Today's entry is New York. This one was particularly hard to come up with since I am from NY. There are soooo many things I could have done with this pin. I had many helpful suggestions, but must address one... NYC. Many people suggested beading something to do with NYC. First of all, there is a WHOLE state attached to NYC. Many residents in Massachussets, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and New Jersey live closer to NYC than much of NY State. So please, stop asking New Yorkers why they don't have an accent!!!
OK, now that that is off my chest...I grew up in Mt. Morris, in Western NY. Population: 3500. I knew people from NYC who had more kids in their graduating class than there were people in my town. We are different from the city!!! Ooops, sorry. Back to Mt. Morris. I could have beaded many things representing my childhood... my family, St. Patrick's School (K-6), Mount Morris Central School Blue Devils!, Letchworth State Park - Grand Canyon of the East, where I lifeguarded for 6 summers, boating on Conesus Lake, College (ok, for those who really know me, colleges). After much thought, I narrowed my idea down to a few things.
First, I wanted to represent the Finger Lakes Region, where I grew up. We had a cottage on Conesus Lake, which I like to call a hangnail of the Finger Lakes. I vaguely remember an Indian tale indicating that the Finger Lakes were carved by a great spirit. After a little googling (when will that stop sounding perverted?) I discovered several theories about why they are called the Finger Lakes:
- According to Wiki.answers.com: They are long and narrow like fingers. One Folktale about their creation was that Paul Bunyon fell down, and his fingers left the depressions in them.
- According to Wikipedia: These largest lakes resemble the others in shape, which collectively reminded early map-makers of human fingers.
- Good Morning America: "They are called Finger Lakes because the last time the glaciers receded from this area they gouged out these long, linear [lakes], the longest of which is 40 miles long. There are 11 lakes that are extended like the fingers on one's hands."
- The Iroquois, specifically the Seneca, Cayuga and Tuscarora tribes, lived in the upstate New York region called the Finger Lakes. They believed the Great Spirit Manitou rested his hand upon the earth in gratitude for their courage in battle and devotion.
I'm going with the Indians belief, sounds reasonable. This explains the silver hand that adorns the Finger Lakes region on this pin.
Next, Francis Bellamy. Who? Whenever someone asks me where I grew up, my response is Mt. Morris, NY, birthplace of Francis Bellamy. Never, in over 30 years of irritating people with this response has anyone actually known who Francis Bellamy was. So, this is my opportunity to educate at least a small (but incredibly important, beautiful, funny smart..!) segment of society. Francis Bellamy wrote the "Pledge of Allegiance." Now, most of is were required to recite the pledge daily at school during our childhoods. Wouldn't you think that somewhere along the line someone would've actually mentioned who wrote it!?! Everyone one knows who wrote the "Star Spangled Banner", and most of us couldn't even sing that one! Therefore, in honor of Francis Bellamy I made the rest of the state flag-like.
And finally, I added a few little touches... notice the "diamond ring" on the hand. That is to represent my wedding in the Finger Lakes region. And in the palm of the hand are 3 little blue beads and 1 little pink one. Those are to represent the four Long siblings (my maiden name is Long), all born in... you guessed it... the Finger Lakes Region!
Now, for the beaders in the group, I tried a new material for the base of the bead embroidery for this pin. There is something at Michaels called stiff felt. It works great. And it doesn't have the little fibers like my yard sale stuff.