February 4, 2013

Karin Taylor, Artist... Welcome to her world of colour!

Art by Karin Taylor

Karin, who hails from Australia,  began her her work as an artist in 2002.   As she states on her blog, her journey began as she was "exploring the world of mixed media" and taking her time "to develop the style and nature of the artist" she was to become. 

Her art is so full of colour, joie de vivre, and life that it really makes you feel like jumping into the picture and savoring each brush stroke of detail.  As soon as I saw her art, it made me feel happy and light, like a cloud.  I began to look for more of her artwork on the internet and stumbled upon her website. Please have a look here (Karin Taylor on Redbubble) to learn more about Karin, the artist and her lively and animated artwork. 

All of the artwork below is Karin's and there is a link to her page on Redbubble at the bottom of this post.  Please take some time to check out her page, because she has sooo many beautiful pieces. She even has calendars, as well variety of cards, prints, t-shirts and other items that are available for purchase.  Not only do her items make wonderful gifts to your yourself, but also to your friends and family, so that you can share her beautiful artwork with others around you! HERE is the link to her shop. 

You can also find Karin here on Tumblr and see more of her lovely and AMAZING artwork....
And on FACEBOOK here.  

You can view her art on her website on this page:   PORTFOLIO.

This one is my FAVOURITE!

February 2, 2013

Cadlemas Day... The Origin of Groundhog Day...

Sited from this page here

Candlemas Day (the Christian festival of lights )
candle2nd February is Candlemas Day.
This ancient festival marks the midpoint of winter, halfway between the shortest day and the spring equinox.
Candlemas is a traditional Christian festival that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of her son Jesus. On this day, Christians remember the presentation of Jesus Christ in the Temple. Forty days after the birth of a Jewish boy, it was the custom to take him to the temple in Jerusalem to be presented to God by his thankful parents.
In pre-Christian times, this day was known as the 'Feast of Lights' and celebrated the increase strength of the life-giving sun as winter gave way to spring.
How did the 2nd February come to be called Candlemas?
It was the day of the year when all the candles, that were used in the church during the coming year, were brought into church and a blessing was said over them - so it was the Festival Day (or 'mass') of the Candles.
Candles were important in those days not only because there was no electric lights. Some people thought they gave protection against plague and illness and famine. For Christians, they were (and still are) a reminder of something even more important. Before Jesus came to earth, it was as if everyone was 'in the dark'. People often felt lost and lonely. Afraid. As if they were on their own, with no one to help them. Then came Jesus with his message that he is with his followers always ready to help and comfort them. As if he is a guiding light to them in the darkness. Christians often talk of Jesus as 'the light of the World' - and candles are lit during church services to remind Christians of this.
candles held during a candlemas church servicecandle
Candlemas is a day which holds many different customs.
The Romans had a custom of lighting candles to scare away evil spirits in the winter.
One of the most interesting custom took place in Scotland. In the olden days, Candlemas was the day when children brought candles to school so that the classrooms could have light on dull days. As time went on, gas lighting took over from candle light. The children took money to the teacher who was suppose to spend it on sweets and cakes for the children to eat. The boy or girl taking in the most money were declared Candlemas King and Queen and they 'ruled' for six weeks. They had the power to make one whole afternoon a week a playtime and they could also let anyone they wished off punishment.
Other names for Candlemas Day
Candlemas's Day also has two other names. One is the 'Presentation of Christ in the Temple'. The other is the 'Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary'. Both these names come from special events in the life of baby Jesus.
Candlemas Day Weather-lore, beliefs and sayings
People believe that Candlemas Day predicted the weather for the rest of the winter. The weather proverbs express the idea that a fine bright sunny Candlemas day means that there is more winter to come, whereas a cloudy wet stormy Candlemas day means that the worst of winter is over.
Weather Proverbs
If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won't come again.
If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,
The half o the winter's to come and mair;
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,
The half o the winter's gane at Yule.
Farmer's Proverbs
'A farmer should, on Candlemas Day,
Have half his corn and half his hay.'
'On Candlemas Day if the thorns hang adrop,
You can be sure of a good pea crop.'
German Proverb.
The badger peeps out of his hole on Candlemas Day,
and, if he finds snow, walks abroad; but if he sees the sun shining he draws back into his hole."
In America the same story is told about the groundhog or woodchuck.
Candlemas Superstitions
A candle which drips on one side when carried in church on Candlemas, denotes a death during the year of someone dear.
Snowdrops are considered to be unlucky if brought into the house before Candlemas Day, representing a parting or death.
Any Christmas decorations not taken down by Twelfth Night (January 5th) should be left up until Candlemas Day and then taken down.

