Woven bundle from recycled t-shirts

Woven Bundle from Recycled T-Shirts

Here’s my latest Weaving a Life assignment – the bundle.

I think this is a nifty assignment. It focuses on the idea that once you have lived for a while, you have probably figured out that there are things you want to focus on, and other things you need to let go. This project represents the work of a mature person who is realizing there is more to life than just getting by.

My bundle is woven from strips cut from orange, purple and red t-shirts. You might remember that when I was designing my warp for this course, I chose a meaning for various colors. Orange represents optimism. Purple represents magic. Red represents feeling centered. I felt these were the most important qualities to keep in mind when it comes to the bundle.

Weaving the bundle on my Journey Loom
Weaving the bundle on my Journey Loom

The front of the bundle is decorated with solar beads. These are beads that look white when you are inside, but change into various colors when exposed to sunlight. I like their message of transformation in the sun. They are attached to the bundle with braids, which represent building something strong from what you have.

Braiding the warp threads
Braiding the warp threads

The Symbols Inside the Bundle

For this assignment, my coach Susan guided me through an exercise to identify the five most important things I want to focus on right now. For each item, I pick a symbol which I place in my bundle. Then the idea is that I would take the items out of the bundle each morning to remind myself to stay focused.

Symbolic objects in my woven bundle
Symbolic objects in my woven bundle

The five symbols I put in my bundle are:

1) A circle woven from vines, made by Nora – This represents my focus on my family. Here’s the back story on the circle. Last month we were walking around the Tidal Basin with our friends the Sabos. It had been a long walk and the kids were keeping a good attitude even though it was far. We were on our way back to the cars. Nora found some vines from a willow tree in the grass and started to twirl them into circles for necklaces and bracelets. All the kids joined in and it took their minds off the walk. To me, that is a good example of why family is so important. When you have a long journey, a strong family gives you what you need to keep going. Also, the way she twirled the vines, it made a circle, which is a symbol of togetherness. And the vines twined together makes the circle stronger.

2) An orange plastic cap – This represents my focus on Trashmagination. As you know from reading this blog, it is my hope that Trashmagination will grow into something bigger and more tangible over time. It is definitely a part of my personality that makes me special. I keep believing that if I keep playing with these ideas, the world will tell me how to grow this into a destiny. I chose this cap because I have a lot of plastic caps, but the orange ones are my favorite color, and I especially like this one because it looks like an orange. Not many caps try to be something else, and I like that about this design.

3) A 12-sided dice – This represents my focus on Innovation Engineering. So just by fate or luck, I happen to be working on my Black Belt in Innovation Engineering at the same time as I took this weaving course. That has been stressful, but I think it was meant to happen, so I’m assuming it is worth the stress. The 12-sided dice is a tool we use in Create Sessions. It’s a way to help people make choices that are not necessarily their first choice. It is human nature to do what looks easiest, but that will not usually give you the stimulus you need to create something really meaningfully unique. It is part of my personality to NOT always do what is easiest, because I have found it does often lead you down interesting paths.

4) A squash ball – This represents my focus on physical movement. I love trying new things that build my physical energy. Right now I am taking classes in Taiko drumming, tae kwon do and yoga. I also work out 3-4 times per week at KokoFit Club. And I try to do a longer run once a week. Honestly, I would like to do even more, but just that amount takes 1-2 hours per day. I have found that the only way for me to have stamina in my mental / emotional /spiritual work is if I do a lot of sports / physical movement / dancing. I chose a squash ball because it was the first sport I tried as an adult that I totally fell in love with. I particularly love playing squash with Bob. We don’t get to play very often anymore, unfortunately. But maybe some day soon!

5) A love light pin – This represents my focus on “soul work.” There is something inside me that makes me constantly search for the best way to live. I am always doing some kind of coaching, reading, journaling, drawing, art etc. I believe that the most important work I can do is to figure out the best way I can contribute to this world. The love light pin came from my children’s pre-school. They had a program where the kids would pin on a little yellow circle of felt and it represented all the love in their heart, all the good they could be. They would talk about letting their love light shine. I made a whole bunch of these pins one Christmas for our family to wear. I just love that idea that I have a love light and I must shine. I must find the best way to let out all that love. As a person who often feels “out-of-sync” with others, this is a journey about how to articulate the love, in what direction, to what end.

Tying my bundle closed on a nice spring day
Tying my bundle closed on a nice spring day (Photo by Nora)

What would you put in your bundle?

You could list a few ideas in the comments.