Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK and I am taking a well needed break from work to play catch up. A long overdue blog update is my first priority.
I have a growing collection of 'hares' as regular readers of my blog will know. I am fascinated by these special creatures, sadly I have not seen any around our village for some months and the hunters have been busy this winter. Julius Caesar noted that the Druids would not kill hares as they were regarded as sacred and gods had the power to take form of the animal. My gift for today from Megan is a pretty brass plaque featuring three hares in a circular motif to hang on a wall in the garden (when some fine weather eventually arrives). After a little internet research on the three hares, I was fascinated to discover that this motif appears in sacred sites from the Middle and Far East to churches in south west England as well as historical synagogues in Europe. The earliest occurrences appear in cave temples in China and it is theorised that the icon, associated with Buddhism, spread along the Silk Road and thus to Europe. The symbol of the three hares like many images in Chinese folk art that carry auspicious symbolism, represents peace and tranquillity, a good thought. I also read that this extraordinary and ancient archetype, stretches across diverse
religions and cultures, many centuries and many thousands of miles. It
is part of the shared medieval heritage of Europe and Asia (Buddhism,
Islam, Christianity and Judaism) yet still inspires creative work among
With regard to fine weather, we woke this morning to a fine sprinkling of snow. Monday was a beautiful spring day with sunshine and clear skies. One of our local supermarkets had a variety of gardening specials and I happily returned home with pansy seedlings, peony bulbs, potting soil etc with the good intention of setting aside Mothering Sunday to work in the garden. So much for my plans, perhaps later in the week, 'tho the weather forecasts for the week ahead are not too promising.
The past few weeks have passed in a blur of frenzied activity. The Hugglets Winter Bearfest, just two Sundays past, was once again well attended and lots of little bears found new homes, most of the remaining bears jetting off to various places around the world the following week.
We are busy stitching for the next on line show to be held later this month as well as completing some long outstanding orders! For once I have been very disciplined and my bears for the show are almost complete, just some knitted garments to make and general finishing touches to other clothing. As we were only recently offered a space at this show due to a cancellation and we usually plan our bear making well in advance, my feelings of panic have subsided.
In between time I managed to make a little 'kitty' pillow for Megan's birthday
Making this as a gift without the recipient being aware of its creation was a little difficult. It was eventually completed at three in the morning on her birthday.
I have had some fun with dyes and silk paints recently. Whilst involved in the messy process of dissecting and preparing a pomegranate for my breakfast, I looked at the bright pink juice and decided to try and use it as a 'natural' dye. White seam binding ribbon provided some interesting results, from the palest lilac to a deeper purple, depending of course on the quantity of juice available. I have used salt as a fixative so hopefully the colour will not fade, it is certainly permanent and does not wash out.
I think that I will try and concoct some more 'natural' dyes soon, it is fun and the resulting colours quite unpredictable. I also painted some white velvet vintage flowers with silk paints. The lovely little flowers are becoming extremely hard to find and very expensive. As I needed some purple flowers for an order I am very pleased with the result, just the colour that I was looking for.
Finally I recently received an e-mail from Anne-Marie Hoeben who lives in Lage Mierde, the Netherlands, asking for details of a cross stitch pattern used in a small pillow and pictured in my blog in October 2009. Hotmail is warning that this e-mail is from a 'hacked' source and as my son is always warning me to 'trust no one', I have not responded. The cross stitch pattern is from a French magazine which is no longer in print but Anne-Marie if you do read my blog, you might like to e-mail again.
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.
Most mothers are instinctive philosophers. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe