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Friday, March 31, 2017

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

I've missed some of the months in the Inspired by Reading group, so I scrambled to read Where'd You Go, Bernadette? in time for this week's discussion/reveal. I'm glad I did!  Semple's novel was a thoroughly enjoyable depiction of funny, troubled, exasperating people, and a touching meditation on creativity, mental illness, and responsibility.

Rather than make jewelry, I went in a different direction.  Bernadette is an architect whose masterpiece was a house made entirely of recycled, salvaged, or local materials.  That inspired me to make my own house from my stash:
I placed fabric scraps on a piece of heavy interfacing and sewed all around and across the roof to make a house shape.  A leather tag from an old pair of my husband's jeans and a keyhole doohickey became the door. I attached another hardware doohickey to the roof with beads. The upper windows are scraps of metal mesh from an earring organizer I made, and the bottom windows are the plastic tags from doses of Xopenex I had to give Beadboy1 during one of his many hospital stays -- you see, like Bernadette's daughter, my son was also born with a serious heart defect and needed surgery as an infant.  And like her, he has asthma triggered by viruses (I know all too well how school nurses overreact to coughs out of an abundance of caution).  The hand embroidery was done with floss left over from various stitching kits.  Once I was done with the house I backed it with felt and machine-stitched once more around the perimeter. 

Taking broken, used, defective, discarded things and making a home and a life -- I think Bernadette would approve.


  1. Holy cow!!!! The meaning hidden behind your piece is awesome. I LOVE that you went outside the box. Great piece!!!!

  2. Absolutely wonderful piece sewing together so many parts of Where Did You Go Bernadette? Love all the layers of meaning and disparate parts!!

  3. This is fantastic! So many layers of meaning and a nice looking house too.

  4. Bernadette would love this, and so do I! Amazing!