I'm now back from a trip to America. I travelled around the South West and visited National Parks and areas that told the story of time from the very beginning. I heard and read about Native Americans and the lands and stories that are sacred and meaningful for them. The landscapes were huge and fantastic; I particularly loved Bryce Canyon and Monument Valley, both of which were beautiful in different ways. The sheer enormity of the sky was amazing and the contrasts in light and weather gave different moods and atmospheres. I was struck by the importance of story telling and the memories and wisdom passed down through generations - this resonated with me and gave me a great deal to think about in terms of my own story telling in the things I create. I heard about Medicine bags and realised that the idea behind them is quite similar to my pocket brooches and memory pocket books. Native American people used these bags to hold special stones, skins, feathers and other small objects that were special to them. The bags were used as a medicine shield. It was not only a protection in life but a preparation to take the owner into later life. I saw that the idea of keeping special things close was so important to them and also to me, alongside the idea that these things could remind the holder of memories that would then stay with them throughout their life, to the very end. On a visit to Sedona, I was so pleased to find a piece of vintage patchwork which I bought and brought home with me. I plan to use it to create a special limited edition of my memory pocket books - there will only be six of these created. They'll be available at the Christmas Craft Fairs I'm doing, alongside all my other items (many of which are not available on the website). The first of these is at Cotehele (National Trust - St. Dominick, Saltash PL12 6TA) on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th November) with Cowslip (St. Stephens, Launceston PL15 8JX) on Friday 14th, Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th November). Please do come and enjoy these days.
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