Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day of the Dead . . .

I understand that the celebration for the Day of the Dead is from Oct. 31 through November 2nd.  In light of this (assuming that is correct) I am sharing a picture of the completed Mystery Class project Yolanda.  Tapestry Fair is the distributor of this wonderful canvas that is a rendering of the painting by Manuel Salas.  She was so much fun with all her beads and unique threads such as Silken Straw. Picture doesn't show it but this gal has plenty of bling and shine!

I remember a couple of years ago specifically telling Cassie Prescott when she was selecting canvases to have me do stitch guides for and present at TNNA market that I would NOT do those dead people. You gotta remember that I was raised in the mountains of West Virginia and I do not recall ever being introduced to the Day of the Dead traditions.  I just thought it was a weird thing that people loved skeletons.  Little did I know!  Finally this canvas piqued my interest and I did some research.  What a beautiful tradition.  I had no idea.  Such a respectful way to honor those loved ones that have passed on.  

Writing this brings back childhood memories of what we did in the mountains and how I recall in my adult years after leaving home (home was up a 'holler') that others thought we were weird.  At home we have family cemeteries that were up on a hill somewhere.  (We called them hills, you local guys would call them mountains - mountains are aplenty in WV but my personal experience  did not involve cemeteries there.)  Anyway, on Memorial Day we, family members, would pack food - and there was always lots of food  and we would trudge to the cemetery with hoes, picks, clippers, shovels and the like.  We spent the entire day cleaning the  cemetery.  We would take breaks to eat, play, nap and reacquaint with cousins, aunts and uncles we did not see on a regular basis. There were always preachers (and I mean PREACHERs who, as a child, scared the liven' you know what out of you), and there were always singers.  Oh the glorious gospel song fests that came from those gatherings!

So, I apologize for my ignorance of the beautiful meaning behind the Day of the Dead celebrations.  And I certainly meant no disrespect.  I did not have the knowledge at the time to appreciate the meaning and representations of this 'Day of the Dead' tradition.  And I marvel at the fact that we continue to learn no matter how old we get if we can just keep an open mind. 

John Waddell, a fellow teacher, is currently in Mexico and has been posting some fantastic pictures of the goings on while they are there during this celebration.  How colorful and joyful it must be to be there and participate in the surroundings of all the beauty, music, food, costumes, etc.  Thanks for sharing John.

Okay, back to reality - it is snowing here in Kentucky and I am not ready for that!

So I will get back to work and doing what I love.  Hope you too have the opportunity today to stitch with a smile and just ponder (we did that in the country too)!


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