I participated in the recent Prayer Flag swap for the first time recently. I had two partners and we were required to make a flag for ourselves as well. I *never* craft for myself. Okay...maybe on a rare occasion I do; but I was wanting to embroider something and I always seem to embroider for others; but I really wanted to make something for myself. So the Prayer Flag swap was very timely.
My first partner, loves2experiment, and I exchanged a couple emails while I was in the process of brainstorming. During that time, I also found the perfect quote.
While black doesn't seem like a logical choice for a prayer flag, (Christian beliefs anyway), but when looking for a good wildflower picture to go with the quote, I found this chalk drawing. Going to the store to look for fabrics, I just couldn't see it being anything but black. I think it works.
I am the Mistress of Google. While searching for a focus with the words my partner picked, I found this quote by Nikki Rowe. After a couple emails with my partner, the quote insisted it be included. You know how it can be.
My second partner and I swapped a couple messages and she mentioned her intention was to help her urban garden have a good season. So I picked abundance as her word. I then spent some time looking for a focus. She mentioned mythology, witchcraft and the elements in her questionnaire. So I envisioned some sort of symbology done in an artful way. I also was thinking of some of the zentangle tangles that might be incorporated.
During my search, I kept running across Ukrainian pysanky. It's folk designs on Easter eggs. After scrolling through pages and pages of those beautiful designs, I decided to use it to design the flag.
The pattern on the bottom is actually from sashiko symbolizing water. The flowers and bees are to encourage pollination,
The hens are to fulfill wishes and symbolize fertility. Interestingly, they are supposed to only be shown at rest, never flying. The wheat wishes for good health and a good harvest.
Stags represent wealth and prosperity.
The colors were chosen with care as well. The blue/green fabric is to symbolize the sky, good health, new growth and hope. Orange as the primary thread color symbolizes strength, endurance and the eternal sun. It also looks good with the fabric! And the small amount of red on the wheat encourages happiness in life, hope, passion and the sun.
The words I picked for myself were reforge, balance, dare, blessings and strength. Thinking on it, I went with 'blessings' because it was something I really needed to work on remembering.
I lost my dog Sophie a couple years ago. She had been a free puppy in front of the grocery store, given to a niece...but the Mom was NOT happy and was going to get rid of her...and then my daughter brought her to me and begged to keep her. It was a close thing. I almost said no. She was a mutt and we had no idea what her background was.
Best decision I made. She turned out to be the sort of dog that makes other people want to get a dog. She brought me through a black depression and made our lives so much better.
I had wanted to embroider her portrait. This was the perfect opportunity.
My favorite detail.
The original picture for comparison. If you can't really tell, that is a sticker from an apple on her nose. She was very tolerant. In this picture, she was about six months old. I miss her every single day.