Monday, September 8, 2014

The Giving Tree


My son is poised on the edge of leaving home for real. He will graduate from college this Spring, and has a great job waiting for him.  I asked him to clean out his bedroom before he moved to his apartment this fall, so it could be used as a guest room.  I meant, just to get all the stuff off the floor and off the surfaces, but he accomplished a major purge, including the last of his childhood books. He put them in the hallway, for me to give away.  Any locals looking for great junior high/ high school reading for their children?  We have purged books many times in his almost 22 years, so only the most recent are still in residence.


Looking at these books (in addition to making me feel a little sad and nostalgic!) reminded me that the Etsy Beadweavers September Challenge theme is "Your Favorite Children's Book."  There were so MANY! I read to him literally from birth. How could I choose a favorite??

I thought words from a favorite book might provide great inspiration, so I googled quotes from Children's books and happened on this article.  The first quote was from Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree".

"I wish that I could give you something... but I have nothing left.  I am an old stump.  I am sorry..."

Goodness!!!  That was just how I felt!  He doesn't need me anymore.  Anything he wants, he can get for himself.  I don't see myself as an old stump... although I can appreciate how some parents might feel entirely drained by their children.  The quote continued...

"I don't need very much now," said the boy, "just a quiet place to sit and rest.  I am very tired."  "Well," said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could.  "well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting.  Come boy, sit down.  Sit down and rest."  And the boy did.  And the tree was happy."

I got a copy of the book from the library, and although apparently it is a very controversial book, I loved it. I am made very happy by my sons simple presence in my life, and I am not an old stump.  I can still make apples!  Or at least, beaded apple necklaces.  I decided it was my perfectly timely, favorite children's book, and walked to an ancient neighborhood apple tree to do some research.


It was still happily bearing fruit, and I loved how the apples were partially hidden by the leaves.  I decided my work should be dense, and that the apples should have the coloring of these, some rosy red, some pale gold, with a few scars and dark bits.  I found some great ones on Etsy, ordered them, and set to work on a yoke, to support my leafy fringe.  When the apples arrived, I wove them into a pretty harvest-time apple tree.


And then I made a pair of earrings, while I was cleaning up.


Most amazingly, the piece sold within hours of my listing it!  So THANK YOU, Etsy Beadweavers for the inspiration and the deadline.  I have reaped much benefit from my many years of membership.  If you are an Etsy seller of beadweaving, you can join at the link.  I liked my necklace so much, I made myself another, with my leftover apples!  Just to remind myself of the joys of my particular child, and how very intact and productive I feel as a person and artist.

19 comments:

  1. Gorgeous and beautiful necklace and earrings!

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  2. My son graduated from college 3 years ago, but left home "for real" this Spring when he got married. His childhood bedroom is now my studio space. When I was emptying out his closet, the one thing I left was a small stack of his favorite books. The memories of our time together reading them bring a smile every time I open that closet to search for a fresh spool of Fireline or just the right spacer.

    Your designs always tell finely crafted, exquisite stories, and this is one of my favorites!

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  3. Oh thank you! I have been beading about my son since high school, really. Not in each piece, but many of them. We are so lucky to share the magic of raising our children. I am so glad you understand exactly where I was coming from!

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing the history behind your wonderful necklace. I love how you have captured memory and hope and love in one beautiful piece. Demeter would wear this.

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    1. Ah Carol, a Harvest Goddess! Perfect. :) Thank you for reading. <3

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  5. Marsha, reading your background info on the lovely necklace prompted me to also remember reading to my children and then having the super enjoyment of watching them read for themselves. Now I buy books for my grandchildren and enjoy watching, again, as they sit enmeshed in the stories.

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    1. Wow, Grandchildren!!! I would LOVE reading to grandchildren. Thank you for sharing you thoughts.

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  6. Incredible inspiration, wonderful sentiments and Beautiful necklace! As a mother of two sons who have "left the stump" (lol) I have such sweet memories of reading with them. And a new appreciation that they still stop by to rest a while! :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing Christine! The quote from the book really GRABBED me, and I am glad to be able to share it with others.

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  7. Great story to go with a beautiful necklace, Marsha. Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite "children's" authors. I also love the very subversive "Uncle Shelby's ABZ's"

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    1. Thanks you! And what a delightful sense of humor you have. I emjoyed your most recent blog post as well! I will have to look up your book recommendation! :)

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    2. I looked up the alphabet book! Simply Awesome! The man does love to suggest things that children should NEVER do. I think conversation between parents and children is how they learn ethics, morality and even, in the case of The Giving Tree, how NOT to treat friends and loved ones, or mother earth, and about sustainability, as some like to interpret the tale. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  8. I can't possibly put it any better than Carol Dean did above ^^^. What a glorious inspiration and realization of such emotions. You always amaze me, and always produce something that takes my breath - just as you did with my absolutely stunning gift!!!!!! Much much love to you, Marsha!

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    1. I am a total fan of yours too Nancy! Thank you so much for your support and generosity. I love my beady friends!!

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  9. Marsha, I don't know if I told you this before, but I find the tales behind your creations very inspiring. I have never really had any real reason to create anything besides the basic need to make something, and I suppose in a sense it shows through my work because although I put in my all in it and believe I execute well, I know my work lacks that 'Naan-ness' that would make it be recognized instantly as my style. I have taken a break on beading (only temporarily though) because I am working on a collection for my new clothes line and yes, for once I have a deep reason (story) that has helped me come up with a theme. I only pray the collection will come out as beautifully and inspiring as the pieces you make. Thank you for sharing your work with us all but especially for the stories behind each work.

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    1. Naan, I have been following your blog and the last entry I saw was your maxi dresses, which looked wonderful to me! I think the best thing we can do is follow our hearts as we create! Thank you for your kind and generous comment!

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  10. As always a gorgeous piece with a wonderful inspirational explanation.

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