The Story of Sunflowers and Butterflies

Sometimes things just turn out the way that they are meant to.   Even if you don't know it at first.

Sunflower, Stars and Butterflies - Tote in Progress

I am always a little hesitant to post in-progress pictures of custom pieces on social media, especially if I know the customer for whom the piece is destined may see it.  I do my best creating in my studio, by myself, streaming something or other (currently, House of Cards, season 4 -- I know I'm behind).   When I'm working on a new piece, I don't want comments or suggestions, even if they're designed to be helpful.  I want to let the piece take me where it wants to go.  And in this case, it was on a spiritual journey.

I drew the big sunflowers at the bottom - just a few of them, since they were bigger than I expected.  The stars scattered along the top came next.  And then the butterflies - one after another, these translucent little beings ascended from earth to stars and pulled a cascade of emotion out of my soul.  As I created this piece, it created a spiritual cleanse in me.  My soul opened to the universe and I felt free an at peace.  When I looked at this bag in progress I saw the earthly sunflowers, the heavenly stars, and the butterflies as the bridge between.

But then I looked at the comments, "Oooh," the customer said, "somebody's getting a tote just like mine but with butterflies!"  What!?  Doesn't she know hers has butterflies??! Shit. Shit. Shit.  What if they weren't supposed to be there?

So I checked the listing.  Yep, butterflies. Phew.  I couldn't imagine this piece without them.  But what if they shouldn't have been in the listing in the first place? So I checked our messages.

Celestial Tote with Hive Mandolin Strap

Somewhere in showing her pictures of sunflowers, one which had butterflies, I had gotten it into my head that this tote had butterflies. I included it in the listing and she didn't catch it.  So I messaged her.

She was so sweet about it - I could tell she didn't want them on the tote but also didn't want to have to be the one to tell me to make a new one.  I would have done it in a heartbeat, and either kept or sold this one.  But every time I looked at it, I couldn't imagine it without the butterflies.  They were the link between earth and heaven.  They were spirits ascending to the stars.  They brought the entire thing together.  But how do I say this without her thinking I'm nuts?

And in the middle of a very chaotic day she sends this: "It's me again... I need to tell you the butterflies are supposed to be on my bag... I came home for a break from work and I was getting a glass of water and looked over on my windowsill at a sunflower ceramic piece my mother bought me and it has a butterfly on the top of it.  She passed away on Valentine's Day and for whatever reason I think the butterflies are supposed to be on my bag... she knew that sunflowers were my favorite and it's just weird how I know have butterflies mixed into my new tote..."

And suddenly all was right in the world.  As I put the finishing touch on her bag, a handle that says "grow strong, love life and spread seeds of happiness..." I know that this is a piece she will treasure even more, as each little butterfly is a message from her mother.

xo
c

Celestial Tote - Sunflowers, Stars, and Butterflies

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