Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

In this blog I’d like to draw attention to another blog:

I started reading this woman’s regular blog after seeing her post on one of the message boards I frequent. I don’t remember what made me check out her blog but I did and found it rather entertaining. I think it had something to do with cooking, it was amusing and from her blog I learned of Bakerella, one of my now favorite sites!

In reading her blog I saw references to a tragedy that had occurred in her family and so started digging into back blogs to discover what had happened. She had carried her son to term, 40 weeks, only to discover he had no heartbeat in the womb. Her son Joel was born sleeping. Heartbreaking as her story was, I was amazed at the humor, spirit, and strength with which she wrote about her experience.

So, when she posted about this project on the boards I was eager to take part in it! Basically the idea is to collect 365 pictures of the name Joel. She wants to make a photobook at the end of the year as a keepsake for her son.

People are often afraid to mention the name of a lost child at the risk of upsetting the family. However, in my experience, parents and family members of a lost child are often eager to get the chance to talk about their little ones. Our society is uncomfortable with death and would like to sweep it under the rug and hide from it whenever possible. These families are often left feeling rushed to just “get past it” or “move on” and in some horrible cases they are even told to “stop bringing everyone else down”.

I would like to celebrate Joel and his family and all the little ones gone too soon. I think this project is a fabulous way for this family to remember their child and a good way to encourage others who have been told they shouldn’t publicize their tragedy.

Now, onto a more personal note: I never have New Year’s Eve plans, for whatever reason, I never get invited to parties and can never find anything to do. So I tend to be a little annoyed by the holiday. This year I was being a jerk about it to someone I rather care about and I’m sorry for that. It had bothered me all week and I’m ashamed to say I threw a bit of a fit. Not my proudest moment.

For some reason however, I woke up the next day feeling truly over it. I wasn’t annoyed anymore, any jealousy due my lack of plans was gone. For whatever reason, I woke up at peace with it and with an idea. Since I planned to make something for this 365 days with Joel project, I decided I would devote New Year’s Eve to working on the project.

So ladies and gentlemen, that brings me to the actual project for this post. I had a few different ideas floating around for what I’d do but when I sat down to work on it, I discovered that I had…crafters block.
My dad’s apartment building has a communal library for the residents with a table in the back room where people can set out things they no longer need and others can come along and take it if they can use it.
I found a stack of Christmas and holiday cards and decided to grab them and see what I could do with them. The pictures make it pretty obvious what I chose to do with them. I like birds, for me they are a symbol of freedom and renewal. So I cut out all the little red birds I could find and then made Joel’s name with some cute gingham fabric I found in my stash!

I’m not a religious person, but I am, in general, a somewhat spiritual person. Be it karma or angels or what have you, I like the idea of a guarding force. I like the idea of a lost little one resting peacefully on a fluffy cloud. Say what you will about what that means, I just think it sounds nice. I also think snow angels (or if you’re from California like me, sand angels) are such a fun and natural part of childhood so when I came across the snow angel card I really fell in love with the image.

Inside the other cards I found the letters I needed to make Joel and the word peace. I like to think Joel is at peace knowing his momma is remembering him in such a wonderful way.

So, I had planned to make a more permanent project but then I couldn’t figure out what I’d do with the pieces once I was done. So this sort of collage inspired photo project was born. I may make more things for Joel should the mood strike me and if I do, I’ll be sure to share them!

In the meantime, I’m pleased with what I’ve come up with and I feel good about using this project to help me bring in the new year.

I hope 2010 treated you well and I hope 2011 treats you even better. 

Happy New Year, Readers!!!

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