Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dangle, twirl, pirouette...a bit of magic hanging in the air

Last night there was definitely a bit of fairy magic in our house... a milk tooth carefully placed under a pillow turned into a shiny Euro.
My youngest son has been waiting for what must seem to him for forever to have a loose tooth. All of his friends have long been showing off their wiggling teeth. Finally, last week, he felt the first little wiggle in his mouth. Last evening we cuddled together to read “Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth” which made him wiggle & giggle; Little Rabbit looses her tooth in her chocolate ice-cream and has “a window in her mouth”. It's a really cute book from 1975 by Lucy Bate;  to me very special because my grandmother gave it to my oldest children in one of her last years with us.
The story ends with Little Rabbit finding a coin under her pillow the next day, and my son and I wondering how many more days until his tooth would fall out. Just as I was telling him those words that children dread ("pajamas" and "bedtime") the phone rang, my daughter calling for me to pick her up in town. When I arrived back to the house ten minutes later, there was my very proud and radiant son with a “window in his mouth” and a tiny tiny tooth in his palm!

He grew out of being a baby long ago, but somehow, this really marks the beginning of the end of the baby era in our house.

Sigh.

Well, twirly wiggling dancing is in my head, I have put up a few new pretty things that hang and dangle in my shop.

  
I love mobiles and garlands. I fondly remember a wooden butterfly mobile I bought for my first baby (ages ago!) and how exciting it was to see her little face delight in the bright colors and shapes. Mobiles and babies go together like ….loose teeth and ice-cream. But I think at all ages people adore mobiles. Maybe there is something relaxing about them. My grandmother had many pretty maritime mobiles in her beach cottage - fish and boats and such, and my other grandmother was an artist and made some funky abstract pottery mobiles in the 70's. The kind that make a comforting soft chiming clatter in a breeze.
 
I loved all of those when I was a little girl and I think that has inspired my fabric garlands and mobiles a bit. 

Happy Wednesday!
xoxo
Karen

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ladybug Kisses or My etsy!


Today I have really exciting news to share with you. This week I finally opened my Etsy shop!

It's been something I've been wanting to do for a very long time now...
really since I was a little girl even before etsy or the internet was invented I've wanted to make and sell things. I remember loving it when my mom or grandmother took me to small art galleries. I just delighted in all the whimsical, lovely creations. Sometimes simple things that seemingly have little function other than making a person feel joyful in their heart and putting a smile on their face. 

Spreading joy. 

While other children sold lemonade, I used to paint pictures and set up art galleries. I was always making things. But then I grew up and started to let the sound of other voices influence me on my way down life's paths....until I came to a new fork in the road and decided it was time to truly follow the path that not someone else wants for me, but the one I chose a long time ago.

I'm so glad I did! 

Stocking a real shop with my first wares of paper and cloth is so fun it feels like playing. I am enjoying the whole process, creating something with my hands, taking the photos, writing descriptions (and thinking, yes, I will start translating all of this into German....soon!), and then wondering...will someone stumble upon this in our endless cyberspace universe and think, what a perfect gift for so-and-so? Or for myself? The wondering is not awful like I expected but rather exciting!

I've named my shop

Katie-
(after my lovely daughter who inspires me with her kind and youthful spirit)

Claire's
(after my beautiful mother who inspires me with her gentle and kind ways)

Cottage
(which to me is not just a cute little place but
a simple and humble place
a place that is warm and cozy
a place that overlooks a lovely lake
a place that can weather a storm
a place that has old bones and creaky wood and peeling paint
but always gets dressed up for the holidays
and receives a fresh coat of color now and then
a place where stories are read to children
and family and friends fill the rooms with
laughter and love and light
and delicious food, of course
a place surrounded by gardens of flowers and trees
where stars above sparkle at night
a place to drop your anchor
and feel safe to dream your dreams)

I would be so honored if you stopped by to take a look at my shop! I am really quite grateful that the chance is just there for the taking to set up shop among so many talented artisans and crafters. You will find my sweet and simple fabric and paper creations and without giving to much away, I will hint that there is more to come! 
 
 

 I have to tell you that it has just been one small step and I am still taking lessons in courage and in listening (and trusting) my own voice (maybe we all are?) But a little thing happened to me at the beginning of this week that I wanted to share with you. Fall has arrived here in Germany with frosty temperatures, but during the day the sun comes out and was warm enough that I was out in the garden hanging laundry. A tiny buzzing creature flew smack into my cheek and instinctively I flung it off, which I then of course regretted. There, on my son's pajamas, had landed a little ladybug. I thought of my last post about ladybugs, Mary, the Beatles and so on. I've put that CD in the car, the one from 1967 that starts with “Back in the USSR”. That has become my music theme of October. It's almost become a broken record. If I'm not playing “Let it Be” on the piano, then my daughter is. And every time I chauffeur a child from here to there, we hear it again. It's been the cause of a few little history lessons, in which I have to explain things like “broken records” and “USSR” to incredulous little ears. But I digress!

It's time for new music, and I think that little ladybug smack was really just an encouraging kiss of good luck.

Wishing you ladybug kisses and a lovely weekend!
xoxo


Karen

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

tiny friends


This past summer I had a frequent and tiny guest in my bedroom. One sunny morning I woke up to see her: a shiny little red bug with polka dots crawling along the edge of my pillow. After my initial fright at seeing something creeping on my white sheets, I relaxed and let her be. I love ladybugs, I think everyone does. We have many in our garden and they are always a happy sight.
A few nights ago as I was reading in bed she was there again and kept flying around me, landing on the pages of my book, crawling over my hand, being very persistent in getting my attention. I finally carried her over to the window and let her out into the night. But I could hardly concentrate on my book - a fictional novel about a woman in London who has no memory of her early childhood and bit by bit she is uncovering events from the blank years of her life. I closed my book and suddenly saw a forgotten image from my own childhood, a large ladybug stuffed animal with a music box inside. Our family traveled and moved extensively but as a small child I often had that musical ladybug nearby. As I drifted off to sleep, I thought about how contemplative spiritualists use the symbolism of animals or figures in dreams in order to discover divine messages. I vowed to look up ladybug in the morning.
In German, the ladybug has two names, Glückskäfer, (Luck-bug) and Marienkäfer (Mary-bug). The ladybug (“Our Lady”) is connected to good fortune and the unconditional love of Mother Mary. I discovered all sorts of history and symbolism by quickly googling ladybug. She is truly an amazing little creature that is beloved in cultures all around the world and has many interesting anecdotes and fortunes associated with her.
Do you know the ladybug nursery rhyme? I used to tell it my children when they were very little. You can find it and where it came from here
After I had done enough research on ladybugs I browsed through some other websites that I check now and then. My heart did a little cartwheel when by chance I came across this little message! Read this, if you are so inclined, and enjoy the video link.
xoxo
Karen