Thursday, 26 March 2015

Mad as a March Hare

A little over a week ago I applied - and was accepted at the last minute due to a cancellation - to a popular market.

With just one week to prepare, I found myself hare raising and clay making, day and night… all while I battled the onset of the flu.
It’s been some years since I caught the dreaded bug, but, I’ve been run down and my defences are low, so, I guess it was my time for a bout.
Couldn’t have come at a worse time. But then, when is there a “good time” for the flu?

Downing cup after cup of my herbal “swamp water” brew, to reduce the time the flu hung on, I glazed for days in preparation for firing.  Then, I cut, stitched, stuffed, painted and patched hares.
I had intended to finish three… oh how hopefully optimistic I was.  No matter how I tried, the flu slowed me down.
With aching sinuses, I sneezed, wheezed, coughed and spluttered my way through the week.  All I wanted was to go to ground, rest and allow my body to recover – I’ve always considered that’s the best remedy.

So, once more, I decided to finish one soft creation rather than cobble together three hastily. They deserve better than that.

Currently, there is a tangle of striped legs and coffee stained calico paws in my sewing cabinet, waiting to be buttoned onto soft bodies, and fringed lashes to be attached to bright eyes.

On the eve of the market, with ceramics finished and packed up, I turned my attention to the pieces of unborn leveret on my sewing table.  I bent my head and worked long into the night.

At 5am on market morning, my ebony hare emerged out of the darkness into the dawn.
I drew a sigh at the look of her. Beautiful.

Harry and Elliot thought so too :)

A few hours later, feeling as though someone had thrown sand in my eyes, and with hubby shaking his head at my ability to stand upright, we arrived at our location and set up our stall.

We were blessed with perfect weather – sunshine and just the slightest of breezes.
As the hours rolled on, we chatted to our lovely stall neighbours and happily greeted customers. Ceramics were popped into gift bags and there were many admiring comments about our long eared trio.

One lady took quite a shining to my newest addition. She passed by the stall twice, hesitating each time and cast longing glances at her.
When she passed by the third time, the look of hope on her face turned to disappointment. The dark hare had gone.
Sold to another stallholder. A lovely young lass with lavender tinted hair who creates the most exquisite black & white fine art pen illustrations. I wish I’d remembered to take a photo of the two of them. But, as usual, I was a little overcome. Or maybe was I just plain exhausted.
I prefer to think it was the former. And I hope I will always feel a little tug at my heartstrings when I sell a textile creation. I get to know their personality as they are brought forth into the world.

There was something in the back of my mind in the wee hours of that morning as I battled flu and defied sleep. The small voice within that pushed me on to finish - no matter how I longed for bed.  For, this particular hare was destined to be found by that particular girl on that particular day. I like to believe that.

And now as I write this late at night, the kiln is firing a load of bisque ware, which I must glaze over this coming weekend and prepare for the big Easter Festival Market next Saturday.  Then, I will attend an autumn market the following weekend.

Already, 2015 seems to be marching on steadily.

Soon, my thoughts will turn to new characters, as they all jostle for attention in my head. One at a time please, I tell them. But my mind isn’t quiet as they chatter at me.
Who knows which one will make their debut.  But for now, they know they have to take a back seat while I tend to the promised Easter Hares.

After that, the creative floodgates open...


  1. your Ebony was/is a lovely lady!

    glad for the girl who got her. sad for the lady who let her get away. hope the lady learns a lesson, here.

    do wish you would take a wee bit of time, to rest though. don't want to just keep getting one 'germ' after another, you know. and become so very rundown.


    1. I like to think that little ebony hare went to the right person, and perhaps made sure the other lady didn't have the right amount of cash in her wallet. Who knows how mysteriously the Universe works...

