|Irish Celtic Harp|
|Vintage Postcard Illustration|
|Daisy's Celtic Princess|
Daisy's lovely, third and last St. Patrick's Day gown was made from a gorgeously soft sateen. The shamrocks were snipped out by hand as iron on appliques. The gown gathers at the empire waist by a hidden (underside) casing with silk ribbon running through it. A double-sided, hand-tied silk ribbon belts around the casing gathers. A gold satin ribbon rounds the border of the hemline. Little pink slippers with gold buckles and silk bows were placed on her feet. A "whimple" of Swiss lace lays on her head under the cap, or crown, of gold jacquard. The collar is a separate piece of the same jacquard.
I'd fully intended silk ribbon rosettes for the cap, but due to time, pink millinery roses were added. I'll add the silk ribbons later. There have been times when my costuming has rivaled the illustration, but in this case, I vote for the illustration. Its a lovely costume, and no amount of time and expense was spared, but this one challenged me to the point of frustration. If I'd worked on it another week, it would not have been any better than it turned out. Am I hard on myself? You bet! I'm an artist first, a costumer of dolls second.
While creating this costume, and the two others, I discovered that my dearest friend, Betsy, was taking her son to Ireland for a holiday before he entered his second term of med school. After looking around a bit for a little Celtic Harp on my own, I asked her if she would have a look while touring Ireland. When she came home she had quite the surprise for me.
We both discussed perhaps painting the harps gold, but I would almost feel as if I were desecrating the piece since it is so precious and true. I'll think about it. If you look closely (just click on the photo) you'll see that shamrocks were carved into is as well.
Ah! The lovely little green shamrock! The term "Shamrock" derives from the Irish word "seamrog", which translates to "little clover". Theory holds that the druids, or Celtic priests, looked at the shamrock as a sacred plant that was potent against malevolent spirits because its leaves formed a triad, three being the mystical number in the Celtic religion. (See my last blog for the history of St. Patrick and the shamrock.)
On the luckier side, the four-leaf clover has a long history as a lucky charm, as its petals are often said to represent faith, hope, love and luck. The fourth leaf is a product of genetic mutation and thought to occur in one of every 10,000 clovers.
|They dance on clovers!|
As I was creating the three costumes (and now I know its was meant to be!), I was also musing over clovers and shamrocks, and went looking for the four-leaf clover I found as a child after being inspired by my mother's charms and her stories of lucky clovers. I still remember those summer days spent in the side yard of the house, crouched in the sun, going through all the clovers growing there. I was so happy when I found a real four-leaf clover, so I tucked it between Kleenex tissue and the top of a plastic box lid. And all these years later, it is still there, preserved.
It is hard to describe the feeling of defeat when all that you try and all that you spend towards that project concludes just hours under a self-imposed deadline. Writing is my salve. This is why I journal on the creative process. It wraps up a project and allows me to breathe again. I have to say that upon unearthing and rediscovering the magic of these trinkets of the past, our luck is what we make it. Find your luck by believing.
Miss E. Mouse
Still south I went and west and south again,
Through Wicklow from the morning till the night,
And far from the cities, and the sites of men,
Lived with the sunshine and the moon's delight.
I knew the stars, the flowers, and the birds,
The grey and wintry sides of many glens,
And did but half remember human words,
In converse with the mountains, moors and ferns.
I am Ireland
I am Ireland:
I am older that the Old Woman of Beare.
Great my glory:
I that bore Cuchalainn the valiant.
Great my shame:
My own children that sold their mother.
I am Ireland:
I am lonelier than the Old Woman of Beare.
|The Celtic Princess|