Sunday, March 25, 2012

Paintbrushes and Princesses

What a horrid week!  I'm glad it's over!

...Ok it wasn't that bad.  But if you're wondering why I've not been around, well I wrote 4 essays this week, that's why.  So I had to be strict with myself and say "Self!  No blog visiting, you can see them after you've written your essays!"

And BELIEVE me.  The loveliness you all have been up to tempted me SOOO much to make visits.  But school comes first :(

Oh, weather update by the way!  The snow is GONE!  GONE! GONE!  Never coming back!  SHE'S GONE!

And last week it was in the high 80's here.

But guess what?  Overnight tonight it's meant to go down to ZERO!  No joke!  That's an 85ish degree difference...

On a more artsy note, my dad's lovely girlfriend who I painted the inukshuk painting for last month decided to donate to my starving artist cause.  She used to do folk art herself, but hasn't in years, so she gave me a box of her paintbrushes!


Whoops, bad focus sorry!  


They are pretty old.  I am not sure when she painted, I will have to ask her.  I am assuming it was a while ago.  I have never seen paintbrushes like this before.  They're made of Russian squirrel hair... apologies to any vegetarians.  According to my google search, Russian squirrel hair paint brushes were unable to be traded before the Cold War is over, traditional squirrel hair brushes were made available again.  Isn't that crazy?  They shed a fair bit so they might need a good wash.  

Sigh... only you folks could tolerate my nonsense rambling about paintbrushes.


So, in the most perfect timing imaginable, Orlagh found something to sit atop her shoulders.

I loved all of your suggestions, don't get me wrong, but this was just too bloody perfect.

Who needs a head when you have a magnificent hand crafted crown!?



She might have to share :)


This LOVELY AMAZING INCREDIBLE handmade crown (complete with stars, moons, maps and glitter) was created by the beautiful and splendiferous Jessica at A Woodland Fantasy.

Someone who certainly has not, and will never lose her muchness.

How do I know these things?  This is what I received in our swap!  Needless to say, I was pleased as blooming punch and felt so wonderfully special and warm and fuzzy.







I think everything speaks for itself.  What a magnificently kind, creative, wonderful, sweet, beautiful, phenomenal young lady Miss Jessica is.

Thank you sooo sooo much Little Sis!  I love everything and am thrilled as can be!

If anyone would ever like to do a little art swap with me, all handmade/salvaged from "around" items, just give me a shout at fairy-dust-princess@hotmail.com

The energy from the box this came in was so completely, amazing joyful and youthful and lovely!

Sorry, I am a nut, but whenever I get something from someone I have talked to online for so long, it makes them real to me.  That's an amazing feeling.  It's like pure love.  It makes this little art blogging community seem like a real home.

Stop me before I get annoying.

Anyway beautiful, stunning people!

I'm off and hopefully will be more involved this week,

Lots of love,
Jenn

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Through the looking glass...


Hello friends,


I've been in another world of late.


Through the looking glass.



In my Victorian night gown...

Yeah. I really do wear this around the house.  I've got quite the collection growing.  I buy a lot at thrift stores.  Old fashioned things.  Pretty lacy things.  Things that they just don't make like they used to.  Perhaps one of these days I will have to share the vintage nightie collection I've amassed.

Thrifting is one of the finer things in life don't you think?

This week I picked up some new nighties, some new curtains, some tins to store my makeup in and a religious statue.

These are REALLY old fashioned looking, don't you think?  I kind of love them though.  The top bit is the only new part. $2.99 per valance.


I am not a religious type, but Mother Mary is so Goddess-like.  I really think the Mother icon is something so sacred, so I appreciate Mary as a representation of that.  She now sits on top of my t.v.!  HAHA!


My sense of decor has really only gotten curiouser and curiouser.  I keep acquiring odd things.  Or building them.  

Like this new little lady.


She told me her name was Orlagh, and she got beheaded by her brother Brian's enemies.

She's got a special request of all you creative folk.  Since her own head was lost many years ago, she needs a new one.  She's quite open to any idea.  Any peculiar, curious little suggestion.  What sort of thing should she use as her head?

And in the non-bizarre arena, I got a new fireplace!  The old one was just too big, and let's face it, looked better in the living room.



Not that I am in need of any heat.  The temperatures have skyrocketed.  Next week it's supposed to be in the high 60s, low 70s.  Which after a winter of -10 weather, is welcomed as can be.

Look it's leaving!  When I went through the woods for my antlers last week, it was up to my hips -_-  <- I love that face haha.  Anyhow, it's now only up to my ankles in the forest.  In the well trodden places there's no snow at all!


At night I am enjoying sitting and listening to soft music with my woodland chandelier lit up and the breezes flowing through the window.  So peaceful.  Link to make one for yourself is here on Vanessa's blog.


So that's what's new here.  Peace.  Sweet things.  Loveliness and strangeness.
Curiosity.

Happy day loves,

Jenn



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Queen Maeve of Connacht

Hello beautiful souls,

My posts just come with (optional) music now :) Tee hee

                                

I've been up to insanity in my studio.  I am finding peace there.  It's blissful.

And this is what came of it:

There once was a queen, of all of Connacht.  

She was the strongest and bravest of all women, renowned for her beauty and strength in battle.  Fair as the rose, and snake-like to enemies.  

I would like to introduce you to Queen Medb.


Medb, or Maeve, is best known for the story of the Cattle Raid of Cooley.

It's about a war between Ulster and Connacht, that started over a fight over Ulster's prized bull.

Queen Maeve was a warrior, and fought in all of the wars she associated in.  She is a part of the Ulster Cycle of Irish Mythology which is set around the time of Christ.