      I'd like a day or two off completely away from studio, but not for now. Too much to be done.
      Perhaps sometime after easter/autumn markets.
      A trip back to Walhalla maybe :)

  2. oh, Vicki what a wonder your ebony hare...yes, I do believe that a thread connects...that what we "stitch" and all...a translation of whispers and songs of the human heart. All this is recognized in your charming hares. You are truly a remarkable maker of all these things. Lemon Ginger Tea is in order, too. :)

    1. Thank you Charlene :)
      I believe that too. My muse is like a siren ~ she sings, sighs, whispers words and steers me where I need to go. I've learned to trust in that and lay aside my conscious mind at such times.
      Ginger and lemon are part of my herbal blend, and I believe they, along with my other herbs, are healing me nicely. Especially considering that I'm hearing people are taking up to two weeks to get/feel better - this seems to be a particularly nasty strain.

  3. Your ebony hare is BEAUTIFUL. She looks to be a cheeky charmer too (something about the look in her eyes). I am sure that she and her new friend have a life-time of shared adventures ahead.
    Good luck with your busy, busy period ahead. And I hope you have kicked that flu firmly to the curb.

    1. Thank you, EC.
      Little ebony hare charmed quite a few people on Saturday with her "come hither" look :)
      I'm sure she and her new friend will get along famously. I imagine that wee hare sits in the young lass's studio and watches over her as she draws...

      Flu is almost gone now. Just a small residual cough, which cayenne pepper blend is seeing to nicely.

  4. was her name belle? because she was so beautiful?
    they just get better and better... or rather is it ... more and more REAL!
    i cannot believe you did all that with the flu. you are a little soldier. if it ever came to a fight i'd want you on MY side!
    please though... the flu is not just a mean old cold. it attacks. and it's vicious. and rest is imperative.
    if you don't... it will find a way to shut you down. and you don't want that!
    i'm so thrilled that your market was a success though! worth all the blood sweat and tears.
    i have to remember the cayenne pepper blend!
    here i am giving advice to a HEALER! LOLOLOL! boy. that takes canoodles. luckily though i don't have any canoodles.
    that's my own word for them. after all this is probably a PG 13 rated blog.
    love dearest girl. and great hugs across that wide blue sea to you. XOXOXOXOXO♥ and a special nose kiss for my blue boy.

    1. I think Ebony is/was a good name for her. I'm not sure what her new human friend calls her though :)
      Thank you for your concern, Tam. Feeling much better now, residual cough is less and less.
      And no, this isn't a PG 13 blog, so canoodles is a very polite term for them ;)

      Hugs to you dear wren. And, heaps of nose kisses to Jack delivered.

  5. I've been thinking of you often. I was tempted to email but I knew you had to be crazy busy and now I learn you are/were sick.
    I see in the comments that you are feeling better but I'm still sending healing thoughts and energy out to you! xoxo
    I LOVE Ebony. Did you use black fabric or is she painted?
    I need to send you some old photos of some of my dolls/cats. They were much more primitive than yours. I love your style, it's so unique and COOL!
    I am trying to focus just on paintings and doing paper cut-outs but you really inspire me when I see your hares.
    I remember once going to an Art/Craft Fair and coming to a booth that was towards the end. It was set up as long and narrow rather than wide and as I walked towards the back there was a big suitcase opened on the table and inside were these fabric dolls. The artist was grumpy when I asked if I could pick one up and there was this one that was called "Bee-Keeper". I was never one much for dolls but OMG! there was magic there and I had to have her. She held on old dried sunflower and she had a story in her face. I swear I was so excited that the artist looked at me like I had lost my mind. I was gushing as I handed her my check.
    The next season she was there again and I bought this odd doll that was a "nurse" but more like a Florence Nightingale, weird but enchanting. I got her for my sister who loved her. And then, the artist disappeared. Turns out she was a sister of someone I kinda knew and she said she just quit making dolls. That she just didn't have the time.
    I was so sad. Both for the grumpy Artist and also for the dolls that would never be created.
    I think it's rare to find such magic and now I'm seeing it here in your photos of your hares.
    I'm so excited to see what is going to burst out of those floodgates.
    I just love this post!
    It makes me SO HAPPY!!!
    (and here's some more for blue boy Jack! XOXOXO!)

