One last peek at Red Rat as the Year of the Rat ended yesterday. As you may remember this rat sculpture was fabricated by Rhett out of part of our old 1969 Chevy pickup. (May it rest in peace .) Rat Rat sits on our kitchen table. And so, with the first day of Year of the Ox , I have no photo of an Ox to show you. Neither of us have 'whipped' one up yet. Instead, I chose Lucky Bird to share with us pages from an imaginary Chinese pothi (pilgrim's handbook). Canaries are kept in cages and act as oracles for passing pilgrims by selecting scraps of paper in the bottom of the cage that have messages on them for each pilgrim.
The traits associated with someone born in a Year of the Ox are traits that we all could aspire to exhibit in the year ahead of us. Hardworking. Dependable. Calm. Modest. Unswerving patience. Tireless in their work. Capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaining. Filled with common sense with feet planted firmly on the ground. Not extravagant. Caring soul. Kind. What do you think?
And so, instead of a page from a pothi to remind us as pilgrims on this year's journey, Lucky Bird is suggesting that we wear a tag with the image of a hand on it. The hand of helping our neighbor whether across the street or across the ocean. A hand of peace. A hand of caring concern. No more either you are for us or against us. No more 'us or them' mentality. A 'we' mentality instead. The printed image on this tag which, of course, Rhett fabricated the case and lens for, comes from the beaded brooch you see in the image below. The tag is 1 and 3/4" across and comes on a nickel plated steel ball chain which is 24" long. These will be for sale along with a charm sized version of the image on my website in the following days but if you can not wait for that , Missouri Bluffs in Weston, MO has some for sale. Their phone number is 816) 640-2770.
This is the brooch from a collection I beaded in 1996. It measures 7" long and 4" wide. Beaded in glass seed beads on painted canvas with mixed media baubles hanging from the bottom. An old watch face and old pressed glass button made to look like a Chinese coin, and a pot metal lucky horseshoe are sewn to the beaded portion of the brooch.
Here is a close-up view of the printed version of the hand that I use for the tags and charms.
I hope all of our neighbors in China made it back home for the festivities with their families.
Happy New Year !