Saturday, 31 March 2012

Folksy Items of the Week - Easter Bunny Fest!

Until I started looking into this I had no idea that the Easter Bunny was as old as Anglo Saxon times, or earlier. The original pagan goddess worshipped at 'Eastre' was worshipped through her symbol - the rabbit. What better fertility symbol than hares & rabbits who can breed better than anyone in the springtime! The edible Easter bunnies were really an invention of the Germans  in the1800's & were made of pastry and sugar. German children would look forward to a visit by the Oschter Haws almost as much as Santa himself! However, you had leave out an Easter bonnet or basket for the Easter bunny to leave you some brightly coloured eggs.
Well the Easter bunny definitely seems to have visited Folksy this week!

Just spotted a bunny rabbit in my garden. I don't think she's the Easter bunny though as she's not left any colourful eggs. Just a bunch of little brown droppings after munching her way through some of my spring flowers! Still can't complain as if you read my last blog post you would know that rabbit droppings are good for fertilizing the soil!!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Mythical Mushrooms

Following on from last week's blog about fairies it seemed logical to have a chat about mushrooms & toadstools too. They have long being regarded & illustrated as the dwellings of fairies. This probably comes from the belief around mushroom rings that these were created magically by the fairies.

Now don't step into one as you mighty die young, disappear or be forced to dance with the fairies until you drop dead or go mad! Some believe you have to run around the ring 9 times ( but not 10 as that doesn't work!) & under a full moon & in the direction that the sun travels in the day...have you got all that? Well a simpler way may be the belief that if you wear your hat back to front that'll confuse the fairies!

There's still a lot of belief though, that a mushroom (fairy) ring brings a lot of luck. There are some that believe that sheep eating fairy ring grass, will then flourish & that crops grow better around them.

However the simple scientific explanation is that fungi like toadstools & mushrooms are nitrogen hungry & so as they deplete an area the successful spores are those that are further out & so a gradual ring forms becuase in the center there is no food for them! However if the soil where they are successfully growing is nitrogen rich you can see why those crops might be doing so well!

Knowing your mushrooms is a dying art & there are few now that would chance knowing the differrence between the hugely poisonous ones from the safe & nutritous ones. Any way nowadays it is easy to grow your own with mushroom kits & be content that these ones will not kill you - fairies or not!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Folksy Item of the Week - Fairies

Well, in these recessionary times, there are many sellers resorting to wondering where the sales fairy is. So that is the theme for this week - Fairies.

These mythical & magical beings or creatures have their origins in the mists of Celtic stories. The cute little fairy, complete with wings, which we see depicted today do not necessarily relate to their old world image of being part of 'the dead' or demoted angels. Therefore more noted for being mischievous or malicious, especially kidnapping people & children.Therefore one needed protection from fairies.

One of the most popular forms of protection was cold iron - maybe that's why haematite jewellery is so popular! Other means to evade the harmful tricks of fairies was to pluck a four leaf clover ( if you're lucky enough to have actually found one!), lying still, crosses, bells or hanging an iron horseshoe above your door to stop them entering your house. maybe that's why four leaf clovers are so rare...someone has been plucking them over the centuries! Also growing a Rowan tree near your house was believed to ward them off.

So how do you spot a fairy? Well as their favourite attire is meant to be green, you are going to struggle out in the garden or woods. Watch out for fairy rings- those circles of mushrooms.However, if you just happen to have a stone that has a hole in it created naturally eg: with water flow, then peering through it may just reveal those fairies. You could also just visit Folksy & type in fairies in the search!

There are some good fairies - notably the brownies, who were a household fairy, doing the chores all night if you left them out some food. Clearly that is where I have been going wrong all these years..only leaving out the table scraps as I was too tired to wash up! Better leave the honey pot out tonight...I wonder if a brownie will come before the dog discovers the honey! Apparently they also take off if you give them clothing - was this the inspiration behind a certain house elf in Harry Potter?

So , presumably the sales fairy is a good fairy too , but undoubtedly gets easily offended & takes off too when in a huff.  Well, let's hope she gets over her sulk soon & that someone knows what is needed to entice her back to all those handcrafted sellers out there!

Monday, 12 March 2012

CRAFTfest Spring 2012

CRAFTfest is a great online venue  for displaying your wares. It lasts a week & is held several times a year. Another way to raise you profile if you are a handcrafter! You can find out more about it on their blog;

Here's a snippet of some of my items for sale on CRAFTfest;

Remember if any of these items are gone by the time you look, you can just contact me on my website