I used positive/negative versions of the same print fabric because life never offers the perfectly clear black & white choice. There’s always a mixture of pros and cons, and we might lean one way or another at different points in our lives. We’re constantly adjusting priorities trying to find the right balance.
Using red thread, I stitched phrases onto the fabric strip to represent every day choices. Not huge world-changing decisions, but the small ones that add up over years like “Do one thing today that supports a larger goal” or “Don’t save money by buying cheap food”. I purposely made the text hard to read. It’s not meant to preach to other people. They’re daily reminders to myself.
The strip was then twisted and arranged into a rough spiral and attached to the background using more stitched text, which anchor the strip and provide the shape. Those phrases are more big-picture, long term reminders like “You don’t have forever” and “You will leave a mark on your kids”. A few other phrases exist around but not touching the strip, to represent those passive, non-decisions that still have influence in our lives. “Things I never said” and “I might have…”
Finally I added some text in black, things that exist beyond one person’s control. We might’ve played some role in creating it or we may have been born into a situation. But each individual has the power to choose how to react, whether to accept or work against their circumstances. Some are painful challenges like poverty, illness or war. Others are distinct advantages like wealth, education, talent, luck.
It was interesting to step back and think about my everyday decisions, what I want from life and what I’d like to pass onto the next generation. No, I never did discover the secret formula for success in life. Guess I’ll just have to figure it out as I go. I only hope I’m going in the right direction.