By Deana Hartman
Monday evening, I prepared to go teach and lecture this week in the DC area about art quilting. Part of the preparation is to pack items that students may want/need to purchase from me in class (or at lecture). Mostly this is beading tools, bead stews, and patterns. I also offer charms which are often put on artwork they are creating.
My charms are stored in one of those fishing tackle plastic boxes with compartments and small removable side segments. I suppose this is to allow for larger lures and canisters of plastic worms. When used for this purpose, the box is very practical. Ive discovered that the little removable side panels can shift, allowing smaller, thinner charms to intermingle. And thats just what happened. A veritable party between charms developed. So, I set about the task of sorting them into their own small baggies for the journey east.
There are around thirty different charms in the box including dragonflies, butterflies, turtles, tea cups and kettles, spirals, sand dollars, moons and stars. In addition, many of them are word charms. They are all small and thin, therefore they were the biggest culprits of the charm party, hobnobbing among almost all of the compartments. I particularly like adding these charms to my art quilts as they are a small message to someone looking at the work, a hidden bit of meaning, an additional layer of what I am trying to say. This collection of word charms say:
love laugh live inspire create believe hope dream
Over and over again, I emptied out the compartments, reading them in order to put them in their proper piles. The word sort chant began: love, laugh, create, dream, believe, hope, love, live, inspire, create, laugh, and so on. A litany, a mantra of words read and reread throughout a half-hour process.
These are elements of what I try to foster in the art quilt workshops I teach. What if I consciously tried to do these actions in my own life every day? What if I made it part of what I think and do and act upon? Better yet, what if I encouraged and inspired these words and actions in others? In friends and family, and in people at work? What a great way to create a positive, creative environment. In turn, what a way to further Gods Kingdom on earth.
Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. 1 Thessalonians 5:11-15
Live, love, laugh, create, hope, inspire, dream, and believe. Pick a couple. Get started.
Deana Hartman creates modern art quilts saturated with color, stitched texture and beaded embellishment. Her artwork, patterns and custom-mixed bead stews can be purchased on her site. Lectures and workshops are also available for organizational and conference bookings. She lives in the Kansas City Metro area with her husband Wayne, daughter Kayla, a Cairn Terrier named Zo, two tanks of fish, and a herd of cats. No, really, they are a herd.