Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Storytelling of Crows

It snowed yesterday (minor miracle here) and this morning I was watching the neighborhood crows flashing black against the white backdrop and looking so stark and beautiful. I'm not sure what it is about crows that fascinates me so much... a number of things I guess. Contrary to the opinion of most, I really do think they're beautiful. That lovely sheen of iridescent blue that shimmers across their feathers in sunlight and their deep soft blackness like a piece of living night. The place of Corvidae in mythology is fascinating too. Trickster, harbinger of death, creator of life, protector of a realm, so many things for so many people and still loved and hated today. They are devoted parents, loyal spouses, and amazingly, toolmakers. And what other animal has so many collective nouns that are so interesting? A cauldron, caucus, congress, cowardice, hover, murder, muster, parcel, or storytelling of crows.

A storytelling of crows, that's my favorite. I have two favorite storytellings of crows. One is the exquisite picture book by Heidi Holder that is simply titled Crows . It is a gorgeously illustrated take on the old crow counting nursery rhyme and is a constant source of inspiration for me.The second would be Charles DeLint's Crow Girls, two wonderful characters that appear in several of his books, perhaps most notably in Someplace To Be Flying which also has a wonderful Raven character, another Corvidae family member. This is a fabulous fantasy book and, if you haven't read any of DeLint's urban fantasies, it's a great place to start.

So after all that I'll leave you with a picture of my Crow Ladies. They are some of my favorite dolls and one of them even made an appearance in the winter 2006 Art Doll Quarterly magazine. I usually make them in pairs because of the previously mentioned nursery rhyme which starts ...One is for Sorrow, Two are for you can see, these two are VERY mirthful!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Thought or Two...

I have to admit that trying to think of something to write in a blog on a weekly basis is more then a little daunting, I mean I could write about my daily existence I cleaned the fish tank yada yada...but I think that the cumulative sound of my readers, such as they are, snoring away would be a little embarrassing. But actually today I have a couple of interesting thoughts...yeah I know, TWO!? In one day?! Hush...
Firstly I have been reading the most wonderful book which I have to share with someone, and you dear reader are the lucky recipient! As a child I spent many hours in a secluded spot; a tree, my bed, the dormer in the attic, lost in books of fairy tales. I read them all; Grimm's, Anderson's, all those colored books collected by Lang, myths, legends, tales from around the world. So you can see I'm a long time connoisseur of the Fairy Tale. With this in mind I recommend to you The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente. This is a marvelous treasure chest of a book composed of many beautifully written stories flowing from and into each other like a very intricate weaving. There are all the elements of a classic fairy tale ; princes, magical beasts, fair maidens, but these elements have been altered and rearranged to form something completely new and wonderful. The writing is absolutely luscious and there is even a second book, so the tale(s) continue. If you loved fairy tales as a child, check this out, you won't regret it.

And secondly I have finally gotten some valentine dolls in the shop and as promised here are some pictures:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

knit a kit-ty

I always seem to catch the knitting bug over the winter. It usually starts right before Christmas with the insane desire to knit Christmas presents..this is insane because I'm a slow knitter at best but I will plunge in irregardless. And then I always choose a pattern that is much more difficult than my skills, just to keep things interesting. Hey do I know how to have fun or what!? So this year I knit several teddy bears and then started a kitty from one of Fuzzy Mitten's extra cute patterns. All was going well at first and then I hit a snag... the dreaded p2 tog tbl ...what the heck?! This turned out to be the most difficult stitch I've ever tried and I must have started over about 15 times before I finally went to this amazing site where they have step by step instruction videos for even the most befuddled. Success was had at last! And here is my finished product:

Not too shabby! This kitty is knit from hand spun angora yarn by Angie's Angora and is so soft and furry I just love it. Her yarn is an absolute dream to work, I've been using it for my bunnies this year and they have come out wonderfully. I stuffed it...her...with wool too so she is completely made of natural fibers. She's a kitty snuggle bunny!