This piece was recently custom ordered for a Mother’s Day gift. I am a Christian and this is a verse with which I am quite familiar; however, it struck me as I was placing my quilled touches around the print that this is an extraordinarily appropriate text to use for Mother’s Day because there is so much hope and optimism in this one sentence. All the fantastic mothers I know, including my own, thrive on imparting a sense of hope and optimism to their children and work tirelessly to make their children’s futures bright. These powerful words were spoken by God to His people who were in exile and experiencing much hardship, but there is a universality to this statement that make it a welcome encouragement to God’s people today as well.
And that’s my sermon for today! Now, back to the quilling. The request was for this verse to be surrounded by colorful flowers. I started out with just the blossoming vine, using small flowers in bright blue, purple, yellow, pink and orange; however, when I did a “test run” with just the vines and small flowers, I wasn’t satisfied. It needed a PUNCH of some sort, so that’s when I added the 3 larger flowers, which I designed to be just slightly funky, but still sweet and feminine. After adding 2 small butterflies (the universal symbol of hope, among other things), this project told me it was complete.
YAY! I just finished my latest QUILLING project, which was to decorate a KETUBAH for a COUPLE who live in CANADA! I’m QUITE excited about it… CAN you tell? (I promise, the all-caps on words with onset “K” stops here). 🙂
A ketubah is, basically, a Jewish marriage contract. I got the job through Etsy and really enjoyed it because I had a lot of creative freedom (their only requests were that there was a “Tree of Life” and lots of color involved), plus it was really an honor to get to quill something that will be displayed in this couple’s home for the rest of their lives (so I’m told). It was also really cool because, as I was sketching out what I would quill, the shape the sketch took became somewhat metaphorical: The tree itself represents their marriage, flourishing and far-reaching (you’ll notice there is a root coming off the bottom of the tree that extends quite far, indicating strength and a firm foundation); there are two small hearts near the section where the bride and groom will sign the document–hearts, of course, referring to love (hey… I said it was cool, not necessarily profound). The 5 saplings growing beneath the tree are symbolic of the abundance of good that will come forth from the household–whatever that may be.
The couple really liked the whole symbolism thing, which I shared with them, and really got on board with some suggestions of their own. They wanted pomegranates because pomegranate seeds are said to number 613—one for each of the Bible’s 613 commandments; it was revered for the beauty of its shrub, flowers, and fruit–symbolising sanctity, fertility, and abundance. They chose to include the number 10, which is a symbol of good luck and power–and there are 10 commandments. Finally, they also included the number 7, which is one of the greatest power numbers in Judaism, representing Creation, good fortune, and blessing. Good stuff! So, anyway, I incorporated these things by placing 10 pomegranates throughout 7 branches on the tree. I’ve included some photos from start to finish.