I am blogging about something that I am really excited about today! Let me see if I can make any sense out of it for you.
The past week I discovered a new project. (Side note: I did say I would blog about why I make bags, but that is going to have to wait!) I started making bowls as a break from making bags. These bowls have been called coiled bowls, stitched baskets or other names. I think I should call mine Life Bowls, Lesson Bowls, Prayer Bowls, Meditation Bowls…or something that combines all these things.
I started out making cotton bowls, using regular old clothesline. They are pretty and clean. I was hooked on the first little trial. The cotton bowls are simple and modern looking. After making a few of the cotton bowls, I decided to graduate to sisal.
Now, I am really enjoying the look of the sisal, but let me tell you, it is much more challenging! It came to me that working with the sisal to make these bowls is a lot like life. Life is full of rough spots, bumps, breaks, bruises, frustrations, failures, heartaches and more, but when we persevere, keep changing our path, our thoughts, learn from our experiences, be open to what is possible, we end up with a beautiful life.
So with every empty bobbin, broken thread, missed stitch, bent needle, patch job and so on, I ended up with bowls that I think are beautiful! No one is the same as another, though made from the same source products. They are perfect with their scrapes, holes, mends, crooked handles and all. They are loved by their creator! Pictures posted below and the descriptions tell of some of the messages (both from sisal and cotton):
Little flaws that show up in these vessels remind me that it sometimes takes more than one error to see and correct our flaws. On this bowl, the thread broke about every four inches. I have been sewing for a long time and know what to look for…like a crying baby that has no visible reason to cry, all was right with the machine…I was just working with some stubborn material! Sound like anyone you might know?
This bowl was so much fun, as I painted bright colors on the cord first, and I like the brightness. However, look at the seam of the plain and the colorful cords…not so smooth!
This reminds me of the judgement that pervades society…sometimes like mixing oil and water, but it can finally connect! Two examples of this, actually…”red and yellow, black and white…” you get it, right?
In life, we stop and start, take “two steps forward and three steps back”. This is pointed out when the threads break and I have to back up, double stitch and move on.
Some of these bowls stand perfectly tall and erect on their own and some are more wobbly. Each of them, however, can support contents…some heavier than others. All of us take shape in the best way we can and carry our loads, with or without the support of others.
The last thing I will mention is the ending, what I will call the “flourish”. I sometimes wonder why it is that we don’t figure out how good life can be until we get close to the end. I hope that isn’t really the case and that I have a lot of time left, now that I have it all figured out…SURE!!!! Anyway, deciding how to finish off these vessels is another thing that makes them each unique. Some will have a knot; some will have more of a bow. Some will have an embellishment and some will just end.
So, take this as you will…it was very meaningful for me! I try to think of who will use whatever I make and impart goodness and blessings into every item. These bowls, or baskets, are no different. I will be putting them up on my Etsy site and I think I will enclose a note similar to this post with each shipment. Like a “message in a bottle,” I hope there will be a message in each one of these bowls for the new owner and that they will create a happy spot on some shelf of life…whether they are empty or full!
Oh, and yes, for those of you who might be wondering…I will, indeed, clip the frays and strays on these special vessels before I ship them off. People will have to take them as they are or maybe they just won’t like the “real deal”!