For the recovery gals art exchange the theme was “Nest”, and the first thing I thought of was my mom and how she would crochet and make things for all occasions for me and my sisters. I laugh when I think of the time in the 70s she crocheted us all bikinis using “waterproof” yarn. You should have seen what happened when we went down a water slide! My sister may have lost her top. She was so thoughtful in the items she created; I still have a rainbow turtle that she crocheted for me. I love turtles.
So I knew I wanted to do something with yarn, but I am not skilled in that way. Then I remembered the knitting loom that my mom had gifted me with one Christmas, and I knew I could use that to make a scarf and hat for my partner, who lives in Colorado. I wasn’t sure what colors Katie liked, I asked her but she said that was a hard question, but I had seen her wear lots of grey in her pictures on Instagram, so I found a yard that was soft, and had a mixture of grey, white and black.
To create the scarf, you have to knit 75 rows. It’s a lot of work, but as I was looping the yard around the loom, I felt like I was literally nesting, and I also thought of my mom a lot, and my childhood. She passed away 2 yrs ago in September and her birthday is in early October, so I’m always thinking of her at this time of year. it was nice to just sit and “nest” while creating something for someone else. It made me wonder is this how my mom felt? After I was done with 75 rows, I made the fringe for the ends.
Then onto the hat, which was much shorter, only 16 rows, then you make a cuff and a pompom. This process took weeks, but it was comforting to come home to at night and to be forced to sit in one place and knit (or nest). 🙂
I also had seen a lot of string art lately, and I wanted to attempt to make something like that. I have seen hearts, and words that spell out “blessed”, but wanted to do something that was personal to my partner. when I saw her tattoo, the initials NQTD (“Never Question the Decision”), I knew I had to do that. I took a screenshot of her Instagram photo with the tattoo, and then I blew it up like 800x to create the stencil. Then I traced and freehanded the initials. Next, I found a piece of wood and had it cut on the sides.
Once I had the pattern, I placed it on the wood and got the hammer and nails out to create an outline around the design. this was much harder than I thought it would be! it’s hard to hammer a nail into wood. I called my husband in because I didn’t feel like I was doing it right since it was barely going into the wood. Turns out I had hit a knot. Still, it was hard work, I could never be a carpenter.
Hammering was therapeutic, after a long day there’s nothing like hammering to get all the stress and kinks out.
Next came the string – I decided to use black since the tattoo is black, and I used yarn from my mom’s house. My sisters and I had been going through the process of going through all of her things, and it is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. The divine thing is that I found signs of the theme word, “Nest”, all over her house.
Literally artwork that spelled out nests, actual birds nests and birds (see some examples above). It was all just so surreal, and I know she would really think me participating in this exchange was cool. She loved artwork and would love a group of women coming together in this way. It comforted me, and made me want to create even more.
I also created a ray of light, inspired by the class I took with Tammi Salas, Proof of Life. I wanted the colors to be meaningful to Katie. In October it will be her 1 year sober anniversary. I looked up the color for October, and while Opal is the birthstone, it can be indicated by blue, so I included a navy blue and a mint green/blue in her ray of light. Traits for the month of October include: peaceful, calm, balanced. I also included white for hope in recovery, and yellow for the sunshine that Katie seems to spread, and pink for universal love of oneself, pink represents friendship and harmony. I added grey as that middle area between recovery and making that decision, there is strength in gray. and gold for magic and wisdom. If you are interested in working with Tammi, a link to her offerings is here. Tammi Salas
I experimented with candle making, and made a candle with rose oil and put an amethyst and citrine in there. To make the candle you melt the wax and then add the drops of essential oil and add the wick and let it firm up. When it was still a little soft is when I added in the amethyst and citrine.
An amethyst is a stone of spiritual protection and cleanses ones energy field of negative influences and acts as a barrier. Citrine is a stone of abundance and manifestation.
I had a lot of fun creating these items for Katie, and I hope she likes them as well.