The teardrop flag book and some thoughts on symbolism


I did warn you ….

While I was making this, I was thinking about choices.  At first, it may seem that using the colourful Gelli prints for a book that was perhaps more about sadness than joy might be a bit of a disconnect.  But delve deeper into why I made the choices I did.

The cover print:  First, to clarify, I cut the stencil, yes, but it was from a dingbat of Banksy-works, not my design.  The original post showing it is here. That print is muted and a bit sad, I suppose, and the image of the girl letting her balloon heart go can be seen different ways, much like tears. So it fits – is it perhaps  a study in sadness, or faith, maybe?  or optimism?  Letting go? Trust?


The quotes: Two aspects to this.  First that tears can be of sadness OR of joy and love.  That allows the happy, colourful prints to work a bit better. And second the quotes inform the choice of the shape.


The shapes: well, teardrops, obviously, if not perfectly shaped, as they were from a die set called LEAVES.  In context alongside the quotes, they work together


The placement: The second quote is about tears coming from a “secret place” so the placement of the sad stamped images, hard to see within the surrounds as it stands, on the teardrops, makes them more “secret,” reinforces the quote.


I had a bash at the panorama option in my camera – not totally perfect but you can get a better sense of the look of it:


The point is that I know I look at art sometimes and wonder Well, why did the artist choose that?  Makes no sense to me…. but if I knew the artist, knew what the piece was about, it might be more of an AHA! moment when I GOT it.

Going back, OMG so many years…scrappers may recall there was once a flurry of pages called 100 Things I Love.  Like many people I made one:


Bear in mind that was made in 2002, and scanned and stitched together I think, so forgive the dodgy image.

What’s the point?  Well, I shared in on an online forum, and I was surprised that only ONE person commented on what I thought was the most significant symbolic bit, that the up and down lines of text were meant to look like a heart monitor read-out (heart=love, get it?)  If I recall a few people didn’t like it cause it wasn’t very “scrappy”  but I still love it.  And it is interesting to see what I “loved” in 2002 LOL!  Outside the obvious family, my list included Peter Greenaway films, duplicate prints (as in photos developed – when was the last time I did THAT? years), heart rocks (from DS and my habit of looking for rocks shaped like hearts), Vegemite on toast (still have it every morning for breakfast), OZ (the HBO prison drama, not as in The Wizard Of… LOL!) and Crops at Scraptastic (sadly closed now, but it was the first scrapbooking crop I went to in the UK.) And of course I still love the centre quote of What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

I wonder, too, if I’m weird this way.  I am always second-guessing my choices, because I look at something and think What am I saying with this image, that colour? what else could it be saying and am I OK with that?  It is sometimes about the visual (I like how that looks) but that is never where it ends for me.  And sometimes the symbolism may be SO obscure that no one would ever GET it unless they were inside my head, but I’m ok with that too.  ‘Cause I get it, and that is enough.

5 thoughts on “The teardrop flag book and some thoughts on symbolism

  1. Love the heart monitor look of your 100 things. I was looking at it trying ti figure it out then read your post. Great. I also love the tear book, want to try to make one. Hope I can do it! Very inspiring and wanted to thank you.

  2. Those are great books. The 100 things list is awesome! I admit that I wouldn’t have noticed the heart monitor thing without your telling me but that makes it all the cooler. It is like a secret code.

  3. I loved the retro list of one hundred things I love. Especially the heart monitor symbolism. I think I will make a list like that too.

  4. I just love your flag book and, whilst I’ve made basic flag books, this definitely moves up a notch. I can’t quite figure it out and wonder, please, if you have any instructions so I can have a go and make one. I’ve not crafted in paper for eons and this has really inspired me to get stuck in again.
    Hope you don’t mind me asking,
    Jo x

    • Jo, if you go back to the circle flag book posts the teardrop one is not significantly different, just a different shape! If you read the last 3 or 4 posts everything you need to know is in there. If it’s still confusing LMK and I’ll see if I can help – or if you have a specific question, ask away.



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