Tuesday, February 23, 2010
February - for this month I wanted to incorporate the celebration of the the feast day of the Celtic Goddess Bridget - Imbolc - with the seasonal changes here. I had been reading about this holiday in a wonderful book called "Kindling the Celtic Spirit" by Mara Freeman. I also went back to some the original source material in Alexander Carmichael's "Carmina Gadelica". After this I decided to use the quartz crystal to represent Bridget and surround Her (in beads) with the first flowers of the season. So I looked around and saw a lot of lupines (I'm not sure which species) and a few California poppies (Escholtzia californica) in bloom. The Lupines produce beautiful spikes of blue flowers, whereas the poppies are brilliantly orange and chalice-shaped. I also included the little white beads for Milkmaids (Dentaria californica) which I've also seen at this time of year in some of the oak woodlands further inland. But of course I needed a leaf shape! At this time of year the California Buckeyes (Aesculus californica) begin to leaf out. Imagine a bare tree with silvery branches and each branch is tipped with green flame. This is the drama of buckeye leafout! But after searching out my tree (I'll post on this later) I realized that a simple outline of the leaf would not convey the experience of the leaves bursting out. So instead I used the shape of the entire tip with all the leaves coming out. Then as I stitched I also wanted to incorporate the design on the fabric. As it turned out it's somewhat abstract, but I hope still representative enough anyway!