Friday, 17 January 2014

Slowly into January



Happy New Year!

This past weekend we travelled up to the north coast of Scotland to a small fishing village where they bring in the new year with a fire festival every year on the night of the 11th of January (see here and here for previous posts about that). The gentle disjunction of time between the Gregorian calendar, and the Julian calendar, which is still followed in the fishing town with the fire festival, adds a welcome pause to the year.



Slowly I am coming back to routine though. Or making new routines perhaps. I am hoping this year will bring new skills and lots of good painting and prints. I've decided to start sharing photos of works-in-progress over here (though, I'll still be posting on this weblog as normal).


I suppose it is almost a tradition around here to start having photos of the windowsills at this time of year.


We are having a mild winter, punctuated with wind storms and threats of flooding, but all around town, the plum blossom trees have been flowering since mid-December.


A couple of months back, I made a himmeli, which is the geometric mobile you can see in the photos. (I made it from cheap drinking straws and old bits of string by following this.) It is a traditional Finnish Christmas decoration, and so it probably should have been taken down by now, but we've come to enjoy it's incessant whirling and twisting in front of the draughty windows, so I think it will stay up a while longer at least.


I know it's a little late, but thank you for being here in 2013.

11 comments:

  1. OH, I think that could be a permanent installation, so cool!!

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    1. I know... I love the bold geometrical loveliness of it. And it is interesting from all angles. It was really easy to make!

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  2. I love the photos, especially the last one. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you! When I took that last photo it felt like we lived inside a cloud, it was so misty and murky outside. I hope January has been treating you well.

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  3. Jodi, I am so very surprised and pleased to your himmeli here! And you made it yourself! I've thought of making one but haven't found the right kind of straw here, and also doubt I'd have the patience.

    Those fire festivals sound so very close to the ancient earth and nature rituals of the Nordic peoples. Wish I could have been there.

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

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    1. I thought you might like to see it! It's true, they are traditionally made of straw, right? I think there are even other plastic straws that would be nicer than the ones I used, but these were the only ones at the supermarket. :)

      The fire festivals here are lovely, the best way to start the new year. It really makes such a difference!

      We usually go to two of them: one on the 1st of January in the town next to Aberdeen where they walk through the town swinging fireballs, and one on the 11th of January which is much smaller, but more fiery and definitely my favourite of the two. You can see pictures from them if you follow the links back to the old posts. There is also a fire festival up in Shetland which I have never been to, but where they set a Viking boat on fire each January. I think it might be a bit cheesy, but some day I hope to go and see anyway.

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  4. What a beautiful mobile; had you not mentioned drinking straws, I would never have noticed. One of my favourite 'interior decorations' are the differing refractions of light throughout the day, these pictures have got me thinking about how to make more of them. In other words, this is an inspiring post, as always - I am still remembering the collection of photos taken from museums from a few months ago.
    If you have time to comment back - what are those fire festivals called? How intriguing.
    Wishing you a creatively fruitful 2014!

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    1. Hi Ane,

      I know what you mean about enjoying the differing light refractions throughout the day... me too! I am glad if this got you thinking about new ways to experience that.
      The fire festivals are called 'The Burning of the Clavie', which takes place in Burghead, and the 'Stonvehaven Fireballs'. It always looks as if there are lots of people taking photos, so I am sure you will find a fair few if you search for those terms. I also linked to some old posts from I'd made about them in past years which have more info and photos. Enjoy!

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  5. oh, i love this mobile--as always, you find the most surprising ways to add a little magic in every corner...your windowsill entire is lovely, the plants look very happy; i am trying to make better friends with mine :)
    i am off now, with curiosity, to look at your new blog?

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  6. I was totally gonna make a himmeli this year I have the reeds and everything, but what do you know...I ran out of time around Christmas. I think you should leave it up. It's so lovely and thoroughly impressive.

    ps. I left you a reply in my blog that I'd love if you would have the time to read. Thank you for your comment.

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