Some time ago, a friend of mine was truly down. She was coming to terms with her disability, her partner had left her and her friends were nowhere to be found. She felt awful, and I was way across the country, so pretty much the best we could do was to maintain a phone friendship.
Turns out, that was not so bad an idea after all. I think we grew closer during that time. We would talk for hours and hours on the meaning of life and what we were learning as we went through life. As my own disability increased, she was able to help me with many parts of it. I learned what to expect and when to contact a doctor, things like that. She even sent me a beautiful Purple glass . . um . . . something (I use it as a bookend), for no particular reason other than to say that she cared about me and what I was going through.
But as I said, she was going through a rough time. I wanted to reach back out to her and let her know that she was not alone. I racked my brain for ideas. Then I discovered a book by Laurie Mika, called "Mixed Media Mosaics".
I decided to build a small shrine for my friend, using tiles that I made from polymer clay.
First, I took a foam core board and cut it to the right size. (I think it was about 12" by 18" ?) Then I covered it with a collage of tissue paper. I used colors meant to ground her and cheer her up.
Then I made the tiles from polymer clay. I didn't make my tiles the same way Laurie does and I added a few ideas of my own, but I think that is what we are supposed to do with art. I used all sorts of colors, but kept close to the theme of healing and grounding (my friend has a LOT of strength, but she needed to get back in touch with it, thus, the grounding). I used sparklies and textures and whatevers to add interest and tried to keep the symbols focused on healing . I made a few tiles with words that seemed appropriate.
I found a place on the Internet (which I have now lost) that made cookie cutters to order. I send them a drawing of a simple angel. They sent me back three cutters, in different sizes. I used the middle size for the angel flying in the shrine.
When I started to glue everything together, I ended up using not only my tiles, but a few beads and sparklies also.
And all the while I was working on it, I tried to think healing, joyful thoughts. I meditated and prayed -- for both of us.
Working on the Shrine helped me. I felt better about who I was and what I could still do. Yes, I made it specifically for her, but the good stuff bounced back onto me as well.
She wasn't expecting anything when the package arrived at her home. She was flabbergasted -- which is pretty hard to do to her. She called me and raved about it. Shortly thereafter, she had it framed. I think she did a nice job with her choices.
Our friendship continues. Nowadays we often find each other on FaceBook and stop to chat a bit. We still talk on the phone, too. I think both of us have grown and experienced some healing of our spirits, due to our friendship. We have been there for each other.
I am Blessed with my taste in friends.