Sunday, August 30, 2015

Gizella's New Look

It seems like, a lot of times, I make something for one of my dolls, but then after its done I think it suits another doll better. That is what happened with this wig. I originally made it for Isabelle, but I think it is prettier on Gizella. So, here is Gizella wearing it - sorry the lighting isn't better, it was really gloomy yesterday when I took these!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Holly Faerie

Holly Faerie is a special little faerie I made for Christmas, but she is really suitable for any time of the year. The holly shrub is an ancient plant that has been used for decoration, ceremonial purposes, and even as medicine, and there is much lore surrounding it. Here is a small sampling of that history:

It was considered by the Druids to be a holy tree, associated with the spirit of vegetation and the waning forces of nature. This was personified in the Holly King, who ruled the year from mid-summer solstice to mid-winter solstice. They used to advise people to take holly into their homes at the beginning of winter to shelter the elves and Faeries (who could join people at this time of year without causing them harm), but to be sure to remove the holly completely before the eve of Imbolc, because leaving just one leaf in the house after that was believed to bring misfortune.

Nine holly leaves gathered on a Friday after midnight were wrapped in a clean cloth to protect against its needles, and tied up using nine knots. It was thought that if you placed this under your pillow, it would make dreams come true.

Christian lore states that the palm leaves of the crowds in Jerusalem turned into twigs of Holly when their cries of "Hosanna" changed to "Crucify him!". In another legend, holly was said to spring up under Christ's feet as he walked - the spines of the leaves were symbolic of the crown of thorns, and the red berries were drops of His blood. Because of this, the holly has been called "Christ's Thorn" or "Holy Tree". 

Holly is used as a Christmas decoration all over the world, a tradition stemming from the early Romans, who sent boughs of holly (along with other gifts) to their friends during Saturnalia (festival of Saturn), which was held around December 17 as part of the winter solstice celebrations. 

According to Pliny the Elder, planting a holly near a house or farm would repel poison and protect it from lightening and witchcraft. He also said that the flowers of a holly can cause water to freeze. 

Medicinally, an infusion of holly leaves was given to treat influenza, pneumonia, smallpox and bronchitis, to name a few. The juice of fresh leaves was used to treat jaundice, and when sniffed was said to stop a runny nose. The berries can cause vomiting if ingested, but they were used in powdered form to check bleeding.

Now, about my Holly Faerie. She is made of Japanese glass seed beads, organic cotton thread & fiber fill, ahimsa silk thread, and Swarovski pearls. She is about 9 inches tall. And here she is: