Ripples of a Guided Heart

“The idea that everything is purposeful really changes the way you live. To think that everything that you do has a ripple effect, that every word that you speak, every action that you make affects other people and the planet.”

-Victoria Moran

“Ripples of a Guided Heart” evolved from a collection of heart pins, objects and a fascination with all things heART-related. The universally-recognized heart symbol reminds me to connect with others, to give and receive emotion, and to make the world a more beautiful place each day.

A kindness, like a pebble tossed into a pond, sends ripples out in increasing circles. Spirals connect and connect again, leaving a legacy of invisible contacts. I have only to look at one project, Pursonalities Plus, < > to witness spirals of overwhelming evidence. The Pursonalities Plus project collects gently used costume jewelry in sets of three – bracelet, necklace and earrings – for women in need.

Ripples From Pursonalities Plus

  • My collaborating partner Jan and I had seen numerous examples of unexpected ripples during the previous two years with the project. We agreed that expansion was essential to our cause.
  • Woefully unprepared, I stopped into a church office and asked to reserve space for an ongoing project – maker day – for Pursonalities Plus. It was easy. Suddenly I was the chairwoman of the Fourth Wednesday of the month Maker Day event.
  • A woman who had inventory from her jewelry business donated 30+ pre-made necklaces one afternoon.
  • One realtor who experienced the first Maker Day activated estate sellers to donate unsold items.
  • A visitor from Wisconsin, a beader, joined one maker day event and then restrung stretch bracelets during her free time in Albuquerque.
  • Consignment stores donated leftover, unclaimed and broken jewelry pieces to the cause.
  • A generous retailer gave me a bag of new, unsold product to seed some of our packets.
  • A woman who had just retired donated a bag of jewelry she no longer chose to wear.
  • Maker Day participants brought extra strands of new beads for next time.

In retrospect, it’s easy to see connections. However, like many projects, my Ripples wall hanging evolved over several weeks. Sometimes the work went quickly. At other moments it was painstakingly slow.

An initial vision of a tree laden with hearts of all shapes and sizes gave way to nature’s green background. One of my friends weighed in on the artistic arrangement of the pins. She also strongly influenced my switch from pink to green bead colors. 

From there, the work progressed one heART at a time. My package of twelve hearts affixed to foundation crossed thousands of miles during a road trip and benefited from evenings of focused attention as I stitched. Untold hours in the making of this wall hanging only served to increase the significance.

Because my world seemed to evolve around the heART project, I polled my connections for feedback on both mechanical and aesthetical questions:

  • How would you connect these pieces?
  • What message do you get from this arrangement?
  • Do I need to support the stitched components with batting?
  • Do these red brass free-form hearts belong here?
  • What are the three words that come to mind that describe this piece?
  • Would the impact change if I used copper tubing at the bottom and then attached charms to soldered components?” 

As I shape-surrounded individual hearts with beads, I envisioned a world embracing kindness, compassion and courtesy. The 12 major hearts represent 12 months in the year. In the center, a woman forms her beautiful world one heart at a time. That red enameled heart, a gift from a studio mate, is but one more ripple in the many curated into this creation.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

-Mother Teresa

In the end, the threads, beads and embellishments of this project form an art piece that inspires and uplifts. 

What inspiration will you create to send a ripple effect that uplifts, making a difference in our world?

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