Inspired by Reading book group – Irish inspiration

 Irish Country Doctor

After a long hiatus, I am thrilled to be back on track with the “Inspired by Reading” book group! 

For the month of March – we read “An Irish Country Doctor” by Patrick Taylor. It was a good read, quick, easy, and entertaining. It reminded me in some ways of a Maeve Binchy novel – in that there was a cast of characters, richly developed by the author, that I grew to like, and care about. The story line, at times poignant, at times humorous, was driven by the characters… their growth, foibles, and interactions. I could see reading other books in the “series” – I think they are loosely related based on said characters, and can each be read as a stand alone novel. 

As to inspiration – I was immediately making associations from this small town in Northern Ireland, set in the early 1960’s (?) to another fictional small town… Brigadoon. ( I KNOW Brigadoon was set in Scotland, but once I thought it I couldnt un-think it…) 

Brigadoon poster Brigadoon album

My mind seized on the idea of two. Two realities. Two visions, two versions… (In case you arent familiar with Brigadoon, the musical tells the tale of a magical Scottish village that appears into our world for one day every 100 years. Two NYC gents stumble on the town, THAT DAY. Coincidence? Hmm. Boy meets girl, falls in love, leaves, town disappears. Boy mopes in NYC, returns to find town gone… yet it reappears! True love works magic.  He joins his love in magical town, leaving our world behind.) 

So where do we stand? Irish images, but a 2 sided focal. OK! 

Irish details

To create the pendant I started with 2 copper discs, cutting in circular windows. I cut a matching circle of 1/4″ Faux Bone for the center core. The copper is stamped, patina added, tumbled, etc. The images, sealed, are glued on. The piece is assembled with balled wire/soft rivets. 

Making the bail was more challenging. The shape and wire wrap were easy enough (Thanks to Kerry Bogert for causing me to rethink colored wire.) Drilling through the FB – I went a bit crooked and the 2 holes weren’e aligned. So what would have been a piece of copper tubing through one hole – became 2 microbolts and washers, with a spot of glue for security! It DOES spin now as I planned. 

  • The thatched cottage is from an antique postcard, the blackbird is from a vintage Irish stamp. 
  • The stamped text reads “Beatha agus Failte” or “Life and Health” a traditional Irish phrase. 
  • The gems are jade, goldstone, dragon’s blood jasper

Cottage view 

Blackbird view

Thanks for taking this meandering journey with me! I know the Muse often leads us on a winding path, and I find it ironic that I was reading this bookwhile on a cruise ship in the Caribbean! No green in sight… 

Please join us – the links and images of other participants can be found at Andrew’s blog! 

 

 

 

 

 

B is for Brigid – Happy Imbolc

Brigid

Imbolc – the Feast Day of Brigid – goddess and saint. Marking the halfway point from mid-winter to the coming of spring, days are a bit longer, early blooms are soon to bud. Brigid, the goddess of fire, of inspiration, healing, poetry, smithcraft. St Brigid – keeper of the flame, Abbess of Kildare. 

The above image is from my Encyclopedia of Goddesses – my submission for the Sketchbook Project. I included many of Brigid’s symbols – the snowdrop, the Brigid’s cross…and of course a triskele design to reference her Celtic nature. To me this marks a time to start things anew. Sweeping out the old, coming out of the winter hibernation to clean, refresh, and become ready. A new outlook, a new fresh start. Time to undertake new projects and endeavors, time to come out and start to blossom. I spent today with my attention on hearth and home. Cleaning and puttering around the house, neatening, organizing.  And I spend a good bit of the morning in the ceramics studio – purging, sorting, and making ready. Ready to do new work, ready to make the magic happen. Here’s to a fresh month, a dose of inspiration – the fire in the head of the Celtic bard! ( Yeats used the phrase to reference a visionary experience. I use it to refer to the fire of creative inspiration.)

Here are a few links if you are interested in more information or celebrating Brigid’s Day today…

Brigid – Celtic Goddess

Brigid of Kildare

Imbolc 

The Wild Hunt – Brigid article

Montage video for Brigid

And let me close with this lovely peom by the wise and wonderful Caitlin Matthews: 

HEARTH OF BRIGHID PRAYER by Caitlin Matthews

Brighid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.
Beneath your mantle, gather us,
And restore us to memory.

Mothers of our mother,
Foremothers strong,
Guide our hands in yours,
Remind us how
To kindle the hearth,
To keep it bright,
To preserve the flame.
Your hands upon ours,
Our hands within yours,
To kindle the light,
Both day and night.

The Mantle of Brighid about us,
The Memory of Brighid within us,
The Protection of Brighid keeping us
From harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness,
This day and night,
From dawn til dark,
From dark til dawn.