First, this piece is about 12" in diameter. The fabric is 100% cotton as is the embroidery floss. I plan to embroider 12 designs of the same size over the course of 2012. At the end of the year, I'll combine the squares with other fabric to create a quilt.
This month I chose a mandala because (to me) it is a peaceful and calm image. I like how the design is repetitive and orderly. This reflects many of my activities at home in February that were focused on getting things back in order, simplifying, and de-cluttering (and then donating usable items to several organizations).
Starting at the core of the mandala, the shape is outlined in purple - one of my favorite colors.
There is - to me - what looks like a tree trunk with a heart above it (where the branches and leaves would be). I used brown embroidery floss for the trunk and a dark green floss for the heart.
The dark-blue hearts are empty because February has been a tough month for me. With my Dad's funeral done; and a lot of the the post-funeral legal, thank you letters, and "busy work" complete, it leaves more time to reflect upon what has happened not only last month, but for the 2 1/2 years leading up my Dad's death and the toll Alzheimer's took on him and our family.
Needless to say, there has been a sense of emptiness, loneliness, and sadness at times during Feburary. Thus, the empty hearts.
Under the blue hearts is an orange "arrow" pointing to a golden yellow heart. I chose these colors because I thought of the "coldness" of grief slowly warming...changing...lessening...to hope and happiness.
The joyful color of yellow - the warmth of good memories - will (I can only hope) return. The yellow hearts all have a little piece missing out of them. This is truly how I feel right now...that there will always be a piece of my heart missing. Always. I will always miss my Dad...for so many reasons. And, there is nothing that can replace him or his reassuring presence in my life.
But I can hope that grief will subside...that happiness will return...and that love (as symbolized by the red outline) will be a more strongly-felt emotion than sadness.