I threw together a notebook of really ancient examples like this one from Central Asia in the 7th century And a few from Egypt in the 9th and 12th centuries - just to show that this sort of thing has been around for ages.
Then, between one breath and the next, for no real reason at all, my brain and my hands decided "We've got this." Suddenly it was effortless. All the struggle and tangles and snags of the box lid project were no longer an issue. Maybe it was because it wasn't a big deal. I wasn't all that worried about the outcome, just keeping busy, just playing with the thread. Maybe my brain had figured it out in my sleep when my conscious self wasn't looking. Whatever the reason, it fairly danced out of my fingers and in about a day, I had the flower done. A nice show-and-tell for Phillip's fancy handles and a new toy for me. It was so effortless and so gratifying I decided I just wasn't done yet. So the next day I added the gold border. Even though it was cheesy fussy gold thread I'd gotten at the craft store and it was a pain to deal with, it was still such fun. And now there must be more - more designs with curvy lines - more sparkly gold - more wonderful colors.