I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.
And with it being June first I’ve been thinking about my goals for this year and re-evaluating.
Something isn’t working. Something isn’t right.
I’ve been thinking about a way I have of thinking that isn’t helpful. I grew up with it, I learned it as a child and it’s stuck with me all of these 46 years. Not only is it not HELPFUL but it’s down right HARMFUL. I think it’s probably the one habit I have that is holding me back and hurting me more than anything else I do.
What is it?
An attitude of LACK. Lack of money, food, things, time, love …..
My dad used to say, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all”.
There was always a sense of lack in our home. A fear that tomorrow there would be NONE. NOTHING.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame my parents. They had particularly difficult childhoods with lots of alcoholism and abuse. It’s what THEY learned and then quietly, unconsciously passed on.
But just because someone gives you something doesn’t mean you have to keep it. I realize now that way of thinking does not serve me well. Not with the kind of life I want.
So I’ve decided that for the remainder of the year I’m working on just ONE THING – thinking more ABUNDANTLY with a heart full of GRATITUDE and love. I have come to realize that if I want my life to change I must change the way I think.
(To prove how long I’ve been turning this problem over in my mind I actually signed up for an online course in positive thinking last fall but didn’t do a single exercise. It wasn’t the right time/place and I tend to want to sort through these kinds of changes on my own.)
I’m beginning my new way of thinking/being with Gratitude Flags.
I was inspired by Tibetan Prayer Flags. Traditionally, prayer flags are bits of fabric with prayers written on them. They are hung outdoors so that that over time as the fabric frays and decays the prayers are released out into the world.
I’d been thinking about Gratitude Flags for a little while (sometimes an idea has to sit in the back of my brain for a bit while I figure out how/if/when to make it happen) when I received some new product from Jacquard.
Suddenly, I had no more excuses. I had all of the elements I needed right in my hands to begin my gratitude flags.
And so I did.
Right now North East Ohio is fairly BURSTING with spring – and bird song. So my first flag has to do with gratitude for the birds returning to my yard and singing their little hearts out. Singing, I imagine, because they are as grateful for Spring as I am.
Here is what I used:
- Jacquard Stabilized Fabric cut to 5″ x 7″
- Jacquard Textile Color 114 Turquoise, 110 Violet, 120 Brown
- Lumiere 3-D 209 Poppy, 208 Sun Yellow, 213 Coral Red, 212 Pink, 221 Lime
- Tee Juice Marker in Black
- Sequins in pink circles and green leaves
- background fabric
- fabric trims
I painted the background on the 5×7 stabilized fabric with Turquoise Textile Color. I used the color full strength around the edges and then blended it in toward the middle with water.
The paper backing will curl and buckle quite a bit but don’t let it worry you. It really won’t affect the outcome.
OH! And when I was sorting out my process and techniques for this flag I made three different flags with the same bird so if you see a discrepancy in the photos, that is why.
Let dry throughly and then iron flat.
I then used a disappearing ink marking pen to draw out the bird and branch. I didn’t draw out the tail feathers I just painted them on as I went “free hand”.
Paint in the bird with Violet using the same technique as for the background. Full strength color at the edges and blended with water toward the center. Full strength color again on the tail.
Paint the branch the same way.
Outline the branch and bird with the black Tee Juice pen. Add details to the bird also.
Paint in the feet and beak with Lumiere 3D in poppy.
Using the Lumiere 3D paint add pink dots to the bird. While the paint is wet add pink, round sequins to the wings. The 3D paint will act as a glue holding the sequins in place.
Add the leaf sequins the same way with Lime Lumiere 3D.
Add the small flowers with Sun Yellow and Coral Red Lumiere 3D.
Let dry thoroughly.
Stitch the 5″ x 7″ image to a background fabric and then add trim embellishments.
NOTE: If you went to the edge with the Lumiere 3D paint you may want to stitch your image to the background fabric by hand as the sewing machine foot and needles don’t like stitching over the 3D paint. Alternately, after painting the background and letting it dry, you might want to use masking tape to tape off a 1″ “frame” around the image so you have a clear space for stitching.
To hang, fold over the top and add to a length of line with small clothes pins. I chose not to add a casing to the top of the flag to thread onto line as I wanted the flexibility to trade out various flags without having to un-string a whole line of flags.
I’m definitely making more Gratitude Flags and will be posting them here to share with you.
I’m thinking I’m going to leave my flags up around my studio so I can see my gratitude flags throughout the day but this is what my flag looks like outside in the bright spring sunshine.
Grateful for Bird Song.
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