The Beauty of Brick Stitch and the Tree Of Life
As far back as ancient times, trees have been used to symbolize creation, the cycles of birth and death, the connection between all living things, and the relationship between human beings and the natural world around them. Trees have been viewed, and rightly so, as important sources of food, fuel, and shelter for thousands of years.
When I taught outdoor education workshops to kids, we talked about all the important things that trees provide in our natural world, and the list is truly mind-boggling. Trees produce oxygen and can actually purify the air we breathe. Their leaves and fruits provide food for hundreds of different kinds of animals that are all part of the food web that creates a healthy environment. Even after a tree dies, a rotting trunk provides food for worms and bugs, nutrients for the soil, and shelter for animals like salamanders, birds, and small mammals.
Trees have played an important part in spirituality, too. Buddha was said to have become enlightened under the leaves of the Bodhi tree. References to the Jewish Tree of Life are scattered throughout the sacred texts of the Torah. Native North American legends are full of stories about visions seen by medicine men (shamans) as they danced around or slept under trees.
I’ve always felt a deep spiritual connection with the trees around me, and maybe that’s why I love the Adirondacks. A few miles from my house is this wonderful labyrinth, a short car ride away and open to the public for walking. It’s a stone path nestled into a little clearing in the forest, hidden away on a back country road. labyrinth hazen roadThe first time I walked through this maze on my lunch break, I found messages from two of the trees located within the circles.
First, was the message on the oak tree. Oak tree wisdom
On my way out of the maze, I discovered a message from the birch tree. Birch tree wisdom(In case you can’t read it, it says, “Birch tree – lady of the woods. She reminds us that new dimensions are opening for us. Balance is necessary. She awakens energy of new beginnings and cleansing of the past.”)
Do you feel a special connection with the trees and the natural environment around you? Capture thousands of years of mythology and spirituality in the Tree of Life Pendant kit, designed by Venetia Perry and appearing in the newest Quick + Easy Beadwork 2016.
Simple and elegant, the Tree of Life Pendant is made using a beautiful brass tree finding, enhanced by adding just a few rows of brick stitch using seed beads and glass triangle beads. It’s one of my favorite beading techniques for enhancing pre-made jewelry findings with my favorite beading stitches, and brick stitch is perfect for adding texture and color to this beaded pendant project. Want more beautiful, quick, and easy beading projects?
Download your copy of Quick + Easy Beadwork 2016 and get 30 simple, all-new beading projects that you can start making today.