Monday, April 06, 2009

Blessingway necklaces

These are two of the necklaces I made this weekend. The top one is made from beads that my guests brought. The bottom necklace was made from other beads that Julie had brought for putting together the Blessingway necklace (we were going to do it when all the guests were there, but we ran out of time). I love the tree of life medallion; it will always remind me of my Blessingway and my henna belly painting.
  • The central clay bead that looks like a baby is from my midwife. It reminded her of some of the worries I had had about a breech baby. She expressed confidence that my baby, like this bead, will stay head-down.
  • The mom, dad, and family beads are from my mom, to remind me of my family.
  • The three matching red swirly beads, two square and one round, are from Julie. She said they reminded her of one of her favorite scriptures and its use of birth symbolism. From Moses 6:59: "and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten."
  • My sister and mom picked out the silver rose. They said it reminded them of a placenta and of a baby's head emerging. And one other thing, too, that I can't remember!
  • The three green swirly beads are from my friend J. The oblong one in particular reminded her of the need to let things flow at birth.
  • The speckled red & white bead is from A., one of the birth assistants. Her son found it years ago.
  • The rough crystal bead is from D., another birth assistant. She has a degree in metalsmithing and looked through her collection of beads to find one that was as un-beadlike as possible. She said it reminds her that birth is not always in our control, yet it is always beautiful in its own way.
  • The two round beads with moons and stars, and the square bead with white flowers, are from a friend A., who is also a colleague of Eric's, due any day now with her first baby.
  • The brown & blue cylindrical bead is from another colleague & friend E. She teaches art history and specializes in African art. The bead is from Africa (can't remember which country at the moment) and is made from recycled glass.
  • The blue-green bead with moons and stars is from my friend K., who is pregnant with her first, due a few weeks after me, and also seeing the same midwife. She picked it to express her hope that I will be able to be well-rested before labor begins. Something I really appreciate!
  • The oblong, twisted bead and the silver footprint charm are from my sister. The first one reminded her of an umbilical cord, and she shared her wish that my placenta will release easily this time.
I also received two other beads. One was interlocking hearts from R., a woman from my church who had a cesarean, then a VBAC, then two home births. She said it reminded her of the fact that when you have a second child, your love grows big enough for both of them. I realized after I had finished the necklace that I forgot to put it on! Oops... The other bead was a beautiful, large handblown glass rectangle from C., another birth assistant. I'm making it into its own necklace.


  1. Those necklaces are beautiful, and the symbolism behind each bead is so thoughtful and kind. What a treasure you have made!

  2. Gorgeous!!!
    I'm taking notes as I would love to do something like this, next time around.

  3. I lol'ed a bit when i saw the clay one. To be quite honest, I didn't *think* that it was a baby.. I thought..."huh.. that looks like a penis." lol

    But i get it now!! =)

    Those are beautiful necklaces.

  4. Ha! I suppose just looking at the picture you might think that. But in real life it's definitely a baby.

  5. It's all just beautiful!!! The bracelets, the belly, the pics, the blessin gway!!
    Very precious memories.
    I have a girl feeling after seeing all this ;)

  6. They look great! I love the tree of life pendant. Such a good idea. Are you planning on wearing one for the birth?

  7., 2:27 AM

    Both beautiful...I love the tree to "go with" your henna :)

  8. I participated in a due date club through MDC and we all sent one another beads and created birth necklaces. It was wonderful to wear mine in the early hours of labor!

  9. I love your necklaces! I cherish the one I have from my first son's blessingway--when I handle it, it feels like a scared object. I didn't actually wear it in labor, but kept it in special basket my dad made (actually, it was a Shaker box with a handle). With my second son, everyone contributed to a blessing wreath for me instead of a necklace (they also made me a birth bracelet as well--that I did wear throughout labor and still wear at special times when I want to feel "powerful"/connected). My midwife gave me a tree of life charm for the wreath. My mom gave me one of those awesome sculptures from Belly Kast Kreations and that hung in the center of the wreath. I have a "birth art" wall in my home and my belly cast, my wreath, my necklace, and a variety of other cool things hang there together!

    Best wishes for a beautiful birth!



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