly for our friends Renee and Dave's Christmas party and we were going up early so that Wayne could work a couple of days at Dragonfly so I knew that I would have a couple of days by myself in the house so I planned ahead and painted my block and got everything ready that I needed to take along.  Above you can see the sketch of the background on the fabric and the fox on the interfacing before painting.   Below is the the piece after the pieces were painted, cut out and the layers assembled.    
The bottom photo is the finished block.  I am going to start with the Tulip for symbolism since in this piece it has more personal meaning than symbolism.  The tulip has many symbolic meaning with each color of tulip having it's own meanings.  The main meaning I found that included most of them was the tulip is a declaration of love.  December is a meaningful month in my life since in 1970 my brother, sister and I were adopted 2 weeks before Christmas.  What a present for my new parents they suddenly had a 1,2, and 3 year old.   Tulips have always reminded me of my mother because in Iowa they are often blooming around Mother's day and I would pick one to put in a vase for her breakfast in bed.  In the picture below you will find 11 tulips representing the day were were adopted.   

There is a lot of symbolism regarding the fox and there is no way I can include it all here.  When I found out that the fox was one of my animals and I read about what they mean I was surprised by how much of myself I could see in it.  First I will start with the basic meanings; cunning, slyness, stealth, observation and wisdom.  The fox teaches us harmony with our surroundings and that listening is often more important than speaking.  They also show us how to respond to situations by using the power of inner instinct and knowing.  I react to people largely on an instinctual level, going with what I feel is right.

 The fox has the ability to hide in plain sight and although I thought that I might do that unconsciously sometimes I wasn't sure until I talked to Wayne and he said that I definitely do that.  I think part of it is that in social situations I will often draw into myself.  Wayne has said that at a number of events someone has come up to him and ask him where I am and I am usually not far away right there but unseen.  I guess luckily Wayne always knows were I am.  

The fox lives in the between time of light and darkness and can look into both the physical and spiritual worlds. They are considered masters of camouflage and shape shifting.  Foxes are often considered guides to the Fairie or Spiritual realms.  They are connected to twilight and feminine magic.  It seems many of the things I chose are related to the feminine energies and also the boundaries between realms.  

The fox is closely related to the creative process,  if the focus stays on creative energies life's twists and turns can be accomplished with ease.  Some foxes can actually run up trees and those with the fox totem can move in new directions and call upon new resources instinctively.

Foxes are very monogamous and yet live alone about 5 months of the year (sound like a military spouse?)  They are often solitary and comfortable with that state most of the time.  People with the fox have a love of home, often have great tests in childhood and have great instincts.  They will avoid potential danger and will go out of their way to do so.  (That is so me when it comes to conflict.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

November: Full Moon

At one point I was sure that I was not going to manage to get my November or December blocks done until after the start of 2009 because things were just a bit too busy and hectic but I managed to finish November and do December on a trip to Philly were Wayne was combining a visit with friends and some consulting work.  I had 2 days in their house with no interuptions for several hours plus the time driving and got both finished.  I just didn't manage to get to blogging about them until after the New Year.  

One interesting thing I have noticed is although I haven't decided on what order I am going to work on the blocks that I have been asking Wayne  which block I should work on sometimes giving him a couple to choose from and I have found that his choices seem to have some relivance to where either I am at or where we are at.  So far he has pick which block for every month but the first one.

I am still really enjoying the effect of combining the painting, embroidery and beads on my blocks.  I have been finding it a bit more challenging to figure out where I want the beads each month but it still seems to be flowing really well and the smaller size that have less beading and stitching are faster to work up that my 8 x 10 last year which seems to be a really good thing this time around.  

The moon and sky are painted directly to the fabric.  I made the branches out of painted interfacing and added some background leaves out of painted fusible web.

I used blue metallic thread to stitch texture into the sky.  I did find out that trying to stitch dark blue thread on dark blue background in the car on a rainy day was very challenging so I switched to adding my moon lit leaves and finished the sky later with better lighting.  The next addition was crystal sequin stars and a bit of topography for the moon and viola a beautiful twilight sky with the moon and stars shining bright.

Because these are the first stars to make it onto the piece I will include there meaning here.  I am sure that they will end up on most of the sky blocks and background as well.  Stars represent the spirit or the forces of the spirit, the soul,  guidance (especially spiritual) and hope.  

The moon represents the positive and negative traits of the female.  It represents the accumulation of knowledge.  A symbol of regeneration, it shows that life is full of fresh starts.  The moon also is a symbol of intuition, imagination, reflection, sensitivity and the upward progress of humans.  The full moon symbolizes wholeness and perfection and the ever continuing  process of reaching these goals in our lives.  Many of the symbols of the moon speak to parts of my personality and my quest for knowledge and wholeness in my life.  As I work my way through another year full of personal growth I am amazed closely the objects I have chosen match the process of my growth.  

I will try to get December's block up tomorrow but for those who can't wait I have added new photos to my website and to my web gallery (including all kinds of new photos of my BJP progress) feel free to check them out.  I have also added a photo of my BJP as of the finish of the first quarter so if you want to see it go to my Artistic Kreations and Passions Blog