I’ve always loved those little friendship bracelets that kids weave. You know the ones - brightly coloured, made from embroidery thread woven into simple bands that tie around the wrist. Heads together, children teaching each other how to do the different patterns, chatting, laughing, making something fun to wear, and nice to give. And to sell, maybe, for pennies, at a little table at the end of the garden path. I’m a big softie. I’ll ALWAYS crouch down and carefully admire any table of wonky homemade wares sold by neighbourhood children, with Mum watching from the front door.
I wanted to make some myself. I’ve got all this rope you see, and I keep looking at it.
Back in the Summer, before I cut all that hair off, I made crowns with it one day.
I decided to try to weave some bracelets with it all, but after a frustrating hour or two of trying to make springy rope do anything intricate (or indeed, anything I told it to!), I gave it up.
But still the itch to make bracelets remained. You’ve got to go with these things, it’s important. And so eventually, I bought a lot of wooden bangles, with the thought of painting them. It’s been a very interesting and absorbing process - sanding, painting, sanding, painting…
…and then getting lost in the details. I chose a selection of paint colours in the first place, but of course, colour and mixing it is a particular joy of mine. So each bangle has developed a personality of its own, within my initially set parameters. How satisfying to see them all growing up together.
I learnt quickly that bolder patterns work better, and I’ve not bothered too much with perfect symmetry. I find it a little bit hectoring. None of them are planned. I just go with whatever pops into my head.
They’re not friendship bracelets as we generally know them. But life can get hard sometimes, can’t it, and we all need friends. I’m lucky to have some good ones, and I’ve needed them of late.
While I’ve painted these bangles, leaning gratefully into the quiet peacefulness of it - each one a little piece of creative calm - I’ve been thinking about my friends.
Thanks, guys. I love you.
And PS: yes, these bangles will be for sale when I’ve finished them, but sadly not at the end of the garden path. They’ll be in my Folksy shop in due course - I’ll let you know when!
PPS: End-of-the-garden-path-commerce does sound quite appealing though :)