Tree of Life Part Deux

When I was first diagnosed with cancer I immediately started working on a Tree of Life embroidery design. Each main branch had a certain plant that I felt would help with my healing.


I started working on the linen background fabric with threads in a silk and wool blend. And then I started getting really sick. And my fingers started to go numb from one of my chemo drugs. And there were things I didn’t like, for instance the buckling of the pomegranate fabric from sewing around and around just a bit too tightly. Same issue with the acorns and I don’t like the color pathway of the blackberries. They dull it down for me.


When all was said and done I realized the piece was too big for me to continue and I’d lost heart in it. Didn’t feel like I was surviving and I was losing my spirit.

Some time later, I started using elements of the design to create a commemorative “I Survived Cancer” tattoo for myself.


Yesterday I ran across the first draft of the Tree of Life sketch and I fell in love with it all over again. The actual final sketch is nice and small. MUCH smaller than the embroidery. It needs a few changes to get there but it’s a darned good start. I added pears and partridge instead of the blackberries because I love them and I want more juice in my life. And brighter colors. I think it will make a very nice woodburned plaque too. And great, affordable, prints.


Getting ready to trace so I can transfer to any medium, illustration board, wood, paper…


Yes, I think it’s a good start. I also think it calls for a stag lounging on the left hummock… And the top needs something… A fairy perched? A butterfly? A snail?

So for starters this will be an illustration that I think will make nice greeting cards of 5×5 that anyone, pagan or otherwise, will enjoy. I also plan to use some drawings that were part of a wooden box’s side panels. This would make some fine bookmarks and I have several book mark designs that never went anywhere either. This little strip below is my favorite sketch of all my work. Mainly because I simply couldn’t believe it was my work. I’ve probably made some better pieces but this one convinced me I was an illustrator. Every once in awhile I go back and make some changes like the acorn cap and the thistle. Time to bring her to life.


There are a ton of drawings that were for wooden boxes and embroideries that I can totally turn in to full illustrations and elements that will go with other elements. What does that mean for me right now? A lot less work. I already have stuff I love. I’m sure many more pieces will arrive in the creativity card catalog of my brain.

More beauty is on its way.

Blessed be.

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