Thursday, May 6, 2010

A List of Spring Magic

Here in the South, for about ten days every Spring, we are trapped like a flies in a yellow jar.  Like a duststorm of dry mustard, pollen descends from the pine trees, coating everything, everything, with a dusty layer of brassy powder.
We close our houses up tight, we brush the dogs every night.  Apple’s black coat still turns rather green, so baths are more frequent.  All the cars become the same undesirable colour, and exhuberant sneezes are heard in every quarter.
And then one day, the rains come.  On a still afternoon we hear it, that sudden crack of thunder, the bugle call from a calvary of raindrops that fall from the skies to wash away all our gloom.  Windows are flung open, happy sighs are heard, the dogs shake off and smile.  It is now well and truly Spring and we walk down fresh streets newly bathed and glistening with all the primary colours of May.

There is newness all around us.   The garden is a avian nursery,  baby wrens are just waking in the pink birdhouse on the porch,  and a pair of ruby-feathered cardinals are tending to their brand new brood in the rose bush.  The Songwriter rescued, and relocated, seven baby opossum from the eager curiousity of Edward only last week... a drama that took up an entire day... and at dusk the garden is wiggly with baby rabbits.  And, in the really true spirit of Spring, friends had a brand new baby only last week.

So, I decided it was high time for a new favourites list.  Ten little bits of magic and wonder to compliment the season, to bring smiles and set imaginations aglow.


1.  Garden  Statuary
There is a large stone frog that guards a flowerbed in my front garden, seated like a prince beneath blue sage and pink foxgloves. Whist deep in the back garden, a large copper frog the size of a boy scout nestles under ancient oaks and poplars, seated on a stone toadstool, reading a book he’ll never finish.  Every garden should have such creatures.  Here are some truly magical ones.  They're by artist, David Goode.  
Aren't they wonderful?


2.  The Whimsy of a Finger Puppet
I thought this would be perfect for a child.  But the more I consider it, I think an adult, like myself perhaps, might love it even more.


3.  Jewelry
In the movie To Catch A Thief, Grace Kelly’s character said she never wore jewelry, explaining, “I don’t like the feel of something cold against my skin”.   
 I say this necklace is worth the risk.


4.  Sunhats 
I always were sunscreen, with the highest SPF I can find.  It’s the best skincare advice I can give.  But to be safe, I also wear hats in the sun.  Big, floppy hats worthy of Cannes.  
This one is divine, don’t you think?


5.  Happy Books
There is something about May that makes me want to read books that make me smile.  Or perhaps to reread old favourites from days gone by.  
Here’s two of the best.


6.  Frocks
I adore the clothing of wintertime.  The suits, the shawls, the boots, the gloves.  I feel more inclined to dress like an adult, more polished, more sedate.  But with the warm weather I find that I dress mostly in play clothes.  Linen shirts, pink trousers, a strand of pearls and bare feet.  When I do have to dress up, I want to wear somthing floaty, something enchanting, something more apt to be called a frock.  Like this dress by David Ellwand.  I can just imagine it, with flowers in my hair and ten bare toes, perfectly polished in red.  Sadly, Mr. Ellwand only designs clothes for the wee folk amongst us.  But his work is marvelous.


7.  Tiny Purses
I tend to carry large handbags.  In summer they are ususally woven straw bags that I have to confess, I adore.  I’ve tried to fit everything into tiny bags, really I have.  But between wallets and lipstick, journals and dog biscuits, a hardcover book and a wee bit of knitting, it just never seems to work.   However, these lovely handmade purses make me want to give it another go.  I think they are perfect for an elegant spring dinner at an outside cafe.


 8Ships and Birds
Every now and then I come across an artist that rocks me back on my heels.  Someone with a unique eye, who creates things marvelous to behold.  Take a look at this chap.  Handmade by artist, Ann Wood, he and his fellow owls sell out the moment she places them into her shop.  I know, I’ve tried to get there before they’re gone.  I am partial to this diabolical black gentleman, but here are owls of all colours, as well as magnificent handmade ships that you just have to see to believe. Wander around her shop and her enchanting blog and see if you don’t agree that she’s a real find.


9. Fairy Shoes
Years ago, in one of my favourite antique haunts, I spied a pair of tiny little shoes.   Very old, covered in green suede, their tiny toes pointed upwards with feathers on the end.  Entranced, I asked the proprieitess about them.  She was as intrigued as I.  Were they for a child, or an elf?  An infant, or a fairy?  All I knew was that they had to be mine.  They have rested atop a stack of books on a table near my fireplace ever since, a source of wonderment each time I gaze on them.  Below is their photograph, and I’m so pleased to say that now I just might be able to create a similar pair - brand-new,  for someone special.  Artist and blogger Annette Emms has provided a pattern for the enchanting fairy shoes that she makes.
  What a treat!  I’ve ordered mine. 
 Go get yours HERE.


10.  Babies in Fairy Hats
As I stated above, a couple of friends such had a brand-new baby daughter. 
 The ultimate celebration of Spring.  
Here she is, just a few days old, modeling the knitted hat I made for her. 
 Doesn’t she look like a little fairy herself?


What are your favourite things this spring? 
Do share!