Strega Jewellry's Blog

jewelry, beads, stone lore, music, kids and nature

A Wing and a Prayer

I got some new bezels and channel beads from Nunn Designs a couple of weeks ago.  While I was shuffling the new goodies around on the table, this phrase “a wing and a prayer” popped into my head.  Where the heck it came from, I have no idea.

Well, with my little ADHD brain, I sometimes go way off on a tangent.  Other times, I know there is a lesson somewhere, waiting for me, so I follow the train of thought.  First step, look it up.

According to dictionary reference, the phrase means a “slight chance of success based mainly on hope”.

As far as I can determine the phrase originated during World War II.   Apparently it became a catch phrase after a 1942 film which starred John Wayne as Captain Jim Gordon.

John Wayne in Flying Tigers

At one point, Gordon was inquiring about a flight of replacement pilots, asking if there was any word on the flight.   A hotel clerk replied  “Yes sir, it was attacked and fired on by Japanese aircraft.  She’s coming in now on one wing and a prayer.”  The use of the phrases increased after songwrighters Harold Adamson and Jimmie McHugh composed a patriotic song called Coming in on a Wing and a prayer in 1943 which told about a damaged warplane.

Now, pilots, of course, are humans and humans know that they are going to die someday.  A pilot coming in on a wing and a prayer would be asking to make it home safe, to see his loved ones again, to bring his brothers in arms to the ground safely.  I could see the energy of these prayers when I heard this phrase in my head.

Step two is to let the thoughts just flow where they might.

Flight, for me is not a plane, but the Winged Creatures my native roots teach me to admire and honor.  So, I put a bird in the resin, added some musical notes and a dried flower from my yard.   Cool.  I like it.

I wanted to use one of the channel beads with whatever this piece was going to be and I decided to transfer a picture of a butterfly onto that bead focusing on another winged creature.   I had the bird in the resin and a butterfly transfer on the channel bead and was trying to find the right beads to make the whole piece come together, something that made it work.

Once that phrase stuck in my head, I started thinking about all the Winged Creatures, birds, butterflies, dragonflies and the beauty of all Creation.

Their flight is like a prayer.  Their lives are like a prayer.  The bird songs are like prayers.  They are the Creator’s small miracles.   If you don’t see this in your life, watch this short video with extremely beautiful photography of  flying creatures.

Then, my ADHD brains started thinking about what prayer a flying creature would make.   No prostrating themselves and asking for anything, just thanks for abundance, for life and for the joy of flight.

In the channel bead is hidden a prayer of thanks that says

” My flight, my song,

a prayer of thanks,

for joy, for abundance,

for life”.

Embedded in the resin are music notes that I like to imagine sing of thanksgiving.  Here’s how the whole thing came together.

channel bead with prayer inside

I’m happy with the piece and am going to list it as an OOAK piece in the shop next week.   BUT……here went that spastic brain of mine……..I should do a piece that has something to do with planes and pilots and the original meaning of the phrase.   I think it should be a bit steampunkish so I already used my photo altering program to cut an aviator’s helmet to fit the darned bird.  He looks pretty sharp in it too.   I added a few gears to steampunk it out and poured the resin.  Now I have to put some kind of picture on another channel bead and come up with an aviator’s prayer.  Any suggestions on that one?

Okay, that’s enough about me.

Here are some pictures of work my guild sisters have done which express, to me, the joy and wonder of the Winged Creatures.

Au Naturale’s Flight of Aquarius necklace with amethyst and sugilite and a vintaj bird

Campbell Studios minaiture, rainbow butterfly feasting on peonies, watercolor

Moxie Gem Designs amethyst and sterling silver butterfly dangles

Pink Sunset Jewelry’s double chain drop charm necklace

And, last, but not least, Shanghai Tai’s beautiful dichroic pendant.


June 24, 2012 - Posted by | folklore, Jewelry, metaphysical | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I really, really love your piece.


    Comment by notsofancynancy | June 24, 2012 | Reply

  2. Thank you. I’m really pleased with how it turned out and it makes me happy to know that someone else, whose opinion I value, also likes it.


    Comment by stregajewellry | June 24, 2012 | Reply

  3. It was facnating to follow your thought process during the creation of this beautiful necklace. The little prayer/poem that you wrote and enclosed in the channel bead is lovely amd inspiring. Thanks for sharing, Lee!


    Comment by Linda Landig | June 25, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks Linda. Much of the time, I’m just making something, maybe a bit of inspiration from a song or a picture or nature………but sometimes, I get that spark for something unusual and I thought it might be fun to just document it once.


      Comment by stregajewellry | June 25, 2012 | Reply

  4. I like it. I also think the airplane steampunk idea sounds fun too. Goggles!


    Comment by windbent | June 26, 2012 | Reply

  5. It’s always interesting to hear someone talk about their creative process. Can’t wait to see the new steampunk piece in the shop as well! Great post. – Megan


    Comment by DalyCraftWorks | June 29, 2012 | Reply

  6. […] A while back, I did a blog about a jewelry piece I was working on that I called a Wing and a Prayer.  I loved the piece when it was finished and wanted to do one with a steampunk […]


    Pingback by Wing & A Prayer Steampunk Style « Strega Jewellry's Blog | August 4, 2012 | Reply

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