It wasn't long before we'd decided to make stars for a 5th year in the row, for an Advent celebration in Chatsworth Road that France, Lebanon, Nigeria and Mali were reeling from terrifying attacks which left hundreds dead. These things were not far from my mind as I made my star.
I like mirror shards. Enough to keep them if a mirror breaks. I have even been known to pick them off the street too. There's something about their shininess. The way they catch your reflection in unpredictable ways. Is it you peeking out from that weird shape, or has it caught the image of something behind you?
So when I started to think about what to make my star out of, it wasn't long before I'd rescued the bits of mirror which had been languishing in our gardener many months, and cleaned them up for the purpose (cutting myself a couple of times along the way). They speak to me of a shattered world. Many shattered lives. Complicated reflections on what it is to be human. The Quakers say there is 'that of God in everyone'. I want to believe it. But sometimes it's hard.
As I cut and stitched and glued I thought of more things: a dear friend who died too soon, who once used shards of mirror to adorn a 5 foot banner made for a festival under the theme of 'signs and wonders'; another friend, who's also facing cancer, in whose garden I first saw shards of mirror used as decoration. Both of these women have been inspirations to me through their own art and their making of stuff.
I am really enjoying the range of stars made for this Advent Adventure and recognising that many have been crafted with newly acquired (or recently enhanced) skills gained through our small but lovely 'Craftee Ladeeez' group. For several years now we've been meeting monthly and trying out all sorts of stuff. machine sewing, embroidery, copper embossing, Fimo modelling. I love the fact this window of creative support and experimentation in our lives has spilled out into the windows on the street.
Oh and You Are Beautiful.
(Have a look to see what happens to your face when you hear someone tell you this!)