Showing posts with label hands and hearts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hands and hearts. Show all posts

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Where The Mind Is Without Fear (Updated)

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls

Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit

Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Rabindranath Tagore's words from 1910 and his call for peace and freedom for his beloved India resonate in my heart and my own fervent belief in our need to call out for equality and freedom and a better life for all people in our own countries, nations and our much bigger world.

We must simply and complicatedly open our hearts to one another with love for all of man and animal kind and with the deepest of true sentient caring, compassion, and most of all, mercy.

We must direct our minds and our hearts through the energies of this love and compassion to envision, create, and bring forth into reality a new and better world.

The true world of sacred communion and all encompassing community that in our hearts, minds, and souls we all dream of within our deepest dreams within a dream that we call reality.

We strive to reach across uncertainties to our own basic truths and desires for a happy, healthy cohesive family, country, nation, and most of all world.

And we have really good days filled with really good fun while still working towards our individual goals and desires manifested for all. And for one not limited by and not just through and for our own selfish egos. 

And that my dear friends is not always easy to do. This is the hardest lesson, learning and truth 

And for me it's always starts with hope, faith, and charity--and always, always begins with love for family.   

And we all  have really good days filled with really good fun while still working towards our individual goals and desires with an immediate goal of being as happy and healthy and productive in living our days and weeks and months, and lives as we can.

With all of these wishes, all of these dreams and all of the otherworldly pains and challenges we can still celebrate each blessing of a new day.

A few weeks ago, for our family,  on one such lovely day, we collected apples from our apple trees in our back orchard and using nature's bounty and our family's gifting of a DIY cider press, we made homemade apple cider!

Oh yes! Apples from 7 other fine feathered family members domain! 

But don't worry, my chickens...there's lots more where these came from and mre again to come from other apple and fruit trees!

Our trial run with 8 adults and 3 preschoolers (plus all 7 chickens wondering where their apples were going!)  

All helping, each at their own ability,  interest, and energy level. The littlest ones (with occasional supervision from their parents and grandma) used their hands to clean the apples as they bobbed around in a big plastic storage bin.

The Littles removed them when clean and placed them withing reach of dad, uncle, both moms and dads or grandparents and up onto a sawhorse and planks table.

The rest of us worked at this first station where we took turns feeding the grandkids' washed apples into the hand wheel cranked scratter apple cider pressing process #1 as son and son-in-law took turns turning the hand crank "steering wheel". 

Note: In less than  a week we now have an old motor recycled by Larry as our new and improved motorized scrabber for our next apple cider day! Hand cranking is not easy especially with little ones wanting to help 😊

At station #2 my daughter fed that mixture into her apple pressing unit where pure clean juice poured down into clean pails.  

Transfered into pitchers, decanters and thermal hydro flasks with the help of all but grandma and grandkids who were now playing and trying very hard not to jump on beds with cider glasses in hand! 

The proceesed cider was from our own trees, organiclly grown, fresh, and quite delicious!

And now, this weekend, we are gathering one again. More apple pressing into cider, more mashing into canned appleauce or mixed with our plums or wild nlackberries and dried in our homemade food drier into fruit leather.

We have pears out back and even some Asian pears out to our neighbor's orchards to try in pear cider if we so choose.

 It's all a lot of work, but working together and sharing our hard times along with our good brings firth fare more laughter than tears.

The gifts of Mother Nature's bounty along with our own labor's of love!

Making memories to record and to treasure by doing what you can, when you can and working and having fun trying something new makes for a very good day and a very nice break from the rest of our lives of work, worry, and challenges, for all of us.

And with meaningful thoughts and words and  best thoughts that others may also be blessed and free from anxiety, fear, pain and suffering and one day be free to have even one day of love and happiness as 

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Healing Hearts Textile Arts

 My personal path has always centered around the simplest acts of service.
 Of being there for and with others as a lifetime of ever transmuting fears or anger or pain into creative work that has been part of my heart and my healing arts journey since I was a very young child.

