Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I am in Vancouver for chemo. Yiiiish it is hard this month!
Nausea, nausea and more of the same. Just don't do heat very well
with my Nordic genes. And it is hot!

Tim and I will take a weekend with no company or extras. Just the garden and us.
Lots of sleep. Clearly will have to slow down now.

Maybe there will be the quiet and lack of distraction to make art.

Good news is that a paper wasp nest has been built on the Widow's Walk. Poor Scott opened the trap door to go up and he faced it right in the eye.

Made rose petal jam last week and found a few wild patches needing to be picked and turned into paper, rose water and rosary beads. Thought of Kyd Campbell who made my last string which fit considering we both lived as children in Quebec. Both Irish backgrounds with that tinge of Catholic tradition. She is climbing mountains in Peru this week because I told her to. Living the great big life.

Recipe for Rosary Beads.

Gather four or more cups of roses, 1/2 cup of water or wine and a strong rose essential oil (20 drops) and blend it until it makes a very thick but smooth paste.  Roll into little balls with your fingers and put a pin in the center of each ball. These can be pinned to a Styrofoam sheet or a cork board until very dry.
Leave them to dry in a shady but warm and dry place.

String the beads when very hard and dried according to traditional rosary patterns or according to your taste. String with a matching coloured waxed linen or thick silk thread.

Catholic stringing is based on "tenners" or five groups of ten beads divided by a separation bead and space.
That equals 50 rose beads(Hail Mary) and 4 cedar or wooden beads(Our Father). Spaces are created between 10 beads for "Hail Mary's" and "Our Father" beads.  So knot, string 10 rose beads, knot, space, knot, cedar bead, knot, space...repeat.

Anglican stringing is based on seven rose beads.

Buddhist Mala stringing is based on 108 beads to keep track of prayers and chants. 111 for Tibetan Buddhists.

Muslim Misubha stringing is based on ninety nine beads divided into groups of thirty three.

Greek Orthodox, Traveller's and Bahia all use rose or scented prayer beads.

I often think about this while stringing beads. It is one of those fundamental acts like wrapping. Very meditative and transforming.


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