As a friend, you can't help but feel overjoyed when they find that special someone! All our childhood dreams of forever after and Prince Charming come true on our wedding day. It's the day that etches so many memories in our hearts and is the door that opens to a whole new world. You have someone to walk beside you through all that life brings, you have a hand to hold and shoulder to cry on. They are the half that makes you whole.
With so many exciting new emotions to experience, this life milestone is to be treasured in a very special way. When it came time to my friend's wedding, I knew I had to make something she would cherish. This sweet friend, a year and a half ago, stood by me in our own wedding and now it was my turn to stand up in hers. Nicolina surprised me with a beautiful handmade quilt as a wedding gift. Every time I see that, I know the love that went into every stitch. It warms my heart and I knew I wanted to do the same for her. Time honored tradition models women gifting their friends with handmade treasures for their marriages, and I wanted to carry that on.
This engagement photo caught my eye and soon became the concept for their wedding gift. I decided to make it about 6"x6" and then frame it in a shadow box. I started out with laying out wisps of fiber on a prefelt background. Actually a lilac prefelt, as that was one of her wedding colors and also a favorite color of mine too.
After wet felting this layer, I added needle felted leaves using fiber and yarns. These then got wet felted as well. Then to the sewing machine! I am so inspired by the work of Scottish felt artist Moy Mackay who uses thread painting to add depth and dimension to her work. Different stitch sizes and thread colors and free motion movement allows one to draw with the stitches. I do this on my Janome machine and just a regular foot and a lot of back-stitching! It's pretty fun actually and adds so much to the piece.
Then came the last and most challenging part.... needle felting them into the picture, including fun little details like her boot kicked up and curly hair. It was great to be able to capture a moment and transform it into the fiber medium. I then mounted it on a linen background and framed in a 10"x10" barn wood shadow box frame from a local craft store.
They loved it! So the next time you have a gift to give, stop and really consider blessing that person with your art. You will grow in your understanding and creativity. They will have something that with every stitch, thread and fiber, your love, prayers and blessings are being sent their way. Keep this tradition alive so someday our daughters and granddaughters will know the value in handcrafted. It's far more costly....the giving of ourselves, our talents and our time but it makes a priceless memory!