backtoback

A “Back-To-Back” art journal I created from Roben-Marie Smith’s class in 21 Secrets

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it folds accordion style and has two signatures of paper, and has a nifty little handle

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this was a smaller journal I made (I adore this one)

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every other page has a little strip of my painting and some sewing embellishment

 

This art journal project required I dust off my sewing machine, which, honestly, I might not have done had it not been to create a gift for a loved one.

There are certain mediums, like sewing, that spin me into a contemplation about the work of women’s hands over time. For ritual objects and for functional purpose for the home and body.

I feel these creations, these motions, this doing – lives in the memories of our cells. Back to times when resources were more scarce and the making often demanded a higher-level commitment of time and repetition. You know, before sewing machines, stamps and tubes of paint on the shelf at a store down the road.

I reflect on the intimacy of circles of women through the ages, coming together to do these tasks now often written off as leisure – to pass the time together while their hands were in creative motion, and to share story and space while doing so.

Did we women come together so we could share our wisdom and make things?
Or did we make things so we could come together?

While spiritual or practical function was often the motivator behind creative craft, I also believe the deeper truth is wrapped around that nugget of sharing, community, connection.

I move into my own memories of beading with my mom and sister and friends while growing up… and the comfort I found in teaching myself to make quilts, with a puttering machine from Goodwill, in the midst of dark times when I was in college… and the rejuvenating thrill I had in stealing giving myself time to knit while in grad school.

There is a sweet sanctity in the work of our hands, in the creative work of all women’s hearts and hands.

There is a comfort in the hum of the motion that seems to transport our mind out of the way, and drops us into a place of processing our life without effort or desperation… a place of communion with our innate creative spirit.

And while we may not always find the answers or solutions to our questions in that process, there is a clarity, a spaciousness in it that opens us up to receive the comfort within life, with creating something for our lives, to be used or experienced or shared.

And the bonus is that, in the end, right there in our hands, is a little evidence of this creative energy in everything and every one of us.

I guess that’s why I adore receiving handmade gifts almost as much as I love making them.

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I can say with total honesty that this one class alone could easily be valued at more than the cost it is to take all 21 classes this month! Roben-Marie out-did herself with the great content and direction. To join in and get the July sale price for 21 Secrets, go HERE.

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