How do we find our center in this incredibly unbalanced  world with false idols of ego, success, and power creating a lack of balance in our values and priorities that often fracture our childhood dreams and set us astray from our true soul's journey?

It's truly the simple things from my heart and with my hands that connect me to my soul's purpose and that is the spiritual catalyst for the alchemical manifestation of love in action.

For only love crosses all dimensions of time and space. 

Only love will survive when ego, money, power, and success are lost or stripped away. Only love is left when all else is gone. when we transition from this life, this dimension and from our individual perception of whatever reality we have created and energized into manifestation.

Love is all there truly is and all that we are truly meant to learn about and to experience as we navigate what is often very intensely painful or emotionally challenging  lives.

It is simply who I am and what I was meant to be and to do as I combined it bit by bit in all aspects of my life

I learned early on that my gifts with "healing with heart and hands" work.

True healing comes from above, from within, and from all around.

It is simply pure and sacred healing heart's love in whatever form one needs when anger, pain, loss or grief is too overwhelming for our mere mortal forms to bear.

Its work and its need in this world is greater than the sum of its parts.

I wanted to work in a transpersonsal way with all who came into my world. So, on October 26, 2006 I created a very, very simple blog and I started blogging.

I couid barely figure out how to even use that early blogspot format, had no training and no help whatsoever...and created this huge, huge complicated thing that turned into my own all senses of that word.

For me, blogging was about letting go of my private little space in the world and walk among humanity, often with my heart completely exposed, into the whole world.

It was about letting go of control, of the mastery of anything and everything,  and learning to just enter the spaces between the real world of pain and suffering and sadness and finding a deeper solace in what we do have, can do and can share, instead of all that we do not.

No matter what anyone says or writes, when you give from your heart over and over if you do not replenish your spirit, it exhausts you. And because I believed that this form of universal ministering (keeping in mind it is non-denominational in all ways) was my life's purpose.

I learned to open to gratitude and compliments on my then very simple blog posts and make friends in a world I wasnt really a part of until I reached out and joined in.

When I realized that I needed a different way to work physically, spiritually, and energetically with my gifts, I used my scraps or donated or repurposed fabrics to sew and share really, really simple little quilts.

And then when they were done, I lovrd even thr simplest of them so very much that I just knew they were filled up with love. And then, loving them so much, I gave them away to others.

The only ones I've kept are examples to teach or to share or to encourage others others to do the same. My nicest, hardest ones that took an eternity to make;  I gave away as gifts.

My own 3 grown kids only have simple scrap quilts but all 3 grandkids got special artsy ones just for them.



Making an Alaskan Kuspuk


With my passion for sewing and quilting, I realized that I could reach more people and infuse more goodness into my work by the creation of quilts, pillows, kuspuks, prayer pocket pillows, and prayer flags, than I could by helping people one-on-one

And this became my own healing journey. True healing is not just of the body and all of the aches and pains and all of the ills that beset it. True healing is finding your way, your path, your journey that goes out beyond the ego's desires for acceptance, approval, applause or accolades.

It is about doing what you were meant to do..beginning with understanding why you are where you are..right now, in this time, in this place wherever that is in your life.

Once I understood that for me the path was about creativity combined with family, heart, voicing my inner truth and sharing that truth with others I could see a pattern that begin as a child and moved and grew as I did and as I learned to create in the all of the ways that I have.

Initially, back in the 70's and early 80's, I made the simplest of quilts and patchwork of every design in the "Quilts, Quilts, Quilts" book.(when it finally came out).. and those pillows ended up on the reading couches of elementary and middle schools in the Salem, Oregon area.

Later, I began to make and then give away my quilts...first simply made, and then with more detail and creative patchwork. I've given to survivors of natural disasters...hurricanes, fires, floods, and tornadoes.When Hurricane Katrina, and then Rita,  hit the Gulf states in 2005, I sent 6 quilts within a month, and 25 of my own quilts within a year's time. After those initial delivery trucks winded down, I made them for the Salem Interfaith Ministry...a group of many religious and spiritual denominations who simply band together, and help others.