Unfortunately, when Christianity came to Ireland much of the histories were incorporated into Christian mythos and ideology.  This makes a lot of the timing, and accuracy of the legends not so easy to figure out.


I suppose we'll never know if she ever existed.  My opinion?  Absolutely.  I feel her spirit in my blood.  The spirit of the ancient Irish warrior queen.  I think most of us strong ladies should be able to feel her in their blood, no matter where they're from.


It's what Maeve represents that keeps her spirit alive in Ireland, thousands of years later.  Despite being one of the most Catholic countries in the world, we Irish never forgot our Pagan pasts, or our heroes and Gods.

Ask anyone who was raised in Ireland the story of Maeve, or Finn MacCool, or how to treat the Sidhe.  They know.

Deep in everyone's subconscious, the pounding of drums still echoes in the depths of their existence.


Now on a really peculiar note, I've hung antlers in the dressing room!  Haha!  And no, no animals were harmed (at least not by a human).  I found these in the forest and sort of makeshift mounted them above my mirror.  My mom thinks they're gross but I think they're awesome!  I'm probably the only teenage girl in the world with antlers on her wall...

So let me know if you think the antlers are weird.  I won't be offended I promise!

Lots of love,
Jenn

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thunderblizzards, A Book Finds Its Way Home, & the Emerald Isle

Hello kindred spirits!

How has your Saturday been?

Perhaps you'd like to grab a cup of tea for this post?  I'll include some music for you as well.




I personally am snowed in!  Want to see?


Oh I know you folks in California and Arizona and all of those lovely warm, sunny places are just green with jealousy but try to control yourselves!


This is a swing... it's about as tall as I am, at 5'3".  So those dark green metal bits are the height of a grown up, keep that in mind.


So my lovely neighbour came over and dropped this loaf of fresh, warm, home made bread off.  His wife makes the BEST home made bread.  How kind is that?  The snow was up to his hips.  And yes, I've already dug into it, can you tell?


By the way, I tried to go out last night, I really did.  My mom was driving me to a local dive bar.  Yes, I know that sounds trashy, but I LOVE dive bars.  Haha, weirdest sentence ever "My mom was driving me to a dive bar..."  But keep in mind I live in Northern Ontario, which has a culture that is comparable to some really rural areas of the deep south.  Hunting, fishing, church.  That's life here.  Well not for me... but I just realized if you google map my house, it looks like I live in the middle of the hundred acre (or perhaps mile) wood.  Back to the story... we turned around half way there.  Why?  We were having a thunder blizzard.  It snowed fiercely to the point that you couldn't see two feet in front of you it was so white.  There was also extreme amounts of thunder and lightning.  And no, I've never heard of that either, until I experienced it myself.  Thus, good choice in turning around... it never did calm and it's still snowing.  I guess I'll just use it as an excuse to stay in and paint!

So girls, I have a tale.

A very sweet one indeed.

About a year ago, I picked this book up from a local used book store.


I collect really old books and this one was obviously quite the antique.  The date of publication was 1899, so it's 113 years old!


I knew it had this inscription inside of it, saying it had been given to a woman called Rowena in 1911, in Wales,  for her charity work for the church.

Searching my bookshelf for something new to read a couple of months ago, I stumbled upon this again.  This time, I was filled with an overwhelming need to return it to its rightful owner.  I just NEEDED to find where it belonged and get it there.


So this being the age of technology, a simple google search including the name and place was all I needed to find contact information.  I found a man who had a family tree that included Rowena and sent him an email.  He replied and told me he'd send her grandson an email and ask him if he was interested.

After a few weeks had past, I'd nearly forgotten about this entire thing.  Until yesterday, when I checked my messages.  There was an email from Rowena's daughter!  She lives in another province, and used to live in my city, and says she lost the book and has been looking for it ever since.  She also told me about Rowena's life, and how she was sent to boarding school at age 8, and then married in 1927.  She also informed me that the fellow I had emailed on the website had sent a message to Rowena's grandson, who sent a message to Rowena's son, who sent a message to the lady I was now in contact with.

Based on the genealogy website, I discovered that Mary, the lady I'd been talking to, was Rowena's first child, and her second child was born in 1930.  This meant Mary had been born between 1927 and 1930.  So Mary must be in her 80's!

How lovely is that?!  I will be shipping off the parcel on Monday.  I am so happy to be returning this to her after all of these years :)

Time to switch up the music :)



I am unsure if I have shared this before, but I come from Ireland.

Well... technically.  Ok really, I would be considered Irish diaspora.

But we've got a place here in Ontario called Erinsville, which is the only Gaeltacht area in the world outside of Ireland.  This means it is an Irish speaking region.  There are many in Ireland, and it is a constant struggle to keep the language alive.  I consider myself tri-lingual, I speak French, English, and Irish.  The Irish is sub-par to the French and English though.


2008 was the last time I visited my home.  And yes I consider it my home.  And I will return again soon.  Pray for me that my dad is feeling generous for my 20th birthday in April?





This is Ashford Castle.  I believe I read on Vanessa (A Fanciful Twist's) blog once that her friend Mr. Ireland sent her an email saying they should go here.  I laughed since I actually stayed here last time I was in Ireland.  It's a luxury hotel now, and it's BEAUTIFUL!




Look familiar?  This is Ben Bulben.  A mountain in County Sligo.  I am obsessed with Yeats.  I got to visit his grave while in Ireland, and my tattoo of the cat in the moon is inspired by him.


All this passion makes the studio a very busy place!  Will share soon :)

Congratulations if you've gotten this far.  I salute you!


Go leor de ghrá,

Jenn