    1. I love your exuberance, Cindi! And thank you for your kind words.
      I've got a long way to go on this textile character journey, but I am happy with how many lovely comments I'm getting about them - it inspires me and spurs me on to improve.
      Little Ebony - as her name seems to fit now - is made from black fabric, and she is very snuggly to hold.

      I'd love to see your "Bee Keeper", she sounds amazing. I adore bees and would love to incorporate some fabric ones into my work... maybe one day. So many ideas and characters tumbling in my head.

      At least you were able to buy two art dolls before the artist gave up making them. And, I'm glad you made the decision to buy there and then, rather than miss out.
      I would be stoked to have a customer gush over one of my dolls as you did - what a fabulous compliment to the maker. A pity she didn't realise that, or perhaps she was burned out and had enough. Who knows.

      Yes, I'd love to see your art dolls. If we lived closer, not only would we be downing coffees and Kahlua, but creating dolls at a big kitchen table together... that would be fun!

      Thank you for your healing energy... helps to mop up and disperse the remnants of the bug :)

      Jack has had kisses by the dozen from you and Tam, and of course me, today which made him very happy and he's smiling big :)
      Hugs to your Blue - I hope he's back to big, bounding, bounces!

    2. LOLOL! and i would crowd in at that table with my own coffee and kahlua... and i would just be sitting there with a soppy grin listening to you two amazing artists filling the air with excitement and shining sparkles of creativity!!! i would be so happy they'd think i was a little lunatic lady in off the street in a trance. i can just see it now.
      secretly i would be your agent. and you both would become world famous... and show your art and sell it... to only people who would treasure it.
      and then you could retreat back to your perfect worlds and rest. and then create more when the fires began again! oh what a world it would be.
      XOXO to you both! :D

    3. Wouldn't it be lovely? The three of us at a big table nattering together! It's a real shame we're so far apart...
      Hugs to you, little wren XXX

  6. A BLACK hare? FAAAAAAABULOUS!!!! My favourite so far, no offence to Harry and Elliott!! And who says inanimate objects don't have a soul? NO ONE EVER after seeing your amazing creations. Stay well, my friend :D

    1. Haha! She is rather lovely, isn't she :)
      I'll be making a few more black hares, judging by her popularity. Will be interesting to see how they emerge.
      I agree, they are very soul-ful. And certainly do have personalities.
      I think "the boys" were very protective of her and are glad she has a lovely new human friend... but I think they miss her a little too.

  7. so sad that you had the flu. Your new hare is beautiful, did you name her Ebony? Or did you leave the naming for the new owner?

    1. I'm fine, really. Just the flu. But thank you, River.
      I think Ebony is the perfect name for her upon reflection, but I was so tired that day that I didn't think to come up with it there and then. But, I'm sure she has a beautiful name all her own now.

      I also think Dawn would have been a good name, seeing as I finished her not long before dawn :)

  8. The black hare is so beautiful...don't know if I would have been able to part with her! I hope you've completely recovered from the flu...sending healing wishes you way just in case.



    1. Thank you, Victoria. Just an annoying persistent cough at night when it's cool, but that's all.
      I must say, I was a little surprised at how lovely little ebony hare turned out. She is pretty.

  9. It is such an exciting adventure you're on now, Vicki! And so happy you're having such a great respond to your new hare-creatures! They have sooo much personality. They talk--the do! :o) So sorry you've been under the weather, though... hope you are feeling better now. So good to catch up with you. I've been offline some days... life, you know... Wishing you & yours a lovely EASTER ((HUGS))

    1. Thanks Tracy! It is exciting, and daunting. But fun as well :)
      Wishing you, TJ and Charlie a lovely Easter too!


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