i must have been a little old woman in another lifetime (and am heading rapidly into being one now, i suppose): for over 25 years i've been consumed with collecting antique lace and trim - the buttons and beads, the scraps of embroidered fabric, the velvet and silk and linen that remind me of some place in time that is far, so far, from here. back in the early 80's, before either of the boys was born, i began doing free lance work for a small antique shop in chapel hill, north carolina that sold linens and estate jewelry. lovely things, i made for them - sweaters patchworked with scraps of intricate lace, overlaid with strips of lovely ribbon. the sweaters became more and more dimensional, the dimensions turned into focal points of taffeta-backed sashes, and the focal points transformed themselves, finally, into one of a kind pieces of jewelry. that was in 1982 - twenty five full years ago, when i was young and green and seemed to have all the time in the world laying out in front of me. and here i am now, still making the jewelry, still fussing with little bits of beautiful trimmings from another century.
sometimes i sew with pliers and wire, sometimes with a needle and thread; but always the stitching leads to embellishment of artwork, whether bookwork or mixed media or something to wear around one's neck. i sew, i lead the needle, i finger the fabric that will become the canvas of someone's imagination. a little snippet of embroidery peeks through a window, just so, like this, a little tendril winds through a silver garden gate. oh, the stories it can tell, the places it can carry you, or me.
so (sew)... from my little trip into the past i bring you back to here. on these blustery, cold winter days and nights i have been tinkering with tiny little antique silvery beads, a gift from a dear friend to use as i please. sometimes these gifts sit for months, even years, until the inspiration strikes again, until a notion comes to me when out walking under the bare silver branches of my quiet winter days. this little line of soon-to-be necklaces i am calling woodland wishes - pieces that depict my quiet walks on deserted december trails, where ice forms frosty fingers, where powdery white is dusted across the forest floor. it is a quiet and simple pleasure to sit with a jewelry tray in my lap these winter evenings, a warm fire flickering in the hearth, little white lights twinkling across my mantel, where the lights and the houses and the little trees stay all the year long, a holiday world that doesn't go away. make a wish, i say. make a quiet wish upon a thousand sparkling stars, while standing out under the shelter of a thousand winter trees. xo