Excellent

ExcellentAs my two year old grandson once exclaimed to an entire restaurant as he accomplished the difficult maneuver of apple-sauced spoon from bowl to mouth without spilling, “I did it!” Yup, I did it!  I’ve captured the history of my career as a banner maker in an archival book form.  My children will call me blessed rather than pull their hair out at some distant point in the future while sorting through my filing cabinets.  Excellent…!

I’ve waded through twenty-five years of banner making creativity revisiting faith stirrers, fabrics, favorites, a flop or two, and a few frustrations. And yes, all those ridiculous duplicate, out of focus, poorly composed photos. Last evening I finished Volume V of The Book of Banners. Laid flat on the table these five spiral-bound volumes rise 3 1/2″ high and comprise nearly three hundred pages of initial sketches, fabric samples, contracts, photos, thank you notes, items that inspired various designs, and information about when each banner was made and where it resides.

After all these years I’ve finally cataloged all my banners discovering that I’ve created one hundred and fourteen banners. Sixty-five of those are original designs, forty-two are duplicates or variations of those designs, three I fabricated from designs provided by a church for their Easter musical, and four were re-designs of a congregation’s beloved Advent banners. That’s a lot of fabric, fusible webbing, rat-tail piping, Tacky glue and tired backs! It’s been a most excellent run.

While the five volumes of The Book of Banners only take up a little less than four inches of shelf space now, they have freed up thirty-six inches of accumulated filing cabinet space – an entire drawer of my studio/workroom filing cabinet upstairs and a portion of my business filing cabinet downstairs. Gone is an album emptied of photos and thank you notes now containerized in another creative fashion. And I’ve discovered some of my later banners are missing from my banner portfolio; those taken with a digital camera that went straight into the computer to be edited without stopping at the drug store to be processed into those dread ill-composed duplicates. Not so excellent.

Over the last three weeks I’ve had the delight of reawakening my first love for this art form, of organizing my work chronologically, and remembering, oh remembering, the pleasure I experienced hour after hour, month after month, year in and year out by looking at photos of all these old friends – those so-so photos recently cropped, sharpened, and color corrected. What a group of beauties looking exceedingly excellent.

Something I thought was irredeemably lost has been found…redeemed. Beyond excellent!

Including the Excellent banner above, here are my favorites.  

Describe an “excellent” experience you’ve had down-sizing, thinning out or revisiting an important part of your life. What emotions were reawakened by that “excellent” experience? What did you learn about yourself through the process? If you were to embark on a similar “excellent” experience, what would it be?

Looking forward to your comments that might inspire me for my next “excellent” experience!

7 comments to Excellent

  • judy alexandre

    i am beginning the process at westmont..as i finish a unit, class that i will not be reusing ( next year is the last year)….it is hard,sad, painful, rewarding, hopeful and accomplishment all at the same time
    I pray to enjoy and embrace the process

  • Jan

    Exquisitely beautiful, Lynne. Congratulations!

  • Maureen

    Your favorites are mine as well. So much beauty and so much thoughtfulness went into each one. Thanks for sharing your gifts with us.

  • Amy Tuttle

    Wow- such beautiful banners! Thanks for sharing!

  • June Veith

    You are a vivid inspiration to me. All your favorites are mine as well. The “Edged In Glory” story is one I remember you sharing so many years ago. Also, one you did for communion where was a “stain” that finished the picture. I love the work you do. Each week your work inspires me and I thank God for how you Bless us all. Keep up the good works:-)

  • Linda young

    Your banners have frequently taken my breath away. They have moved me in such a way as to certainly inspire my worship. I already miss them and am so grateful for the years of seeing them and thanking God for the gift he has given you and the way he has used them in my sense of who he is and will be in my life.

    And congratulations on this amazing and fun accomplishment!

  • Deanna Bowling

    I love your banners also, very much. One you didn’t show here was Jesus arising on the third day, which is one of my particular favorites.

    I am doing some housecleaning/consolidating, etc., myself. I am switching bedrooms, and redecorating my room so it can be used as a guestroom. I am hopeing to reflect more of where I am today, while still appreciating where I have been in the past.

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