As a tribute to all things patriotic, I have created The "Americana" Bouquet. I've had this bouquet idea brewing in my head for a while now. I have always been in love with all things Americana - think picnics on gingham cloths, berry picking near an old red barns, American flags waving in the wind, parades honoring the military, fireworks and of course the red, white, and blue color combination.
But with all that said, my drive for creating this particular bouquet actually started as a bit of therapeutic relief for me as I figure out how to navigate and survive the current state of our country. I know that I usually post pretty pictures of bouquets and write dreamy talk about weddings and slow, simpler times when stitching was more common among us. And I want to give fair warning, this post is not about that today.
As I mentioned, I created this bouquet as a singular form of personal protest and a reminder to myself as to what I think this country of mine is really all about. When I think of my United States of America, I think of the land of the immigrants and the promise that hard work, perseverance and grit can provide the life of your dreams. And more than anything, I think about the statue of liberty quote:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Do these words even mean anything anymore? Is the American dream lost? These are the questions that are in my head as I read about immigrant children being separated from their parents, just because they wanted to give their kids a fighting chance at a life less dangerous and more hopeful. Or when I see the news about another brutality on our streets, school shootings or how veterans are being treated or the latest abuses of those in places of power. Or the worst, for me, is walking out my front door and dealing with the polite racism/elitism that I am seeing more and more these days. Our country has always had its fair share of turmoil and injustice. But what I am concerned about today is that I fear we have taken a step backwards.
How far we have strayed from our country's path. My goal of these words is not to prompt a political debate, brow beat anyone for their beliefs, or show any disrespect. And I don't have the answers to any of this. But I believe in authenticity above all else. I feel helpless, overwhelmed, frustrated in the current state of affairs and I'm struggling. And I'm wondering if you are too.
And just for the record... no, I do not think an embroidered bouquet in the colors of red, white, and blue is going to change anything bigger than myself. But for me, looking at this bouquet gives me hope. Hope that we as a nation will always aim to boost people up, instead of pushing them down. Hope that my good ol' USA is still alive and real and will come back to me soon. And I know it will. There are so many good, kind-hearted people out there doing the right thing everyday. They just aren't the ones make the headlines.
So if you are still reading, thank you! If you are at all inspired and want to create your own Americana bouquet, you can find the pattern HERE.
The Americana Bouquet is part of The Bloom Collection, a series of hand embroidery patterns designed to teach you how to create the flower bouquet of your dreams. Every bouquet tells a story. What will yours be?