Today, February 8, is Hari-Kuyo – the Japanese Festival of the Broken Needles. I wrote about it last year, and I invite you to take a quick peek.
You’ll see the direction I was headed was birds with needles, stringing things. Clearly over the course of a year my heart has not strayed far, for today I have another needle-bearing bird I want to share.
This lovely image, printed as a postcard, was created by Corina Dross and Josie Mosser, who sell their works via an Etsy shop with the fabulous name Abacus Corvus Artwork. I was headed over there by a friend who knew I won’t be able to resist the name or the crow art, which proved absolutely true. But when I found this treasure, entitled Starling and Needle I felt like I found what I was sent to find.
The artists offer this little blurb: “This image was inspired by an old fairtytale, by way of a song. An iconic image for healing, self-care, and rebirth.”
How intriguing is that?! I can only tell you that I’ve spent hours trying to track down the fairytale, or perhaps the song, that might lead me to it. I even boldly asked the artists outright if they’d share, but I think the mystery of it all has deliciously and intriguingly headed me down various rabbit holes.
Aren’t you curious about the starling’s nut heart? I like to keep a little bowl (actually a seed pod) filled with various hearts and treasures on one of my altars. It always holds a feather as well, so perhaps I’ve been tuned into this fairytale at some level for a long time now.
I hope one day to track down the tale – and please if you know it – share! But in the meantime I like imagining we can always mend our hearts with a bit of red ribbon.
Today is all about honoring needles broken while doing their appointed tasks. I’ve found myself thinking about that during the course of this last year. I don’t sew much, and therefore don’t break many needles, but I did break one needle felting. I thought about what it must be like living in a culture that honors tools and is grateful for them, and how that’s so different than our current paradigm that manufactures things to be cheap and disposable instead of treasured. I thought a lot about broken things, and how we mend them or not, and how we decide. The depths of winter seems like a very good time to consider all these things.
Perhaps eventually I’ll frame the Starling with Needle postcard using a bit of scrap “textile meditation” as a background mat. But for today I set it on a page of the Stitch-illo book because that’s also something I wanted to talk about, it being needle day and everything.
Stitch-illo is one of the first 3 volumes of the Uppercase Encyclopedia of Inspiration. I’m a fan of publisher/editor/designer Janine Vangool’s quarterly magazine Uppercase which explores craft, design and creativity, and always manages to introduce me to new artists and sparks some delightful inspiration. Extra bonus points are awarded in my book because each magazine contains a themed abecedarium feature and you know what a pushover I am for those. So last year when she started publishing 350+ page volumes as part of her encyclopedia project I was all eager eyes. So far she’s done a Feed Sack issue, this one on Stitch-illo, subtitled “Every Stitch Tells a Story”, and a Botanica issue which is also fabulous. She’s got four more volumes in the works. You can read more about the quarterly magazine and the Encyclopedia here.
Stitch-illo is inspiring me undertake some stitching projects. Who knows, perhaps next year, I’ll have more broken needles to honor on Hari-Kuyo day. What about you? Broken any needles lately? Miss poring over old-time encyclopedias now that Google is king of information dispensing? Wonder what it takes to mend a heart? Love starlings? Do tell – you know I love to hear.