Wednesday, 20 February 2013

And that's another Story

It's one of those nights when the ability to put words together goes out the window. So I'll leave you with the most recent "Story Dolls", where the story was written several days ago. It's entittled "Mariana and the Sparrow" - with two little ladies made in the series.. in two different colourways. 

Picture a city, buildings of concrete, perhaps a few sad looking trees along the sidewalk. Cars race by, rushing to be somewhere else, people talk on their mobile phones, oblivious to everything around them. In this city, people desire money, objects, the latest gadget. Even the trees no longer dream of forests.

Now imagine an Autumn day, Winter's chill already in the air. People pulling coats of grey and black a little tighter. There is an old lady making her way slowly to a corner newspaper stand. For many years, she has taught young minds in school, trying to harness imagination, independant thought and the power to dream. Some of her students have gone on to be great artists, musicians, writers, doctors.. but so many more have been swallowed up in grey office bulidings. Paying for her paper, she notices a sparrow on the ground, desperately trying to avoid the footfalls around it. It trails a broken wing and can not fly. With trembling hands, the old woman picks it up and cradles it to her chest. A laugh from the newspaper man, as he tells her, she is crazy for wanting to save something so common and worthless. Perhaps, she says.

In her small apartment, the old woman carefully cleans and dresses the sparrow's broken wing, setting a tiny splint on the broken wing. She lives alone, so there is no one to mock or support her. In the small window box of sleeping flowers, she makes the sparrow a nest.

Months pass, with the chills of winter making the people of the city greyer and bitter. But for the old lady it is a time of joy, as she talks to her little sparrow companion, working the wing slowly. Everynight her sleep begins to bring the most wonderful of dreams.... music, dancing, laughter, and she is happy.

Spring makes it's way into the city, and the old woman's sleeping flowers start to wake: roses -
the petals soft and pink with the sweetest scent. She knows it is time to let the little sparrow fly away and as she opens the windows, silver tears roll down her wrinkled cheeks. Time to say goodbye. The sparrow cock it's head to one side, then the other, as sparrows do, but rather than fly it casts itself down to the ground. Instead of a drab sparrow, there stands a tall, handsome young man.

" I am the King of Dreams", he tells her, "cursed by a wicked witch and sent to your world. I could only be free when someone saw the value of my life. Come be my Queen"
The old woman, shook her head in amazement, no no, no, how could someone as old as her be queen to such a man. As he took her hand, the years fell away from her and she stood, as the beautiful young woman she had been.
"Just as you saw my true heart", smiled the King, "so I have always seen yours"

At that moment, it was as if the entire city was carpeted in the pink roses from the window box. Their scent filled the city with a perfume of happiness and contentment. People stopped and remembered a treasured moment from childhood, a musician wrote a song that inspired a generation. An artist painted a picture that brought gladness to the hearts of others, a doctor found a cure for a terrible disease, and a politician worked for the common good of all.
It's a good dream - isn't it?

Tales from The Snow Queen's Garden

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Time for a Good Idea

There is a certain something in the timing of good ideas.
For some reason, the best ones always seem to arrive just as you drift off to sleep... Earth shattering ones, that can stop global warming, cure cancer and make the World a better place. Okay, maybe not that big... For me, it's a new way of doing a stitch, a design I've never thought of before and it always looks great.

Some people keep a pen and notepad by their bed, leap up and get down the outline of "the Great Idea". My great ideas seem to be scared off by the sudden flash of electrical intervention. "Course, it could also be the husband's colossal sigh and pillow thrown in my general direct. Apparently Leonardo Da Vinci would sit with a metal ball between his knees, a metal plate between his feet. As he wandered off to the Land of Nod, the ball would drop, the plate would clang and Leonardo would write down his Great Idea. Possibly even less condusive to long term marital bliss.

But ever so once in a while, an idea pops along at the right time. It might be more of a great idea, than a Great Idea.... but I'll take what I can get. Here's my recent one and the pathway it took.

Hot weather this summer has played havoc with my apple crop. Add to that some nasty windy days, and the number of windfall apples has been enormous. They are too immature to eat and jam, but fantastic for making into jelly. It is a fussy process and can be time consuming, but really worth it. One of the biggest challenges can be finding enough jars to store all the yummy jelly in. Most of my jars have been recycled from previous jams, bought over the years, jars scrounged from friends and family or calls put out at school. Truth be told, I am always a little envious of the whole lovely matching Italian jar sets, but it doesn't sit well with my ethos of treading lighter. Reuse, recycle.. my Nana would have liked that. Apologies, I digress.

My jars are all lined up on the bench, cooling, setting and popping away as the lids seal and the idea comes..... of a lovely young woman hiding pieces of her heart away in a variety of mismatched jars. Over the years, she seals more away until she is left looking down at the final sliver.... This is what she looked like

and this is her story

High in the mountains, where the snow lingers even in the warmest months, lived a lovely young woman, named Liesel. Both her parents had been lost when Liesel was but a child and she had been raised by an aunt. The Aunt was a dry and brittle woman, with a heart as twisted as the roots of an old pine tree. Every day she told the young girl, "Hide your heart away. Keep it to yourself. Once it's give, it's gone for good". And Liesel did just that, hiding a piece of her heart away anytime she felt it stir or quicken.

Now, you must know dear reader, Leisel was a kind, sweet girl with a ready smile and laughter on her lips. This caught the eye of a newcomer to the village, a young carpenter by the name of Joseph. Days passed and Leisel remaind aloof of his attentions, secretly storing pieces of her heart away from this wonderful man.

It came to pass, one bright summer's morning, that Liesel stood in the kitchen - alone with the remaining piece of her heart. On the shelves, imprisoned within their jars, her divided heart rattled with agitation. Before Leisel could seal the last piece, a knock sounded at her door. There stood Joseph, clutching a garden of wildflowers in his trembling hands. "You make me happy," he smiled earnestly, "and I could make you happy"

Leisel heard the shattering of hundreds of glass jars behind her and a rush of wind. All the pieces of her heart had broken free, pushing her into Joseph's arms. Where she stayed for the rest of her days. Happily. Ever. After
In the meantime, I've caught another idea for a story.... Therese and the Tears..... It's going to be another love story, after all - Valentine's Day is just around the corner.
SQ x