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Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Last weekend we traveled north to the Portland area to attend the marriage celebration of a special and dear long time friend. Stacey has been a part of our lives since she was a little girl. Our third daughter and Stacey were very close friends. We moved during their adolescent years, but the girls remained friends throughout high school, college and now their adult lives. Stacey is an inspired and gifted teacher. There is a certain kinship there, as I recently retired from the same profession.

The day was a perfect 10! The sun shone brilliantly, the temperature was very moderate and the time spent renewing old acquaintances and making new ones was wonderful. Thom and Stacey are perfectly matched. We were so moved by the exchanges and vows made by each of them. It brought tears to our eyes.

For the occasion I made a textile photo collage. Initially I agonized over what to create. Thom is an artist, and creating something for them was so intimidating. Their incredible photographer, Eric Wolfinger of San Francisco, took photos that captured so well the expansive place, yet also show the essence of intimacy and fun. I sought Eric's permission to use some of the photos, and he was gracious in allowing me to do so, given the goal was to create a gift for Thom and Stacey.

Honestly I have never liked photo collages, as most of the ones I have seen are all too frequently not very imaginative nor do they capture or compliment the people in the photos. I had many false starts, but finally dragged out all of my hand dyed fabrics and spread them before me. Since I NEVER throw anything away, I had many small pieces that I eventually incorporated into the final collage. Stacey and Thom were married last summer on Mount Tamalpais, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Though I was not there, I know that Stacey and Thom incorporated the 4 elements into their ceremony. Whatever I generated, I hoped that earth, wind, fire and water would be evident. I think it was a success. The final judges would be Thom and Stacey. Did they like it? They do, and I am so relieved!

The origami diamonds with hand dyed silk ribbons are the 'wind' elements. The photos are printed on silk with an ink jet printer. All of the fabrics were hand dyed by me, except the blue raw silk in the lower right, some of the origami diamonds, and the white silk surrounding the largest photo. This part of the collage is actually made from a photo of the arrangement that Stacey carried. Above the patchwork is a photo view from the top of Mount Tamalpais, looking out over the islands of San Francisco Bay, and is the element of 'water'. To the left of the photo is a sun, representing the element 'fire'.

I added this little silver embellishment because it seemed to fit these two people and their values and beliefs. Stacey and Thom have genuine and serious concerns for the global community, the sustainability of the planet and certainly the human rights of all citizens of the world. It was made by a Chinese craft person in China, and I have had it for many years. Now seemed to be the right time to use it! The dancing figures under Thom and Stacey are the family and friends who were with them on Mount Tamalpais. The stone beads surrounding the dancing figures represent the element 'earth', but for me anyway, they also represent the 'rock' that friends can be for us. Their placement under the photo of Thom and Stacey eludes to the support dear friends are in good times and not so good times. The fabric surrounding the main photo came from the wedding dress I made for one of our daughters.

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