Comfort, love and safety in a hug
When I think about a Bubbe, the image that comes to mind is an old, wise
woman with large breasts, snow white hair and a big lap.
She loves you unconditionally, without judgment or hesitation, unafraid to tell you exactly what she thinks.
She has strong arms that wrap you up and she smells like Johnson’s Baby Powder.
I cuddle into the softness of her bosom, cradled in her arms and I feel safe and loved.
She tells me that everything is going to be OK and if it isn’t, she’ll be here for me no matter what.
Hers is a love that knows no bounds.
She will make me chicken soup and feed me in bed as I cuddle up under a warm
A Bubbe is pure love, wisdom, kindness, truth telling, comfort, softness
Though in present day a Bubbe might look quite different from this image, she is still the strength of the family, the glue that holds it all together. And though she may look like a modern day woman, it is the essence, the spirit, of the traditional
Bubbe that I am capturing.
I know the longing in a child's heart for just this kind of love and comfort.
My creative impulses come from a need to provide the things that I find lacking in my life and the external world.
I am inspired to create a world populated by objects that bring my true and desired reality into being all around me.
As I began working in fabrics I was drawn to make things that I could wrap myself up in. It was a need for safety and a way to create a sacred space for myself in which I had some sense of control.
As a child I was very tactile, sensory driven.
The objects that I was drawn to had a certain tangible and emotional feel to them that felt safe and familiar. Missing a feeling of safety and of being loved and physically held, I turned to whatever might fill that void.
My childhood blanket was my only symbol of love, safety and home and I carried it everywhere. “Bonkie” as I called it, had the comforting feeling that I longed for
with its softly woven fibers and satin binding.
Now as an adult still longing for the same sense of safety and familiarity in a world that rarely feels that way, I am creating pieces that fill that need.
My first pillow signaled to me that the feeling I had holding it close was something that went beyond my own personal need.
It was what the world needed, comfort and safety, the feeling of something real in a world filled with mass produced throwaways.
When designing, I searched for the fabrics that reminded me of my blanket, the earthy soft feel of a natural fiber with a hint of lush velvety richness.
The Bubbe Pillows are my way of sharing the essence of Bubbe, offering a hug, unconditional love and a feeling of being seen and held close.
I fill them with the softest silk like filling I have found to provide the feeling of Bubbe’s large soft bosom. The ruffles are accented with silk rayon velvet for the extra luxury and texture that is a reminder of my childhood blanket.
I have purposely reworked the colors and patterns on the fabric to be soft and calming, deep and earthy.
Though I knew I wanted to make these pillows, I was still unsure if others would value them as I did. The perfect opportunity to test this out came in January of 2020.
My sister was experiencing a very challenging time in her life. I couldn't physically be there to help or to offer comfort due to our geographical distance, so I made her a Bubbe Pillow. It didn't have a name yet, but the sentiment behind it was there.
When she received it she was overcome with emotion. She knew what it meant, what went into it and the love behind it. She needed exactly what that pillow had to offer.
The message had come through loud and clear. "I love you. I wish I could be there and put my arms around you and make it all better. I'm here."
I knew from her reaction that what made a difference for me had also shifted her experience. When life was seemingly out of control, she could hug that pillow and remember that I was only a call away.
It was not only the act of making it or having it myself, it was the gift of giving it to her that changed my own life.
Sharing love, offering comfort, being there for someone I love deeply and making a connection that will last through that pillow, was a greater gift to me than she knows.
These pillows are all about comfort in a very visceral sense.
Bubbe pillows are gifts from me to you.
They are meant to be used, the way a Bubbe uses her big strong arms to gather you up.
They are my way of saying “I see you. You are lovable and worthy just the way you are. Everything is going to be OK.”
And if it isn't, someone cares.
Gift yourself with a pillow.
Send one to someone you know needs some comfort.
Has there been someone who has been there for you during tough times, someone you want to acknowledge?
Or simply send one to say “I see you. I love you just the way you are.
Everything is going to be OK.
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