Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Misaki, The Sparrow Girl

Well, it looks like Sister Stamps is releasing another set of images.  Yay!  I have been peeking in on what my sister has been creating and it's just great!  Love her crafts!

Just thought I would share a little of what inspired the sparrow image, Misaki, that is part of this set.  As I was coming up with images, I remembered when I was a little girl when my parents would take me to the Honolulu zoo.  We would go around and see all the animals, which was always fun for us kids.  But the part I liked best was when we would find a good spot under a tree and lay out the gozas so we can rest while we ate lunch.  The reason why this was my favorite time at the zoo was because it was when all the birds would come around us, looking for crumbs.  Mostly pigeons but also a lot of mynahs and sparrows.  I would sit still and wait as they gathered in a large group making their way closer to us.  Then, when it seemed like a vast sea of birds, I would jump up and chase after them.  At first, it's like an explosion of wings hitting the air, and then a rustle of movement as the remaining few scurry away to a safer position.  I would run in zig zags, not really trying to catch them, but just to scare them enough to get them moving.  I used to love this.  I guess it was kind of mean, now that I think about it, but it was great fun!
Now when I see a small kid chasing birds and laughing,  I can't help smiling as it brings me back to the days of visiting the zoo.

When drawing Misaki, I didn't want to risk seeming too "mean" about chasing birds, so I had her kind of just running (playing) alongside them while they fly away.  Her arms are spread out because I thought of her wanting to fly off with them so she is imagining that she is flying too.

Anyway, this is a short post but just wanted to share this regarding the release.   Thanks for stopping in and enjoy the new release of Sister Stamps.

Monday, January 6, 2014

La Befana

It's tradition here in Italy to hang up stockings on the eve of Epiphany (January 6th), much like we do in America in hope that Santa will fill them with treats and presents if we were good.  In the same way, Italian children hope that the Befana will come to fill their stockings.  La Befana, according to legend, is an old woman that flies on her broom and comes to each house to fill stockings with either treats (if the children were good) or coal (if they were bad).  Although this image sounds like our idea of a witch on Halloween, the Befana is simply an old woman that kind of looks like a witch but is not magical or scary according to the story.

I was curious about this tradition so I did some research. Apparently, the name "befana" is coming from "Epiphany" – Epifania, in Italian. The three Wise Men, stopped along the way to visit the infant Jesus, and asked this old lady for directions to Bethlehem.  They asked if she wanted to go with them but she declined, worried about how hard that journey could be. But after the Wise Men left, she regretted her decision and decided to go on her own. But not knowing exactly where Jesus was, she went to all the houses in the area and decided to leave gifts wherever she found a child, to be sure not to miss Him.

I thought today was the perfect day to share a craft done some time ago, but put out right at this time of the year. I started from a template from SVGCuts and adjusted it in order to have a stocking to hang on a door knob. I've seen a lot of treat boxes on door hangers but couldn't find one in a stocking shape. Thought it would be cute if you wanted to give to someone in an office.  It was originally a stocking-shaped box with a lid.   I embellished it with a lace file also from SVGcuts but altered.  The lace was only on one side to be used as a border but I wanted the lace to be on both sides.  I also added slits in the middle so that I could weave a ribbon through.

Happy Epiphany to everyone!