Friday, April 18, 2008

April Bead Journal Project

April's bead journal project is a little harder emotionally than any I have done. This is for my brother. My brother, Jim, passed away four years ago from complications from his liver transplant (received in 1991). I acquired a piece of snakeskin that he cured a long time ago and it's been hanging on my bulletin board since shortly after his death. I thought that it was time that I do a piece for Jim.

I cut the snakeskin to basic triangle shapes to fit on the background and glued them down. I bezeled around a 1907 Indian Head penny that I am pretty certain that he provided to me at one time or another, and I have put the picot edging that I have on all my journal pages.

But I know that it's missing something and I just can't put my finger on it. Colour? Jim wasn't very colourful, but he appreciated the beauty of nature. He enjoyed being outside, loved camping, fishing, and hunting (at least until his body told him that he couldn't do it anymore). Jim collected coins and stamps also.

It's kind of interesting that Jim will be gone 4 years this summer and I think I have been more emotional about it in the last month than I have since shortly after his death. Hormones on my part? I don't know what it is (I'm sitting here with tears blinding my typing - good thing I know where the keys are) all about.

But back to my project - I am going to have to search through my stash of beads and find some that Jim would appreciate being on his own month - kind of makes him a calendar boy, eh?

p.s. April 20th - After thinking it over, I must have taken the picture and written about it for a reason. This piece is complete.


Denise said...

That's pretty special! It is interesting when a memory hits and the emotions flow and it doesn't seem to matter if it's months or years.
My first thought when I saw it was that it was webbing! Very cool that it's snake skin. I don't know if it needs anything specifically but that picot stitch on the edge looks wonderful done with toho triangles, have you ever used them?
Cheers, Denise

abeadlady said...

It sounds like you are where I was in November when I did the page for my children. There are just times in our lives when the tears will not be denied. Let them flow and be at peace. He obviously knew how much you loved him.

I love what you did with this. It's very effective. I'm not sure I would add to it unless you find something really special.


The bad Liz said...

Thanks Denise and Arline - I guess that I am just looking at it and feel something is missing. I'm going to look through the box of things that I have from his belongings and see what I find.

KrispiS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KrispiS said...

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes for the ache in your heart for your brother. What a great tribute to him to use the snake skin and the penny. The penny idea makes me smile! It IS finished! And it's a truly special piece.

a2susan said...

Liz - it looks complete to me, but maybe it doesn't feel complete because the most important part, your brother, is missing, and there's still a hole in your heart. Hugs, Susan

KV said...

Dearest Liz -- it is the simplicity of this piece that makes it so extraordinary.

Kathy V in NM

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tribute to your brother. I can relate to the tears. My dad has been gone for 5 years now and last Christmas was one of the hardest. Your brother's snake skin is so special. My husband has a few rattlesnake skins here. I should see if I can talk him out of one.

Beadily yours

freebird said...

Five years after my mother died I heard a song she liked on the radio and ended up bawling for an hour. I figured afterwards I had been too busy to grieve fully before that.

I agree with a2susan that the hole in your heart is not healed so the page isn't yet complete to you. Perhaps you could put a favorite quote or saying of his on the back of it or just a note telling him you miss and love him. Maybe that would finish it off for you.

The bad Liz said...

Freebird - what a great idea. A quote! I remember just days before he passed, my sister and I were talking with him and she said "Jim, you are like still waters, you run deep". He paused, looked at her with that look (very similar to the look he would give he when we were kids) and said "Patty, still waters don't run."


Mary Timme said...

I'm not a snake skin fan, but I think the finished product is just right for a guy who wasn't into color. We do what we do for reasons not always plain at the beginning.

Kat BM said...

Hey Liz, I'm tearing up here. It's ok to feel this way even after 4 years. It's what makes us human. Hugs and lots of love!!! Kat