Friday, August 28, 2009

Fairy Circles, Fairy Rings

In ancient traditions, especially in the British Isles and Scandinavia fairies were magical beings who inhabited kingdoms beneath the surface of the earth. Fairy lore tells of how the fairies or "fay" continually meddled in the affairs of humankind sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. It is believed that fairy folk have the power to whisk a human away to their fairy kingdom from which the human might return many years later but insist that only a few hours have passed. German, Irish, Scots, English and Scandinavian people have countless tales of fairies interacting with humans and stealing time, or even babies which they replace with a changling. There are variations of stories in Wales, the Slavic countries, Japan and China and even some native American tribes had such tales.

In nature there is something known as a Fairy Circle or Fairy Ring. It is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. They are found mainly in forests but also in grasslands or ranges. In European folklore fairy rings were believed to be gateways to fairy or elfin kingdoms beneath the earth. The ring was thought to be where fairies or elves came out in the evening to dance and celebrate. In German tradition it was believed that witches gathered and danced in a fairy circle. The Dutch believed the circle was where the devil set his milk churn. Superstitions and traditions often warned against entering a fairy ring for fear of injury, death or even being made invisible. A human who finds himself inside of a fairy ring may not ever be able to escape. Sometimes fairy rings could bring good luck too, places of fertility and fortune. Fairy rings have been featured in works by European authors, playwrights and artists from as early as the 13th century.

The other night at dusk as I was coming home I noticed something from the window of the bus. I could not believe my eyes! So early the next morning I hiked back up to the spot and with my camera recorded my very first fairy circle! I even braved death or invisibility by stepping into it and I paced it off. It was approximately 15 feet in diameter. I heard about fairy circles all of my life, sometimes even questioning their existence, but had never actually seen one. Until now. So I thought I would share this happy experience with all of you. This is the fairy circle I found in La Crosse, WI.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tall metal French flower girl pitcher

Finally I am able to debut my latest listing of a mixed media piece. It is a large 10 1/4" metal pitcher embellished with vintage early 1900s images from French flower girl post cards, along with cut out lace flowers, velvet flowers, velvet leaves, pink rhinestone flourishes and more. The base is 7 1/2" wide and the top and bottom are encircled with tiny glass tiles in complementary colors. Predominate colors are aubergine, pink and echru. It was an absolute joy but time consuming piece to create. Definately a favorite in my book.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

From Golda Meir

"Trust yourself. Create the kind of self you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice ~
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world
determined to do
the only thing you could do ~
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Favorite Quote Challenge on Melange Team ETSY

I have no question when I have to choose my favorite quote for this Winston Churchill quote has been my mantra for five years now: "When you're going through Hell, keep going!" The photos I assembled for this collage are simply amazing and deserve a long look. The Brits were determined to not let Hitler and the German Luftwaffe drives them to their knees. They stood their ground and with the Americans and other Allied Forces pushed the enemy back. To  contemplate the courageous example of the British people in that time of war and desperation is awe inspiring. The Battle of Britain turned the course of the war. We can all learn from that. How would the world respond today? 

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Melange Team ETSY weekly challenge piece this week is the word "archetype"

An archetype is an ideal example or prototype of a person after which others try to emulate, a universally accepted symbol or the epitome of the best model. The archetype I chose to work with for this week's challenge is the mother figure: the protective nurturer and gentle provider. This is the piece I completed for the challenge. It is a collage highlighted with the Charlotte Gray verse, "Children and mothers never truly part ~ Bound in the beating of each other's heart."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Trip to Ashland and Bayfield, WI

Recently I took a delightful trip north to the tip of Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior to see the Big Top Chautauqua show, an old-time big canvas tent show with modern humor. This one was called "River Pants" and was about fishing with a little bit of Ole and Lena thrown in for all those Norwegian descendants! Picture a troupe of  mainly 50ish year old men (not OLD men) in fishing garb and rubber hip waders - doing "Riverdance"! Yes it was THAT funny!

A special treat and actual surprise for me were the murals of Ashland, WI. A quaint little town that still cherishes it's small but richly alive downtown, Ashland boasts 7 phenomenal large murals in its downtown district. They were painted by 2 women, Kelly Meredith and Susan Prentice Martinsen between 1998 and 2005. The murals depict historical scenes of the pioneers that settled the area with faces based on real people significant to the history of the town. 

The photos here were taken by me of the Aspah Whittlesey Mural depicting the founder of Ashland along with early settlers in front of the Ashland State Bank in 1892. To see the other six amazing murals go to
Take a look and you will be astounded as I was!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Love after Love." by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Another little one to take your breath away.

Here's another little one to take your breath away. Feel free to use her in your artwork if you please
Art Freebies: Soartful saturday challenge

Soartful Saturday Challenge

This is my piece for the Soartful Saturday challenge. Every week there is a new element to work with in the challenge - this week it was the woven background. It is my first time venturing out of my etsy world and their challenges to post on a different art blog. I hope to participate more often in the Soartful challenge at artfreebies blog.
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