Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Harbinger of Spring

A few weeks (months?) ago, some dear friends gathered for what has become a seasonal tradition: an exchange of handmades, intended to grace our nature tables. We used to create Advent gifts for each other's children (and still do), but felt that the year between each exchange was too long for our creative souls. Now, every few months, we settle on a date to share our goods. The friendship of these women has been an ongoing blessing in my life.

Unfortunately, I missed our Spring exchange, because two out of my three children were ill with fevers and coughs and snotty noses. Still I sent along my contribution:
I could refer to her in no other way but as the Harbinger of Spring. Her knitted dress is a slightly adapted version of Christine Shreier's "Flower Child" dress, found in Living Crafts magazine (Spring 2008), made with Noro sock yarn. I didn't have the materials on hand to create a doll exactly like hers, so I improvised. I used a peg doll form for the body (the "neck" worked perfectly as a waist, and the "head" became her bosom!) I wired the bead head onto the peg body using a pipe cleaner. I love how she turned out! I didn't want to fuss with fabric-covered-bead hands, so I opted to sew her cuffs together, monk-like...then had to figure out what to tuck into her embrace.

What else? Pussy willows, of course. They were that perfect finishing touch. We giggled at how she kind of looked like someone you might see on the streets of Killaloe, the beautiful village where I teach and once lived...and where most of my friends still live. Her floppy hat protect her from the Spring sun, and her eyes are closed in bliss.

PS: We crafty mamas know in our hearts that these little exchanges aren't really for our kids...they're for us. We know that when our children are well past the age of being interested in peg gnomes, felted flowers, and toadstools, we'll pop on our bifocals to continue creating for each other's delight. I can picture us in our 70s, giggling with delight over cups of tea, gently holding our latest handmade treasure, and adding them to a mantelpiece piled precariously with the offerings of all the years past. This will be our legacy.

12 comments:

  1. Oh, I ADORE you, dearest Knitty Gritty friend! And I confess, my Harbinger of Spring is up on the mantel, out of the kids' reach. I just can't bear to have anything happen to her. So she smiles her bliss at us from her perch. We smile back at her.

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  2. I was just resetting up my nature table today, and I was thinking, "I wonder why Stephanie didn't post about these little sprites...they're amazing!". Imagine my surprise and delight when I come here for a visit!!! When I'm 70 I'm going to be warming myself in Cuba with some hot young man...I'll bring along my knitting needles and fed ex my contributions!!!! hehee
    xo maureen

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  3. Cuba, young men, knitting needles.... count me in, por favor !~!

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  4. How beautiful! You are so creative! xo xo

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  5. Yes, I think I would cherish these gifts more than my kids. Your creation is beautiful and the pussywillow is a wonderful touch.

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  6. hear hear! Amen to that sister!

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  7. I wish she would cast her spell and bring the real good spring weather upon us! - I grow melancholy with all the grey skies and cool days.

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  8. Since my friends mostly mother bigger kids now, I wonder at some kind of food-related exchange. Perhaps I could gather these women together to bring a favourite seasonal dish to share and copies of the recipe for each participant.
    I love the image of you gals as older women, still loving your handmade treasures.

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  9. She's beautiful and I love the idea of the seasonal exchange! What a wonderful picture of you ladies in your 70's with your peg dolls!

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  10. She is just delightful!! Very creative, Stephanie. :)

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  11. Cuba, huh? Knitting on the beach sounds good...

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