Le Chandeleur/Candlemas

The History and Traditions of “La Chandeleur
From this site - Here.
Candlemas like many celebrations around the nativity is related to the light but also to purification, fertility and prosperity. The word "Chandeleur" comes precisely from candelarum, candle in Latine, according to a tradition of lighting candles at midnight as a symbol of purification In Roman times, Candlemas was celebrated from February 2-15, to honor the god of fertility Lupercus during the Lupercalia. It was a rite of purification
The Celts celebrated Imbolc on February 1st. This ritual honored the goddess Brigit, celebrating the purification and fertility at the end of winter. Peasants carrying torches roamed the fields and moving in procession, praying the goddess to purify the soil before sowing.
Pope Gelasius I in the 5th century replaced the old pagan rite of Lupercalia, a rite of light by a legacy of Roman religious festival, with the festival of Candlemas. One part of the ritual which finds its origin in a Hebrew traditionl was that a first boy born had to be presented to the Lord by his mother, 40 days after birth, with an offering of two doves. The rite observed by the Holy Family is described in the Bible.
In churches, torches are replaced by blessed candles to push away evil and recalls that Christ is the light of the world. The Christians then bring the candles at home to protect their homes.
Homemade "Crêpes"
La Chandeleur, Crêpe Day
At that time of the year, when Candelmas was celebrated, winter planting was beginning. So people used the surplus of flour to make “crêpes”, a symbol of prosperity for the coming year! It is said that Pope Gelasius I, which Christianized Candlemas, comforted the pilgrims arriving in Rome with “crêpes”.The shape and the color of the “crêpes” evokes the sun. Indeed “crêpes” are golden discs like the sun. Therefore, the Chandeleur has become with the years, the day of “crêpes”. It is especially loved by children. The tradition is that “the cook has to skip the “crêpes with a gold coin in hand (a Louis d’Or). If he succeeds, his house will be prospering all year long. Another custom, which is much less common, is to take the first “crêpe” and put it in the closet!
The most important remains to share good time with friends and family, around a greatly loved specialty: the crêpes, which should of course be homemade!
Perfect “Crepes” without lumps: Ingredients (10/15 crepes):
- 300 g flour
- 3 eggs
- 3 / 4 liter of milk
- 3 tablespoons oil Key steps: Beat the eggs. Mix the flour with the salt and make a well in center. Add eggs and mix with a whip. Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Whip vigorously. If the batter has lumps, the mix or pass through a fine sieve. Let it rest about 15 minutes It is ready! Now comes the hard part of cooking it
Heat a nonstickpan. Rub the bottom of your pan with oiled paper towel or put a small piece of butter. Pour a little bit of the dough in the bottom of the pan with a small ladle, turn the pan to evenly distribute the dough into a homogeneous disk. Cook the pancake on one side. Loosen the edges of the crepe and then return it. Cook it on the new side and then put it on a plate. You can add salty things like ham eggs and cheese. If you put all those things together in a crepe, it is called a crepe “complete”. You can also fill it with sweet ingredients like jam, sugar, honey or mapple syrup. One of the best sweet crêpes is with salted butter, sugar and lemon!

Happy Groundhog Day!

So, while Punxsatauney Phil sleeps peacefully in Pennsylvania... I'm already on the morning of Groundhog Day... and at 8:30 a.m. it's very, very cloudy and gray, so NO SHADOW folks!

YAYYY!! This means that SPRING IS ON ITS WAY!!!