I knew then that I could sew quilts, pillows, bags, clothing, and prayer flags, and give them to others in need.... and that the wonderful feeling that the giving gave back to me, was far greater than winning awards, or writing a book, or receiving personal recognition in any way!  It was just deeply moving and made me truly happy inside!

I've made quilts for a number of hospitals in a number of states, for several organizations that help abused children, for mission trips to Africa and other countries, for programs to help mothers and children leaving abusive situations, children in foster care, and those in need of all ages from neo-natal preemies, to the elderly in hospitals or in need of a passage quilt in hospice care.

It is by far the most meaningful giving I have done after a lifetime of volunteer work in schools and social service organizations from Alaska to Oregon. While being in the education field taught me about community...both families and is my own personal non-denominational healing ministry that has, by far, taught me..and given back to me, the very most.

Whether we give a quilt to comfort, or to wrap up and warm, or help buffer the pain of a hurting and loss filled heart, all such quilts given with love and made with both our hands and our hearts are 'healing hearts' quilts.  But my quilts are made with the infusion of healing touch energies, a gift that I was born with, but that I later learned was inherited from my paternal grandmother.

Later, many of my tiny art quilts were given to charitable organizations to raise funds for research, but even then...those tiny art quilts still go to someone who has found a heartstring connection and meaning from that quilt to their own heart....for we have all shared in love and loving, loss and losing , of those loved ones that truly are the very deepest and most meaning filled parts of our selves.

As long as it was in operation, I made and donated small format art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. It brought my own hurting heart great peace and comfort. 15 members of my own family have faced the dreadful disease of Alzheimer's (12 with my DNA) and now those beloved family members have all passed.

I ended up creating and donating 75 tiny paper sized quilts to this group, even as I traveled back and forth to Alaska to care for my parents for as much as 6 months a year and up to 4 trips a year, I still made and donated quilts. If there is a will, there IS a way! Abd in the oricess, I earned $5,000 as my quilts were sold, along with a kazillion others in online AAQI monthly auctions.

Even breaking and dislocating my wrist and requiring immediate surgery didn't stop me.  Within two weeks I was sewing with one hand, and three months, creating adult bibs for my mom and designing quilts for AAQI, and  helping Alaskan school children design and sew their own kuspuks!

So, if you think you don't have the time, or have other challenges, if I can do it, so can you! Here's just some of my donations to a variety of causes and projects:

Make a simple fabric postcard, a pillowcase, a journal cover, a little heart shaped pillow, an adult bib for a nursing home patient, or any other gift from your heart.    


Recyclable-giveaway Cloth Shopping Bag

Burrito or Magic Pillowcase Tutorial


Free Babie's and Children's Quilt Patterns


Making Fidget Quilts, Aprons, Pillows, Bags for Alzheimer's Patients:Ideas



Free Patriotic Quilt Patterns



Making Adult Bibs 



Making a Heart Pillow: Breast Cancer, Cardiac or Recovery of Any Kind



*String Pieced Prayer Pocket Pillow




How To Make A Fabric Postcard




I sew a lot at home. I've had a lot of help...


 And then, I joined groups.

And we sew and we quilt, and we tie blankets together. And that energy when combined with all of often very different but strong and wonderful beliefs,   heals our hearts and the work of those hearts when through the art and manifestation of healing hands handiwork can create such wonderful and giving love..

My links to free patterns and my own tutorials


Free Breast Cancer (and other cancers) Awareness Quilt Patterns

Free Heart Themed Quilt ...and many other small items...Patterns

Making a Heart Shaped Pillow for cardiac patients, mastectomy patients and others

String Pieced Prayer Pocket Pillow for any one in need of comfort

Making an Adult Bib

How To Make A Fabric Postcard

Make a Magic 'Burrito' Pillowcase

How To Make A Quillow

Free Patriotic Quilt Patterns for veterans and their families

Blue or Gold Star Banner for Military Families

2,500 Free Quilt Patterns...patterns for quilts to make and give...anytime to anyone

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.